May Miles Thomas


Voted for

Ordet1955Carl Th. Dreyer
Beau travail1998Claire Denis
A Matter of Life and Death1946Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Mirror1975Andrei Tarkovsky
ANSATSU1964Masahiro Shinoda
Frankenstein1931James Whale
The Battle of Algiers1966Gillo Pontecorvo
Rosetta1999Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Sullivan's Travels1941Preston Sturges
All Quiet on the Western Front1930Lewis Milestone


In choosing these films, my motherlode is a quote from Michael Powell – "Theatre thinks. Cinema feels." My choice is also informed by another quote, from Robert Bresson, "Those who can work with the minimum can work with the most."

This list of films is not about the epic or spectacular. In their own way, these films, which may be construed as small, even domestic and quotidian, express a deep humanity and an ineffable quality. As representative of the best of cinema, they transcend the written and spoken word in the service of craft and technique to conjure an elevating aura.