Film Producer & Festival Consultant
|The Passion of Joan of Arc
|Carl Th. Dreyer
|La Règle du jeu
|To Be or Not to Be
|Syndromes and a Century
|Wong Kar Wai
|Histoire(s) du Cinéma
The Passion of Joan of Arc
A brave and uncompromising cinematic achievement of immense pathos, driven by a singular performance by Renée Jeanne Falconetti - possibly the finest of all time.
Tarkovsky's cinema is made up of such extraordinarily hallucinatory, dreamlike images - a house on fire in the rain, a woman floating above her bed - that they leave an indelible mark on those lucky enough to have experienced them.
Despite clearly being influenced by Miklós Jancsó, Béla Tarr has carved a singular cinematic style that is darkly mordant but nihilistically critical of religion, the state and authority, punctuated by his magnificent use of long takes, aided by László Krasznahorkai's dense text, Ágnes Hranitzky's editing and Mihály Víg melancholic score.
Ozu's first "talkie" is also his most deceptively simple. Profoundly moving, this film also acts as a benchmark for his later films' aesthetics (such as low camera angles, static shots through windows and doorways).
La Règle du jeu
A masterpiece that fully uses cinema as a playground to move characters and events between foregrounds, middle grounds and backgrounds via deep focus and long shots, while weaving a potent and complex social criticism.
To Be or Not to Be
Comedy typically ages poorly, but TO BE OR NOT BE somehow defies conventions with a masterwork that is as topically relevant and as uproarious as it was some 80 years ago.
Syndromes and a Century
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's finest film is also his most personal - a re-examination of his parents' past though the gauzy lens of memory and duality. Via stunningly evocative shots and a dash of unexpected humor, SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY encapsulates the best qualities of Weerasethakul's vivid and imaginative symbolisms to create something utterly singular in the history of cinema.
As time passes, CHUNGKING EXPRESS unexpectedly becomes the Wong Kar Wai film that stays with me the most, despite the common adoration for IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. With CHUNGKING EXPRESS, Wong manages to convey his central preoccupation with unrequited love and romantic longing with a much lighter touch. The film positively takes off thanks also to charismatic performances by Faye Wong, Tony Leung Chiu-Wei and Brigitte Lin, whose characters all became icons in their own right.
THE INTRUDER is a masterful culmination of themes explored in Claire Denis' previous films, with a truly tense lead Michel Subor as the prodigal father on the brink of life and death traveling the world to atone for his sins. Only Denis, aided by Agnes Godard, can assert such unique masculine energy, especially in the indelible scene of Beatrice Dalle on the dogsled.
Histoire(s) du Cinéma
An intense, cumulative exploration of cinema, as well as the 20th century itself, by one of cinema's greatest masters. Many films by him could be on the top ten list, but this one feels right as a culmination of many of his most fervent obsessions.
The list represents both films I feel truly do stand the test of time as well as those that have influenced me the most in my career.