August 8, 2017

The Dardenne Brothers' List of 79 Favorite Movies is a Masterclass in Realism

Add all of these to your must-watch list immediately. 

When the comfortable sheen of fiction quickly gives way to the unsettling currents of reality, you know you're watching a Dardennes film. Brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are the preeminent voices of cinematic realism today. Embracing a docu-fiction aesthetic they honed while making dozens of documentaries early in their career, the brothers bring to light the struggles of the working class in their films, such as Rosetta, The Promise, Two Days, One Night, and, most recently, The Unknown Girl

Yesterday, La Cinetek published a list of the Dardennes' 79 favorite films of the 20th century. The list places a notable emphasis on realism, with films from Ken Loach, John Cassavetes, Krzysztof Kieślowski, and Robert Bresson (four films listed). But the brothers' biggest influence was clearly the Italian neorealist Roberto Rossellini, eight of whose movies appear on the list. 

See the full list here

'Dekalog' (1988), dir. Krzysztof KieślowskiCredit: Criterion

The Dardennes' 79 Favorite Movies

  1. “Police,” Maurice Pialat (1984)
  2. “Under the Sun of Satan,” Maurice Pialat (1987)
  3. “Graduate First,” Maurice Pialat (1978)
  4. “Loulou,” Maurice Pialat (1980)
  5. “A Woman Under the Influence,” John Cassavetes (1974)
  6. “Opening Night,” John Cassavetes (1977)
  7. “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie,” John Cassavetes (1976)
  8. “Mouchette,” Robert Bresson (1966)
  9. “Au hasard Balthazar,” Robert Bresson (1965)
  10. “A Man Escaped,” Robert Bresson (1956)
  11. “Paisa,” Roberto Rossellini (1946)
  12. “L’Amore,” Roberto Rossellini (1947)
  13. “Germany, Year Zero,” Roberto Rossellini (1947)
  14. “Europe 51,” Roberto Rossellini (1951)
  15. “Stromboli,” Roberto Rossellini (1949)
  16. “The Flowers of St. Francis,” Roberto Rossellini (1950)
  17. “Voyage in Italy,” Roberto Rossellini (1953)
  18. “Accattone,” Pier Paolo Pasolini (1961)
  19. “Ro.Go.Pa.G.,” Jean-Luc Godard, Ugo Gregoretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini (1963)
  20. “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” Pier Paolo Pasolini (1964)
  21. “Filmmaker’s Holiday,” Johan van der Keuken (1974)
  22. “The Flat Jungle,” Johan van der Keuken (1978)
  23. “Street of Shame,” Kenji Mizoguchi (1956)
  24. “Sansho the Bailiff,” Kenji Mizoguchi (1954)
  25. “Cruel Story of Youth,” Nagisa Oshima (1960)
  26. “Boy,” Nagisa Oshima (1969)
  27. “High and Low,” Akira Kurosawa (1963)
  28. “Red Beard,” Akira Kurosawa (1965)
  29. “To Live,” Akira Kurosawa (1952)
  30. “Hands Over the City,” Francesco Rosi (1963)
  31. “The Tarnished Angels,” Douglas Sirk (1957)
  32. “Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m.,” Claude Lanzmann (2000)
  33. “Cleo from 5 to 7,” Agnès Varda (1961)
  34. “Father and Master,” Paolo et Vittorio Taviani (1976)
  35. “The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice,” Yasujirō Ozu (1952)
  36. “There Was a Father,” Yasujirō Ozu (1942)
  37. “La Strada,” Federico Fellini (1954)
  38. “Nights of Cabiria,” Federico Fellini (1957)
  39. “Dekalog,” Krzysztof Kieslowski (1989)
  40. “Life, and Nothing More….,” Abbas Kiarostami (1991)
  41. “Where Is the Friend’s Home?” Abbas Kiarostami (1987)
  42. “High Hopes,” Mike Leigh (1988)
  43. “Riff-Raff,” Ken Loach (1991)
  44. “Northern Lights,” John Hanson and Rob Nilsson (1978)
  45. “Naked Hearts,” Édouard Luntz (1966)
  46. “The Visitors,” Elia Kazan (1971)
  47. “Wanda,” Barbara Loden (1970)
  48. “Sunrise,” F.W. Murnau (1927)
  49. “M,” Fritz Lang (1931)
  50. “The Kid,” Charlie Chaplin (1919)
  51. “Modern Times,” Charlie Chaplin (1935)
  52. “The Life of Oharu,”  Kenji Mizoguchi (1952)
  53. “Herman Slobbe/Blind Child 2,” Johan van der Keuken (1966)
  54. “The Wild Child,” François Truffaut (1969)
  55. “The 400 Blows,” François Truffaut (1958)
  56. “Dear Diary,” Nanni Moretti (1993)
  57. “Drifting Clouds,” Aki Kaurismäki (1996)
  58. “Naked Childhood,” Maurice Pialat (1967)
  59. “Through the Olive Trees,” Abbas Kiarostami (1994)
  60. “The Band Wagon,” Vincente Minneli (1953)
  61. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Frank Capra (1946)
  62. “Taxi Driver,” Martin Scorsese (1975)
  63. “Shoah,” Claude Lanzmann (1985)
  64. “Le Boucher,” Claude Chabrol (1970)
  65. “Gentleman Jim,” Raoul Walsh (1942)
  66. “College,”  Buster Keaton and James W. Horne (1927)
  67. “Summer With Monika,” Ingmar Bergman (1952)
  68. “Bring of Life,” Ingmar Bergman (1957)
  69. “Interiors,” Woody Allen (1977)
  70. “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Woody Allen (1988)
  71. “Pather Panchali,” Satyajit Ray (1955)
  72. “My Childhood,” Bill Douglas (1972)
  73. “Ce gamin, là,” Renaud Victor (1975)
  74. “Shadow of a Doubt,” Alfred Hitchcock (1942)
  75. “Kes,” Ken Loach (1969)
  76. “Raining Stones,” Ken Loach (1993)
  77. “Ivan’s Childhood,” Andrei Tarkovsky (1962)
  78. “Rome Open City,” Roberto Rossellini (1945)
  79. “The Man From Laramie,” Anthony Mann (1954)

Featured image from 'Under the Sun of Satan' (1986), directed by Maurice Pialat

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