Simple Top Tens

Decades: 2020s, 2010s, 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, 1950s, 1940s, 1930s, 1920s, Pre-1920s

Ten Favorite Films

  1. MULHOLLAND DR. (David Lynch)
  2. YI YI (Edward Yang)
  3. SANS SOLEIL (Chris Marker)
  4. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (Orson Welles)
  5. A TOUCH OF ZEN (King Hu)
  6. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong Kar-wai)
  7. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (Charles Laughton)
  8. THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT (Jacques Demy)
  9. VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock)
  10. CÉLINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (Jacques Rivette)

2020s

Best of the Decade

  1. DAYS (Tsai Ming-liang)
  2. BEGINNING (Dea Kulumbegashvili)
  3. THE HISTORY OF THE SEATTLE MARINERS (Jon Bois)
  4. THE WOMAN WHO RAN (Hong Sang-soo)
  5. MALMKROG (Cristi Puiu)
  6. “Labor of Love” (Sylvia Schedelbauer)
  7. SWIMMING OUT TILL THE SEA TURNS BLUE (Jia Zhangke)
  8. THE DISCIPLE (Chaitanya Tamhane)
  9. FAUNA (Nicolás Pereda)
  10. THERE ARE NOT THIRTY-SIX WAYS OF SHOWING A MAN GETTING ON A HORSE. (Nicolás Zukerfeld)

2020

  1. DAYS (Tsai Ming-liang)
  2. BEGINNING (Dea Kulumbegashvili)
  3. THE HISTORY OF THE SEATTLE MARINERS (Jon Bois)
  4. THE WOMAN WHO RAN (Hong Sang-soo)
  5. MALMKROG (Cristi Puiu)
  6. “Labor of Love” (Sylvia Schedelbauer)
  7. SWIMMING OUT TILL THE SEA TURNS BLUE (Jia Zhangke)
  8. THE DISCIPLE (Chaitanya Tamhane)
  9. FAUNA (Nicolás Pereda)
  10. THERE ARE NOT THIRTY-SIX WAYS OF SHOWING A MAN GETTING ON A HORSE. (Nicolás Zukerfeld)

2010s

Best of the Decade

  1. LA FLOR (Mariano Llinás)
  2. STRAY DOGS (Tsai Ming-liang)
  3. TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN (David Lynch)
  4. YOURSELF AND YOURS (Hong Sang-soo)
  5. MYSTERIES OF LISBON (Raúl Ruiz)
  6. LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE (Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. ASAKO I & II (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  8. MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART (Jia Zhangke)
  9. CAROL (Todd Haynes)
  10. THE ASSASSIN (Hou Hsiao-hsien)

2019

  1. MARTIN EDEN (Pietro Marcello)
  2. I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES (Martin Scorsese)
  3. TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  4. THE BOB EMERGENCY (Jon Bois)
  5. FOURTEEN (Dan Sallitt)
  6. PARASITE (Bong Joon-ho)
  7. UNCUT GEMS (Josh & Benny Safdie)
  8. I WAS AT HOME, BUT… (Angela Schanelec)
  9. “Shakti” (Martín Rejtman)
  10. A VOLUNTARY YEAR (Ulrich Köhler & Henner Winckler)

2018

  1. LA FLOR (Mariano Llinás)
  2. ASAKO I & II (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  3. TRANSIT (Christian Petzold)
  4. LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (Bi Gan)
  5. ASH IS PUREST WHITE (Jia Zhangke)
  6. GRASS (Hong Sang-soo)
  7. HIGH LIFE (Claire Denis)
  8. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (Orson Welles)
  9. IN MY ROOM (Ulrich Köhler)
  10. HER SMELL (Alex Ross Perry)

2017

  1. TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN (David Lynch)
  2. FIRST REFORMED (Paul Schrader)
  3. ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE (Hong Sang-soo)
  4. HANAGATAMI (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  5. ARBORETUM CYCLE (Nathaniel Dorsky)
  6. THE DAY AFTER (Hong Sang-soo)
  7. STREETSCAPES [DIALOGUE] (Heinz Emigholz)
  8. PRINCESS CYD (Stephen Cone)
  9. CLAIRE’S CAMERA (Hong Sang-soo)
  10. FACES PLACES (Agnès Varda & JR)

2016

  1. YOURSELF AND YOURS (Hong Sang-soo)
  2. SILENCE (Martin Scorsese)
  3. CAMERAPERSON (Kirsten Johnson)
  4. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (Kenneth Lonergan)
  5. TONI ERDMANN (Maren Ade)
  6. HYPERNORMALISATION (Adam Curtis)
  7. CERTAIN WOMEN (Kelly Reichardt)
  8. THE HANDMAIDEN (Park Chan-wook)
  9. SIERANEVADA (Cristi Puiu)
  10. “The Hedonists” (Jia Zhangke)

2015

  1. MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART (Jia Zhangke)
  2. CAROL (Todd Haynes)
  3. THE ASSASSIN (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  4. CEMETERY OF SPLENDOUR (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  5. BLACKHAT (Michael Mann)
  6. MISTRESS AMERICA (Noah Baumbach)
  7. HAPPY HOUR (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
  8. RIGHT NOW, WRONG THEN (Hong Sang-soo)
  9. AFTERNOON (Tsai Ming-liang)
  10. “No No Sleep” (Tsai Ming-liang)

2014

  1. PHOENIX (Christian Petzold)
  2. DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 (Johnnie To)
  3. HORSE MONEY (Pedro Costa)
  4. INHERENT VICE (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  5. GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (Jean-Luc Godard)
  6. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Wes Anderson)
  7. GONE GIRL (David Fincher)
  8. THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE (Matías Piñeiro)
  9. HILL OF FREEDOM (Hong Sang-soo)
  10. JAUJA (Lisandro Alonso)

2013

  1. STRAY DOGS (Tsai Ming-liang)
  2. MANAKAMANA (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez)
  3. THE GRANDMASTER (Wong Kar-wai)
  4. THE WIND RISES (Hayao Miyazaki)
  5. BEFORE MIDNIGHT (Richard Linklater)
  6. BASTARDS (Claire Denis)
  7. THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA (Isao Takahata)
  8. NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAEWON (Hong Sang-soo)
  9. “Redemption” (Miguel Gomes)
  10. OUR SUNHI (Hong Sang-soo)

2012

  1. LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE (Abbas Kiarostami)
  2. PASSION (Brian De Palma)
  3. DRUG WAR (Johnnie To)
  4. ROMANCING IN THIN AIR (Johnnie To)
  5. FRANCES HA (Noah Baumbach)
  6. TABU (Miguel Gomes)
  7. MOONRISE KINGDOM (Wes Anderson)
  8. DIFFERENTLY, MOLUSSIA (Nicolas Rey)
  9. YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET (Alain Resnais)
  10. THE UNSPEAKABLE ACT (Dan Sallitt)

2011

  1. THE DAY HE ARRIVES (Hong Sang-soo)
  2. THE TREE OF LIFE (Terrence Malick)
  3. DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART (Johnnie To)
  4. MARGARET (Kenneth Lonergan)
  5. THIS IS NOT A FILM (Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb)
  6. “List” (Hong Sang-soo)
  7. THE COLOR WHEEL (Alex Ross Perry)
  8. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (David Fincher)
  9. THE LONELIEST PLANET (Julia Loktev)
  10. ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE (Adam Curtis)

2010

  1. MYSTERIES OF LISBON (Raúl Ruiz)
  2. CERTIFIED COPY (Abbas Kiarostami)
  3. MEEK’S CUTOFF (Kelly Reichardt)
  4. UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  5. HAHAHA (Hong Sang-soo)
  6. FILM SOCIALISME (Jean-Luc Godard)
  7. LOVE IN A PUFF (Pang Ho-cheung)
  8. THE GHOST WRITER (Roman Polanski)
  9. OKI’S MOVIE (Hong Sang-soo)
  10. THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA (Manoel de Oliveira)

