Roger Luckhurst

writer and academic

Voted for

Touch of Evil1958Orson Welles
Taxi Driver1976Martin Scorsese
Mulholland Dr.2001David Lynch
Cléo from 5 to 71962Agnès Varda
Professione: reporter1974Michelangelo Antonioni
Cemetery of Splendour2015Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Once upon a Time in Anatolia2011Nuri Bilge Ceylan
The Shining1980Stanley Kubrick
Portrait of a Lady on Fire2019Céline Sciamma
The Driver1978Walter Hill


Touch of Evil

1958 USA

From the opening tracking shot across the border to a bitter, rancid finale, its influence seems to outpace that *other* perennial Welles choice these days…

Taxi Driver

1976 USA

Political conspiracy, violence and queasy comedy – as fresh as it ever was.

Mulholland Dr.

2001 France, USA

The consummation of Lynch's experiments in narrative twist, a film miraculously rescued out of tortured fragments of a failed TV pilot, the most remarkable cinematic experience of the 21st century – still!

Cléo from 5 to 7

1962 France, Italy

Varda sneaks up and grabs the top spot for the New Wave from the rowdy boys that hogged the limelight for decades. Amazing that Faces Places, more than 50 years later, nearly steals this spot too!

Professione: reporter

1974 Italy, France, Spain, USA

This fusion of severe European modernism and the New Hollywood still proves unbeatable to summarise the open mesh of possibilities in the 1970s.

Cemetery of Splendour

2015 Thailand, United Kingdom, France, Malaysia, Germany, Republic of Korea, Mexico, USA, Norway, Netherlands, Hong Kong

A run of transportive trance-state films, in a dream-like mode no one else can quite sustain, reaches one peak here. The ability to hold two completely different realities on screen at the same time with the same image is properly magical.

Once upon a Time in Anatolia

2011 Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Luminous scenes, total immersion in perfect rhythm, astounding last sequence.

The Shining

1980 USA, United Kingdom

Reviled on release for hokey misreading of horror, an indelible influence on the genre ever since. Few films introduce a new way of seeing: the Steadicam glides here introduce a whole new cinematic emotion.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

2019 France

Transporting slow-burn desire heightened by exacting formal rigour.

The Driver

1978 USA

My wild card: no one else will vote for this – knock-off existential pretensions; assholery real (Ryan O'Neal) and brilliantly portrayed (Bruce Dern); Adjani looking at sea; a silent drama for long stretches, I always say the car chases speed along at 24 frames per second, as pure kinetic cinema.