Maria San Filippo

Associate Professor of Visual & Media Arts, Emerson College; Editor-in-chief, New Review of Film & Television Studies

Voted for

Daisies1966Věra Chytilová
Wanda1970Barbara Loden
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman
Vagabond1985Agnès Varda
CHOCOLAT1988Claire Denis
The Piano1992Jane Campion
The Watermelon Woman1997Cheryl Dunye
The Headless Woman2008Lucrecia Martel
Wendy and Lucy2008Kelly Reichardt
Portrait of a Lady on Fire2019Céline Sciamma


In cine-feminist fashion, my list attempts both polemically and pragmatically to do its part in catapulting more women-directed works into the Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time.

But because there's never enough room/praise/glory/money for women filmmakers, a few more favorites:

The Bigamist (Ida Lupino, 1953)

I Don't Know (Penelope Spheeris, 1971)

A New Leaf (Elaine May, 1971)

Girlfriends (Claudia Weill, 1978)

Illusions (Julie Dash, 1982)

Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985)

Working Girls (Lizzie Borden, 1986)

Jollies (Sadie Benning, 1990)

First Comes Love (Su Friedrich, 1991)

Bound (Lana Wachowski & Lilly Wachowski, 1996)

Walking and Talking (Nicole Holofcener, 1996)

À ma soeur! (Fat Girl, Catherine Breillat, 2001)

Laurel Canyon (Lisa Cholodenko, 2002)

Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2002)

Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006)

The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev, 2011)

Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)

Appropriate Behavior (Desiree Akhavan, 2014)

Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman, 2020)

Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2021)