The 1,000 Greatest Films (1000-901)

The banner image above is from Leo McCarey's Ruggles of Red Gap.
Beginning on this page is TSPDT's detailed look at the 1,000 Greatest Films (in descending ranking order). Each film's current ranking and previous ranking is provided with each entry, along with cast lists, review quotes (with external links to full review), links to IMDB, the 2002 Sight & Sound ballots and Amazon, and a sampling of five critics/filmmakers who voted, at one time or another, for the film in question.
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Sorcerer

Sorcerer


1977 / USA / 122m / Col / Adventure, Psychological Drama
Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou, Ramon Bieri, Peter Capell, Karl John, Friedrich von Ledebur, Chico Martinez, Joe Spinell
"William Friedkin’s jungle-location triumph/boondoggle Sorcerer trumps today’s event filmmaking with every mud puddle and pit stain, with rain- and sweat-streaked actors who never look like they’ve just swanned from the trailer to the green screen. In the last hour, plug-uglies played by Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, and Amidou drive trucks full of ready-to-blow unstable dynamite over South American mountains for story reasons that don’t much matter; it’s all terrified eyes boiling in stoic-faced men as mud-caked wheels skirt crumbling cliff sides, each shot like something Friedkin had to hack out of the rainforest… Friedkin’s characters may not have much to show afterward, but Friedkin does: the lost gem, the rediscovered masterwork, the evidence that the guy everyone thought had lost it was right all along." - Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
Selected by Rupert Wyatt, Benjamin Safdie, Quentin Tarantino, Christian McCrea, Don Coscarelli.
999
995
Oasis

Oasis

Oasiseu (original title)

2002 / South Korea / 133m / Col / Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama
Kyung-gu Sol, So-ri Moon, Nae-sang Ahn, Seung-wan Ryoo, Kwi-Jung Chu, Jin-gu Kim, Byung-ho Son, Ga-hyun Yun, Myeong-shin Park, Kyung-geun Park
"Lee Chang-dong's audacious melodrama Oasis appears, at first blush, to be the worst in disease-of-the-week gooiness: the touching story of a romance between a brain-addled ex-con and a woman crippled by severe cerebral palsy. It's even littered with fantasy sequences in which the two magically transcend their physical and mental limitations and express their feelings in more socially acceptable ways. But, far from the teddy-bear sentimentality that usually accompanies films about the afflicted, Oasis fearlessly skirts the edge of good taste, with moments of sweetness and emotional generosity colliding with stark brutality and exploitation." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Sean Baker, Jerry Schatzberg, Ik-June Yang, Alice Rohrwacher, German Kijel.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
998
998
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L'Humanité


1999 / France / 147m / Col / Psychological Drama, Police Detective Film
Emmanuel Schotte, Severine Caneele, Philippe Tullier, Ghislain Ghesquere, Ginette Allegre, Daniel Leroux, Arnaud Brejon de la Lavergee, Daniel Petillon, Robert Bunzi, Dominique Pruvost
"If it's possible for a film to convey a physical sensation of the world that is more intense than everyday life, Bruno Dumont's flawed masterpiece, Humanité, does a disquietingly good job. The raw sensory effect this transfixing movie produces might almost be described as psychedelic. Surrendering to its vision feels a little like being exposed to the sun after losing a layer of skin. In its relentlessly biological mind, what we think of as civilization is portrayed as a fragile membrane that barely prevents us from acting on our most brutal instincts." - Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Selected by Antonio Campos, Duane Hopkins, Amat Escalante, Barry Adamson, Stephen Cone.
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RE-ENTRY
Husbands and Wives

Husbands and Wives


1992 / USA / 107m / Col / Comedy Drama, Satire
Woody Allen, Blythe Danner, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Juliette Lewis, Liam Neeson, Sydney Pollack, Lysette Anthony, Cristi Conaway, Ron Rifkin
"Allen’s lost masterpiece, along with Crimes and Misdemeanors three years earlier, remains one of his most personal and incisive works to date. Though it’s as disciplined and pragmatic as its wellspring (Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage), this neurotic but frighteningly universal masterpiece is still one of Allen’s least explicitly Bergmanesque ventures. Throughout the film, Allen catalogs the insecurity and fear that rocks one marriage when another breaks apart… Allen understands the emotionally fragile and confusing period after a breakup: the jealousy of an ex-lover finding love with another too soon; the desire to return to an ex-lover when a new lover disappoints; and, most fascinating, the comfort men and women find in a loveless but comfortable state of constancy. - Ed Gonzalez, Chicago Reader
Selected by Andris Feldmanis, Miwa Nishikawa, Chus Gutiérrez, David Wain, Michael Dalton.
996
991
Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society


1989 / USA / 128m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Teen Movie
Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero, James Waterston, Norman Lloyd, Kurtwood Smith
"With Tom Schulman's script scrutinising educational conformity, the casting of Robin Williams as English teacher John Keating is inspired. Keating's eccentric teaching methods, exhorting his students with cries of 'Carpe Diem', promote spontaneity and idealism. But in the prestigious Welton Academy circa 1959, these male offspring are put on the same career path as their fathers, and face stern opposition from the educational establishment when they choose to indulge their imaginations… Weir infuses the film with his customary mysticism, but more importantly, draws sensitive performances from his largely inexperienced cast. Williams does wonders with a role that tends to be reduced to one of catalyst." - Colette Maude, Time Out
Selected by Marc Webb, M. Night Shyamalan, Daniel Lee, Ricardo Darín, Alistair Owen.
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RE-ENTRY
In Praise of Love

In Praise of Love

Éloge de l'amour (original title)

2001 / France / 97m / Col-BW / Drama
Bruno Putzulu, Cecile Camp, Claude Baignieres, Jean Davy, Francoise Verny, Audrey Klebaner, Jeremie Lippman, Remo Forlani, Mark Hunter, Philippe Loyrette
"Dense, full of obscure references and anchored to a plot without much narrative, In Praise of Love is a film that has unusual expectations from its audience -- and that's a welcome relief. Godard, one of the greatest names in the history of cinema, has made a movie that channels his feelings about Hollywood, American commercialism, the difficulties of making a movie (one of the characters is a filmmaker), the stages of love, Paris and history. Strictly on a visual level, In Praise of Love is a masterwork. The first half, which follows a director as he tries to cast a film, was shot in fine-grain black-and-white 35mm film. The movie's second half, which is a flashback to an earlier time, was shot in saturated color digital video… In Praise of Love shows that Godard is alive and well -- a filmmaker who continues to probe issues and stories that deserve our attention." - Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Paul Buck, Ann Hui, Helena Ylänen, Cesar Zamberlan, Dennis Grunes.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
994
943
Heimat

Heimat

Heimat - Eine deutsche Chronik (original title); Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany (alternative title)

1984 / West Germany / 940m / Col-BW / Epic, Historical Epic
Marita Breuer, Gertrud Bredel, Willi Burger, Michael Lesch, Rudiger Weigang, Karin Kienzler, Johannes Lobewein, Kurt Wagner, Marliese Assmann, Eva Maria Schneider
"Edgar Reitz's 15-hour film is an attempt to restore a sense of continuity to 20th-century German history by presenting 63 years, from 1919 to 1982, in the life of Schabbach, a small village… Reitz avoids the ceremonial events—births, deaths, marriages—that usually punctuate this sort of family chronicle, concentrating instead on the textures of daily existence and the shifting relationships among the characters. Though not without its longueurs and marked by a rising nostalgia for the “good old days” as opposed to the debased present, Reitz's project stands as a monumental act of imagination, teeming with evocative incident and Proustian detail." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Hare, Robert Fischer, Philip Haas, John Pym, Mike Figgis.
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They Live

They Live


1988 / USA / 93m / Col / Alien Film, Sci-Fi Action
Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George "Buck" Flower, Peter Jason, Raymond St. Jacques, Jason Robards III, John Lawrence, Susan Barnes, Sy Richardson
"They Live, Carpenter's 1988 paranoid freakout, deserves to be thought of as a masterpiece, an artist's defiant last grab at substance before losing the thread. It's a cheesy but lovable movie about a working-class hero (WWF wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper), struggling to find work in a harshly class-riven Los Angeles. He discovers, after slipping on a pair of special sunglasses, that the city’s abundant population of yuppies are aliens. It's that simple: Yuppies are aliens. In interviews, Carpenter often goes further than his screenplay, flatly calling the secret ghouls Republicans." - Joshua Rothkopf, Rolling Stone
Selected by Adam Wingard, Pedro Butcher, Peter Miller, Bong Joon-ho, Frederic Gimello.
992
980
The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (alternative title)

1993 / USA / 76m / Col / Fantasy, Animated Musical
Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Ed Ivory, Susan McBride, Debi Durst
"The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Tim Burton film in the sense that the story, its world and its look first took shape in Burton's mind, and he supervised their filming. But the director of the film, a veteran stop-action master named Henry Selick, is the person who has made it all work. And his achievement is enormous. Working with gifted artists and designers, he has made a world here that is as completely new as the worlds we saw for the first time in such films as Metropolis (1927), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or Star Wars… The songs by Danny Elfman are fun, too, a couple of them using lyrics so clever they could be updated from Gilbert & Sullivan." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Isamu Hirabayashi, José Luis Rebordinos, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Alexandre Tylski, Josef Schnelle.
991
959
Unsere Afrikareise

Unsere Afrikareise


1966 / Austria / 13m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental
"In 1961 Peter Kubelka was asked to make a documentary about a group of Europeans on an African hunting trip. He accompanied them, recorded many hours of film and sound, and then spent five years editing this material into a most unconventional film. The result, Unsere Afrikareise, is one of the most densely packed 12½ minutes in film history, and makes truly extraordinary use of the creative possibilities of sound… What is most extraordinary about Kubelka's achievement is not the specific connections he establishes between elements, but rather the system that the entire network of connections form." - Fred Camper, Film Reference
Selected by Vinzenz Hediger, Scott MacDonald, Michael Glawogger, Ashim Ahluwalia, Michael Sicinski.
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L'Amour fou

L'Amour fou

Mad Love (English title)

1968 / France / 252m / BW / Showbiz Drama, Psychological Drama
Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Maddly Bamy, Etienne Becker, Yves Beneyton, Denis Berry, Liliane Bordoni, Celia, Michel Delahaye, Josee Destoop
"Though its four-hour running time might scare some off, Rivette's tale of a deteriorating marriage between a theater director (Kalfon) and his actress wife (Ogier) doesn't start to show its length until its last quarter, when the two hole up in their apartment for one last lunatic binge and the movie's intricate structure dissolves. Rivette blends the couple's struggles with scenes from his rehearsals for a production of Racine's Andromache and 16mm documentary footage of the rehearsals ostensibly shot by a TV crew… The question isn't really whether four hours is too much, but whether you ever wish there was less. The answer is a resounding no." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Dmitry Martov, Violeta Kovacsics, Leo Berkeley, Tom Milne, Atom Egoyan.
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Johnny Got His Gun

Johnny Got His Gun


1971 / USA / 111m / Col-BW / War Drama, Anti-War Film
Timothy Bottoms, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt, Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland, Diane Varsi, Milton Barnes, Don "Red" Barry, Craig Bovia, Peter Brocco
"Trumbo lays on every emotional effect and then some to get across his tale of a World War I casualty left limbless, faceless, deaf, dumb and blind, confined to a semi-existence in a hospital back room… Trumbo adapted his own novel, incredibly based on fact, some thirty years after he wrote it, and he tells the seemingly unfilmable story through a sustained interior monologue and a series of flashbacks to Johnny's childhood, his failure of a shoe-salesman father, his job in the local bakery, his first-and-last night with his girl before leaving for the front, and through a series of fantasy sequences (the most effective involving Donald Sutherland as Christ). The film is often sentimental, sometimes brilliant as well as horrifying, and it is intriguing to speculate on what Buñuel, whom Trumbo originally wanted to direct, would have made of it." - Verina Glaessner, Time Out
Selected by Jan Göransson, Michael Moore, Javier Angulo, José Eduardo Belmonte, Christophe Goffette.
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RE-ENTRY
The Big Red One

