Top 10 Favorite Films of Mind-Bending Director Gaspar Nóe

Photo by Zak & Ja'bagh Kaghado
Photo by Zak & Ja'bagh KaghadoCredit: Zak & Ja'bagh Kaghado

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.

Video is no longer available:

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!)     

Your Comment


Man, I have to get into Anger.

May 21, 2015 at 11:36PM

Micah Van Hove

You and I and everyone we know...

May 22, 2015 at 1:21PM

V Renée
Content Manager at Industry Arts

This dude is nuts. Irreversible has the most graphic, hard to watch scene in film history.

May 22, 2015 at 2:31PM, Edited May 22, 2:31PM


My most favorite director in cinema history, He has a distinct visual/narrative style, breaking the boundaries of the traditional film making or grammar etc , those who have not seen his work I'd recommend them to watch his films in reverse order i.e enter the void first, irreversible, i stand alone..he always get the harsh critique , dying to see his 3d film :D

May 23, 2015 at 12:02PM

Humza Yousaf
Director of Photography

Gaspar Noe is pushing the boundries of cinema forward in a way few even attempt.

February 23, 2016 at 8:25AM, Edited February 23, 8:25AM