Rüdiger Suchsland

Writer-critic-reviewer, but as well director ("From Caligari to Hitler"; "Hitler's Hollywood")

Voted for

People on Sunday1930Robert Siodmak
Sans Soleil1982Chris Marker
Le Mépris1963Jean-Luc Godard
Les Choses de la vie1970Claude Sautet
High and Low1963Akira Kurosawa
19001976Bernardo Bertolucci
Bunny Lake Is Missing1965Otto Preminger
nausicaa of the valley of the wind1984Hayao Miyazaki


Of course, we don't have to take such lists and surveys seriously at all. On the other hand, they only make sense if we take them seriously. And for me, the whole thing only makes sense if I take them very seriously.

The last film was by far the most difficult. 7 to 15 candidates fought for this place. All the others were determined.

In the end, Hayao Miyazaki's "Nausicaa..." won. Why? Because it combines spectacle and deeper meaning even better than "King Kong" (1933) or "Fantomas" or "Journey to the Moon" or "Mabuse", and it makes you happy.

For a long time I also wavered between "Heat" by Michael Mann and "Drowning by numbers" by Peter Greenaway - "Heat" because it is suffused with melancholy, because it is the conclusion of an epoch, both of the history of Film Noir and of analogue cinema in the 90s - and in this respect corresponds most closely to the latent mood of doom that is timely right now, in 2022.

"Drowning by numbers" is also a portrait of decadence, a film about doom, but in a completely different way, more comedic, more cheerful, still infused with this strange optimism that characterised the 80s and early 90s.

What pains me most is that I couldn't decide on a real comedy, unless you understand "People on Sunday" ("Menschen am Sonntag") as one.

Of course, there is a lot missing, many films that are enormously important to me personally, like "La Boum", like "Clockwork Orange" by Stanley Kubrick, like "Se7en" by David Fincher, like "Dressed to Kill" by Brian de Palma, like the whole Italian-American cinema in general, like Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola like Martin Scorsese, like Michael Cimino, like others from New Hollywood e.g. William Friedkin. He is one of the best directors of all time and actually belongs on this list with "French Connection" and with "Sorcerer" and maybe with 2-3 other films.

And what about Hitchcock? With Truffaut? With Visconti? With Antonioni? Minelli? Dassin? And so on, and so on - everyone who has filled out this list knows these questions. in the end, voting is voting for certain company and not voting against any others - and yet the main task of the last few days was: kill your darlings!

I have tried to vote for films that are particularly close to me and that have a personal meaning. I may never make such a list again in my life, so one question was which film list I would like to be remembered and identified with at some point.

I also defined the rule for myself that each director could only appear once on the list, and that the countries that are particularly close to my heart should be represented - and that Hollywood had to be underrepresented because it tends to appear far too often on this list.

Here is the point where I think politically, so to speak, not in terms of equality and equal treatment, but in terms of certain emphases that I want to set, that is, cinematic and aesthetic emphases, whereas I consider the adequate representation of gender and skin colour and origin and all other so-called identity characteristics to be completely superfluous and inappropriate. I am concerned here with diversity only insofar as it is aesthetic - as otherwise it is only about aesthetic characteristics.

I have tried to vote for films that themselves enter into a dialogue with other films and with cinema, but also with the question of how we live and how we want to live. With the question of the meaning we give to our lives, and the answer to which only gives meaning to cinema, because cinema and life are closely interwoven, cannot be separated.

I asked myself what is most important to me about cinema. I can actually answer that very easily: Intelligence and escapism, essayism and transgression, images and speed. my cinema is a cinema that makes me forget the world and that leads me back to it in a different way; my cinema is a cinema of movement, it is a continuation of music with other means not a continuation of painting or literature.

I hope the films I have chosen are fun, and that they still succeed in disturbing our spectatorial peace and the cosiness we so readily seek. I believe they succeed because they are all without an idea and without a moral, because they are subversive - through their respective unique forms.

A perfect film is one in which beautiful people do beautiful things.

It is cinema that surprises you; it is cinema that disturbs you; it is cinema that makes you happy.

In a truly perfect film, there is a beauty spot.