Horror writer and general essayist, not least on films.
|La Grande Illusion
|Hangmen Also Die!
|Letter from an Unknown Woman
|Singin' in the Rain
|Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
|Touch of Evil
|My Neighbour Totoro
La Grande Illusion
The most potent of anti-war films, and considerably more—an epitome of Renoir’s humanism.
Hangmen Also Die!
Quintessential paranoid Fritz Lang, which demonstrates without trivialising the historical context that Mabuse’s world was and is ours.
Letter from an Unknown Woman
An inexhaustibly rich film, the epitome of eloquent succinctness.
Extreme neorealism embraces surrealism, and Buñuel’s power to shock remains as vital as ever.
Singin' in the Rain
A great musical, a great comedy, a great film about film (and not just the coming of sound).
Mizoguchi’s contemplative style at its most expressively Bruegelesque, further enriched by the uncanny.
Not as close to austere perfection as other Bergman films, but his most moving.
Hitchcock’s most disturbing and beautiful film, more so than ever in 4K. An essay could be written on the meaning of his use of the colour green alone. A film as confessional as it is confrontational.
Touch of Evil
A late masterpiece, as brilliant and searching as Citizen Kane.
My Neighbour Totoro
The gentlest of redemptive fantasies—like Kurosawa’s Ikiru, which it is otherwise utterly unlike, it renews the soul. A recent survey of films for the young suggested it was just for toddlers. Thank Miyazaki I haven’t grown up that much.
Lord, just ten films - quite a task. They're listed in the order of release. Films I was dismayed were crowded out include Les Vampires, Les Croix de Bois, Make Way for Tomorrow, Bringing Up Baby, Sons of the Desert, Citizen Kane (on the basis of only one film per director), The Reckless Moment (likewise), Ikiru, The Night of the Hunter, Ordet, The Apu trilogy, Night of the Demon, The Searchers, Last Year in Marienbad, Grave of the Fireflies, Code Unknown, the Koker trilogy... I fancy other contributors may favour some.