The 50 Greatest Films Ever Made

Author Note: It was a painstakingly long journey getting down to my top 50 from 501 films. A project that took me nearly a year to finish. Nonetheless, the final section is here and I’m ready to share my favorite films of all-time. It’s a list that thoroughly expresses my personality and individuality through the films. Some are well known classics, others virtual unknowns. The list is a labor of love there for people seeking out the best cinema possible. Even if I only manage to touch one cinephile with a film they haven’t seen, I’ll feel extremely satisfied. 

One last quick note: thank you for reading. It means a lot and I love you. Next year I’ll be taking a hiatus from the normal list release and will update the 501 instead.

50. Boat People (1982) 

Dir: Ann Hui (1)

DP:  Chung Kay Wong (1)

Editor: Kin Kin (1)

Writer: Chiu Kang-Chien (1)

Starring: George Lam (1), Season Ma (1), Cora Miao (1), Andy Lau (1)

Composer: Law Wing-Fai (1)

Country: China (7)

Genre: Drama (182)

Ann Hui’s visual and narrative masterpiece, Boat People, has such a wide-reaching approach to the slow destruction of Vietnam’s society with the imbalance of the recently established NEZ’s(New Economic Zones) and the hidden oppression that this film unearths. Through the utilization of a journalistic approach to the narrative, the horror of NEZs is revealed through Shiomi Akutagawa’s (George Lam) probing character unconcerned with what the government conveys to the people and more concerned about what’s happening. It reflects the facade of communism and the extreme lengths these governments will go to so that it appears that the majority is content and happy. And that’s how the film begins but the excellent Dai An-Ping script tears down those walls slowly, immersing us in the different ideologies and ideas before revealing a desperate struggle hidden behind it all that goes against everything that’s been told to these people.

49. PlayTime (1967) 

Dir: Jacques Tati (1)

DP: Jean Badal (1), Andreas Winding (1)

Editor: Gerard Pollicand (1)

Writer: Jacques Tati (1), Jacques Lagrange (1), Art Buchwald (1)

Starring: Jacques Tati (1), Barbara Dennek (1), Rita Maiden (1), France Rumilly (1)

Composer: Francis Lemarque (1)

Country: France (40)

Genre: Comedy (52)

Jacques Tati’s PlayTime is a rare experience. A film where every inch of the frame is used to generate some level of visual gag that is genuinely hilarious and brilliantly set up. The direction is second-to-none and how Monsieur Hulot (Tati) inserts himself so perfectly into a scene, each time, makes each passing frame a pure joy to observe. A comedy that needs to be seen on the widest screen imaginable

48. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Dir: Sidney Lumet (6)

DP: Boris Kaufman (2)

Editor: Carl Lerner (3)

Writer: Reginald Rose (1)

Starring: Henry Fonda (2), Martin Balsam (3), Lee J. Cobb (3), John FIelder (1), E.G. Marshall (1), Jack Klugman (1)

Composer: Kenyon Hopkins (1)

Country: USA (191)

Genre: Drama (183)

Lumet’s direction, the editing from Carl Lerner, and the sensational ensemble cast led by one Henry Fonda make this one room deliberation towards a young man’s imprisonment make it impossible to look away. The room continually shrinks and gets hotter. The pressure is felt by all the characters as the script reaches a perfect boiling point. It’s an incredible film that’s so expertly made. For a directorial debut, the feat is exemplary. Simple, effective storytelling always wins the day.  

“Look, this boy’s been kicked around all his life. You know – living in a slum, his mother dead since he was nine. He spent a year and a half in an orphanage while his father served a jail term for forgery. That’s not a very good head start. He had a pretty terrible sixteen years. I think maybe we owe him a few words. That’s all.”

47. The Master (2012)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson (5)

DP: Mihai Malaimare Jr. (1)

Editor: Leslie Jones (4), Peter McNulty (1)

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (4)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix (3), Phillip Seymor Hoffman (6), Amy Adams (3), Laura Dern (3), Jesse Plemons (1)

Composer: Jonny Greenwood (1)

Country: USA (192)

Genre: Drama (184)

The technical mastery from Paul Thomas Anderson in The Master is unmatched. The writing is incredibly strange but also extremely sharp while allowing two of the greatest actors ever to become fully invested in these characters. Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are otherworldly and I’ve never seen two actors play off each other so effectively. It’s astonishing whenever these two take the screen together. One of the best modern films.

“Marriage, previous to The Cause, was *awful*. Awful. There’s a cycle, like life. Birth, excitement, growth, decay. Death. Now… now. How about this? Here comes, a large dragon. Teeth! Blood dripping! Red eyes! What do I got? A lasso. And I whip it up, I wrap it around its neck, and I wrestle! Wrestle! Wrestle him to the ground. I snap up, I say “Sit, dragon!” Dragon sits. I say “Stay!”, dragon stays. Now it’s got a leash on. Take it for a walk. And that’s what-where we’re at with it now. It stays on command. Next we’re gonna teach it to roll over and play dead.”

46. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Dir: Michel Gondry (1)

DP: Ellen Kuras (1)

Editor: Valdis Oskarsdottir (1)

Writer: Charlie Kaufman (4), Michael Gondry (1), Pierre Bismuth (1)

Starring: Jim Carrey (2), Kate Winslet (1), Mark Ruffalo (1), Kirsten Dunst (1), Elijah Wood (3), Tom Wilkinson (1)

Composer: Jon Brion (4)

Country: USA (193)

Genre: Drama (185), Romance (43)

Charlie Kaufman’s scripts are the eighth wonder of the world and none of his scripts are better than this uniquely structured and deeply personal depiction of a relationship in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The concept and execution of the writing is so mind-blowingly good. The cast is great, but Jim Carey and Kate Winslet really get lost in their characters. It’s heartbreak shown in a different sense and I love every moment. A special film.

“I could die right now, Clem. I’m just… happy. I’ve never felt that before. I’m just exactly where I want to be.”

45. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Dir: Frank Darabont (1)

DP: Roger Deakins (7)

Editor: Richard Francis-Bruce (1)

Writer: Stephen King (1), Frank Darabont (1)

Starring: Tim Robbins (1), Morgan Freeman (2), Clancy Brown (1), Bob Gunton (1),Gil Belows (1)

Composer: Thomas Newman (1)

Country: USA (194)

Genre: Drama (186)

One of the best stories ever put on film. A wrongful conviction starts a lifelong friendship brought to life through Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. The two-pack is an unbelievably emotional punch. From the best Thomas Newman score to the stunning work from Roger Deakins, this film is a cinematic marvel. Featuring the most satisfying film ending. 

“Get busy living, or get busy dying”

44. Pather Panchali (1955)

Dir: Satyajit Ray (5)

DP: Subrata Mitra (4)

Editor: Dulal Dutta (5)

Writer: Satyajit Ray (5), Bubhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay (1)

Starring: Subir Banerjee (1), Uma Das Gupta (1), Karuna Banerjee (2), Kanu Banerjee (1), Chunibala Devi (1)

Composer: Ravi Shankar (2)

Country: India (6)

Genre: Drama (187)

Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece on familial bonds in the face of a hateful community that doesn’t try to understand from this family’s perspective. Extremely touching film despite its simplicities. There’s an overwhelming sense of beauty through filmmaking towards people and nature. The performances don’t feel like acting, more like existing and reacting. A hard film to watch on the surface level, but an essential watch to understand deeper human complexities and our struggle to know. It displays Satyajit Ray’s special talent as a craftsman.

“Those who came before have passed on. And I’m left behind. A penniless beggar. Not a cowrie to my name. Look, my purse is empty… Lord, the day is done and evening falls. Ferry me across to the other shore…”

43. Vertigo (1958)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock (6)

DP: Robert Burks (4)

Editor: George Tomasini (4)

Writer: Alec Coppel (1), Samuel A. Taylor (1), Pierre Boileau (1), Thomas Narcejac (1)

Starring: James Stewart (2), Kim Novak (1), Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore (1)

Composer: Bernard Hermann (6)

Country: USA (195)

Genre: Drama (188), Romance (44), Thriller (48)

Hypnotizing as the spiral down this intricate and maddening story through this wonderfully stylized and lush film permeates throughout this complicated story of desire. In terms of the craft, it’s striking what Hitchcock was able to accomplish. The detail on each scene, specifically with color and shocking editing, makes it an all-time great. A perfectionist film.

“Only one is a wanderer; two together are always going somewhere.”

42. Ran (1985)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (13)

DP: Asakazu Nakai (7), Takao Saito (5), Shoji Ueda (3)

Editor: Akira kurosawa (10)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (13), Hideo Oguni (6), Masato Ide (3), William Shakespeare (2)

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai (10), Akira Terao (2), Jinpachi Nezu (3), Daisuke Ryu (1), Meiko Harada (1), Yoshiko Miyazaki (1)

Composer: Toru Takemitsu (4)

Country: Japan (70)

Genre: War (28), Drama (189)

In another flawless Shakespeare adaptation from Kurosawa, Ran is a hauntingly tragic tale of disobedience among brothers. Tatsuya Nakadai is an increasingly great figure in the long line of Kurosawa pictures in his filmography. His performance as Hidetora is phenomenal. A once prominent and proud figure in Japan quickly falls to the depths of feudal Japan, as his sons that he appointed to power tear themselves up during his downfall. Another example of Kurosawa’s flair for color and composition, some of the most vivid pictures in film history. A towering achievement on a visionary scale while being able to successfully adapt Shakespeare.

“I am lost.”

“Such is the human condition.”

41. Rear Window (1954)

Dir: Alfred Hitchock (7)

DP: Robert Burks (5)

Editor: George Tomasini (5)

Writer: John Michael Hayes (1), Cornell Woolrich (1)

Starring: James Stewart (3), Grace Kelly (2), Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter (2), Raymond Burr (1)

Composer: Franz Waxman (4)

Country: USA (196)

Genre: Thriller (49), Mystery (28)

Rear Window is a marvel achievement of tension. Hitchock, in the most simple way possible, gets genuine shock and horror through James Stewart’s voyeuristic nature. Only a few films have ever been as tense and it takes all the techniques Hitchock perfected and focuses them on this story. The moments his unruly neighbor peers towards his direction are true cinema bliss. It’s Hitchock’s unique style at its peak. Genuinely entertaining from start-to-finish.

I’ve seen it through that window. I’ve seen bickering and family quarrels and mysterious trips at night, knives and saws and ropes, and now since last evening, not a sign of the wife.”

40. F For Fake (1973)

Dir: Orson Welles (5)

DP: François Reichenbach (1)

Editor: Marie-Sophie Dubus (1), Dominique Engerer (1), Orson Welles (3)

Writer: Orson Welles (4), Oja Kodar (1)

Starring: Orson Welles (5), Oja Kodar (1), Elmyr de Hory (1), Clifford Irving (1) 

Composer: Michel Legrand (3)

Country: France (41)

Genre: Film Essay (1), Documentary (5)

F for Fake a film about fakery and fraud. Told through the mouthpiece of one of the great forgers of our time, the indomitable Orson Welles, it’s a story that understands its own vision. A film that was not only trying to inform about the great Elmyr, or the subtle yet deceptive Cliff Irving: the author of the Elmyr book. F for Fake is a masterpiece of sight, sound, and a complete sham.

“Ladies and gentleman, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery and fraud, about lies. Tell it by the fireside or in a marketplace or in a movie, almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie. But not this time. No, this is a promise. During the next hour, everything you’ll hear from us is really true and based on solid facts.”

39. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 

Dir: Miloš Forman (2)

DP: Haskell Wexler (1), Bill Butler (3)

Editor: Richard Chew (3), Lynzee Klingman (1), Sheldon Kahn (2)

Writer: Lawrence Hauben (1), Bo Goldman (1)

Starring: Jack Nicholson (3), Louise Fletcher (1), William Redfield (1), Scatman Crothers (1), Brad Dourif (2), Danny Devito (1), Christopher Lloyd (1)

Composer: Jack Nitzche (1)

Country: USA (197)

Genre: Drama (190)

This film makes the audience go through an unbelievably wide range of emotions and it’s brilliant. It’s a laugh-riot filled with lovable characters, great performances, and a deep, meaningful story. Jack Nicholson as Randle Patrick McMurphy was the part he was born to play. He was the perfect mix of insane, depressed, and happy. On top of a perfect cast of oddballs, who all deliver real, outstanding performances. Louise Fletcher is absolutely wicked. No scene will ever impact as much as the shock therapy scene.