The Big Red One


1980 / USA / 113m / Col / Combat Film, War Drama
Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco, Kelly Ward, Siegfried Rauch, Stephane Audran, Serge Marquand, Charles Macaulay, Alain Doutey
"The most ambitious war film in Samuel Fuller's career, a chronicle of his own First Infantry Division in World War II, was a long time coming. When it finally made it to the screen, a wholesale reediting by the studio and a tacked-on narration (by filmmaker Jim McBride) made it something less than Fuller originally intended. But it's still a grand-style, idiosyncratic war epic, with wonderful poetic ideas, intense emotions, and haunting images rich in metaphysical portent. The effective cast is headed by Lee Marvin (as the grim and hardened sergeant), Mark Hamill, Bobby Di Cicco, and Robert Carradine. Packed with energy and observation, it is full of unforgettable, spellbinding moments (1980)." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Michel Mourlet, Edoki Jun, Ricardo Bedoya, Ernesto Barros, Kent Jones.
987
965
Bad Timing

Bad Timing

Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession (alternative title)

1980 / UK / 129m / Col / Mystery, Psychological Drama
Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel, Denholm Elliott, Daniel Massey, Dana Gillespie, William Hootkins, Eugene Lipinski, George Roubicek, Stefan Gryff
"Amid the decaying elegance of cold-war Vienna, psychoanalyst Dr. Alex Linden (Garfunkel) becomes mired in an erotically charged affair with the elusive Milena Flaherty (Russell). When their all-consuming passion takes a life-threatening turn, Inspector Netusil (Keitel) is assigned to piece together the sordid details. Acclaimed for its innovative editing, raw performances, and stirring musical score—featuring Tom Waits, the Who, and Billie Holiday—Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing is a masterful, deeply disturbing foray into the dark world of sexual obsession." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ian Wild, Isabelle Stever, Sam Dunn, Simon Ward, Lee Hill.
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RE-ENTRY
The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead


1949 / USA / 114m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Massey, Kent Smith, Robert Douglas, Henry Hull, Ray Collins, Moroni Olsen, Jerome Cowan, Paul Harvey
"King Vidor turned Ayn Rand's preposterous “philosophical” novel into one of his finest and most personal films, mainly by pushing the phallic imagery so hard that it surpasses Rand's rightist diatribes and even camp (“I wish I'd never seen your skyscraper!”), entering some uncharted dimension where melodrama and metaphysics exist side by side. The images have a dynamism, a spatial tension, that comes partly from Frank Lloyd Wright (whose life Rand appropriated for her novel) and partly from Eisenstein, yet the pattern of their deployment is Vidor's own: the emotions rise and fall in broad, operatic movements that are unmistakably sexual and irresistibly involving." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Slavoj Zizek, Wong Sui-kei, Leos Carax, Mark Savage, Jerry Lewis.
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RE-ENTRY
Red Beard

Red Beard

Akahige (original title)

1965 / Japan / 185m / BW / Period Film, Medical Drama
Toshiro Mifune, Yuzo Kayama, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Reiko Dan, Miyuki Kuwano, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuyoshi Ehara, Teruma Niki, Takashi Shimura
"A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity, teaching the embittered intern to appreciate the lives of his destitute patients. Perfectly capturing the look and feel of 19th-century Japan, Kurosawa weaves a fascinating tapestry of time, place, and emotion." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kim Young-Jin, Alexander Payne, Steven Seagal, Chris Wisner, Jean-Pierre Dardenne.
984
933
The Indian Tomb

The Indian Tomb

Das Indische Grabmal (original title)

1959 / West Germany-France-Italy / 95m / Col / Romantic Adventure, Escape Film
Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer, Claus Holm, Sabine Bethmann, Valery Inkijinoff, Rene Deltgen, Jochen Brockmann, Jochen Blume, Luciana Paluzzi
"One of the cinema’s most marvellous oddities, Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das Indische Grabmal are films so luridly intense you think you may just be dreaming them… Both the exotic world they conjure up – part grand, dazzling sun-soaked Indian locations (palaces, forts, temples, lakes), part astonishing studio fantasy of glittering costumes and interiors, vast underground temples and labyrinthine cave-systems; and Lang’s lush colour evocation of extravagant ceremony and fermenting passions and cruelty – with the aid of jodhpurs, scimitars, crocodiles, lepers, tigers (of course) and, most memorably of all, some astonishingly erotic dancing by Hollywood star Debra Paget as Seetha the temple dancer." - Philip Horne, The Telegraph
Selected by Dominik Graf, Pierre Rissient, Michel Mourlet, Enrique Bolado, Jesús Cortés.
983
932
Mothlight

Mothlight


1963 / USA / 4m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental
"Mothlight visualises a “day in the life” of an insect from birth to death… You could say Brakhage puts the “anima” back into animation, reanimating the dead, painstakingly affixing the remains of dead insects, leaves and the like onto the film strip, and feeding it through the projector back to life. Of course, the principle of film projection is the illusion of life through light, with the audience gathering to watch like moths attracted to a lamp: the beauty of Mothlight is the way Brakhage evokes the moth not through cartoon mimicry, but by the fragile sensation of its movement, batting against the screen, hurtling in descent. The effect is exhilarating and terrifying." - Darragh O'Donoghue, Senses of Cinema
Selected by David Curtis, Michael Glawogger, Robert Haller, Sean Cubitt, Mika Taanila.
982
942
Hellzapoppin'

Hellzapoppin'


1941 / USA / 84m / BW / Anarchic Comedy, Backstage Musical
Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye, Robert Paige, Jane Frazee, Lewis Howard, Clarence Kolb, Mischa Auer, Elisha Cook Jr., Hugh Herbert
"A genuinely bizarre oddity, this madcap comedy is fascinating not only for its many very funny moments, but also for the way it includes, amid the material taken directly from the original stage revue, various purely cinematic gags which are surprisingly modern in tone and significance… Although lacking the satirical edge of the Marx Brothers, Hellzapoppin' frequently outstrips the works of Groucho and Co in terms of speed, imagination and sheer craziness." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Jonathan Romney, Joe Dante, Thomas Beard, David Robson, Raymond Durgnat.
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RE-ENTRY
Ruggles of Red Gap

Ruggles of Red Gap


1935 / USA / 92m / BW / Comedy of Manners, Screwball Comedy
Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charlie Ruggles, ZaSu Pitts, Roland Young, Leila Hyams, Maude Eburne, Lucien Littlefield, Leota Lorraine, James Burke
"Shockingly modern and the most politically enlightened (and enlightening) comedy of the 1930s, Leo McCarey’s winning quasi-Western is a model of Hollywood broad strokes coalescing into a sophisticated whole… With the egalitarian warmth of Jean Renoir (himself a huge fan of the film), director McCarey spoofs stereotypes while investing them with knowing asides. The only characters singled out for scorn are those who would reinforce class divisions; delightfully, one of them literally gets his ass kicked." - Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
Selected by Todd McCarthy, Louis Skorecki, Dan Sallitt, Edward Norton, Robin Wood.
980
962
Scarecrow

Scarecrow


1973 / USA / 108m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, Dorothy Tristan, Ann Wedgeworth, Richard Lynch, Eileen Brennan, Penelope Allen, Richard Hackman, Al Cingolani, Rutanya Alda
"At the time of its release, Scarecrow was considered a commercial flop, and was shortsightedly written off by many critics as just another rambling buddy/road movie in the register of Easy Rider… Yet the passing years have proven Scarecrow's continuing appeal as a low-key character study, a downbeat ode to the downtrodden, an elegy for the American dream gone sour. Director Jerry Schatzberg and DP Vilmos Zsigmond craft a visually rich and evocative film as attuned to the rhapsodic vistas of the American pastoral as it is to the squalid dive bars and inhumane work farms that provide the grungy backdrop for screenwriter Garry Michael White's loose-limbed drama." - Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
Selected by Ryan Fleck, Marian Crisan, Vincent Gallo, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Ricardo Darín.
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NEW
O Bandido da Luz Vermelha

O Bandido da Luz Vermelha

The Red Light Bandit (English title)

1968 / Brazil / 92m / BW / Biopic
Paulo Villaca, Helena Ignez, Jose Marinho, Pagano Sobrinho, Luiz Linhares, Helio Aguiar, Luis Alberto, Armando Barreto, Lenoir Bittencourt, Sonia Braga, Lola Brah
"Rogerio Sganzerla, a 23-year-old film critic and champion of the Cinema Novo movement, directed this 1968 Brazilian feature about a small-time thug's rise to notoriety, and its strident, absurdist tone is heavily informed by the radicalism of the times. Sganzerla has little regard for dramatic niceties, employing guerrilla-style acting and very little dialogue; he's far more interested in bombarding the viewer with topsy-turvy visuals and neo-Marxist commentary on the sound track. His indictment of all ranks of Brazilian society is nearly incoherent, but the film has a scuzzy lyricism that's oddly engrossing." - Ted Shen, Chicago Reader
Selected by Tata Amaral, Cid Nader, Lúcia Murat, Ivan Cardoso, Chico Fireman.
978
945
The Sting

The Sting


1973 / USA / 129m / Col / Crime Comedy, Buddy Film
Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Eileen Brennan, Harold Gould, John Heffernan, Dana Elcar, Jack Kehoe
"A crafty, good-natured crime caper, The Sting reunited Hill with Redford and Newman and won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It's set in 1936 in a big, brawling Chicago teeming with gangsters, gamblers and con artists. Redford and Newman, dressed in snap-brim hats and sharp pin-striped suits, are cast again as old friends, this time as a couple of con men trying to fleece dangerous New York mobster Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) out of a fortune… The Sting remains the definitive con artist comedy: as irresistible and ingenious as the scheme that hooks in Doyle." - Patrick Smith, The Guardian
Selected by Constantin Popescu, Budd Boetticher, Matt Singer, Nicholas Searle, Ackbar Abbas.
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RE-ENTRY
Design for Living

Design for Living


1933 / USA / 90m / BW / Romance, Sophisticated Comedy
Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins, Edward Everett Horton, Franklin Pangborn, Isabel Jewell, Jane Darwell, Wyndham Standing, Lionel Belmore, Thomas Braidon
"Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s agree­ment” in this continental pre-Code comedy, freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A risqué relationship story and a witty take on creative pursuits, the film concerns a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between the equally dashing painter (Cooper) and playwright (March) she meets on a train en route to the City of Light. Design for Living is Lubitsch at his sexiest, an entertainment at once debonair and racy, featuring three stars at the height of their allure." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Mariano Llinás, Leos Carax, Peter Buchka, Jorge Gorostiza, Luis Alberto de Cuenca.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
976
947
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show


