What kinds of films have been influential in the lives and work of the greatest filmmakers?

Well, that question has been answered quite a few times by some of cinema's most celebrated artists -- from Federico Fellini sharing his top 10 to Stanley Kubrick's daughter giving a partial list of his. But, what about the work of a filmmaker like Gaspar Nóe, who's films stretch and warp our perceptions not only of reality, but of the medium itself? In a piece for BFI's Sight and Sound, Nóe explained his affection for Kubrick's masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, crediting it for being the spark that made him want to become a director.

This is the film I’ve seen more than any other in my life. 40 times or more. My life altered when I discovered it when I was about 7 in Buenos Aires. It was my first hallucinogenic experience, my great artistic turning-point and also the moment when my mother finally explained what a fetus was and how I came into the world. Without this film I would never have become a director.

So yes -- 2001 was influential for yet another filmmaker, but thanks to Indiewire, we've got the rest of Nóe's list. But before we get to it, if you're unfamiliar with his work -- first of all, fix it! Second, here are a couple of trailers from his most notable films Enter the Void, I Stand Alone and Irréversible.

And now, here's Nóe's top 10 favorite films:

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; Stanley Kubrick)
  2. Amour (2012; Michael Haneke)
  3. Angst (1983; Gerald Kargl) 
  4. Un Chien Andalou (1928; Luis Buñuel)
  5. Eraserhead (1976; David Lynch)
  6. I Am Cuba (1964; Mikhail Kalatozov)
  7. King Kong (1933; Merian C. Cooper/Ernest B. Schoedsack)
  8. Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975; Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  9. Scorpio Rising (1964; Kenneth Anger)
  10. Taxi Driver (1976; Martin Scorsese)

I mean -- if these films don't scream "GASPAR NÓE!" I don't know which ones do. Nearly all of these films showcase their respective directors' mastery of form and content; the beautifully mesmerizing images intertwining with provocative and absurd stories. These films take from both traditional filmmaking and avant-garde -- constructing dreamlike experiences within the confines of a physical (sometimes) world. In other words, these films are the stuff of dreams, nightmares, and the perplexing experience of real life.

Nóe's "3D sex movie" Love, which is the first film he's released since Enter the Void in 2009, hit at Cannes yesterday for a midnight showing, getting audiences and critics all hot and bothered, and not entirely in a positive way. (That's probably because there's a 3D scene where a man ejaculates at the lens. A money shot that theater patrons can participate in? Sign me up, maybe!)

Source: Indiewire