My Life as a Dog
Alec Guiness said this was the greatest film ever made in his autobiography My Name Escapes Me, so I rented it and I’ve cried pretty much every day since, just thinking about it. Alec Guiness was not wrong on this one. The film is so wonderfully Scandinavian. Like a trip to Ikea . . . that makes you cry. My Life as a Dog will stay with you forever. —TL
Brazil coming out when I was fifteen was like a perfect storm. I had grown up on Monty Python, and loved Gilliam—and then this massive film blew my brains out all over my Milk Duds at the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Chicago. I saw it twice the week it came out. I didn’t know about all the studio drama surrounding it— like Terry Gilliam taking out ads in Variety to get the film released—until years later. This is probably the most quoted film in my family. “Trouble with your ducts?” “Salt?” and “They don’t fix themselves, sir!” are all still in heavy rotation in my daily conversation. —TL
The Ice Storm
One of the most gloriously depressing films ever made, an awkward tribute to the dysfunctional family in seventies America. And the wallpaper in many scenes is a tacky sort of perfection. So if you’re in a mood to get pretty bummed out, and look at some really authentic wallpaper, look no further. This film is like getting punched in the stomach with a rotary phone. —TL
Vittorio De Sica
The best movie ever made. Period. —TL
This Is Spinal Tap
The funniest film that ever will be made. It invented an entire genre. It’s impossible for me to quantify the impact this film had on my sense of humor. When I meet young people who have not seen this film, I am at first dismayed and then overjoyed for them, because I know they get to experience the thrill of the “this one goes to eleven” speech for the very first time. This film is a master class in deadpan comedy. —TL
I’ve probably seen this film a hundred times. It’s gunfights as ballet—and the two coolest, most bad-ass movie cops ever Not played by Clint Eastwood —RBG
This is a perfect comedy. Walter Matthau in the James Bond role versus Ned Beatty as head of the CIA. With Glenda Jackson, Herbert Lom as the head of the KGB, and Sam Waterston as “the new kid.” If more studio people saw Hopscotch, they would let old people be in more movies. —RBG
A film as depressing as it is inspiring. Heartbreaking, thoughtful, fascinating. Bitter and sweet, cool and creepy. It kinda makes you want to become an artist, and kinda makes you want to slit your wrists. It washes over you—leaving you really wanting to take a shower and wash it off. —RBG
The perfect movie. Perfect structure, perfect characters. Every character in every movie made since Stagecoach is a version of a Stagecoach character. —RBG
The most wonderful film about filmmaking ever. It makes fun of Hollywood and directors and studios, while writing the greatest love letter to Hollywood of all time. And most of all, it really, really makes you want to have sex with Veronica Lake. —RBG
Chris Hegedus’s Top 10
Filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker (Dont Look Back, Monterey Pop, The War Room) and Chris Hegedus (The War Room, Startup.com), creative partners and husband and wife, offer their favorites.
Alex Ross Perry’s Top 10
“I have been collecting Criterion Collection DVDs almost as long as I have owned a DVD player,” writes Alex Ross Perry, the director of Impolex (2009), The Color Wheel (2011), and Listen Up Philip (2014).
Amy Seimetz’s Top 10
The multitalented filmmaker behind Sun Don’t Shine (now playing on the Criterion Channel) and She Dies Tomorrow shares a list of favorites that subvert narrative convention and dive into the mysteries of identity.