1975 / UK / 95m / Col / Horror Comedy, Rock Musical
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Jonathan Adams, Nell Campbell, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show was, and to some extent remains, the ultimate cult film. After flopping in its first run in 1975, it was quickly revived as a midnight movie, attracting a dedicated group of followers who would attend, talk back to, and reenact the movie on weekends… A fast-paced pastiche of camp, science fiction, rock music, horror, and more camp… The plot is only semi-comprehensible, but the nearly non-stop musical numbers—brilliant conflations of glam-rock and showtunes—and transgressive sexual energy keep things moving. With its fairly extreme but somehow cuddly take on sexual fluidity, it's easy to see why the appeal of RHPS hasn't waned.” - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Karen Oughton, Albert Elduque, Kevin John, Mike White, Paul Lee.
975
974
Touchez pas au Grisbi

Touchez pas au Grisbi

Grisbi (alternative title)

1954 / France / 94m / BW / Crime, Caper
Jean Gabin, Rene Dary, Paul Frankeur, Lino Ventura, Paul Oettly, Jeanne Moreau, Dora Doll, Daniel Cauchy, Vittorio Sanipoli, Denise Clair
"This model French gangster picture set the rules for the great sequence of underworld movies from Jean-Pierre Melville that followed. An ageing and weary Gabin attempts to retire after one last robbery. Instead he finds himself in a world of moody double-crosses. Becker's film, full of neat angles and delightful little bits of business, is laconic and admirably methodical. If its code of honour and its world of safe houses (and the absence of any police) make it seem like a wartime resistance film, it does also show what other gangster movies often ignore: that the reason for earning money dishonestly is to be able to live in style." - Chris Peachment, Time Out
Selected by Shinji Aoyama, Ginette Vincendeau, Andris Feldmanis, Peter von Bagh, Fredric R. Jameson.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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992
Outskirts

Outskirts

Okraina (original title); Patriots (alternative title)

1933 / USSR / 98m / BW / War Drama, Period Film
Aleksandr Chistyakov, Sergey Komarov, Yelena Kuzmina, Nikolai Bogolyubov, Nikolai Kryuchkov, Hans Klering, Mikhail Zharov, Vladimir Uralsky, Robert Erdman, Andrei Fajt
"Barnet's seminal film harnessed the expressionistic potential of early Soviet sound technique to conjure a gently comic and affecting anti-war masterpiece. Set in an isolated Russian provincial village during World War I, the film portrays the complex relationship that develops between a German prisoner, Hans Klering, and his (for the most part) benign Russian captors. An inventive, lyrical plea for tolerance, the film's themes of divided loyalty and shared humanity are as relevant today as they were in 1933." - Australian Centre for the Moving Image
Selected by Arthur Mas, Jacques Rivette, Peter von Bagh, Tom Luddy, Andrzej Wajda.
973
949
Lone Star

Lone Star


1996 / USA / 135m / Col / Drama, Mystery
Chris Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Pena, Kris Kristofferson, Joe Morton, Stephen Mendillo, Clifton James, Miriam Colon, Frances McDormand, Ron Canada
"Lone Star is a great American movie, one of the few to seriously try to regard with open eyes the way we live now. Set in a town that until very recently was rigidly segregated, it shows how Chicanos, blacks, whites and Indians shared a common history, and how they knew one another and dealt with one another in ways that were off the official map. This film is a wonder -- the best work yet by one of our most original and independent filmmakers -- and after it is over, and you begin to think about it, its meanings begin to flower." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Domino Renee Perez, Guy Westwell, Matthias Lerf, Martin McLoone, Norm Schrager.
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RE-ENTRY
Kill Bill Vol. 1

Kill Bill Vol. 1


2003 / USA / 111m / Col-BW / Action Thriller, Martial Arts
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama, Chia Hui Liu, Michael Parks
"Kill Bill, Volume 1 shows Quentin Tarantino so effortlessly and brilliantly in command of his technique that he reminds me of a virtuoso violinist racing through Flight of the Bumble Bee -- or maybe an accordion prodigy setting a speed record for Lady of Spain. I mean that as a sincere compliment. The movie is not about anything at all except the skill and humor of its making. It's kind of brilliant. His story is a distillation of the universe of martial arts movies, elevated to a trancelike mastery of the material… The movie is all storytelling and no story. The motivations have no psychological depth or resonance, but are simply plot markers. The characters consist of their characteristics. Lurking beneath everything, as it did with Pulp Fiction, is the suggestion of a parallel universe in which all of this makes sense in the same way that a superhero's origin story makes sense." - Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com
Selected by Emilio Bustamante, Xavier Pérez, Rafael Carvalho, Tom Tykwer, Gerard Alonso Cassadó.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
971
919
From the Clouds to the Resistance

From the Clouds to the Resistance

Dalla nube alla resistenza (original title)

1979 / Italy-West Germany-UK-France / 104m / Col / Drama
Olimpia Carlisi, Guido Lombardi, Gino Felici, Lori Pelosini, Walter Pardini, Ennio Lauricella, Andrea Bacci, Loris Cavallini, Francesco Ragusa, Fiorangelo Pucci
"Straub and Huillet expand their concerns with dazzling scope and beauty: the struggle between gods and men, the eruption of the past into the present. From the first shots of a goddess seated in a tree, through a long debate between mythological characters, to the exploration of a village's fascist past, the film constantly startles by its imaginative and historical leaps. Operatic and documentary in approach, the film carefully juxtaposes two texts by Cesare Pavese… A work of provocation which strips ornament and leaves essences, and whose integrity gives it a distinct sense of the sublime." - Don Macpherson, Time Out
Selected by Bernard Eisenschitz, Tag Gallagher, Cristina Fernandes, Fritz Göttler, Matthew Flanagan.
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RE-ENTRY
The Story of Qiu Ju

The Story of Qiu Ju

Qiu Ju da guan si (original title)

1992 / China-Hong Kong / 100m / Col / Rural Drama, Satire
Gong Li, Lei Lao Sheng, Ge Zhi Jun, Liu Pei Qi, Yang Liu Chun, Zhu Qanqing, Cui Luowen, Yang Huiqin, Wang Jianfa, Lin Zi
"Zhang Yimou shifts gears from the upper-class formalism and cloistered period settings of his Red Sorghum, Ju Dou, and Raise the Red Lantern with this 1992 comedy about a pregnant farm wife (Gong Li) taking on the government bureaucracy after her husband is injured in an altercation with the village chief. Shot mainly with hidden cameras and nonprofessional actors (including government bureaucrats), this may contain more casual information about everyday life in China than all the other Chinese movies distributed in this country combined; it's also an adroit piece of storytelling and mise-en-scene that shows at least as much of Zhang's directorial talent as his previous features." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Asif Kapadia, Raqs Media Collective, Raymond Red, Cheng Jihua, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.
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RE-ENTRY
A Nous La Liberte

À nous la liberté

Freedom for Us (English title)

1931 / 87m / BW / France / Comedy, Satire
Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand, Paul Ollivier, Andre Michaud, Rolla France, Germaine Aussey, Leon Lorin, William Burke, Vincent Hyspa, Jacques Shelly
"If the 1920s began in a heady embrace of Age of Steel Modernism and naive optimism that industrialization would make life better, the '30s were marked by a swing away from that mechanized mystique. Rene Clair's airborne comedy, A nous la liberte, is a landmark in this sub-genre, although it's curious to think of so deliciously buoyant a film as anything connoting heaviness of any sort, much less that of a landmark... A nous la liberte is his [Clair's] crowning achievement." - Jay Carr, TCM
Selected by Catherine A. Surowiec, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Paul Bartel, Arthur Knight, Jean-Michel Arnold.
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NEW
Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich


1999 / USA / 112m / Col / Comedy, Fantasy
John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, Orson Bean, Mary Kay Place, John Malkovich, Charlie Sheen, W. Earl Brown, Andy Dick, David Fincher
"What an endlessly inventive movie this is! Charlie Kaufman, the writer of Being John Malkovich, supplies a stream of dazzling inventions, twists and wicked paradoxes. And the director, Spike Jonze, doesn't pounce on each one like fresh prey, but unveils it slyly, as if there's more where that came from. Rare is the movie where the last half hour surprises you just as much as the first, and in ways you're not expecting. The movie has ideas enough for half a dozen films, but Jonze and his cast handle them so surely that we never feel hard-pressed; we're enchanted by one development after the next." - Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com
Selected by Patricia Rozema, Nick Kroll, Luis Antonio Casuso, Jean-Christophe Berjon, Neil Young.
967
914
War and Peace

War and Peace

Voyna i mir (original title)

1967 / USSR / 357m / Col / Epic, Historical Film
Lyudmila Savelyeva, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Gennadi Ivanov, Irina Gubanova, Antonina Shuranova, Sergei Bondarchuk, N. Afrikyants, V. Alakhverdova, Rodion Aleksandrov, Igor Alekseyev
"Sergei Bondarchuk's seven-hour 1967 monster is still the biggest, most astonishingly profligate movie ever made, involving more than a quarter-million extras and eating up resources enough to support a small nation (today, it would cost close to $1 billion). Since its foreign-film Oscar win, it's been roundly derided as a boring nationalist waste. Not so: The unwavering fidelity to Tolstoy is served by a constantly roving camera, complex mise-en-scène, baroque compositions, and expressive double exposures. The chakras of Ophüls and Eisenstein are as palpable as the startling sense of the entire republic being placed at the film's disposal." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Joel Schumacher, Baz Luhrmann, Judith Crist, Daniel Walber, Tad Richards.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
966
946
Witness

Witness


1985 / USA / 112m / Col / Crime Thriller, Romantic Drama
Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Josef Sommer, Lukas Haas, Jan Rubes, Alexander Godunov, Danny Glover, Patti LuPone, Brent Jennings, Angus MacInnes
"Weir's first film set in America explores a theme familiar from his earlier work: the discovery of an all but forgotten culture in modern society: in this case the Amish, a puritanical sect whose life in Pennsylvania has remained unchanged since the 18th century. Threat explodes into this community when an Amish boy witnesses a murder… Powerful, assured, full of beautiful imagery and thankfully devoid of easy moralising, it also offers a performance of surprising skill and sensitivity from Ford." - Richard Rayner, Time Out
Selected by Laura Kern, Michael Dudok de Wit, Baltasar Komákur, Derek Adams, Klaus Härö
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RE-ENTRY
Pickpocket

Pickpocket

Xiao Wu (original title)

1997 / China-Hong Kong / 108m / Col / Drama, Crime
Hongwei Wang, Hao Hongjian, Zuo Baitao, Ma Jinrei, Liu Junying, Liang Yonghao, An Qunyan, Jiang Dongdong, Zhao Long, Wang Reiren
"Jia Zhang-ke's touching and accomplished first feature, cast entirely with nonprofessional actors, is somewhat uncharacteristic in that it's basically a character study. Set in Jia's Chinese hometown (Fenyang in Shanxi province), it focuses on a rather pathetic pickpocket who runs a small gang of younger thieves. His profession makes him an outcast and his romantic and social possibilities are steadily shrinking. Though the film lacks the epic sweep of Jia's subsequent features (Platform, Unknown Pleasures, The World, Still Life), it imparts much about the provincial town, and it's so impressive in its own right that I can understand why some prefer it to his later work." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Ann Hui, Stanley Rosen, Lai Miu-suet , Jian Yi, Zhang Yibai .
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
964
923
The Saragossa Manuscript

The Saragossa Manuscript

Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie (original title)

