David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin
Perhaps my favorite documentary. In its thematic consistency and sense of narrative it works almost like an ancient myth, but with the added bonus of utter spontaneity—and Mick Jagger in a ridiculously long scarf.
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
I Know Where I’m Going!
My wife fell for me when she realized that my grandfather wrote this one. Some of that romantic spirit must have been genetic, she hoped.
Murmur of the Heart
I don’t quite understand how this film does what it does—make you understand the powerful, quasi-incestuous relationship between mother and son, without making it seem the least bit abnormal or reprehensible—but that’s what I love about it. That and the jazz soundtrack and the semipsychotic older twin brothers.
The Lady Eve
All the brilliance and laughter of any Sturges film, but with romance too.
The Wages of Fear
Desperate men who will do anything to earn a buck. It’s the tensest film I know.
The Complete Mr. Arkadin
A film that could have been as good as The Third Man—if Welles had had a bit more money and a more charismatic leading man. But the unpolished nature of the endeavor gives it a certain mystique.
The best British film of the 1970s. I love the symbolism and camera work.
Fanny and Alexander: Theatrical Version
I love to luxuriate in this film and imagine what it would be like to be part of this extraordinary extended family. A great double bill with The Royal Tenenbaums!
The Battle of Algiers
The way that Gillo Pontecorvo makes his political points without resorting to propaganda—while always being truthful to the characters—is utterly brilliant. It’s a true-life thriller that doesn’t resort to a single cliché. The music is also unequaled in film.
My favorite Fellini—maybe because it’s one of his most modest and endearing. The depiction of friendship always touches me.
Steve Buscemi’s Top 10
Steve Buscemi is an actor who has appeared in such films as Mystery Train, Fargo, Reservoir Dogs, and Armageddon. He also also directed such films as Trees Lounge, Animal Factory, and Interview.
Nicolas Winding Refn’s Top 10
Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn is the director of the Pusher Trilogy, Fear X, Bronson, Valhalla Rising, and Drive, for which he won the best director prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
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.”
Nicolas Roeg’s Top 10
“Oh! What have you done to me? What an impossible task. To pick ten titles from the Criterion Collection is difficult enough, but to put them in any kind of order would defeat Ockham's sharpest razor,” exclaimed Nicolas Roeg, director of The Man…