Tara Judah

Film critic

Voted for

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman
Le Bonheur1965Agnès Varda
Last Year at Marienbad1961Alain Resnais
Decasia2002Bill Morrison
Les Amants du Pont-Neuf1991Léos Carax
Where Is the Friend's House?1987Abbas Kiarostami
Daisies1966Věra Chytilová
All That Heaven Allows1955Douglas Sirk
The Hour of the Furnaces1968Fernando Solanas
Grave of the Fireflies1988Isao Takahata


Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

1975 Belgium, France

Quite simply the greatest film about women's work in the domestic sphere; an incredible performance by Delphine Seyrig, and the film that made me re-think the act of peeling potatoes, as I learnt a new empathy for my own mother.

Le Bonheur

1965 France

Varda's use of colour and music in this film craft a contrastingly warm and melancholic picture of familial life. Heartbreaking and yet picture perfect in its magazine style imagery, Le Bonheur has a unique and haunting tonal quality that speaks to gendered roles and the very concepts of contentment and happiness.

Last Year at Marienbad

1961 France, Italy

The first time I saw this film was like having a blindfold lifted: I didn't even know cinema was capable of holding and exploring such mysteries. Richard Dyer, my professor at the time, told me: "Let the film wash over you." I'm forever grateful that it did.


2002 USA

There is no other film that brings the beauty and grit of the material's historicity to the fore like this one. The emulsion moves like an expert ballet, and yet the movements are not choreographed. Almost impossibly, they are simply alive.

Les Amants du Pont-Neuf

1991 France

A film for tears. And yearning. Juliette Binoche is sublime; Denis Lavant broke my heart.

Where Is the Friend's House?

1987 Iran

I have never felt suspense so intensely as I did watching Ahmed. This is the purest form of compelling cinema for me, so viscerally felt through incredibly naturalistic filmmaking.


1966 Czechoslovakia

There are too many fantastic reasons to list (among them the social, political and cultural resonances of the film) but, perhaps chiefly, for me, it is a film about mischief, which is an awful lot of fun.

All That Heaven Allows

1955 USA

All That Heaven Allows was made for lovers of melodrama, melancholy and the romance of rainy days. It captures love and longing with nuance, and doesn't just touch the soul, it settles it inside of you.

The Hour of the Furnaces

1968 Argentina

This is the film that taught me about the politics of aesthetics and how filmmaking can actually be activism. It is epic in scope and form, explicating issues, polemic, philosophy and humanity in equal measure. I believe it is extraordinary.

Grave of the Fireflies

1988 Japan

An incredibly moving and poignant animation that explores both the devastating impact of war and what it means to be a child in a damaged adult world.