2000s

Best of the Decade

  1. MULHOLLAND DR. (David Lynch)
  2. YI YI (Edward Yang)
  3. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong Kar-wai)
  4. GOODBYE, DRAGON INN (Tsai Ming-liang)
  5. PLATFORM (Jia Zhangke)
  6. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (Ang Lee)
  7. A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Steven Spielberg)
  8. SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  9. MIAMI VICE (Michael Mann)
  10. LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF (Thom Andersen)

2009

  1. IT FELT LIKE A KISS (Adam Curtis)
  2. OXHIDE II (Liu Jiayin)
  3. ACCIDENT (Soi Cheang)
  4. PUBLIC ENEMIES (Michael Mann)
  5. ORPHAN (Jaume Collet-Serra)
  6. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Quentin Tarantino)
  7. FANTASTIC MR. FOX (Wes Anderson)
  8. “Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis” (Daïchi Saïto)
  9. SWEETGRASS (Ilisa Barbash & Lucien Castaing-Taylor)
  10. LIKE YOU KNOW IT ALL (Hong Sang-soo)

2008

  1. SPARROW (Johnnie To)
  2. NIGHT AND DAY (Hong Sang-soo)
  3. 35 SHOTS OF RUM (Claire Denis)
  4. THE HEADLESS WOMAN (Lucrecia Martel)
  5. SPEED RACER (Lana & Lilly Wachowski)
  6. HISTORIAS EXTRAORDINARIAS (Mariano Llinás)
  7. TWO LOVERS (James Gray)
  8. WENDY AND LUCY (Kelly Reichardt)
  9. 24 CITY (Jia Zhangke)
  10. L’IDIOT (Pierre Léon)

2007

  1. THE TRAP: WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR DREAM OF FREEDOM (Adam Curtis)
  2. ZODIAC (David Fincher)
  3. DEATH PROOF (Quentin Tarantino)
  4. scenes from THE WIND (Edward Yang)
  5. MICHAEL CLAYTON (Tony Gilroy)
  6. MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS (Wong Kar-wai)
  7. THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  8. PROFIT MOTIVE AND THE WHISPERING WIND (John Gianvito)
  9. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (Cristian Mungiu)
  10. USELESS (Jia Zhangke)

2006

  1. SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  2. MIAMI VICE (Michael Mann)
  3. INLAND EMPIRE (David Lynch)
  4. ELECTION 2 (Johnnie To)
  5. STILL LIFE (Jia Zhangke)
  6. WOMAN ON THE BEACH (Hong Sang-soo)
  7. I DON’T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE (Tsai Ming-liang)
  8. EXILED (Johnnie To)
  9. OLD JOY (Kelly Reichardt)
  10. DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT (Julia Loktev)

2005

  1. THE NEW WORLD (Terrence Malick)
  2. TALE OF CINEMA (Hong Sang-soo)
  3. THROUGH THE FOREST (Jean-Paul Civeyrac)
  4. THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU (Cristi Puiu)
  5. OXHIDE (Liu Jiayin)
  6. CACHÉ (Michael Haneke)
  7. THE WAYWARD CLOUD (Tsai Ming-liang)
  8. ELECTION (Johnnie To)
  9. PERHAPS LOVE (Peter Chan)
  10. THE SQUID AND THE WHALE (Noah Baumbach)

2004

  1. 2046 (Wong Kar-wai)
  2. BEFORE SUNSET (Richard Linklater)
  3. THROW DOWN (Johnnie To)
  4. TROPICAL MALADY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  5. THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES: THE RISE OF THE POLITICS OF FEAR (Adam Curtis)
  6. VERA DRAKE (Mike Leigh)
  7. THE WORLD (Jia Zhangke)
  8. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (Michel Gondry)
  9. COLLATERAL (Michael Mann)
  10. KUNG FU HUSTLE (Stephen Chow)

2003

  1. GOODBYE, DRAGON INN (Tsai Ming-liang)
  2. LOS ANGELES PLAYS ITSELF (Thom Andersen)
  3. LOST IN TRANSLATION (Sofia Coppola)
  4. RUNNING ON KARMA (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
  5. KILL BILL: VOLUME 1 (Quentin Tarantino)
  6. MEMORIES OF MURDER (Bong Joon-ho)
  7. OLDBOY (Park Chan-wook)
  8. S21: THE KHMER ROUGE KILLING MACHINE (Rithy Panh)
  9. TARNATION (Jonathan Caouette)
  10. THE MATRIX RELOADED (Lana & Lilly Wachowski)

2002

  1. FEMME FATALE (Brian De Palma)
  2. MY LEFT EYE SEES GHOSTS (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)
  3. CHINESE ODYSSEY 2002 (Jeffrey Lau)
  4. HERO (Zhang Yimou)
  5. THE CENTURY OF THE SELF (Adam Curtis)
  6. FRIDAY NIGHT (Claire Denis)
  7. ON THE OCCASION OF REMEMBERING THE TURNING GATE (Hong Sang-soo)
  8. BLISSFULLY YOURS (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  9. UNKNOWN PLEASURES (Jia Zhangke)
  10. PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE (Paul Thomas Anderson)

2001

  1. MULHOLLAND DR. (David Lynch)
  2. A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Steven Spielberg)
  3. PULSE (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  4. MILLENNIUM MAMBO (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  5. WHAT TIME IS IT THERE? (Tsai Ming-liang)
  6. SPIRITED AWAY (Hayao Miyazaki)
  7. LA CIÉNAGA (Lucrecia Martel)
  8. ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU (Shunji Iwai)
  9. ALI (Michael Mann)
  10. TROUBLE EVERY DAY (Claire Denis)

2000

  1. YI YI (Edward Yang)
  2. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong Kar-wai)
  3. PLATFORM (Jia Zhangke)
  4. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (Ang Lee)
  5. “The Heart of the World” (Guy Maddin)
  6. THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE (Mark Dindal)
  7. YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (Kenneth Lonergan)
  8. HAMLET (Michael Almereyda)
  9. “Origins of the 21st Century” (Jean-Luc Godard)
  10. VIRGIN STRIPPED BARE BY HER BACHELORS (Hong Sang-soo)

1990s

Best of the Decade

  1. A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (Edward Yang)
  2. CHUNGKING EXPRESS (Wong Kar-wai)
  3. HEAT (Michael Mann)
  4. THE HOLE (Tsai Ming-liang)
  5. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Take care of yourself.” (Hideaki Anno)
  6. TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (David Lynch)
  7. TRUST (Hal Hartley)
  8. MAHJONG (Edward Yang)
  9. CLOSE-UP (Abbas Kiarostami)
  10. DAYS OF BEING WILD (Wong Kar-wai)

1999

  1. EYES WIDE SHUT (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. “Outer Space” (Peter Tscherkassky)
  3. BEAU TRAVAIL (Claire Denis)
  4. GOHATTO (Nagisa Oshima)
  5. COWBOY BEBOP: “Pierrot le Fou” (Shinichiro Watanabe)
  6. THE INSIDER (Michael Mann)
  7. COWBOY BEBOP: “Speak Like a Child” (Shinichiro Watanabe)
  8. THE MATRIX (Lana & Lilly Wachowski)
  9. POLA X (Leos Carax)
  10. THE MISSION (Johnnie To)

1998

  1. THE HOLE (Tsai Ming-liang)
  2. THE THIN RED LINE (Terrence Malick)
  3. A HERO NEVER DIES (Johnnie To)
  4. RUSHMORE (Wes Anderson)
  5. THE POWER OF KANGWON PROVINCE (Hong Sang-soo)
  6. COWBOY BEBOP: “Sympathy for the Devil” (Shinichiro Watanabe)
  7. FESTEN (Thomas Vinterberg)
  8. “Vassourinha: The Voice and the Void” (Carlos Adriano)
  9. SNAKE EYES (Brian De Palma)
  10. COWBOY BEBOP: “Gateway Shuffle” (Shinichiro Watanabe)

