Grant Douglas Bromley's Criterion Top 10

by Grant Douglas Bromley

Created 07/05/12

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Currently, I'm in the post production phase on my debut feature film entitled "Dreams of The Wayward". Since the age of 5, I have been in a loving relationship with film after being exposed to Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" and Lucas' "Star Wars", but as I got older I discovered that film could be more than grandiose entertainment. Below are a few of the films that have influenced me as I've grown as a lover of cinema and a filmmaker.

  • Lars von Trier is known for having stories with women at the center, but there's something special about his 2009 film "Antichrist". It's a film embedded within the history of religious practice and literature (everything from the fear of the Satanic qualities of nature, to the actual format of the script being presented in chapters). "Antichrist" is filled with imagery both jarring yet beautiful, and it's that juxtaposition that drives the power of Lars von Trier's writing home. Though some of the elements of the plot require a level of disbelief on the audience's part, the way that von Trier presents this film makes it nearly impossible for viewers to think otherwise. Masterfully, he tells a story with unnamed characters and a bare-bones cast that strikes terror into the soul and evokes the natural place of man within a cruel world.

    Additionally, the director's commentary is extremely insightful, and the bonus materials give a very unique look into the post production side of this spectacle.

  • This is Wes Anderson at the top of his form. In some mystical way, Anderson's style conveys inner battles and sensations that everyone experiences. From the loss of innocence, to love and jealousy; "The Royal Tenenbaums" is a grade A dysfunctional family drama that possesses Anderson's meticulous style and sense of humor. From the wonderful color schemes, to the standard Wes Anderson dolly shots, "Tenenbaums" is a powerful display of effective writing projected onto the screen.

    The commentary with director Wes Anderson is one of the best I've ever heard as Anderson discusses the level of work that went into the film, in addition to his influences as an artist.

  • Dreams within dreams set within a war-torn world where no one is quite who they seem to be. Buñuel's comedic attack upon the wealthy contains a spectacularly adventurous script that is reflected within the astounding visual style of the film.

  • Like Shakespeare in its setting, and just as literary, "The Seventh Seal" is a true masterpiece. The film is a response to the question, "Who is out there caring for us?" and Bergman never truly answers the question, but his background as a minister's child truly shines in this medieval spiritual tale.

    Hearing Woody Allen discuss the impact of Bergman's work upon his own filmography is incredible. Such admiration and respect.

  • The Odyssey in the world of film... and more so, in the world of Godard. This film could only be made by Godard. A reflexive film is not atypical, but this epic film about filmmaking is like no other. The sporadically used score by Delerue is gut-wrenching, and Bardot is magnificent. From the beginning, this film establishes a sense of tragedy, while expressing the power of words (Godard himself reads the credits aloud during the opening credits). This is a must-see in every way! The bonus feature titled "The Dinosaur and The Baby" on the Criterion release is an awesome hour long conversation between Fritz Lang and Godard concerning the future of film (and their conversation is still relevant today)!

  • One of the best debut films ever! It's iconic, tense, brilliant, visionary, and political... and oh so good! The whole film is a ticking time bomb from the beginning, and we all get to witness these three characters as they set out on a journey through Paris.

  • Wow. Steve McQueen's first film is a wild experience. The cinematography made my stomach churn several times, and it's an incredible visual narrative. As characters interact with each other, the story moves forward. McQueen's second film "Shame" is just as remarkable (and just as worthy of Criterion treatment).

  • A very political motivated mystery film that feels like a precursor to "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". Exotic music, vast treacherous landscapes, and seas of men in pursuit of women. A haunting film about a "careless upper class", and the backward ways that all exhibit.

  • An incredibly innocent story about a father who abandoned his family, yet regrets leaving in every way. Sam Shepard's highly American script brought to life by the German filmmaker Wim Wenders is a perfect marriage.

  • An interesting film that sneaks in messages about family and power in a story about assuming the identity of others.

  • Something extra. Revenge is always just one side of the story... There's always a victim as highlighted in this film about morality and honesty.

  • Something surprising.


  • By cinephile_12
    July 17, 2012
    06:31 PM

    Nice list and congrats on your feature film!
  • By Daniel Dolgin
    March 01, 2013
    10:46 PM

    Antichrist and La Haine are brilliant, O really need to get a copy of the second one. I hated Contempt and Hunger though.
  • By SputnikSweetHrt
    June 02, 2013
    07:45 PM

    I'll get around to Anti-Christ one of these days.Good list, and congrats on your film. I used to live in Knoxville, and I miss having access to some of the art house connections I had then...