Richard Ayoade’s Top10
The British comedian, actor, writer, and director Richard Ayoade is best known for his starring role on the UK television series The IT Crowd and his successful directorial debut Submarine, which was released in the U.S. in 2011. In selecting his ten favorite Criterions, Ayoade writes, “I really could have chosen a top 100. It was almost impossible to narrow it down. I’m already missing out so many favorites: Sans Soleil, Make Way for Tomorrow, The White Sheik, Rushmore, The Earrings of Madame de . . . , The Battle of Algiers, The Double Life of Véronique, The Browning Version, Dazed and Confused, White Dog . . .” Check out the films he did choose.
Photo by Dean Rogers
The Bakery Girl of Monceau
Such a tremendous collection. It’s fascinating to see how Eric Rohmer translates his own short stories into these films. His work with Nestor Almendros is so beautiful and simple, and the films are such profound and witty examinations of self-deception. Because I’ve been greedy in choosing these, I haven’t allowed myself to choose The Adventures of Antoine Doinel.
Zazie dans le métro
The first film I would watch over and over again. It’s so full of joy and made with such seeming confidence and love. Louis Malle is one of my favorite directors, and it’s great to see him so well represented at Criterion.
Just peerless. Georges Delerue’s score is my favorite of any film. Raoul Coutard’s photography is dazzling. The film seems to be, among another things, a brilliant analysis of the difficulty of translation. It’s hard to choose one Godard film, but Contempt seems to encapsulate so much of his genius.
Days of Heaven
More incredible work from Nestor Almendros (with the help of Haskell Wexler). Sam Shepard is terrific in this film. I love its mythic, timeless quality and Malick’s writing.
F for Fake
So innovative and playful. Orson Welles makes it look like the easiest thing in the world, but this is such an amazing feat of engineering.
Scenes from a Marriage
Although I could have happily chosen any of your Bergman titles, this is the one I rewatch most often.
Brutal and very funny. I love its defiance. I look forward to each new Catherine Breillat film.
The Golden Age of Television
If only for Rod Steiger’s performance in Marty. I think that could be the best performance I’ve seen. It’s so unbearably moving. The quality of his voice is heartbreaking.
Completely devastating, and so magical. I don’t think anyone can forget the image of Takashi Shimura on the swing in the snow.
Perhaps the first film I truly fell in love with. One of the most brilliant scripts ever. I can’t wait for Whit Stillman’s latest.