1997

  1. THE END OF EVANGELION (Hideaki Anno)
  2. CURE (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  3. THE RIVER (Tsai Ming-liang)
  4. LOST HIGHWAY (David Lynch)
  5. HAPPY TOGETHER (Wong Kar-wai)
  6. TOO MANY WAYS TO BE NO. 1 (Wai Ka-fai)
  7. TASTE OF CHERRY (Abbas Kiarostami)
  8. THE SWEET HEREAFTER (Atom Egoyan)
  9. STARSHIP TROOPERS (Paul Verhoeven)
  10. XIAO WU (Jia Zhangke)

1996

  1. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Take care of yourself.” (Hideaki Anno)
  2. MAHJONG (Edward Yang)
  3. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Do you love me?” (Hideaki Anno)
  4. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “The Beginning and the End, or ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’” (Hideaki Anno)
  5. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Weaving a Story 2: Oral Stage” (Hideaki Anno)
  6. SECRETS & LIES (Mike Leigh)
  7. GOODBYE SOUTH, GOODBYE (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  8. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Weaving a Story” (Hideaki Anno)
  9. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Don’t Be.” (Hideaki Anno)
  10. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Introjection” (Hideaki Anno)

1995

  1. HEAT (Michael Mann)
  2. FALLEN ANGELS (Wong Kar-wai)
  3. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (Clint Eastwood)
  4. BEFORE SUNRISE (Richard Linklater)
  5. SAFE (Todd Haynes)
  6. STRANGE DAYS (Kathryn Bigelow)
  7. CLUELESS (Amy Heckerling)
  8. “Premonitions Following an Evil Deed” (David Lynch)
  9. “When It Rains” (Charles Burnett)
  10. NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” (Hideaki Anno, Japan)

1994

  1. CHUNGKING EXPRESS (Wong Kar-wai)
  2. ASHES OF TIME (Wong Kar-wai)
  3. A CONFUCIAN CONFUSION (Edward Yang)
  4. IN THE HEAT OF THE SUN (Jiang Wen)
  5. SÁTÁNTANGÓ (Béla Tarr)
  6. VIVE L’AMOUR (Tsai Ming-liang)
  7. U.S. GO HOME (Claire Denis)
  8. TO LIVE (Zhang Yimou)
  9. “The Mammals of Victoria” (Stan Brakhage)
  10. COLD WATER (Olivier Assayas)

1993

  1. GREEN SNAKE (Tsui Hark)
  2. NAKED (Mike Leigh)
  3. “Je vous salue, Sarajevo” (Jean-Luc Godard)
  4. CARLITO’S WAY (Brian De Palma)
  5. D’EST (Chantal Akerman)
  6. “Stellar” (Stan Brakhage)
  7. THREE COLORS: BLUE (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  8. JURASSIC PARK (Steven Spielberg)

1992

  1. TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (David Lynch)
  2. THE ROCKING HORSEMEN (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  3. HARD-BOILED (John Woo)
  4. THE LONG DAY CLOSES (Terence Davies)
  5. UNFORGIVEN (Clint Eastwood)
  6. REBELS OF THE NEON GOD (Tsai Ming-liang)
  7. SIMPLE MEN (Hal Hartley)
  8. NITRATE KISSES (Barbara Hammer)
  9. HYENAS (Djibril Diop Mambéty)
  10. THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (Michael Mann)

1991

  1. A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (Edward Yang)
  2. SURVIVING DESIRE (Hal Hartley)
  3. BARTON FINK (Joel & Ethan Coen)
  4. UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD (Wim Wenders)
  5. “Ambition” (Hal Hartley)
  6. TWIN PEAKS: “Beyond Life and Death” (David Lynch)
  7. RAISE THE RED LANTERN (Zhang Yimou)
  8. SEINFELD: “The Parking Garage” (Tom Cherones)
  9. THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
  10. THEORY OF ACHIEVEMENT (Hal Hartley)

1990

  1. TRUST (Hal Hartley)
  2. CLOSE-UP (Abbas Kiarostami)
  3. DAYS OF BEING WILD (Wong Kar-wai)
  4. BULLET IN THE HEAD (John Woo)
  5. TWIN PEAKS: “Lonely Souls” (David Lynch)
  6. WILD AT HEART (David Lynch)
  7. TWIN PEAKS: “Pilot” (David Lynch)
  8. TWIN PEAKS: “Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer” (David Lynch)
  9. TO SLEEP WITH ANGER (Charles Burnett)
  10. GOODFELLAS (Martin Scorsese)

1980s

Best of the Decade

  1. SANS SOLEIL (Chris Marker)
  2. BLUE VELVET (David Lynch)
  3. A CITY OF SADNESS (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  4. BEIJING WATERMELON (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  5. PEKING OPERA BLUES (Tsui Hark)
  6. THE TERRORIZERS (Edward Yang)
  7. PARIS, TEXAS (Wim Wenders)
  8. BLADE RUNNER (Ridley Scott)
  9. MANHUNTER (Michael Mann)
  10. TAIPEI STORY (Edward Yang)

1989

  1. A CITY OF SADNESS (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  2. BEIJING WATERMELON (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  3. DO THE RIGHT THING (Spike Lee)
  4. PEDICAB DRIVER (Sammo Hung)
  5. THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH (Hal Hartley)
  6. THE KILLER (John Woo)
  7. CASUALTIES OF WAR (Brian De Palma)
  8. KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (Hayao Miyazaki)
  9. THE SEVENTH CONTINENT (Michael Haneke)
  10. SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE (Steven Soderbergh)

1988

  1. MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (Hayao Miyazaki)
  2. SCHOOL ON FIRE (Ringo Lam)
  3. AS TEARS GO BY (Wong Kar-wai)
  4. 36 FILLETTE (Catherine Breillat)
  5. “Cat Listening to Music” (Chris Marker)
  6. UMA PEDRA NO BOLSO (Joaquim Pinto)
  7. AKIRA (Katsuhiro Otomo)
  8. DIE HARD (John McTiernan)
  9. CHOCOLAT (Claire Denis)
  10. POLICE STORY 2 (Jackie Chan)

1987

  1. EASTERN CONDORS (Sammo Hung)
  2. ISHTAR (Elaine May)
  3. DAUGHTER OF THE NILE (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
  4. CITY ON FIRE (Ringo Lam)
  5. WINGS OF DESIRE (Wim Wenders)
  6. ROBOCOP (Paul Verhoeven)
  7. RAISING ARIZONA (Joel & Ethan Coen)
  8. AN AUTUMN’S TALE (Mabel Cheung)
  9. SIGN “O” THE TIMES (Prince)
  10. THE DEATH OF EMPEDOCLES (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)

1986

  1. BLUE VELVET (David Lynch)
  2. PEKING OPERA BLUES (Tsui Hark)
  3. THE TERRORIZERS (Edward Yang)
  4. MANHUNTER (Michael Mann)
  5. BOUND FOR THE FIELDS, THE MOUNTAINS, AND THE SEACOAST (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  6. THE GREEN RAY (Eric Rohmer)
  7. FAUBOURG ST. MARTIN (Jean-Claude Guiguet)
  8. HIS MOTORBIKE, HER ISLAND (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  9. SOMETHING WILD (Jonathan Demme)
  10. DOUBLE MESSIEURS (Jean-François Stévenin)

1985

  1. TAIPEI STORY (Edward Yang)
  2. RAN (Akira Kurosawa)
  3. POLICE STORY (Jackie Chan)
  4. DAY OF THE DEAD (George A. Romero)
  5. BRAZIL (Terry Gilliam)
  6. AFTER HOURS (Martin Scorsese)
  7. MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (Stephen Frears)
  8. TROUBLE IN MIND (Alan Rudolph)

1984

  1. PARIS, TEXAS (Wim Wenders)
  2. STOP MAKING SENSE (Jonathan Demme)
  3. WHEELS ON MEALS (Sammo Hung)
  4. DUNE (David Lynch)
  5. “Standard Gauge” (Morgan Fisher)
  6. THE TERMINATOR (James Cameron)
  7. CLASS RELATIONS (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  8. BODY DOUBLE (Brian De Palma)
  9. GREMLINS (Joe Dante)
  10. AMERICAN DREAMS (LOST AND FOUND) (James Benning)

