Please be patient as we migrate all of our archival content into our new website. In the meantime, you can still enjoy Senses of Cinema’s archived Top Tens in their entirety.

Jul-Sept 2007: Jack Dole | Daniel Gast | Dave Heaton * | Quinn Hubbard | Amit Itzcar | Marios Karidis * | Chris MaGee | Andrew Schenker | Ekrem Serdar * | Ryan Slater | Frank P. Tomasulo | Daniel Yacavone * | Jason Younkman
* denotes a revised list

Jake Dole

Jake Dole studies film at the Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, having recently completed an honours degree in Communications at the University of Ottawa.

(in alphabetical order)

City of Pirates (Raúl Ruiz, 1984)
F for Fake (Orson Welles, 1975)
Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953)
October (Sergei Eisenstein, 1927)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
The Red Shoes (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
Tale of Tales (Yuri Norstein, 1979)
Toto le héros (Jaco Van Dormael, 1991)
A Walk Through H (Peter Greenaway, 1978)

I am fascinated by mysteries, riddles, antiquity, paintings and the poetics of memory. This list contains four my favorite riddles – F for Fake, A Walk Through H, Picnic at Hanging Rock and City of Pirates. The works of Welles, Greenaway and Ruiz are puzzles, exploring space and time and toying with our minds. Each added viewing provides a fresh interpretation and a new discovery to savour.

Every one of the ten films is a painting – some of them have changed the way we dream. October and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes are as important as they are great. Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Red Shoes and A Walk Through H are either elaborately staged as paintings or, in the case of the latter, serve to explore an existential journey by exploring drawings.

Ultimately these films are about the poetics of memory, entering our subconscious in an intimate dialogue with the filmmaker. Toto le héros, Tale of Tales and Fanny and Alexander are some of the more personal opportunities.

I picked Norstein in favour of Tarkovsky, which was a close call. I am also extremely fond of Walerian Borowczyk and Wojciech Has, whose works transcend with mystery and existential journey.

Daniel Gast

Daniel Gast is a 21 year old art student from Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Constructing a top ten is a real pain. It changes slightly on a weekly basis. At the moment my list would look something like this:

Maborosi (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 1995)
Serene and poetic cinema. A contemplative masterwork on (Japanese) life.

Cyclo (Anh Hung Tran, 1995)
Beautifully shot movie, with one of the most touching poems.

Tokyo.Sora (Hiroshi Ishikawa, 2002)
Ishikawa’s debut as a film director, and right on the money. This movie is about the human contact, or the lack of it.

Gummo (Harmony Korine, 1997)
One of the weirdest films I’ve seen, but at the same time one of the most beautiful. In my opinion Gummo is a true work of art.

Dolls (Takeshi Kitano, 2002)
The Bunraku theatre is the beginning of a thoroughly emotional display of interhuman contact.

Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994)
The most meditative cinematic experience I’ve had to date. A true revelation.

Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
Meditative and philosophical masterwork by Tarkovsky.

Eureka (Shinji Aoyama, 2000)
A film that pays off its long duration. Deeply touching!

Drawing Restraint 9 (Matthew Barney, 2005)
Matthew Barney’s masterwork. A movie about Japanese rituals and the sheer beauty they keep within.

Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2003)
An ode to Ozu. An ode to life itself, in all its boredom and stillness.

Dave Heaton

Dave Heaton is a music and film lover/writer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He is the founder and editor of ErasingClouds.com, associate music editor at PopMatters.com, and has a blog at BigTakeover.com.

(revised list, in chronological order)

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu, 1962)
Le Mépris (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)
L’Amour l’après-midi
(Eric Rohmer, 1972)
Broadway Danny Rose
(Woody Allen, 1984)
Trust (Hal Hartley, 1990)
Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995)
Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)

Every time I think about revising this list I have a grand notion of sweeping all the previous films away and starting anew. Tastes evolve, and there are so many films worth mentioning. But then I look at the list, fall in love with the films again even by reading their titles alone, and get stuck in that endless game of this-one or that-one. This time I’ve finally gone through with it, or made it part way there – six films have changed since the previous list. I tried to make this as honest a list as possible: the films that in reality I most love to watch, not those I want to say are the best (even if I rarely watch them). Five films made during my lifetime, and five made before it. There are two films here that I only saw once or twice but was completely blown away by. The others I’ve watched many, many times.