“Today as you you may or may not know, doesn’t matter, is the first day of the World Series. I’d like to propose that we move the work detail to night, so that we can watch the ball game.”

38. Tampopo (1985)

Dir: Jûzô Itami (3)

DP: Masaki Tamura (2)

Editor: Akira Suzuki (3)

Writer: Jûzô Itami (3)

Starring: Tsutomu Yamazaki (6), Nobuko Miyamoto (3), Koji Yakusho (3), Ken Watanabe (1)

Composer: Kunihiko Murai (1)

Country: Japan (71)

Genre: Comedy (53), Western (6)

Tampopo is a dream. A bright ray of sunshine showing life in such a beautiful light, filtered through the love of Japanese food culture that flows through like ramen in a colander. Structured like old Samurai/Western/Gangster films with a series of vignettes sprinkled throughout that capture the lighthearted spirit of Tampopo. Every single scene is meaningful and full of humanity. The euphoria of Juzo Itami’s direction creates this romance of food, combining the love for food with a level of eroticism, and a spiritual connection to it that flows through all of us. It’s cinema, pure and simple

“No. Just touch it. Caress it with the chopstick tips. Gently pick it up and dip it into the soup on the right of the bowl. What’s important here is to apologize to the pork by saying ‘see you soon.’ Finally, start eating-the noodles first. Oh, at this time, while slurping the noodles, look at the pork.”

37. The Handmaiden (2016)

Dir: Park Chan-Wook (4)

DP: Chung-hoon Chung (1)

Editor: Jae-Bum Kim (1). Sang-beom Kim (1)

Writer: Sarah Waters (1), Seo-kyeong Jeong (1), Park Chan-Wook (4) 

Starring: Kim Tae-ri (1), Yong-nyeo Lee (1), Min-chae Yoo (1), Dong-hwi Lee (1)

Composer: Yeong-wook Jo (1)

Country: South Korea (17)

Genre: Drama (191), Romance (45), Thriller (50)

Park Chan-wook is a master craftsman of provocation and The Handmaiden is his masterpiece. From a technical and performance perspective, it’s simply perfect. The narrative is constructed flawlessly to play brilliantly off these diverse, underhanded characters. It’s a beautiful film based on the symmetrical and clean aesthetic and a dirty one when it comes to character and the writing. The way Park uses this to tell this is incredibly impacting narratively. The ambition displayed here is unparalleled. An incredible experience.

 “You can even curse at me or steal things from me. But please don’t lie to me. Understand?”

36. The Seventh Seal (1957)

Dir: Ingmar Bergman (10)

DP:Gunnar Fischer (3)

Editor: Lennart Wallen (1)

Writer: Ingmar Bergman (9)

Starring: Gunnar Björnstrand (3), Bengt Ekerot (1), Max von Sydow (9), Bibi Andersson (6), Inga Gill (1)

Composer: Erik Nordgren (3)

Country: Sweden (10)

Genre: Drama (192), Fantasy (21)

In Ingmar Bergman’s incredible exploration into the presence of death, Max Von Sydow leads a beautiful yet completely haunting journey into life. Bergman’s surrealism allows the narrative to go to unique places, as with Bibi Anderson delivering one of the great moments in film history, breathing her last breath, or Death showing up for a game of chess. It’s a film that is entirely unique to the medium and has never been replicated.

“Love is the blackest of all plagues… if one could die of it, there would be some pleasure in love, but you don’t die of it.”

35. The Vanishing (1988)

Dir: George Sluizer (1)

DP: Toni Kuhn (1)

Editor: Lin Fruedman (1), George Sluizer (1)

Writer: Tim Krabbe (1), George Sluuzer (1)

Starring: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu (1), Gene Bervoets (1), Johanna ter Steege (1)

Composer: Henny Vrienten (1)

Country: France (42)

Genre: Horror (44), Thriller (51)

The Vanishing stews in the unexplainable, harboring an almost intoxicating curiosity that hangs over the morality of the film’s premise. The premise asks the characters and the audience alike, making us question our very foundation as people and the filmmaking holding us there, not giving us the desired answers until they’ve suffocated you under piles of uncertainty. Curiosity is the driving force behind this film. Still, there’s a much darker, sinister element that lays right beneath the surface of what we can see, and to find those answers requires a horrifying sacrifice that culminates into one of the best endings ever crafted.

“That you’re inside a golden egg and you can’t get out, and you float all alone through space forever.”

34. Threads (1984)

Dir: Mick Jackson (1)

DP: Andrew Dunn (1), Paul Morris (1)

Editor: Donna Bickerstaff (1), Jim Latham (1)

Writer: Barry Hines (1)

Starring: Karen Meagher (1), Reece Dinsdale (1), David Brierly (1), Rita May (1)

Country: United Kingdom (35)

Genre: War (29)

Threads is the most unsettling experience of all-time. A film that doesn’t treat nuclear war in the abstract and paints it as a terrifying actuality in the real world. Using non-professional actors and grounding the story in people’s everyday problems makes the inevitable doom that much more disturbing. The rising tension in this film adds a layer of anxiety that is nearly unbearable, as the panic slowly sets in, and the everyday things like food and shelter evaporate. Everything feels organic in this film and never overly dramatized to break the immersion of normal life in Sheffield, England. Even after the climax, the fallout of nuclear war to the unfortunate few that survive plays out the horrifying truth of these weapons and the devastating effect it would have on the planet and humanity. Director Mick Jackson and writer Barry Hines display the extreme threat of danger in a way that alarms you to your core, and genuinely makes you question the function of these weapons in the world.

“In an urban society, everything connects. Each person’s needs are fed by the skills of many others. Our lives are woven together in a fabric. But the connections that make society strong also make it vulnerable.”

