Sean Gilman


Voted for

Seven Samurai1954Akira Kurosawa
Casablanca1942Michael Curtiz
QIANXI MANBO2001Hou Hsiao-Hsien
OKI-EUI YOUNGHWA2010Hong Sangsoo
DAI CHEK LO2003Johnnie To Kei-fung, Wai Ka-fai
The Red Shoes1948Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
A Touch of Zen1969King Hu
Oxhide II2009Liu Jiayin
The History of the Seattle Mariners2020Jon Bois


This is of course an impossible task. How can you reduce to a mere ten representative samples greatness in a medium that ranges from the controlled precision of a Jeanne Dielman to the accidental wonder and horror of a Camera falls from airplane and lands in pig pen--MUST WATCH END!! And everywhere in-between? I’ve gone back and forth with a dozen different variations of this list, all of them equally valid and all of them equally wrong. I like this one as a snapshot of how I see cinema right now, where it’s been, and where it might be headed. It’s a tree with roots, and if it leans more toward the recent than it probably should, that’s just because canon-formation is more fun than canon-affirmation, the limbs and leaves more alluring than the trunk.

Still, there are so many omissions I deeply regret. Here are some of them: Platform, Spring in a Small Town, Goodbye Dragon Inn, The Killer, News from Home, The Midnight After, The Shop Around the Corner, Dirty Ho, La commune (Paris 1871), Wheels on Meals, An Autumn Afternoon, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Renaldo & Clara, Linda Linda Linda, Tropical Malady, Mughal-e-Azam, Yearning, Ugetsu, Voyage in Italy, Shanghai Blues, Green Snake, Liz and the Blue Bird, Only Yesterday, Ruggles of Red Gap, Baahubali, Duck Soup, The Lady Eve, Hatari!, Beau travail, The Quiet Man, Touch of Evil, Meet Me in St. Louis, Night of the Hunter, M. Hulot’s Holiday, The Age of Innocence, Last of the Mohicans, Dazed and Confused, The Matrix, Inherent Vice, Two Lane Blacktop, One Froggy Evening, The Rules of the Game, The Lion in Winter, Chimes at Midnight, The Birds, Anatomy of a Murder, Sunrise, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Morocco, Metropolis, Kiss Me Kate, Singin’ in the Rain, The Green Ray, The Docks of New York, Do the Right Thing, Ballet, The Big Lebowski, Children of Paradise, City on Fire, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, His Motorbike Her Island, The Terrorizers, and on and on and on.