Vassilis Kroustallis

Film Journalist and Programmer

Voted for

Rashomon1950Akira Kurosawa
The 400 Blows1959François Truffaut
Cabaret1972Bob Fosse
Grave of the Fireflies1988Isao Takahata
La Règle du jeu1939Jean Renoir
Tomboy2011Céline Sciamma
City Lights1931Charles Chaplin
J'AI TUÉ MA MÈRE2009Xavier Dolan-Tadros
La dolce vita1960Federico Fellini



1950 Japan

It did create a term in itself (the 'Rashomon effect'), but mostly it created a masterpiece of conception and misconception in all its visual, stylistic, and theatrical terms. With Kurosawa's 'Rashomon', cinema entered its epistemological maturity -for those who wanted to follow it.


1926 Germany

The animated silhouetted masterpiece that Lotte Reiniger and her partners made (and Walt Disney could not even dream of doing). Classicism meets exoticism in a blend of carefully orchestrated movements that haven't aged a bit since its conception. This is what cinematic fairytales are about.

The 400 Blows

1959 France

Being now for a long time respected, revered, and taught in the academic curricula, the impression of 'The 400 Blows' is one of your elders' masterpieces you need to bear. Yet the film itself stubbornly defies all such preconditions, with its audacity, sincerity, and honesty of a kid who doesn't want to be treated as a kid; and cinema grows up as a result.


1972 USA

Its characters still make the world go round, with their non-judgemental demeanor, sexual fluidity, and the need to enjoy human contact in the darkest of times arising. Alternatively creepy and ebullient, you need to keep your breath before scream -a perfect fit for a musical that singlehandedly recreates the genre itself.

Grave of the Fireflies

1988 Japan

It is sad, it is tragic and it is brilliant.

La Règle du jeu

1939 France

As always, everyone has their reasons; and each time you re-watch the film, you find a different and new one. It is still enough for this so subtle comedy of manners (and so directorially in front of your eyes on all its multiple levels) to be part of the best films of all time. All the multiple society characters would agree -in their own, energetic and effervescent way.


2011 France

Céline Sciamma knows how to make the representationally-laden subject of gender an effortless way of filmmaking, in which you don't care where the conceptions stop and the feelings start. It is deeply humane, complex and a work of cinema that if it were made 50 years ago, could still be relevant back then; and it will be relevant 50 years from now.

City Lights

1931 USA

The quintessential story about the outcasts that need and get happiness, and an amazing directorial orchestration of every scene bit to create all human sentiments on the horizon in just 81 minutes. It lights up your cinematic life.


2009 Canada (Quebec)

It is a first-feature film that doesn't care about subtlety (but cares about empathy), gives you the most obvious hints about its predecessors (but recreates its own cinematic universe), and has the most lovingly off-putting gay male character in its middle. Unstoppable.

La dolce vita

1960 Italy, France

When quiet love gives its place to bubbling desperation. Still a modernist monument of our showbiz culture vs. our religious predicament, with Marcello Mastroianni being the animated puppet that traverses the whole universe of fantastic reality. Christ may have left Roma, but we are still there, like beguiled followers of eternal youth.

Further remarks

Cinema listing is a dangerous sport on its own, so here is a hot-and-cold list that tried to bite the bullet and respond to both old and new cinematic creators.

There are not only 10 masterpieces in our cinematic life, so please be sure to check all other lists and options. What is here presented (and aware of all the omissions) is a slice of our love with the movies.

The final list turned out to be more humane-oriented than initially intended, but let's not use this as a necessary flaw. Cinema can do many things, but let's stick to the basics for a change.