33. Seven Samurai (1954)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (14)

DP: Asakazu Nakai (8)

Editor: Akira Kurosawa (11)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (14), Shinobu Hashimoto (4), Hideo Oguni (7)

Starring: Toshiro Mifune (9), Takashi Shimura (5), Keiko Tsushima (1),Seiji Miyaguchi (1), Daisuke Kato (3)

Composer: Fumio Hayasaka (5)

Country:  Japan (72)

Genre: War (30), Drama (193)

Kurosawa’s Samurai epic. A story of seven lone samurai, struggling to survive in a world at peace, come together for one last battle. It’s a phenomenal film and incredibly influential. Featuring an outstanding Toshiro Mifune performance and one of the best cast in Kurosawa’s filmography. It feels like Kurosawa’s most essential work.

You again. I see that bald head of yours in my dreams. You had the nerve to ask me if I wazz a samurai. Didn’t you, huh? I never forget a face. Look here, though I look like hell, I’m a real samurai, all right. Here. I got something for you. Damn jerks. Looky here. There, juzz you look at this. Izz been handed down in my family for generations and generations. And you asked me if I were a samurai! You jerks. Look at this, juzz look at this! Thazz me right there.

32. Safe (1995)

Dir: Todd Haynes (1)

DP: Alex Neopmniaschy (1)

Editor: James Lyons (1)

Writer: Todd Haynes (1)

Starring: Julianne Moore (4), Xander Berkeley (1), Dean Norris (1), Ronnie Farer (1), Susan Norman (1)

Composer: Ed Tomney (1)

Country: USA (198)

Genre: Drama (194)

Disturbingly calculated in the approach from Todd Haynes. The result is a never-ending, pounding-headache of a film that is deeply unnerving and so incredibly uncomfortable. Julianne Moore’s detached, dead-eyed performance is truly an all-timer and her best role ever. It’s a unique film, to say the least. The compounding stress of Hayne’s direction with intense paranoia is gasping-for-air filmmaking I love. 

“I’m sorry. I know it’s not normal but I can’t help it.”

31. Cure (1997)

Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (3)

DP: Tokusho Kikumura (1)

Editor: Kan Suzuki (1)

Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (3)

Starring: Koji Yakusho (3), Tsuoshi Ujiki (1), Anna Nakagawa (1), Masato Hagiwara (1)

Composer: Gary Ashiya (1)

Country: Japan (73)

Genre: Horror (45)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s pulse-pounding atmospherics make the moments of true horror completely transfixing. The surrealism is alluring and deeply unsettling to a disturbing degree. The atmosphere is carved through the subtle nature of the narrative, bleakness of the world through abandoned, empty buildings, and the unbelievable mystery behind the antagonist Kunio Mamiya. Kiyoshi’s distinct style is beautifully utilized in Cure to pull out the sheer distress of this horrifyingly original picture. A unique gem of a film out of Kiyoshi’s amazing style.

30. Possession (1981)

Dir:  Andrzej Zulawski (2)

DP: Bruno Nuytten (1)

Editor: Marie-Sophie Dubus (2), Suzanne Lang-Willar (1)

Writer: Andrzej Zulawski (2), Frederic Tuten (1)

Starring: Isabelle Adjani (1), Sam Neil (1), Margit Cartensen (1), Heinz Bennent (1)

Composer: Andrzej Korzynski (2)

Country: Poland (5), France (43)

Genre: Horror (46)

Never has a horror film ever shook me to my core like Possession. Andrzej Zulawski’s masterpiece, an intensely haunting experience on a psychological and physical level leveled by the inexhaustible shriek of the supreme Isabelle Adjani. In fact, Adjani delivers something utterly remarkable in this performance. Her derangement is evocative in a way that is more troubling than anything I’ve ever experienced. An incredible piece of horror cinema.

“He’s very tired. He made love to me all night.”

29. Dogville (2003)

Dir: Lars Von Trier (3)

DP: Anthony Dod Mantle (2)

Editor: Molly Malene (1), Stensgaard (1)

Writer: Lars Von Trier (3) 

Starring: Nicole Kidman (3), Harriet Andersson (1), Lauren Bacall (2), Jean-Marc Barr (2), Paul Bettany (1), James Caan (3), Patricia Clarkson (1)

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (1), Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1)

Country: Denmark (4), United Kingdom (35)

Genre: Drama (195), Avant-garde (9)

Dogville takes all the very best aspects of Lars Von Trier: his inventiveness, his fetish for overbearing violence, his untimely visual style that bends time and space to his will, and his distrust of society that leads to the incredibly overwhelming tension in the film. Led by Nicole Kidman’s provocative and daring depiction of lust and hate intermingling to bring out the devil in this small town, the literal lack of walls tells this story in such a unique way. That choice is responsible for the unhidden feeling only this film conjures up. A great ensemble in an all-time great film, showing how vast cinema can be.

“I believe smashing them is less a crime than making them. I am going to break two of your figurines first, and if you can demonstrate your knowledge of the Doctrine of Stoicism by holding back your tears, I’ll stop.”

28. Perfect Blue (1997)

Dir: Satoshi Kon (2)

DP: Hisao Shirai (3)

Editor: Harutoshi Ogata (2)

Writer: Sadayuki Murai (1)

Starring: Junko Iwao (1), Rica Matsumoto (1), Shiho Niiyama (1), Masaaki Okura (1)

Composer: Masahiro Ikumi (1)

Country: Japan (74)

Genre: Thriller (52), Animation (15)

Satoshi Kon is a magnificent and visionary director. Famous for creating incredible dreamscapes and he hits the perfect note in Perfect Blue. In a visually stunning and corrupt world, Perfect Blue captures the heaviness of selling one’s image and the consequences of chasing fame. It’s beautifully surreal. Add in the harrowing score and this becomes an undeniable classic. A film that’s had a great influence on the industry and the greatest animated film of all-time.

 “No, I’m the real thing” 

27. A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

Dir: Edward Yang  (3)

DP: Chang Hui-kung (1), Li Long-yu (1)

Editor: Bowen Chen (1)

Writer: Hung Hung (1), Lai Ming-tang (1), Edward Yang (3), Alex Yang (1)

Starring: Chang Chen (2), Lisa Yang (1), Chang Kuo-Chu (1), Elaine Jin (3), Wang Chuan (1)

Country: Taiwan (7)

Genre: Drama (196), Romance (46)

Edward Yang’s four-hour immersive epic of the slow spiral towards tragedy is a process that happens carefully over time. Yang shows the transformation of character in no uncertain terms to show how the environment cultivates individuals. The cinematography is a painting on every frame and some of the most inspired works of all-time. The details of this film are remarkable.