1983

  1. SANS SOLEIL (Chris Marker)
  2. THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH (Edward Yang)
  3. PAULINE AT THE BEACH (Eric Rohmer)
  4. TESTAMENT (Lynne Littman)
  5. THE KEEP (Michael Mann)
  6. BORN IN FLAMES (Lizzie Borden)
  7. AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (Paul Vecchiali)
  8. BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS (Billy Woodberry)
  9. RETURN OF THE JEDI (Richard Marquand)
  10. SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN (Alan Briggs)

1982

  1. BLADE RUNNER (Ridley Scott)
  2. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (Steven Spielberg)
  3. NOMAD (Patrick Tam)
  4. TOO EARLY/TOO LATE (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  5. THE THING (John Carpenter)
  6. “Expectations” (Edward Yang)
  7. KOYAANISQATSI (Godfrey Reggio)
  8. “En rachâchant” (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  9. IN OUR TIME (Tao Te-chen/Edward Yang/Ko I-chen/Chang Yi)

1981

  1. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (Steven Spielberg)
  2. MY YOUNG AUNTIE (Lau Kar-leung)
  3. THIEF (Michael Mann)
  4. BLOW OUT (Brian De Palma)
  5. AT THIS LATE DATE, THE CHARLESTON (Kihachi Okamoto)
  6. “Orderly or Disorderly” (Abbas Kiarostami)
  7. POSSESSION (Andrzej Zulawski)
  8. “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (Stan Brakhage)
  9. MERRY-GO-ROUND (Jacques Rivette)
  10. MAD MAX 2 (George Miller)

1980

  1. SIMONE BARBÈS OR VIRTUE (Marie-Claude Treilhou)
  2. DANGEROUS ENCOUNTERS – FIRST KIND (Tsui Hark)
  3. THE SHINING (Stanley Kubrick)
  4. CRUISING (William Friedkin)
  5. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (Irvin Kershner)
  6. “The Birth of Magellan: Cadenza I” (Hollis Frampton)
  7. RAGING BULL (Martin Scorsese)
  8. DRESSED TO KILL (Brian De Palma)
  9. THE ELEPHANT MAN (David Lynch)
  10. HOME MOVIES (Brian De Palma)

1970s

Best of the Decade

  1. A TOUCH OF ZEN (King Hu)
  2. CÉLINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (Jacques Rivette)
  3. OUT 1: NOLI ME TANGERE (Jacques Rivette)
  4. THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE (Jean Eustache)
  5. PERCEVAL LE GALLOIS (Eric Rohmer)
  6. FEMMES FEMMES (Paul Vecchiali)
  7. INDIA SONG (Marguerite Duras)
  8. ERASERHEAD (David Lynch)
  9. “(nostalgia)” (Hollis Frampton)
  10. JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (Chantal Akerman)

1979

  1. DIRTY HO (Lau Kar-leung)
  2. LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN (King Hu)
  3. STALKER (Andrei Tarkovsky)
  4. APOCALYPSE NOW (Francis Ford Coppola)
  5. RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN (King Hu)
  6. ALIEN (Ridley Scott)
  7. “Asparagus” (Suzan Pitt)
  8. FROM THE CLOUDS TO THE RESISTANCE (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  9. THE MUPPET MOVIE (James Frawley)

1978

  1. PERCEVAL LE GALLOIS (Eric Rohmer)
  2. THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN (Lau Kar-leung)
  3. DAYS OF HEAVEN (Terrence Malick)
  4. DAWN OF THE DEAD (George A. Romero)
  5. GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS (Bertrand Blier)
  6. THE HYPOTHESIS OF THE STOLEN PAINTING (Raúl Ruiz)
  7. LES RENDEZ-VOUS D’ANNA (Chantal Akerman)
  8. THE GREEN ROOM (François Truffaut)
  9. DOSSIER 51 (Michel Deville)
  10. HALLOWEEN (John Carpenter)

1977

  1. ERASERHEAD (David Lynch)
  2. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (Steven Spielberg)
  3. THE DEVIL, PROBABLY (Robert Bresson)
  4. PROVIDENCE (Alain Resnais)
  5. ANNIE HALL (Woody Allen)
  6. HOUSE (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  7. THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE (Luis Buñuel)
  8. THE AMERICAN FRIEND (Wim Wenders)
  9. STAR WARS (George Lucas)
  10. SUSPIRIA (Dario Argento)

1976

  1. DUELLE (UNE QUARANTAINE) (Jacques Rivette)
  2. THE MARQUISE OF O… (Eric Rohmer)
  3. TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese)
  4. IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES (Nagisa Oshima)
  5. INSIANG (Lino Brocka)
  6. NOROÎT (UNE VENGEANCE) (Jacques Rivette)
  7. CARRIE (Brian De Palma)
  8. SÉRAIL (Eduardo de Gregorio)
  9. MIKEY AND NICKY (Elaine May)
  10. HARLAN COUNTY, U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple)

1975

  1. INDIA SONG (Marguerite Duras)
  2. JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (Chantal Akerman)
  3. NASHVILLE (Robert Altman)
  4. MOSES UND ARON (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  5. SALÒ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  6. JAWS (Steven Spielberg)
  7. THE VALIANT ONES (King Hu)
  8. DERSU UZALA (Akira Kurosawa)
  9. THE PASSENGER (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  10. FOX AND HIS FRIENDS (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

1974

  1. CÉLINE AND JULIE GO BOATING (Jacques Rivette)
  2. FEMMES FEMMES (Paul Vecchiali)
  3. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (Tobe Hooper)
  4. ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
  5. LANCELOT DU LAC (Robert Bresson)
  6. STAVISKY… (Alain Resnais)
  7. THE MOUTH AGAPE (Maurice Pialat)
  8. A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (John Cassavetes)
  9. FEMALE TROUBLE (John Waters)
  10. THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY (Luis Buñuel)

1973

  1. THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE (Jean Eustache)
  2. F FOR FAKE (Orson Welles)
  3. THE FATE OF LEE KHAN (King Hu)
  4. BADLANDS (Terrence Malick)
  5. MEAN STREETS (Martin Scorsese)
  6. DAY FOR NIGHT (François Truffaut)
  7. “Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg’s ‘Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene’” (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  8. A DOLL’S HOUSE (Joseph Losey)
  9. THE ILLUMINATION (Krzysztof Zanussi)
  10. ISRAEL, WHY (Claude Lanzmann)

1972

  1. OUT 1: SPECTRE (Jacques Rivette)
  2. THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
  3. THE HEARTBREAK KID (Elaine May)
  4. LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (Eric Rohmer)
  5. WE WON’T GROW OLD TOGETHER (Maurice Pialat)
  6. “Poetic Justice” (Hollis Frampton)
  7. THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE (Luis Buñuel)
  8. NATHALIE GRANGER (Marguerite Duras)
  9. TOUT VA BIEN (Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin)
  10. PINK FLAMINGOS (John Waters)

1971

  1. A TOUCH OF ZEN (King Hu)
  2. OUT 1: NOLI ME TANGERE (Jacques Rivette)
  3. “(nostalgia)” (Hollis Frampton)
  4. A NEW LEAF (Elaine May)
  5. TWO ENGLISH GIRLS (François Truffaut)
  6. THE DEVILS (Ken Russell)
  7. PUNISHMENT PARK (Peter Watkins)
  8. THE CEREMONY (Nagisa Oshima)
  9. FOUR NIGHTS OF A DREAMER (Robert Bresson)
  10. JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL (Claude Chabrol)

