Xavier Pillai

Assistant Curator

Voted for

North by Northwest1959Alfred Hitchcock
Yi Yi1999Edward Yang
Le Samouraï1967Jean-Pierre Melville
Close-up1989Abbas Kiarostami
Paris Is Burning1990Jennie Livingston
No Regret (Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien)1993Marlon Riggs
The Watermelon Woman1997Cheryl Dunye
Once upon a Time in the West1968Sergio Leone
Perfect Blue1998Satoshi Kon
The French Connection1971William Friedkin


North by Northwest

1959 USA

An adventure of great heights with ineffable charm and steeped in tension.

Yi Yi

1999 Taiwan, Japan

A tender family tale that transmits and opens a space for deep empathy with the characters and cultures you experience.

Le Samouraï

1967 France, Italy

Brilliantly moody, chromatic blues with deafeningly tense silent moments. Experience becoming part of the scenery within the world of the film as the mysterious tale unfolds.


1989 Iran

Blended perfection, pacy yet introspective.

Paris Is Burning

1990 USA, United Kingdom

Since the '90s, the influence of this film has encroached on culture. While questions of its ethics and the rights of who should tell a story remain, the subculture it revealed to the mainstream world is a gift for broader global cultures. Ballroom's prominence results from this film's cast and existence, which currently emanates to the fore of our cultural programming.

No Regret (Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien)

1993 USA

The poetic and rhythmic elements are artfully cultivated, a vivid expression of defiant grief. This film exists perfectly at the confluence of different artistic techniques. It can be shown in a gallery as quickly as within the walls of a cinema.

The Watermelon Woman

1997 USA

Video store culture and the politics of interpersonal relationships and dating are carefully examined in this "slacker" classic.

Once upon a Time in the West

1968 Italy, USA

Brilliantly edited and scored, an exemplary epic and defining film of a genre.

Perfect Blue


Dizzying anime, which on countless watches leaves the viewer with a real sense of loss and dislocation, its influence is extensive and sometimes uncredited.

The French Connection

1971 USA

Through cinematic techniques, the film establishes a preternatural connection with the viewer. It leads you through the sequences with an unerring immersive quality that leaves you entirely predisposed to the turns and twists of the story.