26. Walkabout (1971)

Dir: Nicolas Roeg (2)

DP: Nicolas Roeg (2)

Editor: Antony Gibbs (1), Alan Pattillo (1)

Writer: Edward Bond (1)

Starring: Jenny Agutter (1), Lucien John (1), David Gulpilil (1)

Composer: John Barry (3)

Country: Australia (6), United Kingdom (36)

Genre: Drama (197)

Walkabout is an essential film in the understanding of life. How each fleeting moment isn’t everlasting and that our time here is only defined by that which brings us pure joy and let’s us experience the wonder and mystery of the world first hand. A film bathed in tragedy, and yet that’s not the memory of this experience but one of deep seeded appreciation for a life-lived. As one Aborigine (David Gulpilil) traverses the harsh Australian Outback on his Walkabout, his destiny seems much aligned to the children of tragedy who are never given character names (played by Jennifer Agutter and Luc Roeg), almost symbolically speak to this story’s relationship to the natural flow of the world. It’s a gorgeous film in both character and aesthetic, but its sense of discovery is what makes this one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.

“I’d love to have a proper warm bath with clean towels and eat with real plates and knives and forks and have proper sheets and records and cleaning my teeth properly and wear all my own clothes.”

25. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Dir: Charles Laughton (1)

DP:Stanley Cortez (1)

Editor: Robert Golden (1)

Writer: James Agee (1), Davis Grubb (1)

Starring: Robert Mitchum (5), Shelley Winters (3), Lillian Gish (1), Billy Chapin (1)

Composer: Walter Schumann (1)

Country: USA (199)

Genre: Noir (20), Thriller (53), Horror (47)

The epitome of style in filmmaking with every breathtaking moment presenting expressionistic visuals that are so rich and unique. There’s never been another film quite like Charles Laughton’s masterpiece. Robert Mitchum delivers a perfect performance.

“Salvation is a last-minute business, boy.”

24. The Shining (1980)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (6)

DP: John Alcott (1)

Editor: Ray Lovejoy (2)

Writer: Stanley King (5), Diane Johnson (1), Stephen King (2)

Starring: Jack Nicholson (4), Shelley Duvall (2), Scatman Crothers (2), Danny Lloyd (1)

Composer: Wendy Carlos (1), Rachel Elkind (1)

Country: USA (200)

Genre:  Horror (48)

The Shining is the most meticulously detailed, mind-bending film in existence. No part of the frame is without Kubrick’s fingerprints making each shot of the film packed with story elements and narrative. It’s stunning the way Kubrick used every possible space to tell his story. And, I didn’t even mention the all-time great lead performances from Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall.

“Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I’m not gonna hurt ya. You didn’t let me finish my sentence. I said, I’m not gonna hurt ya. I’m just going to bash your brains in! Gonna bash ’em right the fuck in!”

23. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966) 

Dir: Mike Nichols (1)

DP: Haskell Wexler (2)

Editor: Sam O’Steen (2)

Writer: Edward Albee (1), Ernest Lehman (1)

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor (2), Richard Burton (1), George Segal (1), Sandy Dennis (1)

Composer: Alex North (3)

Country: USA (201)

Genre: Drama (198), Black Comedy (10)

Incredibly biting, vitriol, and meaningful screenplay. One that continually changes as alcohol and emotion come into play. The reality of the writing is so truthful that it hurts to experience this situation along with the characters. The dialogue is a minefield and the actors maneuver it beautifully. Each performance is surreal in depiction making the turn to the truth so damn impactful. Albee’s story is a true American classic and there’s nothing else like it.

“I hope that was an empty bottle, George! You can’t afford to waste good liquor, not on YOUR salary!”

22. Clockwork Orange (1971)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (7)

DP: John Alcott (2)

Editor: Bill Butler (3)

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (6), Anthony Burgess (1)

Starring: Malcolm McDowell (1), Patrick Magee (1), Adrienne Corri (1), Miriam Karlin (1)

Composer: Wendy Carlos (2)

Country: USA (202), United Kingdom (37)

Genre: Drama (199), Crime (38)

Clockwork Orange was the experience that spurred on my love and interest in films. Stanley Kubrick opened Pandora’s box, adapting Anthony Burgess’s novel where he essentially created a language and made something entirely unique. The world-building is unparalleled and the dystopian environment feels lived in and existing.  Malcolm McDowell in the titular is a provocative force of nature. All-time great leading performance in an absolute surreal ride of a film. The use of music is some of the best mixing works in history.

“There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen” you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence.”

21. Paths of Glory (1957)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (8)

DP: Georg Krause (1)

Editor: Eva Kroll (1)

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (7), Calder Wilingham (1), Jim Thompson (1), Humphrey Cobb (1)

Starring: Kirk Douglas (4), Ralph Meeker (1), George Macready (1), Adolphe Menjou (1), Wayne Morris (1)

Composer: Gerald Fried (2)

Country: USA (203)

Genre: War (31)

Kubrick’s Paths of Glory is the definitive statement on war. A triumph of the war genre and the most powerful statement possibly ever put on film. It’s about the cost of a soldier’s life in accordance with the rule of law. The stringent protocols soldiers follow to protect rank. Few scenes are as powerful as the trial scene and Kirk Douglas is absolutely masterful with his defense against human injustice. It’s a jaw-dropping film that pushes cinema visually and narratively.  

“Gentlemen of the court, there are times that I’m ashamed to be a member of the human race and this is one such occasion.”

20. Irreversible (2002)

Dir: Gaspar Noe (2)

DP: Benoit Debie (2), Gaspar Noe (1)

Editor: Gaspar Noe (2)

Writer: Gaspar Noe (2)

Starring: Vincent Cassel (3), Monica Belucci (1), Albert Dupontel (1)

Composer: Thomas Bangalter (1)

Country: France (44)

Genre: Drama (200), Crime (39), Romance (47)

Noé’s Irreversible is an experience that immediately sucks you into this broken world that is slowly piecing itself back together. Noe has an eye for unconventional narrative storytelling and Irreversible is arguably the best example in film history of manipulating story structure to effectively tell a narrative in greater detail. It’s unbelievably gratifying watching this film play out because the experience is genuinely numbing. There are moments in this film that leave you utterly speechless. Masterpiece.

