Olivia Cooper-Hadjian

Film critic

Voted for

OYU-SAMA1951Kenji Mizoguchi
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes1953Howard Hawks
Muriel ou Le Temps d'un retour1963Alain Resnais
Daisies1966Věra Chytilová
La Région Centrale1971Michael Snow
Touki Bouki1973Djibril Diop Mambéty
Faustrecht der Freheit1975Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Le PONT DU NORD1982Jacques Rivette
Sherman's March A Meditation on the Possibility of Romantic Love in the South during an Era of Nuclear Weapons Prolifer1985Ross Mcelwee
The Fly1986David Cronenberg


Although not the fruit of a conscious decision, the fact that all the films on this list were made after WW2 is probably no coincidence. That war forever changed the way human beings could think of themselves as it took the horror they are capable of both inflicting and withstanding to a whole new level. How not to perceive our existence as utterly absurd after that? Claude Lanzmann’s SHOAH is without a doubt one of the greatest films ever made, but it is hard to compare with anything else, given that it manages to deal directly with what most works accept as being inexpressible and only circle around in their own particular fashion. I see the films I have chosen as flamboyant examples of the ways in which cinema can help us deal with being hopelessly human – by addressing pain and injustice or temporarily ignoring them, through beauty or ugliness (sometimes it is hard to tell which is which), movement always, and generally a (dark) sense of humour. In their attempts to grasp the precarious nature of any truth, meaning or emotion, they break with conventional representations of men and women. In LA RÉGION CENTRALE, Michael Snow gets rid of human beings completely and allows us to see like a machine for a few hours – what a relief! This list is a tribute to a few filmmakers who, by pushing aesthetic boundaries mindfully to take a better look at our species, brought me an unexpected sense of belonging.