1965 / Poland / 182m / BW / Fantasy, Adventure
Zbigniew Cybulski, Kazimierz Opalinski, Iga Cembrzynska, Joanna Jedryka, Gustaw Holoubek, Franciszek Pieczka, Adam Pawlikowski, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Leon Niemczyk, Slawomir Lindner
"You can call Polish director Wojciech Has’s adaptation of Count Jan Potocki’s novel the cinema’s greatest Russian doll, the ne plus ultra of ’60s art-house head flicks or simply plumb loco; each description fits this mammoth movie like a velvet glove. Regardless, Has’s supernatural tales of bourgeois muckymucks and black-magic women are an experience that will permanently rewire your circuitry… Anyone who thinks that a noggin full of hallucinogens is necessary to appreciate the film, however, is off the mark. The director’s eye for baroque black-and-white imagery puts him behind only Bava and Welles, while the film’s sharp social satire gives heft to its ambition." - David Fear, Time Out
Selected by Rod Stoneman, Pier Marton, Ian Stocks, Albert Montagne, Tadeusz Sobolewski.
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977
True Heart Susie

True Heart Susie


1919 / USA / 87m / BW / Romance, Melodrama
Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Clarine Seymour, Kate Bruce, Raymond Cannon, Carol Dempster, George Fawcett, Wilbur Higby, Loyola O'Connor
"One of D.W. Griffith's most beautiful films, a pastoral fable of a sort that no one could ever make again, because the sensitivity and spirit have vanished along with the landscape. Made in 1919, it's a souvenir of an even earlier time when man and his environment were still in perfect harmony. The city is just beginning to intrude on Griffith's setting, and its effects are potentially devastating. But Susie (Gish) shines through, rescuing her lover from the arms of an evil woman. The plot is pure archetype, but if you fail to be moved, you have a very cold heart indeed." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Udagawa Koyo, Tomoyo Kawai, David Phelps, Alexandre Astruc, Daniel Kasman.
962
906
Sawdust and Tinsel

Sawdust and Tinsel

Gycklarnas afton (original title)

1953 / Sweden / 92m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Harriet Andersson, Ake Gronberg, Hasse Ekman, Anders Ek, Gudrun Brost, Annika Tretow, Erik Strandmark, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Curt Lowgren, Kiki
"Ingmar Bergman presents the battle of the sexes as a ramshackle, grotesque carnival in Sawdust and Tinsel, one of the late master’s most vivid early works. The story of the charged relationship between a turn-of-the-century traveling circus owner (Grönberg) and his performer girlfriend (Andersson), the film features dreamlike detours and twisted psychosexual power plays that presage the director’s Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal, works that would soon change the landscape of art cinema forever." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by John Sayles, Alejandro G. Calvo, Catherine Breillat, Eva Zaoralova, Rogério Sganzerla.
961
934
Princess Yang Kwei Fei

Princess Yang Kwei Fei

Yôkihi (original title); The Empress Yang Kwei Fei (alternative title)

1955 / Japan-Hong Kong / 98m / Col / Historical Film, Historical Epic
Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, Soh Yamamura, Eitaro Shindo, Eitaro Ozawa, Haruko Sugimura, Yoko Minamida, Bontaro Miyake, Tatsuya Ishiguro, Michiko Ai
"The first color film of the great Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, produced as a big-budget spectacular by the Shaw brothers of Hong Kong (who were later responsible for the kung fu craze). The film is not as resolutely personal as Ugetsu or Sansho, yet Mizoguchi is able to navigate the commercial requirements with supreme grace. It has the aura of a fairy tale—in 18th-century China, an emperor falls in love with a servant girl—yet the emotions it provokes are anything but simple. Again, Mizoguchi focuses his attention on the strength of women in the face of male frailty. In a final breathtaking camera movement, he elevates that strength to an eternal principle." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Lloyd Kaufman, Gilles Jacob, Jose Luis Guarner, Marcos Ribas de Faria, Inácio Araujo.
960
NEW
Phantom of the Paradise

Phantom of the Paradise


1974 / USA / 92m / Col / Rock Musical, Satire
Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper, George Memmoli, Gerrit Graham, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Commanor, Harold Oblong, Colin Cameron, David Garland
"Phantom of the Paradise, Brian De Palma’s Faustian fulmination against the soulless corporatization of art and artist, stands as the fullest expression of the filmmaker’s penchant for anti-establishment satire along the lines of Greetings and Hi, Mom! Excepting the occasional work-for-hire sop (Wise Guys) and studio-hamstrung misfire (The Bonfire of the Vanities), comedy would essentially take a back seat to voyeuristic thrills in De Palma’s subsequent body of work. Certainly, De Palma would never again mine this satirical vein with such incendiary results. That Phantom of the Paradise is also a full-on musical, complete with song-and-dance routines, only compounds the film’s inimical strangeness—and such wilful eccentricity is exacerbated by tonal fluctuations that manage to cohere finally into an unexpectedly poignant tragicomedy." - Budd Wilkins, Slant Magazine
Selected by Steve Gravestock, Mike White, Toni Vall, Manuel Gómez Pereira, Machiyama Tomohiro.
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RE-ENTRY
Kwaidan

Kwaidan


1964 / Japan / 164m / Col / Fantasy, Costume Horror
Rentaro Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiko Kishi, Katsuo Nakamura, Tetsuro Tanba, Kanemon Nakamura, Osamu Takizawa, Ranko Akagi
"One of the most meticulously crafted supernatural fantasy films ever made, Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan is also one of the most unusual. While such classic black and white chillers as The Uninvited, The Innocents and The Haunting teasingly speculate on the existence of ghosts, this lavish widescreen and color production deals with the spirit world head-on, as something completely and frighteningly real… Shot almost entirely in enormous studio sets, with a completely post-synched and carefully controlled soundtrack, Kwaidan is about as far from moviemaking 'realism' as it’s possible to go." - David Ehrenstein, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Paul Tickell, Virginie Sélavy, David Schoonover, Ann Lloyd, Jaroslav Broz.
958
901
Cairo Station

Cairo Station

Bab el hadid (original title); The Iron Gate (alternative title)

1958 / Egypt / 76m / BW / Drama, Slice of Life
Fared Shawqi, Hind Rostom, Youssef Chahine, Hassan el Baroudi, Abdel Aziz Khalil, Naima Wasfy, Said Khalil, Abdel Ghani Nagdi, Loutfi El Hakim, Abdel Hamid Bodaoha
"All human life is here: the phrase really does apply to Chahine's tragicomic masterpiece from 1958… Cairo Station is the venue for a blazingly passionate drama about Kenaoui, a lame newspaper vendor, played by Chahine, and his unrequited desire for Hanouma (Rostom), the Bardotesque lemonade seller. Chahine conducts his big cast with uproarious energy, immediacy and freshness; he has tremendous stylised set pieces… As Kenaoui's love becomes more obsessive, the mood darkens, and elements of Hitchcock and Powell creep in. Finally, Cairo Station virtually attains the air of a tragedy, observing classical unities of time and place." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Joseph Fahim, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Najwa Najjar, Hamid Dabashi.
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RE-ENTRY
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls


1970 / USA / 109m / Col / Sexploitation, Satire
Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom, John LaZar, Michael Blodgett, David Gurian, Edy Williams, Erica Gavin, Charles Napier, Strawberry Alarm Clock
"The tug between the nudge-nudge of the dialogue and the large-eyed enthusiasm of the delivery makes Beyond a real pill, one that was rudely dismissed by critics as garbage. But it's fabulous, teddy bear—a psychedelic wow that serves up the free love, plunging necklines, androgynous boys, and lusty lezzies of the era with a narcotized abandon. With a script by future Pulitzer winner Roger Ebert—who knew?—the would-be cautionary tale has a made-up-as-it-goes-along quality, probably because it was made up as it went along." - Michael Musto, The Village Voice
Selected by Edgar Wright, Alan Jones, Chuck Stephens, Jeff Krulik, Peter Howden.
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982
L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat

L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat

Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (English title)

1895 / France / 1m / BW / Short Film, Documentary
"Today, we cannot comprehend the terror that gripped the 1895 audience facing the Lumière brothers' arriving train—this first film with which they gave birth to documentary film. Louis Lumière's film Arrival of the Train shows, in only fifty seconds, an everyday occurrence, a familiar experience for spectators: a train pulls into a station, the passengers go back and forth on the platform. Despite its brevity and the banality of its subject matter, this film has attained fame, entering film history as an icon of the medium's origins." - Martin Loiperdinger, Cinema's Founding Myth
Selected by César Ballester, Miklós Jancsó, Kohei Oguri, Tata Amaral, Kumar Shahani.
955
931
Shanghai Express

Shanghai Express


1932 / USA / 80m / BW / Drama, Melodrama
Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Warner Oland, Anna May Wong, Eugene Pallette, Lawrence Grant, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Louise Closser Hale, Emile Chautard, Claude King
"More action oriented than the other Dietrich-Sternberg films, this 1932 production is nevertheless one of the most elegantly styled. The setting, a broken-down train commandeered by revolutionaries on its way to Shanghai, becomes a maze of soft shadows and shifting textures, through which the characters wander in a philosophical quest for something—anything—solid. The screenplay, by Jules Furthman and an uncredited Howard Hawks, has a quality of wisecracking wit unusual in Sternberg's films: when someone asks Dietrich why she's going to Shanghai, she retorts, “To buy a new hat.” - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Arturo Ripstein, Chuck Stephens, David Thompson, Michael Sicinski, Christa Blumlinger.
954
900
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner


1962 / UK / 103m / BW / Psychological Drama, Sports Drama
Tom Courtenay, James Bolam, Avis Bunnage, Michael Redgrave, Alec McCowen, Joe Robinson, Topsy Jane, Julia Foster, James Fox, John Thaw
"As with its French equivalents, much of the British New Wave looks horribly dated in a modern context: all that light jazz, casual romantic disaffection and overeager jump-cutting doesn’t really wash with contemporary audiences. But what’s beyond criticism is the commitment to emotional veracity which fuelled films like The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner… The film is anchored in Tom Courtenay’s remarkable, remorseless performance as the eponymous runner Colin, torn between selfishness and sacrifice, class loyalty and commercial gain, impossible victory and inevitable surrender." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Selected by Chus Gutiérrez, Krzysztof Kieslowski, David Roland, Paolo D'Agostini, Jerry Schatzberg.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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RE-ENTRY
La Collectionneuse

La Collectionneuse

The Collector (English title)

1966 / France / 88m / Col / Comedy Drama, Psychological Drama
Haydee Politoff, Patrick Bauchau, Daniel Pommerulle, Mijanou Bardot, Seymour Hertzberg, Donald Cammell, Alain Jouffroy, Eugene Archer, Annik Morice, Denis Berry
"A bombastic, womanizing art dealer and his painter friend go to a seventeenth-century villa on the Riviera for a relaxing summer getaway. But their idyll is disturbed by the presence of the bohemian Haydée, accused of being a “collector” of men. Rohmer’s first color film, La collectionneuse pushes the Moral Tales into new, darker realms. Yet it is also a grand showcase for the clever and delectably ironic battle-of-the-sexes repartee (in a witty script written by Rohmer and the three main actors) and luscious, effortless Néstor Almendros photography that would define the remainder of the series." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Dominik Graf, Cate Shortland, Marcelo Alderete, David Pirie, José Luis Guerín.
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963
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me


1992 / USA / 135m / Col / Mystery, Surrealist Film
Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Isaak, James Marshall, Pamela Gidley
"Fire Walk With Me is deliberately oblique, even by Lynch standards, asking questions without answers and providing clues to no mystery. Its narrative is split in two, seemingly without reason, a division introduced when our hero is apparently swallowed up by a gaping hole in the center of the picture (a hole he finds beneath a parked RV in America's least inviting trailer park, naturally)… It isn't especially funny, or quirky, or even much in keeping with the spirit of the series. But in its own singular, deeply strange way, Fire Walk With Me is David Lynch's masterpiece." - Calum Marsh, The Village Voice
Selected by Gregg Araki, Richard Kuipers, Arthur Mas, Sam C. Mac, Tony Larder.
951
944
Ceddo