“Time destroys everything.”

19. There Will Be Blood (2007)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson (6)

DP: Robert Elswit (5)

Editor: Dylan Tichenor (5)

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (5)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis (4), Paul Dano (2), Kevin J. O’Connor (1), Ciaran Hinds (1)

Composer: Jonny Greenwood (2)

Country: USA (204)

Genre: Drama (201)

Visual storytelling. The art of cinema itself is captured in Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece of sight, sound, and performance. One performance, in particular, the indomitable Daniel Day-Lewis as the oil tycoon Daniel Plainview, is utterly remarkable work. It’s definitely my favorite performance of all-time, but the greatness of this film is the visceral nature of the storytelling.

“Ladies and gentlemen… I’ve traveled over half our state to be here tonight. I couldn’t get away sooner because my new well was coming in at Coyote Hills and I had to see about it. That well is now flowing at two thousand barrels and it’s paying me an income of five thousand dollars a week”

18. Nights of Cabiria (1957)

Dir: Federico Fellini (5)

DP: Aldo Tonti (1), Otello Martelli (3)

Editor: Leo Catozzo (3)

Writer: Federico Fellini (5), Ennio Flaiano (4), Tullio Pinelli (3), Pier Paolo Pasolini (2)

Starring: Giulietta Masina (2), Francois Perier (2), Franca Marzi (1), Dorian Gray (1), Amedeo Nazzari (1)

Composer: Nino Rota (9)

Country: Italy (11)

Genre: Drama (202), Romance (48)

Nights of Cabiria is Fellini dealing in neo-realism, taking a working prostitute on the outskirts of Rome and delivering a sonnet of the wild nights on the Italian streets. The story follows a most excellent character – Maria “Cabiria” Cecceralli (Giuletta Masina) – a streetwise prostitute, with an adventurous side always tugging on her consciousness, and an innocent view on the grimy world around her. The care-free attitude, and innocuous perspective is the core of her character, as she constantly gives herself away to romance and eventually heartbreak but always picks herself up. An unbelievably poignant character and another all-time great performance from one of the three best actresses ever to grace the screen and this is her best work. A Fellini masterpiece in form, personality and execution.

“Madonna, Madonna, help me to change my life. Bestow your grace on me too. Make me change my life.”

17. Come and See (1985)

Dir: Elem Klimov (2)

DP: Aleksei Rodionov (1)

Editor: Valeriya Bekiva (1)

Writer: Ales Adamovich (1), Elem Klimov (2)

Starring: Aleksei Kravchenko (1), Olga Mironova (1)

Composer: Oleg Yanchenko (1)

Country: Belurisian (1), Russia (5)

Genre: War (32), Drama (203)

Elem Klimov’s ferocious anti-war film Come and See lives up to the billing of its own set of expectations. As the title suggests, come and see is taken literally and what follows is a very devastating, sometimes dramatized, but mostly realistic look at Nazi-controlled Byelorussia (now Belarus) and the ruinous injustice of the Nazi cause. It leaves little room for ambiguity or any semblance of moral truth. It’s truly heartbreaking and one of the most effective uses of the medium to make a point. Klimov’s Come and See is a masterpiece that needs to be digested and discussed throughout time.

“You’re a Hopeless optimist.”

“He should be cured of that.”

16. The Music Room (1958)

Dir: Satyajit Ray (6)

DP: Subrata Mitra (5)

Editor: Dulal Dutta (6)

Writer: Satyajit Ray (6), Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay (1)

Starring: Chhabi Biswas, Padma Devi, Pinaki Sen Gupta, Gangapanda Bose

Composer: Vilayat Khan (1)

Country: India (7)

Genre: Drama (204), Musical (1)

The Music Room is a masterpiece. A slow, rapturous piece of cinema that transcends the screen and reaches down into the soul. A hypnotic human tragedy told through the vision of one of the greatest storytellers of all-time, Satyajit Ray, that deeply examines the power of greed, obsession, and loving oneself. It combines all the fantastic elements of the medium effortlessly through Ray’s unbelievable direction, and garners exceptional performances. However, it’s the glorious performance art of singing and dancing and how Ray incorporates that into the narrative that makes this an exceedingly profound experience. Using the beautiful Indian music to reaffirm his life’s purpose, it’s one of the most appropriate uses of music and celebrates its brilliance and importance to humanity. Incredible human experience and masterfully crafted film.

Blood! The blood in my veins! You know whose blood flows in my veins? You want to see? Come…My father… my grandfather… my great grandfather… my great-great grandfather.

15. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Dir: David Lean (4)

DP: Freddie A. Young (1)

Editor: Anne V. Coates (2)

Writer: Robert Bolt (2), Michael Wilson (3), T.E. Lawrence (1)

Starring: Peter O’Toole (2), Omar Shariff (1), Claude Rains (2),  Alec Guinness (4), Anthony Quinn (1), Jack Hawkins (2), 

Composer: Maurice Jarre (5)

Country: United Kingdom (38)

Genre: War (33), Drama (205)

David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia is perhaps the most impressive accomplishment in film history. The greatest epic tale ever told on a screen, remembered for its legendary cinematography from Freddie Young, the revolutionary match cut and editing from Anne V. Coates, the incredible cast led by the great Peter O’Toole and brought home by Alec Guinness, a truly magnificent production. It’s such a grand scale picture that’s never been reproduced. The magnitude of the film is far beyond almost any in history.

“Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men: courage, and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace, and the vices of peace are the vices of old men: mistrust and caution.”

14. Citizen Kane (1941)

Dir: Orson Welles (6)

DP: Gregg Toland (1)

Editor: Robert Wise (1)

Writer: Herman J. Mankiewicz (1), Orson Welles (5)

Starring: Orson Welles (6), Joseph Cotten (3), Everett Sloane (1), Dorothy Coingore (1) 

Composer: Bernard Hermann (7)

Country: USA (205)

Genre: Drama (206),  Mystery (29)

Citizen Kane is a flawless film on a technical level and tells a grand story of faux-importance. The Gregg Toland dramatically lit and deep focus cinematography mixed with the incredulous editing from Welles and Robert Wise gave the film a look and feel that was so monumental. But above all else, Orson Welles delivers an all-time great performance and carries this film. He was a magnificent actor and Citizen Kane is an incredible film. A magnificent directorial achievement. 