1970

  1. ZORNS LEMMA (Hollis Frampton)
  2. CLAIRE’S KNEE (Eric Rohmer)
  3. EYES DO NOT WANT TO CLOSE AT ALL TIMES, OR PERHAPS ONE DAY ROME WILL PERMIT HERSELF TO CHOOSE IN HER TURN (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  4. “Serene Velocity” (Ernie Gehr)
  5. LE BOUCHER (Claude Chabrol)
  6. LA RUPTURE (Claude Chabrol)
  7. THE CONFORMIST (Bernardo Bertolucci)
  8. DAYS AND NIGHTS IN THE FOREST (Satyajit Ray)
  9. THE WILD CHILD (François Truffaut)
  10. TRISTANA (Luis Buñuel)

1960s

Best of the Decade

  1. THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT (Jacques Demy)
  2. “La jetée” (Chris Marker)
  3. LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD (Alain Resnais)
  4. DRAGON INN (King Hu)
  5. MURIEL, OR THE TIME OF RETURN (Alain Resnais)
  6. GERTRUD (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  7. WAVELENGTH (Michael Snow)
  8. HIGH AND LOW (Akira Kurosawa)
  9. THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (Jacques Demy)
  10. PIERROT LE FOU (Jean-Luc Godard)

1969

  1. MY NIGHT AT MAUD’S (Eric Rohmer)
  2. L’AMOUR FOU (Jacques Rivette)
  3. BOY (Nagisa Oshima)
  4. THE SORROW AND THE PITY (Marcel Ophuls)
  5. UNE FEMME DOUCE (Robert Bresson)
  6. DESTROY, SHE SAID (Marguerite Duras)
  7. “Lemon” (Hollis Frampton)
  8. DOUBLE SUICIDE (Masahiro Shinoda)
  9. BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE (Paul Mazursky)
  10. LE GAI SAVOIR (Jean-Luc Godard)

1968

  1. DEATH BY HANGING (Nagisa Oshima)
  2. JE T’AIME, JE T’AIME (Alain Resnais)
  3. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Stanley Kubrick)
  4. THE IMMORTAL STORY (Orson Welles)
  5. GOLDEN SWALLOW (Chang Cheh)
  6. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (George A. Romero)
  7. MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea)
  8. ROSEMARY’S BABY (Roman Polanski)
  9. THE CHRONICLE OF ANNA MAGDALENA BACH (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  10. ONE PLUS ONE (Jean-Luc Godard)

1967

  1. THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT (Jacques Demy)
  2. DRAGON INN (King Hu)
  3. WAVELENGTH (Michael Snow)
  4. WEEKEND (Jean-Luc Godard)
  5. LA COLLECTIONNEUSE (Eric Rohmer)
  6. ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN (Chang Cheh)
  7. THE RED AND THE WHITE (Miklós Jancsó)
  8. MOUCHETTE (Robert Bresson)
  9. 2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (Jean-Luc Godard)
  10. PORTRAIT OF JASON (Shirley Clarke)

1966

  1. “All My Life” (Bruce Baillie)
  2. PERSONA (Ingmar Bergman)
  3. THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS (Gillo Pontecorvo)
  4. THE TAKING OF POWER BY LOUIS XIV (Roberto Rossellini)
  5. AU HASARD BALTHAZAR (Robert Bresson)
  6. BLACK GIRL (Ousmane Sembène)
  7. ROGER LA HONTE (Riccardo Freda)
  8. COME DRINK WITH ME (King Hu)
  9. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (Sergio Leone)
  10. THE NUN (Jacques Rivette)

1965

  1. PIERROT LE FOU (Jean-Luc Godard)
  2. NOT RECONCILED (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet)
  3. THE WAR GAME (Peter Watkins)
  4. SIMON OF THE DESERT (Luis Buñuel)
  5. TOKYO OLYMPIAD (Kon Ichikawa)
  6. RED BEARD (Akira Kurosawa)
  7. THE KOUMIKO MYSTERY (Chris Marker)
  8. SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS (Sergei Parajanov)
  9. ALPHAVILLE (Jean-Luc Godard)
  10. CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Orson Welles)

1964

  1. GERTRUD (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  2. THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (Jacques Demy)
  3. YEARNING (Mikio Naruse)
  4. WOMAN IN THE DUNES (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
  5. MARNIE (Alfred Hitchcock)
  6. CHARULATA (Satyajit Ray)
  7. NOTHING BUT A MAN (Michael Roemer)
  8. UNE FEMME MARIÉE (Jean-Luc Godard)
  9. THE BRIG (Jonas Mekas)
  10. RED DESERT (Michelangelo Antonioni)

1963

  1. MURIEL, OR THE TIME OF RETURN (Alain Resnais)
  2. HIGH AND LOW (Akira Kurosawa)
  3. THE LOVE ETERNE (Li Han-hsiang)
  4. THE BIRDS (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. “The House Is Black” (Forough Farrokhzad)
  6. “Mothlight” (Stan Brakhage)
  7. THE SERVANT (Joseph Losey)
  8. BAY OF ANGELS (Jacques Demy)
  9. LE JOLI MAI (Chris Marker)
  10. PASAZERKA (Andrzej Munk)

1962

  1. “La jetée” (Chris Marker)
  2. LOLITA (Stanley Kubrick)
  3. AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON (Yasujiro Ozu)
  4. L’ECLISSE (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  5. CLÉO FROM 5 TO 7 (Agnès Varda)
  6. JULES ET JIM (François Truffaut)
  7. VIVRE SA VIE (Jean-Luc Godard)
  8. THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (Luis Buñuel)
  9. HARAKIRI (Masaki Kobayashi)
  10. THE TRIAL OF JOAN OF ARC (Robert Bresson)

1961

  1. LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD (Alain Resnais)
  2. LOLA (Jacques Demy)
  3. PARIS BELONGS TO US (Jacques Rivette)
  4. YOJIMBO (Akira Kurosawa)
  5. WEST SIDE STORY (Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins)
  6. “Prelude: Dog Star Man” (Stan Brakhage)
  7. A WOMAN IS A WOMAN (Jean-Luc Godard)
  8. THE TWILIGHT ZONE: “It’s a Good Life” (James Sheldon)
  9. LA NOTTE (Michelangelo Antonioni)

1960

  1. BREATHLESS (Jean-Luc Godard)
  2. THE 1000 EYES OF DR. MABUSE (Fritz Lang)
  3. PSYCHO (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. L’AVVENTURA (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  5. THE APARTMENT (Billy Wilder)
  6. “Arnulf Rainer” (Peter Kubelka)
  7. NIGHT AND FOG IN JAPAN (Nagisa Oshima)
  8. THE BELLBOY (Jerry Lewis)
  9. LA DOLCE VITA (Federico Fellini)
  10. THE BAD SLEEP WELL (Akira Kurosawa)

1950s

Best of the Decade

  1. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (Charles Laughton)
  2. VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock)
  3. SEVEN SAMURAI (Akira Kurosawa)
  4. “Duck Amuck” (Chuck Jones)
  5. SANSHO THE BAILIFF (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  6. TOKYO STORY (Yasujiro Ozu)
  7. REAR WINDOW (Alfred Hitchcock)
  8. A STAR IS BORN (George Cukor)
  9. RIO BRAVO (Howard Hawks)
  10. PYAASA (Guru Dutt)

1959

  1. RIO BRAVO (Howard Hawks)
  2. THE 400 BLOWS (François Truffaut)
  3. HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (Alain Resnais)
  4. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. “Le Chant du styrène” (Alain Resnais)
  6. SHADOWS (John Cassavetes)
  7. PICKPOCKET (Robert Bresson)
  8. THE WORLD OF APU (Satyajit Ray)
  9. “Window Water Baby Moving” (Stan Brakhage)
  10. UNE SIMPLE HISTOIRE (Marcel Hanoun)

1958

  1. VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. TOUCH OF EVIL (Orson Welles)
  3. LE BEAU SERGE (Claude Chabrol)
  4. “A Movie” (Bruce Conner)
  5. ENJO (Kon Ichikawa)

1957

  1. PYAASA (Guru Dutt)
  2. SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (Alexander Mackendrick)
  3. THRONE OF BLOOD (Akira Kurosawa)
  4. PATHS OF GLORY (Stanley Kubrick)
  5. “What’s Opera, Doc?” (Chuck Jones)
  6. “Ali Baba Bunny” (Chuck Jones)

