Assistant Professor of Radio-Television-Film and Director of Latino Media Arts and Studies program
|Salt of the Earth
|Herbert J. Biberman
|Do the Right Thing
|Daughters of the Dust
|A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
|Ana Lily Amirpour
|In the Mood for Love
|Wong Kar Wai
|Alejandro González Iñárritu
Salt of the Earth
This is an exceptional film that was ahead of its time. The intersectional analysis is strong in this story of the struggles of a working class Mexican American woman and the mining community to which she belonged, and the story is told from her point of view, which was unheard of at the time. The film was made against all odds during the blacklist era and it is an incredible accomplishment that has stood the test of time. It remains relevant and powerful, nearly 70 years later.
This film has been influential on so many levels and is a stunning example of German Expressionism at its finest. Enduring themes of class struggle and human beings' struggle with industrialization and modernization are handled beautifully, both in terms of the story and the visual style of the film.
Do the Right Thing
This film is a bold and incisive examination of racism in the United States. Lee's courage and creativity are evident in this artistic, entertaining film that engaged audiences around important social and political issues that sadly, remain all too relevant today.
A beautifully shot film that utilizes multiple perspectives to tell the same story. Ground-breaking and hugely influential, as any film scholar or maker will surely confirm.
This is storytelling at its best. The visual style, sound design, absolutely everything comes together beautifully to create a complex, post-apocalyptic world where beauty can still be found, and is especially found, in the details.
Innovative on so many levels... spectacular cinematography, set design, character development. An all-around groundbreaking film that should be seen by anyone interested in the art of film.
Daughters of the Dust
A groundbreaking film that is a touchstone for women of color in and on film. The costumes, the cinematography, the storytelling.... everything about it is so elegant, creative, and deliberate. It is a truly unique film and tells a story not many (especially at the time it was made) would choose to tell. Black women filmmakers are few and far between and Dash's accomplishment is an inspiration to all.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
A very smart film that draws on so many genres, filmmakers, and cinematic traditions, to tell a unique, feminist story from a new perspective. The filmmaker is an excellent student of film who knows her stuff and she is putting it to tremendous use to change some of the tired old stories we have heard about women for far too long. Bravo!
In the Mood for Love
The use of color and the pacing of this film are phenomenal. Audiences are truly absorbed into this work of art, which compels them to feel for and with the characters. This is a masterpiece by a filmmaker who has made so many...
An exceptional film that interweaves several stories (one of the first to do this so effectively) to explore the human condition.
I very much appreciate being invited to participate in the poll, but also recognize how difficult it must be for Sight and Sound to compile a list like this. There is no way to know if the judges are using similar criteria, or on what basis they deem the films "best." I have therefore chosen a variety of films that are remarkable for different reasons, whether it be how influential they have been, how unique, visually innovative, etc. Looking at the list they may seem somewhat disparate, but they are all so very significant to my mind. The list of essentials would be most longer, and I'm sure I'll find many of my other choices on the full list once it is available. Thank you for this opportunity.