Mark Lager


Voted for

Tini zabutykh predkiv1964Sergei Paradjanov
The Hired Hand1971Peter Fonda
Paris, Texas1984Wim Wenders
Solaris1972Andrei Tarkovsky
La DOUBLE VIE DE VÉRONIQUE1991Krzysztof Kieslowski
McCabe & Mrs. Miller1971Robert Altman
Il GRANDE SILENZIO1968Sergio Corbucci
Dersu Uzala1975Akira Kurosawa
LETYAT ZHURAVLI1957Mikhail Kalatozov
Odd Man Out1947Carol Reed


Tini zabutykh predkiv

1964 USSR, Ukrainian SSR

Poetic and profound, vividly visual and visceral Ukrainian film from the brilliantly visionary director Sergei Parajanov. It remains one-of-a-kind with its dazzling, colorful cinematography, hallucinatory and surreal, and its almost ethnographic depictions of ancient agrarian life and rituals in a community of the Carpathian mountains. It is a tragic love story and a story of the earth which is like a forgotten folk song of intoxicating wonder.

The Hired Hand

1971 USA

My favorite American film. Filmed in New Mexico. Mystical, poetic, quiet, reflective, sad, spiritual western. Beautiful, gorgeous, shimmering landscape cinematography from Vilmos Zsigmond. Aching, deeply hypnotic score by Bruce Langhorne that perfectly captures the mournful feeling of the lost frontier. My favorite soundtrack.

Paris, Texas

1984 Federal Republic of Germany, France, United Kingdom

My second favorite American film. Beautiful landscape cinematography from Robby Müller, deeply haunting slide guitar score from Ry Cooder (my second favorite soundtrack), and the performances by Harry Dean Stanton and Nastassja Kinski are heartbreaking.


1972 USSR

My favorite Tarkovsky film and my favorite sci-fi. Natalya Bondarchuk gives the greatest, most poignant performance of any actress in the director's career, the soundtrack by Eduard Artemyev is deeply haunting, and the cinematography by Vadim Yusov is stunning. Tarkovsky's philosophical masterpiece explores consciousness, identity, love, memory, and the meaning of home.


1991 France, Poland, Norway

Irène Jacob gives one of the greatest performances in cinema history in Kieślowski's best film, his masterpiece concerning emotions, identity, and love, featuring autumnal, beautiful cinematography by Slawomir Idziak, haunting music composed by Zbigniew Preisner, and a complex screenplay co-written by Krzysztof Piesewicz.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

1971 USA

Altman's best film, featuring songs of Leonard Cohen and hazy cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond of the rainy, wintry wilderness, this masterpiece is poignant, one of the greatest American films and westerns. Warren Beatty in his best performance as the drunken McCabe thwarted by corporate capitalism and Julie Christie in her best performance as the shrewd Mrs. Miller who escapes from the harsh frontier life through her opium pipe.


1968 Italy, France

My favorite Italian western and my favorite Ennio Morricone soundtrack, his most celestial compositions, deeply haunting. Jean Louis Trintignant is a mute gunslinger seeking justice for his scarred past and Vonetta McGee is the grieving widow Pauline Middleton who wants vengeance. Klaus Kinski as Loco the bounty hunter is the most cold blooded and cruel villain in the history of westerns.

Dersu Uzala

1975 USSR, Japan

My favorite Kurosawa film, his only film photographed in 70mm. An epic and poetic masterpiece (the hidden gem of his career). The performance by Maxim Munzuk as Dersu is superb. The vastness of the Siberian wilderness is photographed with breathtaking, powerful visuals. The soundtrack by Isaac Schwartz is sublime.


1957 USSR

One of the most powerful war films. Tatiana Samoilova gives one of the greatest, most heartbreaking performances in cinema history as Veronica. The cinematography by Sergei Urusevsky is incredible and innovative.

Odd Man Out

1947 United Kingdom

Atmospheric, moody, wintry, my favorite British film and my favorite film noir. Carol Reed's complex, contemplative masterpiece. The most compelling performance in the career of James Mason as the doomed Johnny. Kathleen Ryan is exquisitely poignant.

Further remarks

Films that missed my top 10 that are in my top 50: The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni), War and Peace (Sergei Bondarchuk), The Leopard (Luchino Visconti), Color of Pomegranates, Letter Never Sent, Andrei Rublev, Samsara, Baraka, Tree of Life, Shoot the Piano Player, On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray), Blast of Silence, Once Upon a Time in the West, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Sansho the Bailiff, Ikiru, The Ice Storm, Dead Man, Pandora's Box, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Marketa Lazarova, Le Silence de la Mer, Le Samourai, Le Cercle Rouge, The Mercenary, Modern Times, Amarcord, La Dolce Vita, Lawrence of Arabia, Night of the Hunter, Citizen Kane, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, The Wild Bunch, Chinatown, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Targets (1968).