Massimo Causo

Film critic, Programmer

Voted for

Tokyo Story1953Yasujirō Ozu
Johnny Guitar1954Nicholas Ray
Journey to Italy1954Roberto Rossellini
The Searchers1956John Ford
Au hasard Balthazar1966Robert Bresson
Close Encounters of the Third Kind1977Steven Spielberg
Apocalypse Now1979Francis Ford Coppola
Fitzcarraldo1981Werner Herzog
Blue Velvet1986David Lynch
The Assassin2015Hou Hsiao-Hsien


Tokyo Story

1953 Japan

The linearity of the cinematic gesture and the composure of the feeling in each image describe the inner reality of the drama of time. Ozu sublimates the immediacy of Cinema, its being concretely beside Man.

Johnny Guitar

1954 USA

“Tell me you still love me like I love you”, “I still love you like you love me” : Johnny Guitar is the slippage between the truth of feelings and the lie of life, the ongoing seduction between expectation and response, the deep need for fiction that truth feeds. Basically, everything that makes us love Cinema so much.

Journey to Italy

1954 Italy, France

Rossellini resets the drama, listens to the silence of History, describes the annihilation of relationships, leaves the miracle of real life off-screen, but at the same time exalts it as the only possible salvation. Where the reality of History ends, the realism of humanity begins.

The Searchers

1956 USA

The founding myth of the Frontier in a drama embodied on the concept of limit. A masterpiece in which the threshold splits the space of individual's identity from the space of people's identity. John Ford goes further than ever before in reflecting on the need to release roots in order to establish a person and, finally, witness the birth of a nation.

Au hasard Balthazar

1966 France, Sweden

Bresson stays, his stillness is a limpid and natural act of consciousness in front of an impassive world. The dissected gestures, the bodies inscribed in detail, the dissimulation of pain in the distraction of emotions: this author stands at the heart of cinema, as an art that has already seen everything and that everything can return to us in the form of a moral tale.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

1977 USA

Cinema that overcomes its childhood, reaching out to the frontier of the other within us. An empathic projection in a fairy tale that makes discover us (in)finite as EllioT, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the film of life beyond death, the tale that defeats the end and, seeking to a homecoming, restores the shattered identity: exactly what John Ford did twenty years earlier with The Searchers...

Apocalypse Now

1979 USA

Coppola celebrates Cinema as something that the more it moves through space the more it reaches the depths of consciousness, the more it takes on absolute material dimensions the more it becomes pure image, the more it aspires to the hero the more it disintegrates him in his perfection.


1981 Federal Republic of Germany, Peru

Unlike Coppola, Herzog seeks the immateriality of the dream, the vanishing point of the vision bigger than life. As incongruous and magnificent as any of this author's heroes, Fitzcarraldo embodies the absolute gesture and celebrates Cinema in the infinite mystery of the relationship between man and the world.

Blue Velvet

1986 USA

Another world is possible: Lynch teaches us to look at reality by reversing the polarity of existence. A central pivot of his alteration of the very matter of reality, Blue Velvet is a waking nightmare that starts in Oz and ends in the dark heart of innocence.

The Assassin

2015 Taiwan, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China

Hou Hsiao-hsien lets the transparency of images be celebrated in the reflection that dematerializes the world and celebrates the gaze. The Assassin abstracts the substance of action and imposes itself as a film suspended in a fictional time, dispersing acting in the maze of doubts. A masterpiece of Cinema's modernity carved in its eternal classicism.

Further remarks

In this impossible, wonderful list, I have tried to hold together those moments in world cinema that, in my opinion, mark the most flagrant and immediate stages of the never-failing modernity of this art. Not all of them, only ten of course... So many masters are scandalously set aside, for they are the infinite absolute that has the names Griffith, Eisenstein, Welles, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Fellini, Godard, Antonioni, Kubrick...