Terry Gilliam’s pièce de résistance, in my humble opinion. Such an assured aesthetic, with a perfect dystopian message. I highly recommend looking for the cut of the song “Brazil” with Kate Bush on vocals. It’s a masterpiece rivaled only by this astounding film.
Lars von Trier
In a bit of a stylistic departure from the Dogme films, which are bound by their namesake, Lars von Trier plays with rear projection and melodrama so beautifully. The color-treated scenes are just jaw-dropping; it’s a perfect marriage of style and substance. Not to mention Jean-Marc Barr is a total dreamboat here.
My heart explodes every time I watch this film. I love how Hulot interacts with all the frivolous things that collide with him, like an ape in Space Odyssey. Tati’s weird parody of modern technology ends up romanticizing every little object with the slightest touch of his style. Childish, dense, and extremely watchable.
Really meditative and challenging, like being sentenced to a philosophical nightmare. I used to pray for the ability to reanimate my childhood pet dog till I saw this film. Eerie stuff.
I feel a strong sense of Polish pride when I watch any Polanski film. This one is the perfect blend of absurdity and levity. Like Waiting for Godot for the theatrically challenged.
The perfect film for any self-obsessed artist out there.
David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer
Albert Maysles and David Maysles
The Beales of Grey Gardens
Tragic and hysterical in one breath. I challenge anyone to dislike these films. The Edies are two of my favorite film stars of all time.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
I bought this film on a whim, mostly thanks to its eye-catching cover and my love of Yukio Mishima’s books. Turns out to be a classic, a real grade-A stubborn-man-on-a-mission tale told in a truly ambitious fashion. (Spoiler alert) the seppuku scene at the end is really poetic and tasteful, and Philip Glass is such a perfect match stylistically.
Wings of Desire
An amazing shot-by-shot remake of City of Angels. Juuust kidding. Berlin looks as ominous and beautiful as ever. Lots of emotive long shots, perfectly composed. Any movie that stars both Columbo and Nick Cave is bound to be groundbreaking.
The Double Life of Véronique
Hard to choose a favorite Kieslowski. This one is so wonderfully evocative and rich. We’ve all felt that quantum split, even for a second, and this is a film that illustrates that feeling perfectly. Zbigniew Preisner scored most, if not all, of Kieslowski’s features, and their creative sympathy is really evident in The Double Life.
Marcel Dzama’s Top 10
The Winnipeg sculptor, painter, and collage artist Marcel Dzama’s eclectic choices for his top ten range from avant-garde underwater shorts (Painlevé) to noir (The Third Man) to New Wave (The Fire Within) to contemporary experimental (Guy Maddin).
Lev Kalman’s Top 10
In this list selected with his filmmaking partner Whitney Horn, the codirector of L for Leisure and Two Plains & a Fancy lingers on the weird and wonderful details in some favorite movies.