Mia Mask

Professor of Film

Voted for

Do the Right Thing1989Spike Lee
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
His Girl Friday1939Howard Hawks
Giant1956George Stevens
MAH NAKORN2004Wisit Sasanatieng
Fear Eats the Soul1974Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Brazil1985Terry Gilliam
The Hour of the Furnaces1968Fernando Solanas
Daisies1966Věra Chytilová
Rosemary's Baby1968Roman Polanski


Do the Right Thing

1989 USA

Still brilliant. Still as fresh as ever. Great cast. Excellent cinematography. Wonderful soundtrack. Essential commentary on American race relations. Gave exposure to many up and coming actors (Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro and Giancarlo Esposito). Intertextual with its references to other films (Night of the Hunter).

Citizen Kane

1941 USA

Brilliant! Frighteningly, it reminds me of Donald Trump.

His Girl Friday

1939 USA

No film better represents the classical Hollywood romantic comedy better. Even "Bringing Up Baby" is a close second because in this movie Rosalind Russell is a working girl that women could relate to. The brilliant dialogue or banter is inimitable. "His Girl Friday" has one of the best scripts particularly given its use of double-entendre. The scenes between Russell and Grant are perfectly timed and executed. I'm no longer a big fan of rom-coms, but this one takes the cake. One for the ages.


1956 USA

Epic in every way. Cast is iconic. James Dean's last film. Great tension between Rock Hudson and James Dean. Based on Edna Ferber's revealing novel. Captures a folklore about Texas that has mythic elements and realistic elements. Amazing imagery and cinematography. The imagery and iconography still impact directors making films today (i.e., Jane Campion's "Power of the Dog"). A great metaphor for East meets West in the love story between Leslie and Bick. The documentaries about the film's production say everything about Hollywood. It reveals much about the exploitation labor, the treatment of indigenous / local people, and captures what went on behind the scenes to exposes Hollywood in many ways. Truly a film about Americana, about Hollywood and therefore about filmmaking.


2004 Thailand

Brilliant. Environmentally conscious. A metaphor for globalization in the post-consumerist age. Excellent use of magical realism. Funny. Sad. Beautiful. Universal.

Fear Eats the Soul

1974 Federal Republic of Germany

One for the ages. Still relevant in every way to everything happening in the world and beautifully executed. Addresses European racism, xenophobia, Arab immigration to Germany, the fetishization of black bodies by white people, middle age, adult children, family, forbidden desire, Nazism. It's all there. The mannered expressionist acting style is wonderfully effective and emotive, and it is still impacting filmmakers today (i.e., Todd Haynes, Yorgos Lanthimos, etc.). It also speaks to queer communities and queer communities of color, given the history of the film's production and Fassbinder's own background. The Emmi / Ali relationship is a wonderful metaphor for queer (LGBTQi+) relationships, and remains relevant and fresh even today. Fantastic cinema.


1985 USA, United Kingdom

A creative and ambitious depiction of a dystopian future.

The Hour of the Furnaces

1968 Argentina

This film is everything revolutionary cinema is supposed to be and more. Beautiful. Brilliant. Arresting. Heartbreaking. Life changing.


1966 Czechoslovakia

No film uses surrealism, feminism and political commentary more effectively. Brilliant cinema in every way.

Rosemary's Baby

1968 USA

Given the impact of this film on so many other films (including Jordan Peele's "Get Out"), I don't see how it doesn't make the list. The cinematography. The use of off-screen space, the use of color, the performances, the use of music, the casting of Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes.....are all outstanding elements of the film.

Further remarks

I actually think that "Ali, Fear Eats the Soul," could go before "Citizen Dog" but its a toss up. They are both great and both influential. If I were going to reorder, I might also move "Brazil" down to number 10 and trade places with "Rosemary's Baby" but "Brazil" was ahead of its time so, I'm giving it extra of credit.