Franc Roddam, the director of Quadrophenia, got his start working for British television in the seventies, making award-winning films like Mini and Dummy and the fly-on-the-wall series The Family. His other feature films include The Lords of Discipline, The Bride, War Party, and K2. Among his more recent television credits include directing the Golden Globe–nominated movie Moby Dick and creating the reality competition series Masterchef, which is shown in 150 countries worldwide. He is also the founder and chairman of Ziji Publishing; its many titles include The Last Templar, which has sold over five million copies worldwide.
Truffaut reportedly said his film was to be judged on its sincerity rather than its technical merit. The film is beautifully made, but Truffaut’s sincerity confirmed my path as a filmmaker. The 400 Blows strongly influenced my films Mini and Quadrophenia.
Set in postwar Italy, this film brings a beautiful, brutal honesty to the plight of the have-nots. This is a fight for survival and dignity in an uncaring world.
I loved this film before I knew who Stanley Kubrick was. Sterling Hayden’s portrayal of the ill-fated criminal is majestic and psychopathic. The mechanics of the heist are brilliant, but Kubrick lets us see how it’s only the flaws in the characters that bring it down.
If I had to describe this film in three words, I would say: “Charm, charm, charm.” The beautiful Stefania Sandrelli is seduced by her sister’s fiancé, who then refuses to marry her because she’s no longer a virgin. The moral logic of the Italian family is hilarious.
This is the template for many films, including The Magnificent Seven. The story is a brilliant construction, and the path of the heroes is eternally inspiring. Kurosawa directs action like no other. It’s an awe-inspiring film.
This film is an epicurean delight: subtle, sensitive, and truly moving. This is a director in love with cinema.
It’s a bold film, made by a bold filmmaker. Director Mackendrick’s defense of the artist and the individual against a corrupt and malevolent press and its metaphor for corrupt government remains ever pertinent. The dialogue, written by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, is exceptional.
I defy anyone seeing this film for the first time not to gasp when Orson Welles suddenly appears in that doorway about a third of the way through. Directed by Carol Reed, screenplay by Graham Greene, this is top-drawer.
Clouzot’s version is a cinema tour de force. Tense from beginning to end, perfectly framed and edited, brilliantly acted. A must-see.
Wings of Desire celebrates the joy and pathos of being human. It’s down-to-earth and magical at the same time. It’s conceptually a breakthrough film, and no one interested in storytelling and the human condition should miss seeing it.