See also Dave’s previous list: Mar-Apr 2003

Quinn Hubbard

Quinn Hubbard is a Seattle based photographer and a lifelong student of the cinema.

(in a meaningless order)

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
Ridley Scott’s classic fusion of two film genres: science fiction and film noir.

Sophie’s Choice (Alan J. Pakula, 1982)
Devastating film adaptation of Styron’s staggering novel.

Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)
Wes Anderson’s perfectly pitched satire offers life-affirming lessons.

Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
David Lynch’s painterly background reveals itself in the beautiful framing throughout.

Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce, 1999)
Unflinching examination of the human condition.

Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001)
An apocalyptic tone poem. Remarkable.

The Door in the Floor (Tod Williams, 2004)
An unforgettable character study in a minor key.

The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996)
Anthony Minghella’s literate and lush adaptation of Ondaatje’s masterpiece.

Ordinary People (Robert Redford, 1980)
Robert Redford’s honest and stark melodrama based upon Judith Guest’s book.

Good Will Hunting (Gus Van Sant, 1997)
Gus Van Sant’s troubled genius struggles with an abusive past.

Amit Itzcar

Amit Itzcar is a 28 year old filmmaker from Israel who recently finished his latest film, The Safety in Rubber. You can read more about him at www.myspace.com/amitzcar.

All About Lily Chou-Chou (Shunji Iwai, 2001)
Because of the songs, the mood. The best film about modern youth.

It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
I cry every time I watch it.

Unbreakable (M. Night Shyamalan, 2000)
Shyamalan is a genius, no matter what anyone says. Probably the only “mainstream” director I really love and wait for any new movie from.

Buffalo 66 (Vincent Gallo, 1998)
Gallo is an inspiration for me. Even though he’s probably an egomaniac.

Lonesome Jim (Steve Buscemi, 2005)
Depression has never been so funny. Screw Garden State (Zach Braff, 2004)! Lonesome Jim is much better!

Spring Forward (Tom Gilroy, 1999)
Ned Beatty and Liev Schreiber are so good together. Beautifully shot and acted.

What Time is it There? (Tsai Ming-liang, 2001)
Or any other Tsai Ming-liang film for that matter.

City Slickers (Ron Underwood, 1991)
The best American “Men” film since Deliverance. Billy Crystal is hilarious!

Gummo (Harmony Korine, 1997)
The clothes, the non-actors, and Chloë.

Cinemania (Stephen Kijak and Angela Christlieb, 2002)
Because I know exactly how those film-goers feel.

Marios Karidis

Marios Karidis is a film lover – wannabe filmmaker – from Athens, obsessed with Martin Scorsese, Isaac Hayes and Carl Barks.

(revised list, in preferential order)

Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)
Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, 1996)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
The Last Temptation Of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)
The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, 1962)
Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara, 1992)
I Vitelloni (Federico Fellini, 1953)
Hana-Bi (Takeshi Kitano, 1997)
Dumbo (Ben Sharpsteen, 1941)
Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966)

See also Marios’ previous list: Jul-Aug 2003

Chris MaGee

Chris MaGee is a poet, writer and fledgling filmmaker living in Toronto, Canada, and has been the assistant editor of Jones Av., a quarterly journal dedicated to poetry.

(in alphabetical order)

After Life (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 1998)
Such a simple premise, yet such a profound film. Makes you glad to be human.

Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
Imperialism, madness, the nature of evil: so much more than a war movie.

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
Frankenstein
retold in 2019 Los Angeles.

The Hole (Tsai Ming-liang, 1998)
Who knew plagues and water damage could be so darn romantic?

Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)
Despair, beauty and understanding at the end of life.

Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano, 1999)
The most formally beautiful film I know.

North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
The best thriller ever made. Let’s hope to God they never decide to remake it.

The Remains of the Day (James Ivory, 1993)
Hannibal who? This is Anthony Hopkins’ (as well as anyone else’s) best performance.

Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
Why hasn’t Miyazaki’s imagination been designated a World Heritage Site?

Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987)
For anyone who’s ever been lonely.

