Head of Film Heritage Department, National Cinema Centre of Armenia
|The Colour of Pomegranates
|Man with a Movie Camera
|Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
The film that in my mind, comes closest to an ontological palimpsest of what cinema is. In the history of cinema, Vertigo is not a planet, but the sun.
The Colour of Pomegranates
A film that manages to unite the polarities of film language, reaching to its primordial origins and stretching to its absolute end point. It is one of the few, truly unique artistic visions that continues to exist beyond time and place.
There are films that manage to encapsulate their era – Mulholland Drive does this for the future, envisaging and searingly portraying the nascent fragmentation and transformation of humanity in the 21st century.
Man with a Movie Camera
It's hard to find a film that has better crystallised the ethos of modernity and as such, Vertov's masterpiece is a radical milestone in the human perception of reality.
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Akerman's Lacanian take on an individual's struggle with the ambivalence of one's own inner essence, is also a chilling forensic operation on the history of watching and image-making that helped to define the course for political cinema in later decades.
It's hard to think of a more perfect film about the focal role of storytelling in the construction of human society than Kurosawa's Roshomon.
Antonioni makes palpable the burden of living under the incessant shadow of meaninglessness. It's a transformative journey into the sublime, and an existentialist horror like no other.
An earthquake of a film, it shutters everything that has come before it, daring us with the impossible challenge to build something new, better and healthier. Only a handful of directors have had the courage to respond to Godard's provocation since then.
Jane Campion is arguably one of the few directors who has managed to engender a new humanist vision for cinema at the point of modernity's decline. Her Piano is a vaccine that has helped cinema's relevance survive well into the 21st century.
The new cinematic testament. How could it not be in this list?
Summating histories into lists or canons may be the most pointless task in the world, but it's an opportunity to redraw priorities and rethink the legacies that have made us into who we are. In doing this, I've tried to be more honest with my own personal experience of cinema than I was ten years ago.