João Pedro Rodrigues’s Top 10

João Pedro Rodrigues’s Top10

Acclaimed Portugese director João Pedro Rodrigues has made three features: O Fantasma (2000), Two Drifters (2005), and To Die Like a Man (2009).

Apr 19, 2011
  • 1

    Jacques Tati

    Mon oncle

    The first film I remember seeing. I was seven. It was a Sunday morning, late in 1973. I was alone in a theater that no longer exists. I remember I couldn’t stop laughing. Mon oncle and Playtime were the films that made me love modern architecture.

  • 2

    Yasujiro Ozu

    Good Morning

    The Ozu film that makes me think more of Tati. Is it the music in the beginning? I wish I had seen it when I was seven, but none of Ozu’s films were ever released in Portugal.

  • 3

    Charles Laughton

    The Night of the Hunter

    The most beautiful film ever made?

  • 4

    Kenji Mizoguchi

    Sansho the Bailiff

    The most beautiful melodrama ever made. I can’t help crying when I think about the last scene, on the Island of Sado: in the beach, near a poor shack, the sublime Kinuyo Tanaka, now old and blind, finally reunites with her long-lost son, Zushio. And life goes on; the seaweed picker continues to turn the weeds that dry in the sun.

  • 5 (tie)

    Douglas Sirk

    All That Heaven Allows

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder

    Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

    A middle-aged housewife’s desire, long before Desperate Housewives and so far away from its cynicism. Two desperate and tender films. From Jane Wyman to Brigitte Mira, from Rock Hudson to El Hedi ben Salem, from the United States to Germany, from the fifties to the seventies, a lesson in remaking.

  • 6 (tie)

    Georges Franju

    Eyes Without a Face

  • Michael Powell

    Peeping Tom

    Two films about the brutality of seeing (about cinema?), one directed by France’s answer to Fritz Lang, the other by the British Vincente Minnelli. And on the Franju DVD, there’s a precious extra: the 1949 short documentary Blood of the Beasts, a film that dares to look death in the eyes.

  • 7

    Samuel Fuller

    The Naked Kiss

    Again, the violence. The discovery of Constance Towers’s shaved head, in the precredits scene, remains one of my strongest fetishist images.

  • 8

    John Ford


    One of the very few westerns, my favorite classical genre, in the Criterion Collection. How to make an almost huis clos in the immensity of Monument Valley? Only Ford had that secret. The apparition of the great John Wayne in the Ford family, as the Ringo Kid, in a beautiful tracking shot, made him a star. Later, Wayne said about Ford: “This made me a star, and I’ll be grateful to him forever. But I don’t think he ever really had any kind of respect for me as an actor until I made Red River for Howard Hawks, ten years later. Even then, I was never quite sure.”

  • 9

    Robert Bresson


    The most sensual of films.

  • 10 (tie)

    Max Ophuls

    La ronde

  • Max Ophuls

    The Earrings of Madame de . . .

    Two films directed by the immense Max Ophuls, born in Sarre, between France and Germany, with the deepest Viennese heart.