Andrew Schenker

Professional librarian and amateur film critic, Andrew Schenker’s writings on film can be accessed at The Cine File.

(in alphabetical order)

Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1969)
M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
Ordet (Carl Dreyer, 1954)
La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc (Carl Dreyer, 1928)
Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
3 Women (Robert Altman, 1977)
Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2001)

Ekrem Serdar

Ekrem Serdar says hello at http://dostlaraselam.blogspot.com.

(revised list, in no particular order)

L’Argent (Robert Bresson, 1983)
(nostalgia) (Hollis Frampton, 1971)
Il posto (Ermanno Olmi, 1961)
La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
Viaggio in Italia (Roberto Rossellini, 1953)
Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963)
Boats Out of Watermelon Rinds (Ahmet Ulucay, 2004)
Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda, 1958)
Les Quatre cents coups (François Truffaut, 1959)

Plus anything Louis Malle, Scott Puccio or Nathaniel Dorsky has made – gladly, happily.

See also Ekrem’s previous list: May–June 2002

Ryan Slater

Ryan Slater has a B.G.S. in film studies with a minor in sociology and is currently involved in the sound design program at The Los Angeles Film School.

The Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1988)
Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini, 1957)
Humanity and Paper Balloons (Sadao Yamanaka, 1937)
He Who Gets Slapped (Victor Sjöström, 1924)
Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin, 1947)
Stroszek (Werner Herzog, 1977)
Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)

Honorable Mentions: Un condamné à mort s’est échappé (Robert Bresson, 1956), À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960), Paisan (Roberto Rossellini, 1946), Faces (John Cassavetes, 1968), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) and the films of Tsukamoto Shinya, Wong Kar-Wai, Michael Haneke, and many more.

Frank P. Tomasulo

Frank P. Tomasulo, Ph.D., is Professor and Head of Film Studies in the College of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts at Florida State University. This represents a list of films that synthesize thematic relevance and cinematic technique, movies that can be viewed again and again with new insights into the Human Condition and the possibilities of artistic expression.

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
L’Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961)
Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
Il Conformista (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)
Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1961)
In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)
Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974)
A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1970)

Some others that do not fit on an arbitrary list of ten: Ladri di bicyclette (DeSica, 1948), City Lights (Chaplin, 1931), On the Waterfront (Kazan, 1954), Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953), and The Godfather (Coppola, 1974).

Daniel Yacavone

Daniel Yacavone is a Temporary Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He has published in Studies in French Cinema and elsewhere, and has a particular interest in film and other arts (especially painting), cinematic reflexivity, and philosophy and film.

(revised list, in no particular order)

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
The most remarkable smuggling of the abstract/experimental into the cinematic mainstream and the synthesis of three great visions (Kubrick’s, Clarke’s, and Olaf Stapledon’s).

Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1988)
A monumental achievement via the most intimate.

Out 1: noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
Waiting for Pierre. Rivette’s light-dark, serious-play masterpiece – DVD beckons.

Twin Peaks (pilot) (David Lynch, 1990)
Hard to pick just one Lynch, but this just eclipses Mulholland Dr., Lost Highway, and Fire Walk With Me, for its effortless originality and unfaltering atmosphere.

Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
The only sound film made in America as complex and captivating as Welles and Cassavetes at their best

Le Mépris (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)
Beautiful and majestic on a big screen.

La Maman et la putain (Jean Eustache, 1973)
A new style of reflexive realism; immersive and cathartic.

Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974)
Heart-stirring ending.

The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
The film that launched a thousand directors.

L’Année dernière à Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1962)

Modernist film and literature in perfect synch.
I’ve gone for a Euro-centric list that reflects my modern/contemporary film bias and fails to reflect my love of Japanese cinema and the work of Orson Welles (too hard to pick just one!). I rate (and love) the following by other directors as highly as the above in many cases – and they could easily make the list in another mood: Le Rayon vert (Eric Rohmer, 1986), A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974), Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1974), Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968), Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000).

See also Daniel’s previous list: May-June 2003

Jason Younkman

Jason Younkman is a 20 year old cineaste and currently a film major attending Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, USA.

Ten films that have greatly influenced my personal aesthetic and view of the world:

The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)
Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
Il Conformista (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)
Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924)
Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, 1969)