Top 10s

Iron and Wine’s Top 10

Iron and Wine’s Top 10

Samuel Beam is an American singer-songwriter (and former film studies professor!) better known by the stage name Iron and Wine. His last album was 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog, and a follow-up is in the works. When selecting his top ten Criterion titles, Beam says, “it was really difficult for me not to just write ‘my top 507,’ because that’s where your catalogue was at the moment I wrote this, and I cherish practically everything you guys have released. However, with that said, here’s a handful of favorites.”

  • Brazil

    1.
    Brazil

    Terry Gilliam

    “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” —George Bernard Shaw

  • Yojimbo

    2.
    Yojimbo

    Akira Kurosawa

    “No performer should attempt to bite off red-hot iron unless he has a good set of teeth.” —Harry Houdini

  • The Third Man

    3.
    The Third Man

    Carol Reed

    “Why is it there are so many more horses’ asses than there are horses?” —G. Gordon Liddy

  • Down by Law

    4.
    Down by Law

    Jim Jarmusch

    “I’m afraid we live at the mercy of a power, maybe a God, without mercy. And yet we find it, as I have, from others.” —Philip Levine

  • “I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” —Truman Capote

  • La strada

    6.
    La strada

    Federico Fellini

    “The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next.” —William Faulkner

  • The Battle of Algiers

    7.
    The Battle of Algiers

    Gillo Pontecorvo

    “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” —Mark Twain

  • A Woman Under the Influence

    8.
    A Woman Under the Influence

    John Cassavetes

    “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end.” —Gilda Radner

  • Burden of Dreams

    9.
    Burden of Dreams

    Les Blank

    “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” —Woody Allen

  • Naked

    10.
    Naked

    Mike Leigh

    “I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” —Ludwig Wittgenstein