It’s Not Time to DeListify

Moodyson's film "Together"

Andrei Tarkovsky’s Top Ten List :

  1. Le Journal d’un curé de campagne – Bresson, 1951
  2. Winter Light – Bergman, 1962
  3. Nazarin – Luis Bunel, 1959
  4. Wild Strawberries – Bergman, 1957
  5. City Lights – Charlie Chaplin, 1931
  6. Ugetsu Monogatari – Mizoguchi, 1953
  7. Seven Samurai – Kurosawa, 1954
  8. Persona – Bergman, 1966
  9. Mouchette – Bresson, 1967
  10. Woman of the Dunes – Teshigahara, 1964

More info on that list at, the best site about Tarkovsky on the internet

Kubrick’s Top Ten List (as of 1963):


  1. I Vitelloni (Federico Fellini, 1953),
  2. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1958),
  3. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941),
  4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston, 1948),
  5. City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931),
  6. Henry V (Laurence Olivier, 1945),
  7. La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961),
  8. The Bank Dick (W.C. Fields, 1940),
  9. Roxie Hart (William Wellman, 1942),
  10. Hell’s Angels (Howard Hughes, 1930).

More info on his other favorites here

And there is more top ten madness by directors in this article. Including a normally modest Tim Robbins choosing to list a film he appeared in – Network (Lumet, 1976). Yes, Robbins was in Network. He shot crazed newsman (“I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore”) Howard Beale at the end.

I’m particularly struck by Lukas Moodysson’s list, which has a more contemporary flavor. Moodysson might be Sweden’s best director since Bergman–his two most notable films being Together (2000) about a 70’s free love commune, a film drenched in Abba songs, and Lilya 4-ever (2002) concerning a girl abandoned by her mother (one of Gary Lutz’s overwatched films).

1. Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)
2. Fanny and Alexander (Bergman, 1982)
3. Gummo (Korine, 1997)
4. La Haine (Kassovitz, 1995)
5. The Last Picture Show (Bogdanovich, 1971)
6. The Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1975)
7. On the Waterfront (Kazan, 1954)
8. Riff-Raff (Loach, 1990)
9. Secrets & Lies (Leigh, 1996)
10. Where Is My Friend’s House? (Kiarostami, 1987)

I will presume to think I have a right to make such a list, as I list to see your lists.

Mirror- Tarkovsky, 1974
Under the Olive Trees – Kiarostami, 1994
The Shining (I think you know the director, playing at Film Forum in NYC this weekend!) 1980
Cries and Whispers – Bergman, 1972
Nashville – Altman, 1975
Au Hasard Balthazar – Bresson, 1966
A Woman Under the Influence – Cassavetes, 1974
Tokyo Story – Ozu, 1953
L’Argent – Bresson, 1983
Solaris – Tarkovsky, 1972


25 thoughts on “It’s Not Time to DeListify

  1. It’s fun to make lists, and fun to look at other people’s lists. But it’s nearly impossible for me to pick ten overall films…as I assume is the case for many folks. My impulse is to make a top ten film noir, top ten comedy, top ten avant-garde, etcetera.

    Anyway, I decided I would base my selections on the idea of listing ten films that have come out in my lifetime that have also at one point elicited from me the response “Oh, I love that movie!”

    My one cheat is that the Woody Allen film came out while I was still gestating in my mother’s womb.

    Listed in chronological order:

    Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)
    Body Double (De Palma, 1984)
    One Crazy Summer (Holland, 1986)
    Total Recall (Verhoeven, 1990)
    Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994)
    Boogie Nights (Anderson, 1997)
    The Big Lebowski (Coen Brothers, 1998)
    Amélie (Jeunet, 2001)
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004)

      • I kind of never understood how many people just shrugged at Lebowski when it came out. I thought it was wonderful. It came out in April of 1998 and laughed my ass off. But then again The Long Goodbye by Altman wasn’t exactly a big hit – but anyone who loves The Dude and company should watch the Altman picture made in 1973 – the Coen’s borrowed generously and that’s putting it mildly.

      • Hey, Adam,

        I have not heard the commentary track. I’m assuming it’s awesome? Will have to go to the video store this weekend and rent it so I can listen.

        My wife is always goofing on me for loving Total Recall so much. I stand by adoration. Glad to hear you dig it, too.

        • The commentary’s by Paul Verhoeven and Arnold Schwarzenegger, together (meaning in the same space and at the same time), and they’re great.

          I stand by that film, too—I think it’s fairly brilliant, in fact. I adore Verhoeven!

  2. Repas de bébé (Baby’s Dinner) (Louis Lumière, 1895)
    How It Feels to Be Run Over (Cecil Hepworth, 1900)
    A Girl and Her Trust (D.W. Griffith, 1912)
    The Black Pirate (Albert Parker, 1926)
    The Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke, 1934)
    Heaven Can Wait (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943)
    Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
    Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
    Night Moves (Arthur Penn, 1975)
    Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
    Babe: Pig in the City (George Miller, 1998)
    Leprechaun 5: In the Hood (Rob Spera, 2000)

  3. i couldn’t resist doing this:

    Suspiria (Argento)
    Winter Light (Bergman)
    Solaris (Tarkovsky)
    Intolerance (Griffith)
    Videodrome (Cronenberg)
    Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky)
    Code Unknown (Haneke)
    71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance (Haneke)
    Insomnia (Skjoldbaerg)
    Salo (Pasolini)

  4. In no particular order, and certainly not an absolute top ten, just what comes to mind in this moment now:

    Female Convict Scorpion
    Fearless Vampire Killers
    Being There
    Love and Death
    Tetsuo the Ironman
    Big Lebowski
    They Live
    The Tenant
    Nunta Muta (Silent Wedding)
    A Christmas Story (1983)

  5. Pingback: …It’s Time to Mystify (13 Great Films) « BIG OTHER

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