1956

  1. “Night and Fog” (Alain Resnais)
  2. THE WRONG MAN (Alfred Hitchcock)
  3. A MAN ESCAPED (Robert Bresson)
  4. THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. THE BURMESE HARP (Kon Ichikawa)
  6. “Toute la mémoire du monde” (Alain Resnais)
  7. THE SEARCHERS (John Ford)

1955

  1. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (Charles Laughton)
  2. FLOATING CLOUDS (Mikio Naruse)
  3. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (Nicholas Ray)
  4. LOLA MONTÈS (Max Ophuls)
  5. THE LONG GRAY LINE (John Ford)
  6. MOONFLEET (Fritz Lang)
  7. MR. ARKADIN (Orson Welles)
  8. ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (Douglas Sirk)
  9. ARTISTS AND MODELS (Frank Tashlin)
  10. KISS ME DEADLY (Robert Aldrich)

1954

  1. SEVEN SAMURAI (Akira Kurosawa)
  2. SANSHO THE BAILIFF (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  3. REAR WINDOW (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. A STAR IS BORN (George Cukor)
  5. JOURNEY TO ITALY (Roberto Rossellini)
  6. GODZILLA (Ishiro Honda)
  7. THE CRUCIFIED LOVERS (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  8. MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (Douglas Sirk)

1953

  1. “Duck Amuck” (Chuck Jones)
  2. TOKYO STORY (Yasujiro Ozu)
  3. THE SAGA OF ANATAHAN (Josef von Sternberg)
  4. UGETSU (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  5. “Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century” (Chuck Jones)
  6. A GEISHA (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  7. THE BIG HEAT (Fritz Lang)
  8. “Duck! Rabbit, Duck!” (Chuck Jones)
  9. “Statues Also Die” (Alain Resnais & Chris Marker & Ghislain Cloquet)
  10. THE LADY WITHOUT CAMELIAS (Michelangelo Antonioni)

1952

  1. THE QUIET MAN (John Ford)
  2. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly)
  3. THE LUSTY MEN (Nicholas Ray)
  4. “Rabbit Seasoning” (Chuck Jones)
  5. “Feed the Kitty” (Chuck Jones)
  6. “Operation: Rabbit” (Chuck Jones)
  7. IKIRU (Akira Kurosawa)

1951

  1. DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST (Robert Bresson)
  2. AWAARA (Raj Kapoor)
  3. THE TALL TARGET (Anthony Mann)
  4. OTHELLO (Orson Welles)
  5. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Vincente Minnelli)
  6. “Rabbit Fire” (Chuck Jones)

1950

  1. SUNSET BLVD. (Billy Wilder)
  2. LA RONDE (Max Ophuls)
  3. “Rabbit of Seville” (Chuck Jones)
  4. ALL ABOUT EVE (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
  5. RASHOMON (Akira Kurosawa)
  6. LOS OLVIDADOS (Luis Buñuel)
  7. LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES (Jean-Pierre Melville)

1940s

Best of the Decade

  1. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (Orson Welles)
  2. MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (Vincente Minnelli)
  3. LATE SPRING (Yasujiro Ozu)
  4. CITIZEN KANE (Orson Welles)
  5. HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Howard Hawks)
  6. NOTORIOUS (Alfred Hitchcock)
  7. SPRING IN A SMALL TOWN (Fei Mu)
  8. FORT APACHE (John Ford)
  9. THE CLOCK (Vincente Minnelli)
  10. THE BIG SLEEP (Howard Hawks)

1949

  1. LATE SPRING (Yasujiro Ozu)
  2. THE THIRD MAN (Carol Reed)
  3. A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)

1948

  1. SPRING IN A SMALL TOWN (Fei Mu)
  2. FORT APACHE (John Ford)
  3. BERLIN EXPRESS (Jacques Tourneur)
  4. ROPE (Alfred Hitchcock)

1947

  1. OUT OF THE PAST (Jacques Tourneur)
  2. DAISY KENYON (Otto Preminger)
  3. “Fireworks” (Kenneth Anger)

1946

  1. NOTORIOUS (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. THE BIG SLEEP (Howard Hawks)
  3. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Frank Capra)
  4. THE LOCKET (John Brahm)
  5. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Jean Cocteau)
  6. ENAMORADA (Emilio Fernández)

1945

  1. THE CLOCK (Vincente Minnelli)
  2. BRIEF ENCOUNTER (David Lean)
  3. DETOUR (Edgar G. Ulmer)
  4. MILDRED PIERCE (Michael Curtiz)
  5. LES DAMES DU BOIS DE BOULOGNE (Robert Bresson)
  6. ROME, OPEN CITY (Roberto Rossellini)
  7. MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (Joseph H. Lewis)

1944

  1. MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (Vincente Minnelli)
  2. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (Billy Wilder)
  3. LAURA (Otto Preminger)

1943

  1. “Meshes of the Afternoon” (Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid)
  2. I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (Jacques Tourneur)
  3. THE GANG’S ALL HERE (Busby Berkeley)
  4. HEAVEN CAN WAIT (Ernst Lubitsch)
  5. ANGELS OF SIN (Robert Bresson)
  6. SHADOW OF A DOUBT (Alfred Hitchcock)
  7. OSSESSIONE (Luchino Visconti)

1942

  1. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (Orson Welles)
  2. CAT PEOPLE (Jacques Tourneur)
  3. CASABLANCA (Michael Curtiz)
  4. “Radio Dynamics” (Oskar Fischinger)

1941

  1. CITIZEN KANE (Orson Welles)

1940

  1. HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Howard Hawks)
  2. REBECCA (Alfred Hitchcock)

1930s

Best of the Decade

  1. ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (Howard Hawks)
  2. THE RULES OF THE GAME (Jean Renoir)
  3. THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (Fritz Lang)
  4. THE AWFUL TRUTH (Leo McCarey)
  5. M (Fritz Lang)
  6. A DAY IN THE COUNTRY (Jean Renoir)
  7. FURY (Fritz Lang)
  8. EARTH (Alexander Dovzhenko)
  9. HOLIDAY (George Cukor)
  10. SABOTAGE (Alfred Hitchcock)

1939

  1. ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (Howard Hawks)
  2. THE RULES OF THE GAME (Jean Renoir)
  3. STAGECOACH (John Ford)
  4. THE WIZARD OF OZ (Victor Fleming)

1938

  1. HOLIDAY (George Cukor)
  2. THE LADY VANISHES (Alfred Hitchcock)

1937

  1. THE AWFUL TRUTH (Leo McCarey)
  2. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (Leo McCarey)
  3. GRAND ILLUSION (Jean Renoir)
  4. A STAR IS BORN (William A. Wellman)

1936

  1. A DAY IN THE COUNTRY (Jean Renoir)
  2. FURY (Fritz Lang)
  3. SABOTAGE (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. “Rose Hobart” (Joseph Cornell)
  5. THE CRIME OF MONSIEUR LANGE (Jean Renoir)

1935

  1. THE 39 STEPS (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. TONI (Jean Renoir)

1934

  1. THE GODDESS (Wu Yonggang)
  2. L’ATALANTE (Jean Vigo)

1933

  1. THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (Fritz Lang)
  2. ONLY YESTERDAY (John M. Stahl)
  3. DRAGNET GIRL (Yasujiro Ozu)
  4. LIEBELEI (Max Ophuls)
  5. DESIGN FOR LIVING (Ernst Lubitsch)

1932

  1. TROUBLE IN PARADISE (Ernst Lubitsch)
  2. WHERE NOW ARE THE DREAMS OF YOUTH? (Yasujiro Ozu)

1931

  1. M (Fritz Lang)
  2. CITY LIGHTS (Charles Chaplin)
  3. TABU (F.W. Murnau)
  4. LA CHIENNE (Jean Renoir)
  5. FRANKENSTEIN (James Whale)
  6. DISHONORED (Josef von Sternberg)
  7. MARIUS (Alexander Korda)

