The Top 10 Criterion Films According to Today's Greatest Filmmakers
The Criterion Collection offers a lot more than access to some of the best and most historically significant films from around the world (and great supplemental features, too). The site also provides studious cinephiles with its own extras, like engaging articles about these classics and their world-class filmmakers, as well as their Top 10 lists, which share the favorite Criterion films of some of the biggest creatives, who explain why they're important to them personally and professionally. Continue on to see which classics filmmakers like Jane Campion, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Roger Corman put in their top 10.
Granted, these lists aren't compiled of each filmmaker's top 10 favorite movies of all time -- just the ones that you can find in the collection. But, if you're a fan of Criterion -- and great directors explaining why they like certain films -- then these lists will provide you with some great insight into some of the most important pieces of cinematic history. For instance, Scorsese relates the episodic gem, Paisá by Rossellini, to one of the most thought-provoking (in my opinion) stories to hit the stage, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
Never has “waiting around” been so glorious. Postwar ennui meticulously staged and photographed, a fin de siècle troupe of the idle rich, such empty lives and their inconstant echoes. But Antonioni really had the last laugh, for this “adventure” film is more a solemn nod to Godot than any real outing or frolic.
At the very least, these lists will provide some entertainment and a Criterion shopping list! Check out a few films from the Top 10 lists of the following directors. (Click on each name to be taken to their full lists on Criterion's website.)
- Paisá (dir. Roberto Rossellini)
- The Red Shoes (dir. Michael Powerll and Emeric Pressburger)
- The River (dir. Jean Renoir)
- The Hit (dir. Stephen Frears)
- 12 Angry Men (dir. Sidney Lumet)
- The Thin Red Line (dir. Terrence Malick)
- That Obscure Objects of Desire (dir. Luis Buñuel)
- Contempt (dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
- La strada (dir. Federico Fellini)
- Bicycle Thieves (dir. Vittorio De Sica)
- Ivan the Terrible, Part I (dir. Sergei Eisenstein)
- The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (dir. Luis Buñuel)
- Fish Tank (dir. Andrea Arnold)
- Days of Heaven (dir. Terrence Malick)
- La Point Courte, Cléo from 5 to 7, Le bonheur, & Vagabond (dir. Agnés Varda
- The Earrings of Madame de… (dir. Max Ophuls)
- Au hasard Balthazar (dir. Robert Bresson)
- Pigs and Battleships, The Insect Woman, & Intentions of Murder (dir. Shohei Imamura)
- Andrei Rublev (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky)
- The Flowers of St. Francis (dir. Roberto Rossellini)
- Day of Wrath (dir. Carl Th. Dreyer)
- The Battle of Algiers (dir. Gillo Pontecorvo)
- Videodrome (dir. David Cronenberg)
- My Life as a Dog (dir. Lasse Hallström)
Be sure to check out each director's Top 10 page to see what they have to say about each film (some don't share anything, some share a lot). Take some time, too, to take a look through the rest of the Top 10s on Criterion's site. There are plenty more filmmakers, including producers and screenwriters, but there are also musicians, actors, and other creatives that share which films touched them.
What is your Top 10? Which films from the Criterion Collection would you recommend for filmmakers? Which films do you think should be available, but aren't? Let us know in the comments below.
[Criterion collage image by Ryan Gallagher]
Link: Top 10s -- Criterion