Ceddo


1977 / Senegal / 117m / Col / Drama, Political Drama
Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne, Matoura Dia, Omar Gueye, Mamadou Dioume, Nar Modou, Ousmane Camara, Ousmane Sembene
"For Sembène, the Ceddo embody the resistance of a culture and a traditional way of life to the encroachments of Islam, Christianity and colonialism. This magnificent film is a comparable act of resistance, an attempt to write a segment of history for Africans and in African terms. It is a work of great organisational and thematic complexity, beautifully staged, mainly in depth, and possessing extraordinary kinesic grace and rhythmic control, two of the most powerful and evocative aspects of film form." - James Leahy, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Gilberto Perez, Jed Rapfogel, Lindiwe Dovey, Jonathan Demme, Teshome Gabriel.
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956
Ten

Ten

10 (alternative spelling)

2002 / France-Iran / 92m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Urban Drama
Mania Akbari, Amin Maher, Roya Arabshahi, Katayoun Taleidzadeh, Mandana Sharbaf, Armene Moradi
"The minimalism of this Abbas Kiarostami film makes it one of the boldest experiments yet by the masterful Iranian filmmaker: its ten sequences transpire in a car driving through Tehran, with a stylish young divorcee at the wheel and a series of six characters in the passenger seat. Shot with two digital video cameras mounted on the dashboard, it's neither scripted nor directed in any ordinary sense… The film offers a fascinating glimpse of the Iranian urban middle class, and though it eschews most of the pleasures of composition and landscape found in other Kiarostami films, it's never less than riveting." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Geoff Andrew, Kristy Matheson, Ruth Barton, Catherine Breillat, David Robson.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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973
Haxan

Häxan

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (English Title)

1922 / Sweden / 83m / BW / Supernatural Horror, Documentary
Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan, Tora Teje, Elith Pio, Oscar Stribolt, John Andersen, Benjamin Christensen, Poul Reumert, Karen Winther, Kate Fabian
"A weird and rather wonderful brew of fiction, documentary and animation based on 15th and 16th century witchcraft trials, Christensen's film has a remarkable visual flair that takes in Bosch, Breughel and Goya (no wonder it was a particular favourite of the Surrealists). The director himself plays Satan, seducing a woman while she is in bed with her husband; another episode follows an accused witch through the tortures of the Inquisition. The film is now most commonly seen in a sound version, running 76 minutes, made in 1967 with a commentary by William Burroughs; a later restoration with tinted sequences is far preferable." - David Thompson, Time Out
Selected by Jon Wengström, Li Yang, Emma Gray Munthe, Mónica Delgado, José Sarmiento Hinojosa.
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RE-ENTRY
A Man for All Seasons

A Man for All Seasons


1966 / UK / 120m / Col / Historical Film, Courtroom Drama
Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Orson Welles, Susannah York, Nigel Davenport, John Hurt, Corin Redgrave, Colin Blakely
"Fred Zinnemann marshals a nigh-perfect production and strives to keep it intimate despite the genre's tendency toward pomp and pagentry. Paul Scofield brings Robert Bolt's powerful words to life in a performance yet to be bettered… A Man for All Seasons is the equal of any of Robert Bolt's films, including his work for David Lean. Viewers impatient with costume dramas about centuries-old conflicts are completely absorbed by A Man for All Seasons; anyone who's ever had to compromise his ethics or his conscience to keep his job will immediately identify with Thomas More's predicament… The under-praised Fred Zinnemann assembles a production that finds a balance between the intimate and the epic." - Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant
Selected by Kevin Smith, Patrick Fahy, Jeffrey Westhoff, Jeronimo Jose Martin, Mark R. Leeper.
947
908
Subarnarekha

Subarnarekha

The Golden Thread (English title); Golden River (alternative title)

1965 / India / 143m / BW / Drama
Abhi Bhattacharya, Madhabi Mukherjee, Satindra Bhattacharya, Bijon Bhattacharya, Indrani Chakrabarty, Sriman Tarun, Jahar Ray, Pitambar, Sriman Ashok Bhattacharya, Sita Mukherjee
"Subarnarekha, made in 1962 but released in 1965 is the last in a trilogy examining the socio-economic implications of partition, the other two being Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960) and Komal Ghandhar (1961). It is also perhaps Ritwik Ghatak's most complex film… The film is aided with fine performances from Madhabi Mukherjee and Abhi Bhattacharya and special mention must be made of Bahadur Khan's evocatively haunting musical score. Sadly, like most of Ghatak's films, Subarnarekha was totally rejected by the public. Ironically, today the film is hailed as a classic and as an important landmark in the history of Indian Cinema." - Upperstall
Selected by Tom Charity, Girish Shambu, Raqs Media Collective, Ashim Ahluwalia, Thomas Allenbach.
946
937
Chikamatsu monogatari

Chikamatsu monogatari

The Crucified Lovers (English title)

1954 / Japan / 100m / BW / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyoko Kagawa, Eitaro Shindo, Eitaro Ozawa, Yoko Minamida, Haruo Tanaka, Chieko Naniwa, Ichiro Sugai, Tatsuya Ishiguro, Hiroshi Mizuno
"A sublime, perfectly modulated story of doomed love between a merchant's wife and a servant, set in 17th-century Japan and drawn from the repertory of Japan's puppet theater, the Bunraku. Kenji Mizoguchi's 1954 film has the most imaginative soundtrack of any of his films, and while the story lacks the awesome power of his Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff (both made during the same period), it still remains essential viewing." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Daisuke Akasaka, Dominique Martinez, C.S. Venkiteswaran, Alejandro Díaz, Jean A. Gili.
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Une Femme est une femme

Une Femme est une femme

A Woman is a Woman (English title)

1961 / France / 83m / Col / Romantic Comedy, Musical Comedy
Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy, Nicole Paquin, Marie Dubois, Marion Sarraut, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Demongeot, Noel Pacquin, Ernest Menzer
"With A Woman Is a Woman, compulsively innovative director Jean-Luc Godard presents “a neorealist musical—that is, a contradiction in terms.” Featuring French superstars Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean-Claude Brialy at their peak of popularity, A Woman Is a Woman is a sly, playful tribute to—and interrogation of—the American musical comedy, showcasing Godard’s signature wit and intellectual acumen… A dizzying compendium of color, humor, and the music of renowned composer Michel Legrand, A Woman Is a Woman finds the young Godard at his warmest and most accessible, reveling in and scrutinizing the mechanics of his great obsession: the cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Antonia Quirke, Francesco Pitassio, Albert Maysles, Law Wai-ming, Isobel Knowles.
944
890
Floating Weeds

Floating Weeds

Ukikusa (original title)

1959 / Japan / 119m / Col / Drama, Reunion Film
Ganjiro Nakamura, Machiko Kyo, Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Haruko Sugimura, Hikaru Hoshi, Yosuke Irie, Koji Mitsui, Hitomi Nozoe, Chishu Ryu
"Subtle, lyrical, and delicately bittersweet, Floating Weeds offers an excellent introduction to the cinema of Yasujiro Ozu—one of the greatest of all Japanese filmmakers… From the first shot, comically juxtaposing a lighthouse (background) with a sake bottle (foreground), to the last one of a train swiftly moving over a nighttime landscape, it’s plain we’re in the hands of a filmmaker whose prime concern is understatement and overtone. Rather than rush to the heat of a “big” dramatic moment, Ozu concentrates on the warmth of “small” ones. In scene after scene the way the characters walk, sit, stand, and speak is scrupulously observed." - David Ehrenstein, The Criterion Collection
Selected by José Luis Guerín, Duane Hopkins, Paulino Viota, James Mangold, Yung Chang.
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RE-ENTRY
Mamma Roma

Mamma Roma


1962 / Italy / 110m / BW / Urban Drama, Melodrama
Anna Magnani, Ettore Garofolo, Franco Citti, Silvana Corsini, Luisa Loiano, Paolo Volpini, Luciano Gonini, Vittorio La Paglia, Pierro Morgia, Lanfranco Ceccarelli
"Anna Magnani is Mamma Roma, a middle-aged prostitute who attempts to extricate herself from her sordid past for the sake of her son. Filmed in the great tradition of Italian neorealism, Mamma Roma offers an unflinching look at the struggle for survival in postwar Italy, and highlights director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lifelong fascination with the marginalized and dispossessed. Though banned upon its release in Italy for obscenity, today Mamma Roma remains a classic, featuring a powerhouse performance by one of cinema’s greatest actresses and offering a glimpse at a country’s most controversial director in the process of finding his style." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Berenice Reynaud, Pere Portabella, Ventura Pons, Chantal Akerman, Feras Fayyad.
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The Tarnished Angels

The Tarnished Angels


1957 / USA / 91m / BW / Adventure, Drama
Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Jack Carson, Robert Middleton, Troy Donahue, Alan Reed, Alexander Lockwood, Christopher Olsen, Robert J. Wilke
"Arguably Sirk's bleakest film - perhaps because it was shot in greyish monochrome rather than luridly stylised colour - and one of his finest, this adaptation of Faulkner's Pylon reassembles the three principles from Written on the Wind for a probing but sympathetic study in failure and despair… Inevitably, it all culminates in death, which ironically provides some sort of half-hearted liberation, but Sirk's sombre, tender awareness of the illusions that fuel his no-hopers' lives allows no respite. A film totally at odds with the bland optimism of postwar America, it might be depressing were it not for the consummate artistry on view." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Fred Camper, Rob White, Yoel Meranda, Hisham Bizri, Leos Carax.
941
913
India: Matri Bhumi

India: Matri Bhumi


1959 / Italy-France / 90m / Col / Documentary, Culture & Society
"My favorite Roberto Rossellini film is perhaps the hardest one to see… A sublime symbiosis of fable and nonfiction, India Matri Bhumi simply and poetically interrelates humans and animals, city and village, and society and nature over four separate stories. This visionary work is especially striking in the way its objective and subjective narrators merge into one another, reflecting not only the idea of reincarnation, but also the greater unity to which all of them belong." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Fred Camper, Arthur Mas, Girish Shambu, Hisham Bizri, Un-Seong Yoo.
940
925
The Man Who Fell to Earth

The Man Who Fell to Earth


1976 / UK / 140m / Col / Psychological Sci-Fi, Satire
David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey, Jackson D. Kane, Rick Riccardo, Tony Mascia, Linda Hutton, Hilary Holland
"The Man Who Fell to Earth is a daring exploration of science fiction as an art form. The story of an alien on an elaborate rescue mission provides the launching pad for Nicolas Roeg’s visual tour de force, a formally adventurous examination of alienation in contemporary life. Rock legend David Bowie, in his acting debut, completely embodies the title role, while Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Rip Torn turn in pitch-perfect supporting performances." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ted Bonnitt, Tom Milne, Mike Hodges, Kobena Mercer, Mike Figgis.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
939
878
Bob le flambeur

Bob le flambeur

Bob the Gambler (English title)