1930

  1. EARTH (Alexander Dovzhenko)
  2. THE BIG TRAIL (Raoul Walsh)
  3. THE BLUE ANGEL (Josef von Sternberg)
  4. MOROCCO (Josef von Sternberg)

1920s

  1. SUNRISE (F.W. Murnau)
  2. NAPOLÉON (Abel Gance)
  3. THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  4. SPIONE (Fritz Lang)
  5. THE GENERAL (Buster Keaton)
  6. DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER (Fritz Lang)
  7. SEVEN CHANCES (Buster Keaton)
  8. MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (Dziga Vertov)
  9. GREED (Erich von Stroheim)
  10. NOSFERATU (F.W. Murnau)

1929

  1. MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (Dziga Vertov)
  2. APPLAUSE (Rouben Mamoulian)
  3. “Un chien andalou” (Luis Buñuel)
  4. “Rain” (Joris Ivens & Mannus Franken)
  5. “Liberty” (Leo McCarey)
  6. “Brumes d’automne” (Dimitri Kirshoff)
  7. “Tokyo March” (Kenji Mizoguchi)

1928

  1. THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  2. SPIONE (Fritz Lang)
  3. STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. (Charles Reisner and Buster Keaton)
  4. THE WEDDING MARCH (Erich von Stroheim)
  5. “The Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra” (Robert Florey & Slavko Vorkapich)
  6. “Record 957” (Germaine Dulac)
  7. SHOW PEOPLE (King Vidor)

1927

  1. SUNRISE (F.W. Murnau)
  2. NAPOLÉON (Abel Gance)
  3. METROPOLIS (Fritz Lang)
  4. THE SEASHELL AND THE CLERGYMAN (Germaine Dulac)

1926

  1. THE GENERAL (Buster Keaton)

1925

  1. SEVEN CHANCES (Buster Keaton)
  2. BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (Sergei Eisenstein)
  3. THE MERRY WIDOW (Erich von Stroheim)

1924

  1. GREED (Erich von Stroheim)
  2. SHERLOCK JR. (Buster Keaton)
  3. THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (Raoul Walsh)
  4. “Ménilmontant” (Dimitri Kirshoff)
  5. “Ballet mécanique” (Fernand Léger & Dudley Murphy)
  6. HE WHO GETS SLAPPED (Victor Sjöström)

1923

  1. SAFETY LAST! (Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor)

1922

  1. DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER (Fritz Lang)
  2. NOSFERATU (F.W. Murnau)
  3. NANOOK OF THE NORTH (Robert J. Flaherty)

Pre-1920s

  1. LES VAMPIRES (Louis Feuillade)
  2. “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon” (Louis & Auguste Lumière)
  3. FANTÔMAS (Louis Feuillade)
  4. “The Musketeers of Pig Alley” (D.W. Griffith)
  5. “The Sprinklers Sprinkled” (Louis & Auguste Lumière)
  6. “Tunneling the English Channel” (Georges Méliès)
  7. “The Black Imp” (Georges Méliès)
  8. “A Trip to the Moon” (Georges Méliès)
  9. “The Unchanging Sea” (D.W. Griffith)
  10. “The Mermaid” (Georges Méliès)

1915

  1. LES VAMPIRES (Louis Feuillade)
  2. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (D.W. Griffith)

1914

  1. “Kid Auto Races at Venice” (Henry Lehrman)

1913

  1. FANTÔMAS (Louis Feuillade)

1912

  1. “The Musketeers of Pig Alley” (D.W. Griffith)

1910

  1. “The Unchanging Sea” (D.W. Griffith)

1907

  1. “Tunneling the English Channel” (Georges Méliès)

1905

  1. “The Black Imp” (Georges Méliès)

1904

  1. “The Mermaid” (Georges Méliès)

1902

  1. “A Trip to the Moon” (Georges Méliès)

1895

  1. “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon” (Louis & Auguste Lumière)
  2. “The Sprinklers Sprinkled” (Louis & Auguste Lumière)
  3. “Boat Leaving the Port” (Louis & Auguste Lumière)

The Gang’s All Here

Written for The Solute’s Forgotbusters series, edited by Sam Scott.

The name “Busby Berkeley” is practically synonymous with the extravagant Hollywood musicals of the Depression era. For about fifteen years, Berkeley was the king of the musical, serving as the choreographer and sometimes director of lavish song-and-dance films, as his geometric, intricate dances often served as the highlights of the somewhat standard backstage dramas that typified the Hollywood musical of that time. Indeed, it was not until the rise of the Freed Unit, with its own iconic musicals such as Singin’ in the Rain and The Band Wagon, that the musical numbers became more integrated into the narrative instead of being largely confined to the stage.

Berkeley is perhaps best known today for the famous films he choreographed for other directors at Warner Bros., such as 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade. These films were all made in 1933, and slowly Berkeley’s brand of extravagance became less popular, as he even made forays into straight drama. Thus, the late-career masterpiece that is The Gang’s All Here is even more unexpected.

The Gang’s All Here was made in 1943, in the middle of World War II, and it stands out for a number of reasons. First, and perhaps most importantly, it was the first color film that Berkeley had directed or even worked extensively on, and stunningly he shows no sign of tentativeness, lavishly and liberally using the fantastical Technicolor to render the both the songs and the narrative sequences in strong hues that add a vital amount of character to the images. Secondly, he was the sole director of the film, and while this may not have altered too much, it gives The Gang’s All Here a more cohesive approach than something like 42nd Street (the only other Berkeley movie I have seen); the aesthetic approach is very similar in most of the scenes and there is an abundance of performances that occur even during the narrative sections.

The plot of The Gang’s All Here is relatively straightforward, relying more on the character interactions than any sense of drama or urgency. The film begins in the Club New Yorker, known for its lavish and wild shows featuring Phil Baker (Phil Baker) and Dorita (Carmen Miranda), as it introduces the de facto protagonist Andy Mason (James Ellison), an Army sergeant about to leave for the Pacific Front. He sees and then meets Eadie Allen (Alice Faye), a new dancer at the Club, and they quickly fall in love. He leaves the next day, and is allowed to return home after receiving a medal. Upon receiving this news, Andrew Mason Sr., his father (Eugene Pallette) decides to throw a party when his son returns/ And, after a series of deliberations, he invites the performers at the Club New Yorker and the Benny Goodman Orchestra (as themselves) to stay at his and his colleague’s homes while they rehearse for a new show and frames the party as a war bond rally. From here, the film splits into a surprisingly complex number of sub-plots, the most relevant being the Andy’s desire to marry Eadie even though he is betrothed to Potter’s daughter Vivian, but by the film’s closing party, as everyone is reconciled. It is a pleasurable story, to be sure, and some parts become truly emotional (especially Eadie’s loneliness at Andy’s absence), but it is by and large an excuse for the musical sequences that grow more and more strange, culminating in perhaps the most profoundly odd 5 minutes I have ever seen in any film. Shall we begin?

The very first shot is a marvel, beginning with a shadowed figure singing “Aquarela do Brasil” (yes, the song from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil). The camera zooms in, and then moves down an inexplicably abstract pattern of lines before settling on a boat from Brazil carrying both passengers and cargo. The camera pans up an improbably large bundle of fruit and back down to reveal Dorida, who begins singing as the camera moves over to Phil Baker, then through the proscenium to reveal the entirety of the audience. And that’s all just in the first shot.

To describe the extent of the ingenuity of The Gang’s All Here, or to just describe each musical number in an acceptable amount of detail, would take several articles. Berkeley’s approach here is less in line with the strict theatricality of something like 42nd Street, where an explicit narrative is being told, and more in terms of a free-associativity, where the performance is embraced for the performance’s sake. From an utterly inexplicable number featuring a long line of chorus girls wielding giant bananas to a simple performance on the Staten Island ferry by Eadie to Andy (that features the fourth-wall breaking exchange, “Hear the orchestra?” “Where’s it coming from?”), to the second-to-last number, featuring heretofore unseen young children dancing in polka-dot dresses, scenes that would normally be incredibly disruptive and extraneous in an ordinary film are the most important, as Berkeley constructs a celebration of creativity and art that is never less than a joy to watch.

