The Music Room
One of Ray’s most touching films.
Carl Th. Dreyer
The Passion of Joan of Arc
A real masterpiece. In my opinion, one of the very few silent films still powerful and accessible today
For years I regarded Alf Sjöberg as the best director ever on the basis of this film. A stunning adaptation of a short play that is all set in a kitchen. Quite amazing, the way Sjöberg opens out and strengthens all the tensions and relationships in the story. Superb visuals. I’d love to see his Barabbas . . . a film of his I’ve never been able to track down, even when I went to Stockholm.
Odd Man Out
I think this is the best of Carol Reed’s films, even better than The Third Man. A wonderfully detailed script. James Mason is incredible. Perhaps my favorite screen performance.
My Darling Clementine
I think this is the best John Ford film. Tautly constructed, well acted, and superbly shot. A shame that Darryl Zanuck was able to monkey with it. He actually improved a couple of scenes, but, overall, his changes were damaging.
I’ve never been a huge fan of David Lean’s epics and think the modest British films he did in the 1940s are superior. I also wouldn’t have thought he had a glimmer of humor, but this film is witty, and the actors (even Charles Laughton) have been directed with insight.
Probably Antonioni’s best film. It might be dated now. I’ve not seen it for some time but remember being stunned by the morality of it and the oblique, seemingly incomplete storytelling.
Bill Hader’s Top 10
In compiling his top ten Criterion editions, Hader says, “I couldn’t pick ten . . . sorry. So I programmed Criterion double features, which is what I tend to do on Sunday nights anyway.”
Guy Maddin’s Top 10
Canadian filmmaker and writer Guy Maddin’s Brand Upon the Brain!, featuring Isabella Rossellini as the narrator, was released on DVD from the Criterion Collection in 2008. Maddin also contributed an essay on Kirk Douglas for our release of Billy Wi…
Sonic Youth’s Top 10
Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, and Steve Shelley ganged up for this Criterion top ten—or twelve, as it turned out. The New York–based no wavers have been making music together since 1981. Their albums include Daydream Na…
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.