1955 / France / 102m / BW / Crime, Gangster Film
Roger Duchesne, Isabel Corey, Daniel Cauchy, Guy Decomble, Andre Garet, Claude Cerval, Simone Paris, Howard Vernon, Gerard Buhr, Colette Fleury
"Melville’s fifth film, Bob le flambeur was his first foray into the stylized underworld which became his signature. And as is often the case, though Bob le flambeur doesn’t quite look like a New Wave film, it pointed the way for what followed it… Shot in crisp, gritty black and white by Henri Decaë, Bob le flambeur fuses the carefully perfect compositions of William Wyler with the rough immediacy of the New Wave. The result is an austerely honest artifice reminiscent of Melville’s hero, John Huston. The camera never calls attention to itself, but hand-held shots and natural lighting lend the image a fluidity and hard truth impossible to achieve in the studio." - Brian L. Frye, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Roger Michell, Mariano Llinás, Jim Jarmusch, David Meeker, Michael Addis.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
938
928
Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo


2003 / USA / 100m / Col / Family-Oriented Comedy, Animation
Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Geoffrey Rush, Andrew Stanton, Elizabeth Perkins
"Finding Nemo has all of the usual pleasures of the Pixar animation style--the comedy and wackiness of Toy Story or Monsters Inc. or A Bug's Life. And it adds an unexpected beauty, a use of color and form that makes it one of those rare movies where I wanted to sit in the front row and let the images wash out to the edges of my field of vision. The movie takes place almost entirely under the sea, in the world of colorful tropical fish--the flora and fauna of a shallow warm-water shelf not far from Australia. The use of color, form and movement make the film a delight even apart from its story." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Destin Daniel Cretton, Omer M. Mozaffar, George Kuchar, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Kristian Lin.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
937
921
Outer Space

Outer Space


1999 / Austria / 10m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental
"The film immediately creates an atmosphere of sinister foreboding in its liminal, transitory images of an amorphous night sky, heightened ambient sounds, and skewed, awkward angled framing of a modest home on an eerily tranquil rural street. Assembled from excerpts of found film from Sidney J. Furie's, The Entity (1988), Tscherkassky transforms the introductory images of a deserted, seemingly alien landscape into a startling, profoundly fractured, and increasingly haunted portrait of human desolation and descent into madness." - Acquarello, Strictly Film School
Selected by Athina Rachel Tsangari, Mike D'Angelo, Peter Strickland, Gary Thomas, Giulio Bursi.
936
875
A Diary for Timothy

A Diary for Timothy


1945 / UK / 40m / BW / Culture & Society, Documentary
Michael Redgrave, Myra Hess, John Gielgud, Frederick Allen, Bill, Elizabeth Jenkins, Elvin Jenkins, Timothy James Jenkins, Jennifer, Frank Phillips
"A Diary for Timothy is Jennings' most accomplished and arguably his greatest film. It's a poignant yet resolutely unsentimental portrait of the battle-weary home front in 1944-5 that, like so much of the director's work, casts a sensitive eye over the lives of ordinary people, while celebrating their dignity and determination… Forster's writing and Redgrave's narration are, at times, deliciously wry, yet the abiding undertone is so painfully raw and deeply sad that half a century on the conclusion, which poses the one question which in 1945 no one could hope to answer, is still capable of sending a shiver down the spine." - Jon Fortgang, Film4
Selected by Ian Christie, Patrick Russell, Tag Gallagher, Kevin Jackson, Lindsay Anderson.
935
891
The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments


1956 / USA / 220m / Col / Religious Epic, Hagiography
Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, John Derek, Vincent Price, Cedric Hardwicke, Debra Paget, H.B. Warner
"With a running time of nearly four hours, Cecil B. De Mille's last feature and most extravagant blockbuster is full of the absurdities and vulgarities one expects, but it isn't boring for a minute. Although it's inferior in some respects to De Mille's 1923 picture of the same title and some of the special effects look less plausible now than they did in 1956, the color is ravishing, and De Mille's form of showmanship, which includes a personal introduction and his own narration, never falters. Simultaneously ludicrous and splendid, this is an epic driven by the sort of personal conviction one almost never finds in more recent Hollywood monoliths." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by José Luis Garci, Jaime Chávarri, Chris Chang, Camille Paglia, Laurie Anderson.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
934 Up Arrow
990
Pepe le Moko

Pépé le Moko


1937 / France / 94m / BW / Romantic Drama, Gangster Film
Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Gabriel Gabrio, Lucas Gridoux, Gilbert Gil, Line Noro, Saturnin Fabre, Fernand Charpin, Marcel Dalio, Charles Granval
"The notorious Pépé le moko (Jean Gabin, in a truly iconic performance) is a wanted man: women long for him, rivals hope to destroy him, and the law is breathing down his neck at every turn. On the lam in the labyrinthine Casbah of Algiers, Pépé is safe from the clutches of the police—until a Parisian playgirl compels him to risk his life and leave its confines once and for all. One of the most influential films of the 20th century and a landmark of French poetic realism." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ruth Barton, Ginette Vincendeau, Juzaburo Futaba, Patrice Leconte, Kaneto Shindo.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
933
880
Duel in the Sun

Duel in the Sun


1946 / USA / 130m / Col / Western, Melodrama
Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, Joseph Cotten, Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Walter Huston, Charles Bickford, Herbert Marshall, Harry Carey, Joan Tetzel
"A big, big western from producer David O. Selznick… Selznick enlisted King Vidor—one of the few directors with the logistical know-how to handle such a sprawling film—and tried to duplicate the success of his Gone With the Wind. What Selznick got instead was a screaming Freudian fantasy, full of the dark sexuality characteristic of Vidor's late career (Beyond the Forest, Ruby Gentry). Contemporary wits called it Lust in the Dust, and there's no doubt that it goes too far in almost every direction—but that touch of obsession is exactly what saves it." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by David Stratton, Javier Coma, Martin Scorsese, Fredric R. Jameson, Tino Pertierra.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
932
930
Grin Without a Cat

A Grin Without a Cat

Le Fond de l'air est rouge (original title)

1977 / France / 240m / Col-BW / Documentary, Essay Film
Laurence Guvillier, Davos Hanich, Francois Maspero, Yves Montand, Francois Perier, Sandra Scarnati, Jorge Semprun, Simone Signoret, Jim Broadbent, Cyril Cusack
"A masterpiece among masterpieces, the two-part, three-hour A Grin Without a Cat is Chris Marker's most ambitious, clear-headed string of cinematic clauses and ideological couplets, and also his most impenetrable. Fashioned, in part, out of rejected and unused political footage shot by Marker's SLON and ISKRA production collectives, the movie is the major work preceding his landmark essay film Sans Soleil and, in many ways, prefigures that film's globe-trotting filmosophical musings, but in the guise of—for lack of a better word—agitprop." - Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
Selected by Javier Packer-Comyn, Lourdes Monterrubio, Nico Baumbach, Santiago Mitre, Tetê Moraes.
931
903
Yol

Yol

The Road (English title)

1982 / Turkey-Switzerland-France / 114m / Col / Political Drama, Prison Film
Tarik Akan, Serif Sezer, Halil Ergun, Meral Orhonsay, Necmettin Cobanoglu, Semra Ucar, Hikmet Celik, Sevda Aktolga, Tuncay Akca, Hale Akinli
"In Yilmaz Güney's extraordinary Turkish odyssey (filmed by Gören from his script and detailed instructions while he was in jail), five prisoners are allowed a week's parole to journey home… The film's poetry, its combination of sound and image especially, has an unconscious innocence no longer available to most European and American narratives, and it is inspired by an enormous compassion for the suffering people endure at each other's hands in a world where the strong pick upon the weak, the weak upon the weaker." - Chris Petit, Time Out
Selected by Barbara Wurm, Sadullo Rakhimov, Okajima Hisashi, Hamid Dabashi, Laura Waddington.
930
895
Le Bonheur

Le Bonheur

Happiness (English title)

1965 / France / 79m / Col / Romance, Marriage Drama
Jean-Claude Drouot, Claire Drouot, Sandrine Drouot, Olivier Drouot, Marie-France Boyer, Marcelle Faure Bertin, Manon Lanclos, Sylvie Saurel, Marc Eyraud, Christian Riehl
"A beautiful and disturbing 1965 feature by Agnes Varda about family happiness, full of lingering and creepy ambiguities. A happily married carpenter (Jean-Claude Drouot) with a beautiful wife (Claire Drouot) and two small children (Sandrine and Oliver Drouot) falls in love with a beautiful postal clerk (Boyer), who becomes his mistress… Provocative and lovely to look at, this is one of Varda's best and most interesting features." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Annette Melville, Chantal Akerman, Kim Young-jin, Mai Ruo-Yu, Agnieszka Holland.
929 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
The Verdict

The Verdict


1982 / USA / 129m / Col / Drama, Courtroom Drama
Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason, Milo O'Shea, Lindsay Crouse, Edward Binns, Julie Bovasso, Roxanne Hart, Wesley Addy
"Mr. Lumet's stylistic panache invites the viewer to watch involving tableaux in which environment is crucial. No gratuitous reaction shots or musical cues interrupt to tell us what to think or how to feel; the judicious use of close-ups is almost Bressonian in its economy and control. The remarkable thing about The Verdict is that it claims our attention at all, given the ordinary nature of its premise... Haven't we seen this film a hundred times in the 80 years since Theodore Dreiser raised the stakes for the American courtroom thriller? Yes and no. Most have faded away, while The Verdict, along with Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and few others, stands its ground." - Gary Giddins, New York Sun
Selected by James Mangold, Tom McCarthy, Billy Bob Thornton, David Pirie, Christopher McQuarrie.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
928
886
Too Early, Too Late

Too Early, Too Late

Trop tôt, trop tard (original title)

1981 / Germany / 100m / Col / Documentary
Bahgat Elnadi, Daniele Huillet, Gerard Samaan
"From France and Egypt comes one of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s most beautiful works… Huillet herself provides voiceover for the first segment, which consists mainly of panned rural landscapes… Tranquil Nature, sparsely populated and filmed with contemplative calm, is brightened by the sound of chirping birds until a redundancy of this cacophony, enjoined with text that dwells on human poverty and class inequality, pierces the idyllic impression. The second, longer segment shifts to Egypt. Now a male voice is the unseen reader; the text, a journalistic essay by Mahmoud Hussein referring to the revolt by peasants against British occupation and the subsequent 1952 Egyptian Revolution.” - Dennis Grunes
Selected by George Clark, Volker Pantenburg, Edwin Mak, John Gianvito, Julian Hoeber.
927
882
Moi, un Noir

Moi, un Noir

I, a Negro (English title)

1958 / France / 70m / Col / Culture & Society, Anthropology
Amadou Demba, Karidyo Faoudou, Gambi, Oumarou Ganda, Seydou Guede, Alassane Maiga, Petit Toure
"Jean Rouch completed this quasi-documentary in 1958, and it still feels ahead of its time. Rather than make his own record of Treichville, a district in the Ivory Coast city Abidjan, Rouch recruited several local men and women to create scenes based on their lives. With this innovative working method, Rouch raises a question implicit in all nonfiction filmmaking: Who’s the genuine auteur, the director or the subjects? And yet the results don’t feel at all cerebral… Jean-Luc Godard praised this as a masterpiece upon first release, and it’s easy to see why; the film introduces aesthetic and even philosophical conceits that would be central to his own work as a director." - Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
Selected by Antonio Rodrigues, Elena Oroz, Manthia Diawara, Nicole Brenez, Raymond Depardon.
926 Up Arrow
935
Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce


1945 / USA / 109m / BW / Melodrama, Film Noir
Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett, George Tobias, Lee Patrick, Moroni Olsen, Jo Ann Marlowe
"James Cain's novel of the treacherous life in Southern California that sets house-wife-turned waitress-turned-successful restauranteur (Crawford) against her own daughter (Blyth) in competition for the love of playboy Zachary Scott, is brought fastidiously and bleakly to life by Curtiz' direction, Ernest Haller's camerawork, and Anton Grot's magnificent sets. Told in flashback from the moment of Scott's murder, the film is a chilling demonstration of the fact that, in a patriarchal society, when a woman steps outside the home the end result may be disastrous." - Phil Hardy, Time Out
Selected by Tim Highsted, Paul Julian Smith, Andy Medhurst, Anita Chaudhuri, Ngozi Onwurah.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
925 Up Arrow
958
Zabriskie Point

Zabriskie Point


1970 / USA / 112m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Mark Frechette, Daria Halprin, Rod Taylor, Paul Fix, G.D. Spradlin, Bill Garaway, Kathleen Cleaver, Harrison Ford, Peter Lake
"Though Michelangelo Antonioni's only American film was very poorly received when it was released in 1969, time has been much kinder to it than to, say, La Notte, which was made a decade earlier. Antonioni's nonrealistic approach to American counterculture myths and his loose and slow approach to narrative may still put some people off—along with the uneven dialogue—but his beautiful handling of 'Scope compositions and moods has many lingering aftereffects, and the grand and beautiful apocalyptic finale is downright spectacular." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Fernando Meirelles, Dario Oliveira, Ron Peck, Bill Pullman, Tag Gallagher.
924 Up Arrow
NEW
Sholay

Sholay


1975 / India / 162m / Col / Action, Adventure Drama
Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Amjad Khan, A.K. Hangal, Satyendra Kapoor, Iftekhar, Leela Mishra
"Sholay (Flames), stars the godfather of Bollywood heroes Amitabh Bachchan at his best and is one of the most successful films of the 70s. Often described as a "curry" western, Sholay became a milestone in Indian cinema with an all-star cast, cult dialogue, stylish cinematography and a soundtrack that's still enjoyable today. It's the perfect entry point for any Bollywood virgins… Fully-rounded characters and a simple narrative make three hours pass fairly quickly… All performances are polished but Amjad Khan's debut as the menacing Gabbar Singh deserves special mention, setting new standards for Bollywood villains. It's a movie that you can watch again and again, and hardcore Bollywood fans do. But even if you just watch Sholay once, you won't be disappointed." - Dharmesh Rajput, BBC
Selected by Naman Ramachandran, Lalitha Gopalan, Anupama Chopra, Jai Arjun Singh, Satish Padmanabhan.
923
879
Firemen's Ball

The Firemen's Ball

Horí, má panenko (original title); The Fireman's Ball (UK title)

1967 / Czechoslovakia / 73m / Col / Comedy, Satire
Jan Vostrcil, Josef Kolb, Josef Svet, Josef Sebanek, Josef Valnoha, Frantisek Debelka, Jan Stockl, Vratislav Cermak, Josef Rehorek, Vaclav Novotny
"A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Milos Forman’s first color film The Firemen’s Ball is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen’s ball where nothing goes right—from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was “banned forever” in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman’s move to America." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jirí Menzel, Pavel Jech, Ken Loach, Ivan Passer, Raoul Peck.
922
865
Exotica

Exotica


1994 / Canada / 104m / Col / Psychological Drama, Ensemble Film
Don McKellar, Mia Kirshner, Arsinee Khanjian, Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Sarah Polley, Victor Garber, Calvin Green, David Hemblen, Peter Krantz
"A creative coup for the endlessly challenging writer/director Atom Egoyan, Exotica is a haunting, beautifully rendered tale of obsession and sexual frustration, following six disparate characters whose lives entwine in the most bizarre of ways. Employing overlapping and reverse chronology (a staple of Egoyan's storytelling), the picture builds slowly until its revelations become apparent, and the end result is a hypnotic and moving chronicle of broken lives and loss. The performances are all affecting and first-rate, and despite its key setting (a strip joint), the film is never obscene or concerned with rubbing the viewer's face in excess." - Jason Clark, All Movie
Selected by Emma Wilson, Mike D'Angelo, Ruth Barton, M.K. Raghavendra, Steve Erickson.
921
918
El Topo

El Topo

The Mole (English title)

1970 / Mexico / 124m / Col / Surrealist Film, Hybrid Western
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, Mara Lorenzio, Jose Legarreta, Alfonso Arau, Jose Luis Fernandez, Alf Junco, Gerard Zepeda, David Silva, Paula Romo
"An inexplicable amalgam of Buñuel, Herzog and Leone, Alejandro Jodorowsky's midnight movie par excellence is an endlessly ponderable, ultimately impenetrable glyph whose violent mysticism strikes at the gut and the soul. Jodorowsky plays the title character, a rogue gunfighter with delusions of deity who sets out to vanquish the four "masters of the gun," only to find that completed quest replaced with a new one: digging a tunnel to connect a group of Indian cave-dwellers with a cult-ruled frontier town. Jodorowsky's bold, alogical symbolism confounds rational interpretation, at least for the handful who've seen the film in an unaltered state." - Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper
Selected by Virginie Sélavy, Helen Dewitt, Slobodan Valentinčič, Wes Craven, Murat Tolga Şen.
920 Up Arrow
926
El Dorado

El Dorado


1967 / USA / 126m / Col / Western, Buddy Film
John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey, Arthur Hunnicutt, R.G. Armstrong, Edward Asner, Paul Fix, Christopher George
"Hawks' effortless Western gathers together a gunfighter, a drunken sheriff, a young hopeful, a couple of tough women, and sets them up in a jail, fighting for their lives against a cattle baron and his hired killers. Sounds familiar? In many ways the plot resembles Hawks' earlier Rio Bravo, and several of the themes are again present: the importance of group solidarity, self-respect, professionalism, and acceptance of others' faults… This is an old man's movie only in the sense that it deals with the problems of approaching the valley of death. In other words, it's a witty, exciting and deeply moving masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Fred Camper, José Luis Cienfuegos, Mary Lea Bandy, Nobuhiko Obayashi, Yoel Meranda.
919
909
Midnight Run

Midnight Run


1988 / USA / 122m / Col / Odd Couple Film, Action Comedy
Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Foronjy, Robert Miranda, Jack Kehoe, Wendy Phillips
"That old formula, handcuffed captor and captive who become buddies on the run, gets an injection of new life from the playing of the cast. Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (De Niro) captures bail-jumping accountant Jon Mardukas (Grodin) in New York, but his problems really start when he tries to deliver him to the bail bondsman in LA… Both actors get off on each other, improvising routines and inhabiting the standard Odd Couple teaming so interestingly that at times the film touches a profundity. Here and there, director Brest succumbs to the car chase, but overall the movie is way above average for the genre." - Brian Case, Time Out
Selected by Doug Liman, Nigel Cole, Jay DiPietro, Ruben Fleischer, Jackie Chan.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
918
916
Fellini's Casanova

Fellini's Casanova

Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (original title); Casanova (alternative title)

1976 / Italy / 158m / Col / Comedy Drama, Period Film
Donald Sutherland, Tina Aumont, Cicely Browne, Carmen Scarpitta, Clara Algranti, Olimpia Carlisi, Adele Angela Lojodice, Clarissa Mary Roil, Daniel Emilfork, Margaret Clementi
"Vainly seeking wealthy patrons for his scholarly pursuits, Casanova is seen as both an intellectual figure of the Enlightenment and a licentious voluptuary of a corrupt society about to be swept away by the French Revolution... The semi-coherent, death-obsessed narrative reeks of self-disgust and has the clammy atmosphere of an undertaker's embalming room. Made entirely on fabulous Cinecittà sets, it's superbly photographed and magnificently staged and Sutherland (who hated the experience) is a compelling presence." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Michel Ciment, Michel Chion, Mike Hodges, Peter Greenaway, Elijah Guller.
917
889
The Reckless Moment

The Reckless Moment


1949 / USA / 82m / BW / Crime Drama, Film Noir
James Mason, Joan Bennett, Geraldine Brooks, Henry O'Neill, Shepperd Strudwick, David Blair, Roy Roberts, Jessie Arnold, Jack Baker, Pat Barton
"Just as some critics favor Lang's midcentury American noirs over his famous German silent masterpieces, I prefer Ophuls' moment-in-the-sun Hollywood output, particularly his twin femme-noir home-runs of 1949, Caught and The Reckless Moment. The latter of the two may be, in fact, one of its decade's greatest forgotten movies, a stock melodramatic programmer (adapted from a Ladies Home Journal story, yet) that is reconceived and crafted with such deftness and attention to emotional detail that it shutters scores of contemporaneous noirs and dramas out of the memory." - Michael Atkinson, TCM
Selected by Keith Uhlich, Todd Haynes, Robin Wood, Scott McGehee, David Siegel.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
916 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams

Akira Kurosawa's Dreams

Dreams (alternative title)

1990 / USA / 120m / Col / Drama, Fantasy,
Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baisho, Toshie Negishi, Mieko Harada, Mitsunori Isaki, Toshihiko Nakano, Yoshitaka Zushi, Hisashi Igawa, Chosuke Ikariya, Chishu Ryu
“One might have expected Dreams to be a summing up, a coda. It isn't. It's something altogether new for Kurosawa, a collection of short, sometimes fragmentary films that are less like dreams than fairy tales of past, present and future. The magical and mysterious are mixed with the practical, funny and polemical… The movie is about many things, including the terrors of childhood, parents who are as olympian as gods, the seductive nature of death, nuclear annihilation, environmental pollution and, in a segment titled simply Crows, art… Dreams is absolutely stunning to look at and listen to. It is, in fact, almost as much of a trip as people once thought Fantasia to be.” - Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Selected by Jeff Nichols, Tommy Lee Jones, Shirin Neshat, Li Yu, Uygar Şirin.
915 Up Arrow
940
Holiday

Holiday


1938 / USA / 93m / BW / Comedy, Romance
Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Lew Ayres, Doris Nolan, Edward Everett Horton, Henry Kolker, Binnie Barnes, Henry Daniell, Jean Dixon, Charles Trowbridge
"Marvellous 'sophisticated comedy' about a prototype dropout (Grant in one of his best performances) who takes a rich upper class family by storm: arriving engaged to the conventionally snobbish younger daughter (Nolan), stirring up latent doubts and resentments through his carefree disregard for material proprieties and properties, he ends up by showing the yearningly dissatisfied elder sister (Hepburn) the way to a declaration of independence… Often underrated by comparison with The Philadelphia Story (both are based on plays by Philip Barry), but even better because its glitteringly polished surface is undermined by veins of real feeling, it is one of Cukor's best films." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Grégory Valens, Andy Medhurst, Stephanie Zacharek, Jim Emerson, Gustavo Beck.
914 Up Arrow
RE-ENTRY
Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise


1995 / USA / 101m / Col / Romance, Comedy Drama
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert, Hanno Poschl, Erni Mangold, Dominik Castell, Karl Bruckschwaiger, Tex Rubinowitz, Haymon Maria Buttinger, Harold Waiglein
"An American man and a French woman in their early 20s meet on a train heading through Europe. They alight in Vienna, amble around for 14 hours and shoot the breeze. Yes, the plot of Before Sunrise could be written on the back of a Eurail ticket, but it's what Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) say and don't say during their Austrian walkabout that makes the film what it is: a gentle but canny Gen-X fusion of My Dinner with Andre and the Judy Garland shore-leave romance, The Clock." - Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian
Selected by Ji Zhi, Siu Heng, Benjamin Spacek, Anna Duggan, Erik Syngle.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
913
905
Anatahan

Anatahan

The Saga of Anatahan (alternative title); Ana-ta-han (alternative title)