But the most surprising aspect of The Gang’s All Here is the ending, which quite literally comes out of nowhere. After a brief segment of the performers with lighted, floating hoops while wearing what look like space suits the film literalizes the kaleidoscopic effect that Berkeley had received acclaim for, turning the dance into completely abstract images, before the faces of all the principal players zoom out of the screen and the heads of the entire cast sings in unison. It is an eerie, almost scary effect, one that would shock almost any viewer.

How then, can such a profoundly weird film be forgotten? Most likely, The Gang’s All Here was probably dismissed as “just another” Hollywood musical, and it likely is about as famous as any other famous-at-the-time film from that era. But Berkeley’s accomplishment speaks for itself; he once said that his main goal was to top himself, and here, at the end of his heyday, he made a musical film that shares more qualities with the avant-garde than anything else, even the musicals which he had done so much to popularize.

Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party

Going to resume posting reviews I’m especially proud of, starting with this most personal of films.

The first clue to the brilliance of this film is in the title: Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party. Rather than being a simple character study, it is a vibrant, free-wheeling ensemble piece, often abandoning the ostensible main character for entire sequences and placing him in the background for some scenes in which he does appear in. By adopting this structure, Cone crafts an incisive, heartbreaking, yet hopeful cross-section of a specific part of America: a Southern Christian family and their friends, both religious and not, and with widely varying sets of beliefs and sexualities. It feels both extremely focused and unexpectedly universal; especially to me, it felt like one of the most personal films I have ever seen, for reasons I won’t go into in this review.

Even from a technical point of view, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party is wonderfully made, with particular attention to the various points of view that switch from scene to scene. Chiu’s cinematography is natural but subtly striking, capturing the vibrant party well as it gets later and later, and comes to the fore during some beautiful underwater shots that almost seem otherworldly in their serene nature. Cone’s editing ensures that the flow of faces and ideas never gets dull or shortchanged, helped by the use of both electronic, driving modern music and a strangely ethereal score.

But Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party soars on the perfect combination of its ensemble cast and its screenplay. As a whole, the cast naturalistically inhabits all of these characters so well, making each and every one of the twenty people on screen stand out from each other and interacting with exactly the right amount of chemistry that would be right for that specific grouping. It is hard to choose any standouts, as the ensemble forms such a cohesive unit, though perhaps Doman (who shoulders the responsibility of the main character with poise), Neilan (who plays my favorite character in the film with no small amount of ease), and Laidlaw (who gives perhaps the most demanding performance, delivering a difficult revelatory monologue in devastating fashion) deserve just slightly more credit.

Cone’s screenplay is built on a sense of the moment-to-moment; it is cohesive in both its character developments and its view of these broken but strong figures, but much of the joy of Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party is in seeing the interactions that occur, the little discrete scenes that pop up within each chunk of the film that offer a change in the viewer’s perspective on each person. From an unexpected crying fit, to a misguided remark, to a simple affirmation of one’s sexuality, the little things manage to make the viewer understand that these characters are, by virtue of their status as humans, unable to be cozily categorized into preconceptions. They are complex, deeply seated in their beliefs yet able to be changed in the course of a single day. But perhaps the most important change of all happens to Henry. In one day, the same shot changes meaning profoundly, and he, on his birthday, becomes more open, more thoughtful, in the way that I sense this film wants the world to be. Where else can you see Gregg Araki’s Kaboom and a Christian book in the same set of presents?

“Formative” Films/Timeline

Prompted by the occasion of Kiarostami’s passing, an attempt to chronicle some measure of the development of my cinephilia. An even more stream-of-consciousness post than usual.

(tentative list)

Formative Films: Blade Runner, The Battle of Algiers, Close-Up, Eraserhead, Sans soleil, Jeanne Dielman, Yi Yi

It must be said that, especially before the first wave or phase of my cinephilia, I retain random, often off-color memories from bad movies that I happened to watch; hopefully these will fade eventually. Perhaps inevitably, most of my favorites are in here, though important films/probable former first-place favorites to me, like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Back to the Future, are not.

Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin: at least for the foreseeable future, I think this is the first film memory I have. The timeline fits: it was released the year I was born, obviously is a children’s movie, and conceivably I could have seen it when I was only a few years old; I still remember the “skull” and the shadow of Christopher Robin (no clue on what was the first film I saw in theaters though, might go back and try to figure it out)

First Wave of Cinephilia (summer of 2013?) 2001: A Space Odyssey, City Lights, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Blade Runner, Citizen Kane, The Searchers, Raging Bull, Vertigo, North By Northwest, The Deer Hunter(?): some mixed reactions from this time; e.g. distinctly remember being awed by 2001, though not to the extent I am now, while my mother and sister fell asleep, and was somewhat underwhelmed by most of the latter half; kind of happy that this wave ended quickly, wasn’t nearly invested enough to truly engage with the films. From these films, Blade Runner was probably formative; remained my favorite film for an extended time and I truly was in awe of the soulful spectacle.

Autumn Semester Break Weekend 2015 (January 29-February 2) Breathless, Chinatown, La jetée, Badlands, 8 1/2, Night and Fog, The 400 Blows, Seven Samurai, Singin’ in the Rain, Casablanca, Sunrise, Tokyo Story: pretty sure that this is the weekend that restarted my cinephilia; must credit They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They for making me aware of people like Tarkovsky (and, memorably, Salo), but I don’t think it really clicked in a sense deeper than a film like Apocalypse Now until that weekend; mostly on an emotional level then but I still remember certain moments, like the marsh tracking shot and the city zoom in Sunrise, that struck me on a technical level even then.

The Battle of Algiers, Close-Up (first half of 2015, June 25): if I can call any two films formative before I started Letterboxd, it would be these two (maybe discounting 400, Sunrise, Tokyo Story). It helps that I saw these at relatively isolated points, and though I remember seeing various films like Vivre sa vie, La dolce vita, and L’avventura distinctly on their own, these two were the ones that  especially stood out, Battle for how boldly political it was (especially at a time when I was staunchly conservative) and Close-Up for its heartbreaking celebration of cinephilia; I was aware of the various techniques of both but they swept me up with such gusto, such awe.

Eraserhead (midnight June 6, 2015): this is my B.C./A.D. The visceral impact, the technical perfection, the pure nightmarish quality shook me to my core. I saw Mad Max: Fury Road later that day and was underwhelmed because of how profoundly affected I was at the time.

Sans soleil: if Close-Up is the must-see film for cinephiles, then Sans soleil is the must-see film for any living person; I remember I started to watch it but was interrupted 15 minutes in by my dad, who wanted to watch Kingsman (we both hated it); I restarted the next day and was destroyed and rebuilt.

Days of Heaven: don’t know why I chose to restart my Letterboxd (which had lain dormant with only one diary entry for Moonrise Kingdom, I think on April 18?) with this, but perhaps the move to Georgia emboldened me to usher in a new stage; last film I saw before was Grave of the Fireflies on the plane.

Jeanne Dielman/Persona: a bit unsure on these but I think these two, especially Jeanne Dielman, inform my sensibilities to a strong extent; both two immensely formal and daring works that shocked me to no end.

Yi Yi: I could put just the camera move on Ting-Ting when she’s taking out the trash on this list and it would suffice, it was such a revelatory use of simple but pure camera movement to convey  a sense of humanism, of emotion that put me in a true state of awe. The crosscutting between the first date and the reminisces was similarly revelatory, but everything felt so alive yet so precise; just so .

Queen of Earth: I remember being surprised that, in a day of seeing (and meeting!) Wenders and Melville that this film by a director I had heard little about was the best I saw. I wouldn’t necessarily  stand by this statement now, but I’m fairly certain that this was the first truly  independent film, and was an important step for me to rely slightly less on the canon.