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.
Rian Johnson’s Top 10
We asked director Rian Johnson, whose “high school noir” Brick was one of the most acclaimed films of 2006, what his favorite Criterion releases were. Johnson said: “I'm a huge Criterion fan. My first exposure to many of my favorite films came…
Tracy Letts’s Top 10
Tracy Letts is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for drama for August: Osage County and a Tony Award for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?