1953 / Japan / 90m / BW / Drama, Adventure
Akemi Negishi, Suganume, Ikio Sawamura, Shoji Najayama, Jun Fujikawa, Kondo, Miyashita, Tsuruemon, Kikuji, Kokuriro
"A more extreme degree of stylization is impossible to imagine: the Pacific island setting was re-created entirely in a Japanese studio out of cellophane and paper (Sternberg complained that he was forced to use real water), and the actors who perform this tale of shipwrecked sailors are Kabuki-trained Japanese. Distance is built into every aspect of the production, from the shadowed, filtered images to Sternberg's own voice-over narration, yet the feelings that emerge are incredibly pure and immediate: Sternberg seems to be photographing the absolute essence of human emotion." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Stephane Delorme, Heinz Emigholz, Patrice Rollet, Ken Mogg, Leos Carax.
912 Up Arrow
936
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes


1953 / US / 91m / Col / Musical Comedy, Romance
Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Marcel Dalio, Taylor Holmes, Norma Varden, Howard Wendell
"Howard Hawks's grand, brassy 1953 musical about two girls from Little Rock—Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell—gone gold digging in Paris… The opening shot—Russell and Monroe in sequins standing against a screaming red drape—is enough to knock you out of your seat, and the audacity barely lets up from there, as Russell romances the entire U.S. Olympic team to the tune of “Ain't There Anyone Here for Love?” and Hawks keeps topping perversity with perversity. A landmark encounter in the battle of the sexes." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Jonathan Rosenbaum, Katja Eichinger, Laura Mulvey, Dragan Jelicic, Robbie Collin.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
911
904
Ballad of Narayama

Ballad of Narayama

Narayama bushiko (original title)

1983 / Japan / 130m / Col / Rural Drama, Family Drama
Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Takejo Aki, Tonpei Hidari, Seiji Kurasaki, Kaoru Shimamori, Ryutaro Tatsumi, Junko Takada, Nijiko Kiyokawa, Mitsuko Baisho
"This harsh and beautiful 1983 film by Shohei Imamura marks a turning point in his career, away from the violence and confrontationalism of his earlier films and toward an almost Ozu-like acceptance of human fate. The story is set in an impoverished mountain village, where the law of survival requires that every citizen over 70 be put to death to make room for new mouths at the table… Imamura's rough sexual humor is still in evidence, but now it has taken on a dark tone: to make love is to flirt with death." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Isamu Hirabayashi, Jasper Sharp, Li Yu, Tim Robey, Nick Davis.
910 Up Arrow
920
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Berlin: DieSymphonie der Großstadt (original title)

1927 / Germany / 65m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Documentary
Paul von Hindenburg
"This classic German documentary is a valentine to the "new" Berlin of the late 1920s, enjoying a renaissance after the dregs of the Depression. Director Walter Ruttman's five-reel symphony begins at dawn and ends at midnight, showing Berliners at hard work by day and enjoying the city's boisterous nightlife. Essentially a feature-length montage, the film was heavily influenced by the earlier works of Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov… Though many current prints of Berlin: Symphony of a Great City carry a musical track, this silent documentary creates its own music by virtue of its rhythmic editing." - Hal Erickson, All Movie
Selected by Adam Hyman, Amir Labaki, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, Ulrich Gregor, Raymond Depardon.
909 Up Arrow
954
The Godfather Part III

The Godfather Part III


1990 / USA / 161m / Col / Crime Drama, Gangster Film
Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Andy Garcia, Eli Wallach, Joe Mantegna, George Hamilton, Bridget Fonda, Sofia Coppola, Raf Vallone
“There’s a level of cinematic artistry to The Godfather Part III that the countless mob movies and TV shows that followed the original Godfather have rarely been able to match. And Coppola’s own take on the film—as one long howl of frustration over what had become of his career circa 1990—lends the film an emotional dimension it otherwise lacks… As a visual poem about decline, The Godfather Part III looks more stunning with each passing year. If only the people in the picture would just stop talking." - Noel Murray, The Dissolve
Selected by Pablo Villaça, Xu Haofeng, Subhash Ghai, John Walker, Carlos Diegues.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
908
902
Elephant

Elephant


1989 / UK / 39m / Col / Drama, Short Film
Gary Walker, Bill Hamilton, Michael Foyle, Danny Small, Robert J. Taylor, Joe Cauley, Joe McGee, Patrick Condren, Andrew Downs, Terry Doyle
"Elephant is without question Alan Clarke's bleakest film. Essentially a compilation of eighteen murders on the streets of Belfast, without explanatory narrative or characterisation and shot in a cold, dispassionate documentary style, the film succinctly captures the horror of sectarian killing. The lack of narrative removes any scope for justification of the killings on religious, political or any other grounds and the matter-of-factness of Clarke's approach debases the often-heroic portrayal - by all sides - of the individuals involved in sectarian murder. Moreover, Clarke's use of a Steadicam to follow the killers before and during the murders casts the viewer as at best a willing voyeur, at worst an accomplice.” - Justin Hobday, BFI Screen Online
Selected by Penny Woolcock, James Marsh, David Leland, Joe Lawlor, Michel Lipkes.
907
885
National Lampoon's Animal House

National Lampoon's Animal House

Animal House (alternative title)

1978 / USA / 109m / Col / Gross-Out Comedy, Anarchic Comedy
John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon, Verna Bloom, Tom Hulce, Cesare Danova, Peter Riegert, Donald Sutherland, Mary Louise Weller, Stephen Furst
"Animal House marked a new era in American comedy, bringing together the anarchic Ivy League sensibilities of the Harvard Lampoon and the freewheeling, sketch-driven style of Chicago's legendary Second City improv troupe. It was a match that would come to define and dominate the approach to modern comedy… As a cultural phenomenon, Animal House was one of the first big studio comedies aimed at the teen/college demographic and has the dubious distinction of spawning the toga party and making food fights seem like a venerable American institution… This is likely the only film in the National Film Registry to feature a character imitating a zit with a mouthful of mashed potatoes." - Rob Nixon, TCM
Selected by Bobby Farrelly, Michael Tolkin, Richard Curtis, David Fincher, David Wain.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
906
848
A Tale of the Wind

A Tale of the Wind

Une Histoire de vent (original title)

1988 / France-UK-West Germany-Netherlands / 80m / Col / Culture & Society, Documentary
Joris Ivens, Henxiang Han, Guilian Liu, Zhuang Liu, Hong Wang, Hongyu Liu, Marceline Loridan Ivens
"This poetic masterpiece serves as the crowning testament of Joris Ivens, the great Dutch documentarist and leftist who made this film in collaboration with his companion Marceline Loridan shortly before his death at the age of 90. Neither a documentary nor a fantasy but a sublime fusion of the two, the film deals in multiple ways with the wind, with Ivens’s asthma, with China, with the 20th century (and, more implicitly, with the 19th and the 21st), with magic, and with the cinema… For all its cosmic dimensions, this work is funny and lighthearted rather than pretentious and ponderous. It may even give you some renewed faith in life on this planet." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Charles Burnett, Adam Hyman, Fu Hongxing, Kim Ji-Seok, Giovanni Grazzini.
905
847
Angel

Angel


1937 / USA / 91m / BW / Romantic Drama, Melodrama
Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas, Edward Everett Horton, Ernest Cossart, Laura Hope Crews, Herbert Mundin, Dennie Moore, Ivan Lebedeff, Leonard Carey
"Despite the initial financial failure, Angel survives as a wonderful reminder of Hollywood sophistication, sparkling with Lubitsch's trademark charm and the potent on-screen chemistry between Dietrich and Douglas. Marlene, adorned in an array of scintillating Travis Banton creations, never looked better, and the charming Frederick Hollander score so captivated the star that she insisted he be hired whenever possible for all her future projects." - Mel Neuhaus, TCM
Selected by Pierre Rissient, Antonio Rodrigues, Dan Sallitt, Heddy Honigmann, Shunichi Nagasaki.
904
843
Gregory's Girl

Gregory's Girl


1980 / UK / 91m / Col / Comedy Drama, Coming-of-Age
John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn, Jake D'Arcy, Clare Grogan, Robert Buchanan, Billy Greenless, Alan Love, Caroline Guthrie, Carol Macartney, Allison Forster
"Bill Forsyth's slightly-plotted tale of an ungainly teenager's romantic yearning is arguably the warmest and most thoroughly charming British film to emerge from the dark days of the early 1980s. Though it deals, in its own wryly playful way, with the torture of adolescence, and despite the opening scene, in which Gregory and his mates spy on a nurse undressing, Gregory's Girl is strikingly innocent. No drugs or violence stalk the school playground, and the boys' toilets are the province not of bullies or smokers but of a thriving home-made confectionary business - and a rival venture selling very demure photographs of football heroine Dorothy." - Mark Duguid, BFI Screen Online
Selected by Antonia Carver, Roger Avary, Rainer Knepperges, Geoffrey Macnab, Jeffrey Westhoff.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
903
870
Louisiana Story

Louisiana Story


1948 / USA / 77m / BW / Culture & Society, Documentary
Joseph Boudreaux, Lionel Le Blanc, E. Bienvenu, Frank Hardy, C.P. Guedry, Oscar J. Yarborough
"Flaherty's last work, like his first, Nanook of the North, was the product of one of those fluke occasions when a sponsor (in this case, the Standard Oil Company) offers money with no strings attached. With no disciplining 'purpose', Flaherty's totally intuitive method was tested to its limits - and his editor Helen van Dongen has recorded the extraordinary convolutions of plot and readings that his material underwent en route to its ravishing conclusion. As an account of oil exploration, Flaherty's narrative may seem slightly naive; but his vision of a child's myth-world, and the oilmen's intrusion and acceptance into it, is perhaps his greatest achievement." - David Curtis, Time Out
Selected by José Manuel Costa, Patrick Russell, Michael Sicinski, Gilles Jacob, Raymond Depardon.
902
856
Reds

Reds


1981 / USA / 200m / Col / Epic, Historical Film
Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Jerzy Kosinksi, Jack Nicholson, Paul Sorvino, Maureen Stapleton, Nicolas Coster, M. Emmet Walsh, Gene Hackman
"Warren Beatty's shapely 1981 epic, based on the life of radical journalist John Reed, is a stunningly successful application of a novelistic aesthetic—a film that makes full and thoughtful use of its three-and-a-half-hour length to develop characters, ideas, and motifs with a depth seldom seen in movies. Though it deals with historical events—World War I, the growth of the workers' movement in America, the Russian Revolution—history is not used simply as a backdrop; rather, Beatty focuses on the interdependence of personal choices and historical developments, mingling ideology and emotion in a very human whole." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Neil LaBute, Antonia Quirke, James Toback, Jack Lechner, Griffin Dunne.
901
898
Ride the High Country

Ride the High Country


1962 / USA / 94m / Col / Western, Revisionist Western
Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Ronald Starr, Mariette Hartley, R.G. Armstrong, James Drury, Edgar Buchanan, L.Q. Jones, Warren Oates, John Anderson
"Peckinpah's superb second film, a nostalgic lament for the West in its declining years… Affectionately funny as Scott and McCrea, once more hired and temporarily in harness, creak rheumatically while climbing off their horses, turn aside from the trail to bathe aching feet, and sport long woolly combinations for bed. But also achieving an almost biblical grandeur as the two oldtime lawmen, fallen upon hard times and suddenly realising that the world has left them behind, contrive not to fall from grace and self-respect when a tempting gold shipment comes between them. Truly magnificent camerawork from Lucien Ballard." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Alexander Payne, Makoto Shinozaki, David Edelstein, Edward Buscombe, Philip Kemp.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon