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.
Bret Easton Ellis’s Top 10
Bret Easton Ellis sent us his ten favorite Criterion films in alphabetical order, with the caveat that his list “could have been different last week and it might be different next week.”
Al Reinert’s Top 10
Writes Al Reinert, director of For All Mankind: “Having your film in the Criterion Collection is like marrying your daughter into an old distinguished family that intimidates and humbles you. She might feel at home there, but I am inclined to stand…
Leanne Shapton’s Top 10
An artist, art director, illustrator, and publisher based in New York City, Leanne Shapton designed the covers of the Criterion releases Kicking and Screaming and Cría cuervos . . . , and is the author of Was She Pretty?
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).