“I suppose he had a private sort of greatness, but he kept it to himself.”

13. Network (1976)

Dir: Sidney Lumet (7)

DP: Owen Roizman (3)

Editor: Alan Heim (2)

Writer: Paddy Chayefsky (2)  

Starring: Peter Finch (1), Faye Dunaway (3), William Holden (3), Robert Duvall (4), Ned Beatty (3), Beatrice Straight (1)

Composer:  Elliot Lawrence (1)

Country: USA (206)

Genre: Drama (207), Satire (9), Black Comedy (11)

Peter Finch as Howard Beale is the greatest character of all-time and his performance has the touch of divine intervention. But this isn’t the legendary film it is without Lumet’s vision for this story and the incredible Paddy Chayefsky script. Truly one of the best screenplays in history being performed by one of the best cast ever. It all comes together to call out the hypocrisy of our times with a deeply troubling reflection of reality in Lumet’s masterpiece Network. 

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work, or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter, punks are running wild in the street, and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it! We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be! We know things are bad — worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore.”

12. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (9)

DP: Geoffrey Unsworth (1)

Editor: Ray Lovejoy (3)

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (8), Artur C. Clarke (1)

Starring: Keir Dullea (2), Gary Lockwood (1)

Country: USA (207) 

Genre: Sci-fi (24)

A visual and intellectual masterpiece that is both challenging and beyond gratifying. The execution behind the camera is years beyond its time and the sheer amount of production that went into this film is unheard of. No aspect of the filmmaking is overlooked. It’s such an ambitious project, and when done with a heavy focus on the art. It’s a space opera with the most daring visuals.

“I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.”

11. Rashomon (1958)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (15)

DP: Kazuo Miyagawa (7)

Editor: Akira Kurosawa (12)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (15), Shinobu Hashimoto (3)

Starring: Toshiro Mifune (10), Machiko Kyo (4), Masayuki Mori (2), Takashi Shimura (6), Minoru Chiaki (1)

Composer: Fumio Hayasaka (6)

Country: Japan (75)

Genre: Drama (208), Crime (40)

The first time I caught Rashomon, it was like my entire body was transported to another realm of existence. I cease to exist and my soul lived on through this film. Kurosawa spoke to a specific part of my psyche and brought me in through sheer visceral curiosity and characters that intrigued beyond reason. Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyo deliver something unseen in their performances.

“I thought I saw a goddess. At that moment I decided to have her, even if I had to kill her man. But if I could have her without killing, all the better.”

10. All That Jazz (1979)

Dir: Bob Fosse (2)

DP: Giuseppe Rotunno (4)

Editor: Alan Heim (2)

Writer: Robert Arlan Arthur (1), Bob Fosse (1)

Starring: Roy Scheider (4), Jessica Lange (1), Ann Reinking (1), Leland Palmer (1)

Composer: Ralph Burns (2)

Country: USA (208)

Genre: Musical (2), Black Comedy (12)

In a slow dying examination of death itself, told through music and song, Roy Scheider delivers a transcendent performance that’s beautifully nuanced and happy. Bob Fosse takes the musical genre and spins it, taking it to unforeseen places that shock the senses. It might feature the greatest ending to a film of all-time.

“To be on the wire is life. The rest is waiting.”

9. Apur Sansar (1959)

Dir: Satyajit Ray (7)

DP: Subrata Mitra (6)

Editor: Dulal Dutta (7)

Writer: Satyajit Ray (7), Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay (3)

Starring: Soumitra Chatterjee (3), Sharmilia Tagore (1), Alok Chakravarty (1), Swapan Mukherjee (1)

Composer: Ravi Shankar (3)

Country: India (8)

Genre: Drama (209)

Apur Sansar is a beautiful story about a life coming full-circle. Specifically, the end of one phase of Apu’s (Soumitra Chatterjee) life and the beginning of the next. Full of human revelations, strong emotional bonds, and above it all, a character we’ve known since childhood finding himself in the world and his purpose. The end of Apu’s journey with The World of Apu is overwhelmingly heartfelt in his depiction of a husband and father. As Apu grows old, it’s unbelievable seeing him change for better-or-worse but always hanging onto that same playful spirit we know from Pather Panchali. Again, Apur Sansar comes full-circle and the last scene will always be remembered for it’s humanity and a great finish to Apu’s story.

“Is imagination worth nothing?”

8. Ikiriu (1952)

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (16)

DP: Asakazu Nakai (9)

Editor: Koichi Iwashita (1)

Writer: Akira Kurosawa (16), Shinobu Hashimoto (3), Hideo Oguni (8)

Starring: Takashi Shimura (7), Miki Odagiri (1)

Composer: Fumio Hayasaka (7)

Country: Japan (76)

Genre: Drama (210)

Ikiru is a celebration of life in death and a brilliantly structured narrative to show the depths of a man’s compassion. Takashi Shimura is vibrant and so real in his dying days. The script excellently tells the story of his last-ditch effort to build a playground. Kurosawa’s most humane picture and a beautiful depiction of legacy through Shimura.

“I can’t afford to hate people. I don’t have that kind of time.”

7. Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)

Dir: Toshio Matsumoto (2)

DP: Tatsuo Suzuki (2)

Editor: Toshie Iwasa (2)

Writer: Toshio Matsumoto (2)

Starring: Peter (1), Mosamu Ogasawara (1), Yoshio Tsuchiya (1), Emiko Zuma (1)

Composer: Joji Yuasa (1)

Country: Japan (77)

Genre: Avant-garde (10), Drama (211)

Toshio Matsumoto transcended the medium of film with his daringly progressive Funeral Parade of Roses. A monumental piece of cinema. It can’t be explained in words and needs to simply be experienced.

This is my first movie and I’m interested. My circumstances are like his. That’s one reason. And the gay life is portrayed beautifully.

