Top 10s

Paul Dano’s Top 10

Paul Dano’s Top 10

The American actor and Criterion collector Paul Dano has appeared in more than twenty-five films, including Little Miss Sunshine (2006), There Will Be Blood (2007), Prisoners (2013), and 12 Years a Slave (2013). Writes Dano: “I am a huge fan of the Criterion Collection. I read the booklets while I ride the subway. I obsess over the pictogram of films they will release (is A Brighter Summer Day coming?!). Making a Top 10 list is near impossible. So in honor of the Criterion edition This Is Spinal Tap, I turned it up to 11.”

  • Early Summer

    1.
    Early Summer

    Yasujiro Ozu

    Ozu changed the way I look at film. Proof that less is more. What blossoms from his unmoving camera is huge, heartbreaking, poetic, and truly singular. This is my personal favorite of his.

  • A Man Escaped

    2.
    A Man Escaped

    Robert Bresson

    The specificity, the precision, the pacing, the details, the economy. The offscreen action and the use of sound. This is one of my very favorite films.

  • Le samouraï

    3.
    Le samouraï

    Jean-Pierre Melville

    I’ll never forget seeing the opening shot for the first time. Or watching Alain Delon try all those keys! I felt like I had finally found an “action” film made just for me. Writing about Melville is making me want to rewatch all his films! Army of Shadows and Bob le flambeur are as good as it gets!

  • Stranger Than Paradise

    4.
    Stranger Than Paradise

    Jim Jarmusch

    Who knew you could make a film like this? I didn’t. I love Jim Jarmusch. Down By Law and its special features (Robby Mueller!) might be the Criterion disc to get, but this one has special meaning to me.

  • Three Colors: Blue

    5.
    Three Colors: Blue

    Krzysztof Kieślowski

    A filmmaker taking all the elements of cinema and using them to their fullest. And Juliette Binoche.

  • Stray Dog

    6.
    Stray Dog

    Akira Kurosawa

    Sweat it out with this cop looking for his gun. A basic guide to filmmaking for me may start with Kurosawa and Hitchcock, and go backward and forward from there. I’m also so happy to have Throne of Blood on Blu-ray!

  • Still Walking

    7.
    Still Walking

    Hirokazu Kore-eda

    “Radishes are genius.” And so is this film. Exquisite. Kore-eda is one of the best filmmakers working today.

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

    8.
    The Passion of Joan of Arc

    Carl Th. Dreyer

    I remember seeing this and thinking, I should see this again. The compositions and the close-up. Her performance. It’s extraordinary.

  • The Thin Red Line

    9.
    The Thin Red Line

    Terrence Malick

    Growing up, actors defined films for me. When I was fourteen or fifteen and saw this film, it was the first time I thought, Who directed that? I think this is an absolute masterpiece, and I will watch it again and again and again.

  • The Long Day Closes

    10.
    The Long Day Closes

    Terence Davies

    Terence Davies is one of my favorite filmmakers. His first three films, which include this one, are so passionate and personal it makes me want to jump out of my skin, ecstatic with tears.

  • Make Way for Tomorrow

    11.
    Make Way for Tomorrow

    Leo McCarey

    Please watch this film. With your lover. Then call your parents.