100 films I love right now

I’ve made a top 100 film list. I’ve tried to avoid objectivity or the temptation to pick ‘greatest’ films – instead I’ve tried to capture a snapshot of my tastes right now. I’ve tried not to pay attention to what would be my usual choices or agonise too much over my selection. I use Flickchart, so I had a starting point of a list of pretty much all the films I’ve seen, theoretically in ranked order – but to make this list I’ve cherry-picked only the films that are currently on my mind or that, when I see their titles, I want to rewatch immediately. It’s a skewed list, featuring lots of films I’ve seen for the first time in the last year or so – if I made a similar list next year, I’d guess that more than a quarter of the titles would be different. It’ll be interesting to see whether e.g. A Cottage on Dartmoor or The Swimmer stay with me.

I’ve listed the films in chronological order, which reveals a surprise: 11 of the films in this list were released this century. It’s notable that most of these recent titles are very downbeat and slow-paced – I hadn’t quite realised this is so clearly a factor in my tastes in modern cinema.

The director who appears most is Hitchcock, predictably. There are three by: Ingmar Bergman, Francis Ford Coppola, Luis Buñuel, F.W. Murnau and Nicholas Ray. There are two each by: Buster Keaton, Carl Theodor Dreyer, David Lynch, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jacques Tourneur, Jerzy Skolimowski, Robert Bresson, Roman Polanski, Thomas Vinterberg, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders and Andrei Tarkovsky.

Here’s the full list:

  • Les Vampires (1915, Louis Feuillade)
  • Nosferatu (1922, F.W. Murnau)
  • Sherlock Jr. (1924, Buster Keaton)
  • The Last Laugh (1924, F.W. Murnau)
  • The General (1926, Buster Keaton)
  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927, F.W. Murnau)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  • A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929, Anthony Asquith)
  • Pandora’s Box (1929, Georg Wilhelm Pabst)
  • The Blue Angel (1930, Josef von Sternberg)
  • M (1931, Fritz Lang)
  • Vampyr (1932, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
  • Island of Lost Souls (1932, Erle C. Kenton)
  • Trouble in Paradise (1932, Ernst Lubitsch)
  • Cleopatra (1934, Cecil B. DeMille)
  • L’atalante (1934, Jean Vigo)
  • The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)
  • Cat People (1942, Jacques Tourneur)
  • Rope (1948, Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, John Huston )
  • In a Lonely Place (1950, Nicholas Ray)
  • The Wages of Fear (1953, Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  • Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Diabolique (1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  • Rebel Without a Cause (1955, Nicholas Ray)
  • Bigger Than Life (1956, Nicholas Ray)
  • A Man Escaped (1956, Robert Bresson)
  • The Killing (1956, Stanley Kubrick)
  • Night of the Demon (1957, Jacques Tourneur)
  • The Abominable Snowman (1957, Val Guest)
  • Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Elevator to the Gallows (1958, Louis Malle)
  • Pickpocket (1959, Robert Bresson)
  • The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder)
  • The Innocents (1961, Jack Clayton)
  • Carnival of Souls (1962, Herk Harvey)
  • Baron Prasil (1962, Karel Zeman)
  • Knife in the Water (1962, Roman Polanski)
  • Jason and the Argonauts (1963, Don Chaffey)
  • Paranoiac (1963, Freddie Francis)
  • The Silence (1963, Ingmar Bergman)
  • Contempt (1963, Jean-Luc Godard)
  • Shock Corridor (1963, Samuel Fuller)
  • Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964, Byron Haskin)
  • Diary of a Chambermaid (1964, Luis Buñuel)
  • The Last Man on Earth (1964, Ubaldo Ragona)
  • The Naked Prey (1965, Cornel Wilde)
  • Persona (1966, Ingmar Bergman)
  • Seconds (1966, John Frankenheimer)
  • Cul-de-sac (1966, Roman Polanski)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, Sergio Leone)
  • The Nanny (1966, Seth Holt)
  • Belle de Jour (1967, Luis Buñuel)
  • The Swimmer (1968, Frank Perry)
  • Planet of the Apes (1968, Franklin J. Schaffner)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968, George A. Romero)
  • If…. (1968, Lindsay Anderson)
  • The Conformist (1970, Bernardo Bertolucci)
  • Deep End (1970, Jerzy Skolimowski)
  • Duel (1971, Steven Spielberg)
  • Wake in Fright (1971, Ted Kotcheff)
  • Frenzy (1972, Alfred Hitchcock)
  • Solaris (1972, Andrei Tarkovsky)
  • The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972, Werner Herzog)
  • Scenes from a Marriage (1973, Ingmar Bergman)
  • Don’t Look Now (1973, Nicolas Roeg)
  • F for Fake (1973, Orson Welles)
  • The Long Goodbye (1973, Robert Altman)
  • The Godfather Part II (1974, Francis Ford Coppola)
  • The Conversation (1974, Francis Ford Coppola)
  • The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974, Werner Herzog)
  • Robin and Marian (1976, Richard Lester)
  • That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Buñuel)
  • The American Friend (1977, Wim Wenders)
  • The Shout (1978, Jerzy Skolimowski)
  • Stalker (1979, Andrei Tarkovsky)
  • Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)
  • Paris, Texas (1984, Wim Wenders)
  • The Fly (1986, David Cronenberg)
  • Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch)
  • Withnail & I (1987, Bruce Robinson)
  • The Vanishing (1988, George Sluizer)
  • Barton Fink (1991, Joel & Ethan Coen)
  • Cronos (1993, Guillermo del Toro)
  • Irma Vep (1996, Olivier Assayas)
  • Funny Games (1997, Michael Haneke)
  • Festen (1998, Thomas Vinterberg)
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999, Anthony Minghella)
  • In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-Wai)
  • Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)
  • There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • Certified Copy (2010, Abbas Kiarostami)
  • Point Blank (2010, Fred Cavayé)
  • Take Shelter (2011, Jeff Nichols)
  • Shame (2011, Steve McQueen)
  • The Hunt (2012, Thomas Vinterberg)
  • Under the Skin (2013, Jonathan Glazer)
  • Night Moves (2013, Kelly Reichardt)
  • Force Majeure (2014, Ruben Östlund)

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