6. The Human Condition III: A Soldier’s Prayer (1961)

Dir: Masaki Kobayashi (8)

DP: Yoshio miyajima (2)

Editor: Keiichi Uraoka (5)

Writer: Masaki Kobayashi (4), Zenzo Matsuyama (3)

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai (11), Michiyo Aratama (5), Chikage Awashima (4), Ineko Arima (4)

Composer: Chuji Kinoshita (5)

Country: Japan (78)

Genre: War (33), Drama (212)

The Human Trilogy III: A Soldier’s Prayer is a monumental piece of art. A profound tragedy and a staggering depiction of peoples adherence to corruption and suffering. Surrendering to forces that you can’t see but hold complete and total control over every facet of your livelihood. A Soldier’s Pray is incredibly exhaustive, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and Kobayashi wants to beat any hope out of you and by not letting the viewer retreat to a more comfortable place. Every single moment in this three hour film is dire and Tatsuya Nakadai’s performance is magnificent – we feel the injustice of the world all on his shoulders and he carries it willingly for as long as humanly possible. One of the most significant performances in the history of film and the humanity of PFC Kaji as a character and the beyond strenuous fight for human rights is essential to our understanding of the human condition.

“That’s not the point. We became soldiers – and fought in battle. We were wiped out, and now we plod along. We killed and we deserted our buddies. “Cope with defeat,” you say. How many of us are even capable or worthy of that?”

5. Cries and Whispers (1972) 

Dir: Ingmar Bergman (11)

DP: Sven Nykvist (8)

Editor: Siv Lundgren (2)

Writer: Ingmar Bergman (10)

Starring: Harriet Andersson (1), Kari Sylwan (1), Ingrid Thulin (4), Liv Ullmann (4), Inga Gill (1), Erland Josephson (4)

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1), Frederic Chopin (1)

Country: Sweden (11)

Genre: Drama (212)

Bergman manufactured an inscrutable film. One that is constantly gasping for air, existing within the confines of the human psyche, and a film that truly understands suffering at a fundamental level. A film that excels in every facet, the red rooms representative of inside the human heart, the incredible performances, the best editing ever, and a deeply impactful story. It’s Bergman at his most complete and evocative. A surreal masterpiece of great emotional capacity. Every scene is a marvel.

“Agnes, my dear child, listen to what I tell you now. Pray for those of us left behind on this dark and miserable earth beneath a cruel and empty sky. Lay your suffering at God’s feet and plead with him to pardon us. Plead with him to free us of our anxiety, our weariness, and our deepest doubts. Plead with him to give meaning to our lives.”

4. Barry Lyndon (1975)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (10)

DP: John Alcott (3)

Editor: Tony Lawson (2)

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (9), WIlliam Makepeace Tackerry (1)

Starring: Ryan O’Neal (2), Marissa Berenson (1), Patrick Magee (2), Hardy Kruger (1), Diana Koerner (1), Gay Hamilton (1)

Country: United Kingdom (39)

Genre: War (34), Drama (213)

The epitome of art and character in film with Stanley Kubrick’s illustrious Barry Lyndon. A film so meticulously detailed as if the camera lens is the brush painting onto a canvas, carefully placing each object in the frame to spark emotion. Redmond Barry (Ryan O’ Neal) is a character I find endlessly intriguing in his travels. It’s a perfect film. Exquisitely beautiful in look, feel, sound and character.

“Barry’s father had been bred, like many other young sons of a genteel family, to the profession of the law. And there is no doubt he would’ve made an eminent figure in his profession had he not been killed in a duel, which arose over the purchase of some horses.”

3. Harakiri (1962)

Dir: Masaki Kobayashi (9)

DP: Yoshi Miyajima (3)

Editor: Hisashi Sagara (3)

Writer: Shinobu Hashimoto (4)

Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai (12), Shima Iwashita (1), Akira Ashihama (1), Tatsuro Tamba (1), Rentaro Mikuni (2)

Composer: Toru Takemitsu (5)

Country: Japan (79)

Genre: Drama (214), Samurai (7)

In terms of crafting a narrative, Harakiri is perfect. Each passing scene is impactful beyond words and the visual storytelling of this tragic story of pride and desperation is incredible. Tatsuya Nakadai shows the dying age of the samurai through his brilliant performance. Legendary film. Flawless from a technical and narrative standpoint.

“What befalls others today, may be your own fate tomorrow.”

2. Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Dir: Hiroshi Teshigahara (2)

DP: Hiroshi Segawa (2)

Editor: Fusako Shuzui (1)

Writer: Kobo Abe (3)

Starring: Eiji Okada (1), Kyoko Kishida (1)

Composer: Toru Takemitsu (6)

Country: Japan (80)

Genre: Drama (215), Thriller (54)

Woman in the Dunes left me utterly speechless in sheer amazement of what I had just experienced. In complete darkness, I sat in my room unable to move, as it felt the walls had enclosed me over the course of the film. When trying to describe the visual storytelling of Hiroshi’s Teshigahara’s unquestionable masterpiece, no words could convey the level of staggering, unimaginable beauty that is captured through the lens. Every frame tells a deeply impactful story within itself, and the visual language transports you entirely into this space. Fully immersed in this trapped world, slowly being buried by the weight of the sand and a man’s own consciousness bearing down on him. It breaks any semblance of humanity and shows a person spiraling into the darkest place imaginable. It’s profoundly moving in image, sound, story, and performance and not one scene is overlooked. Simply put, there’s no other film that captures these exact feelings at once in such a provocative, erotic, and unfathomable visual sense and thus Woman in the Dunes is one of the greatest films ever made.

“Even if it’s a lie, it helps to have hope that things will change tomorrow” 

  1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Dir: Stanley Kubrick (11)

DP: Gilbert Taylor (3)

Editor: Anthony Harvey (2)

Writer: Stanley Kubrick (10), Terry Southern (1), Peter George (1)

Starring: Peter Sellers (3), George C. Scott (1), Sterling Hayden (2), Keenan Wynn (1), Slim Pickens (1), Tracy Reed (1)

Composer:  Laurie Johnson (1)

Country: USA (209)

Genre: Satire (10), Black Comedy (12), War (35)

The greatest screenplay ever written. The greatest collection of characters and performances, three of which are performed by Peter Sellers. A devilishly clever approach to nuclear war introduced through the paranoid General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and brought home from the glorious lust for war from George C. Scott. It’s such a brilliant film. Vera Lynn taking us out to mushroom clouds is one of a million reasons why it’s the best film of all-time. It’s everything I want from a film.

“I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

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