09 June 2009

My Top Films

There is no point of making Best Movies list unless you do it right, making research, watching films, and including as many titles as you can. Since I have absolutely no intention or strength to do that, let me point you to the website that actually did it. Forget AFI's Top 100, and please don't pay attention at all to IMDb's top 250, or any other similar fan lists. Instead visit They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? as your ultimate summary of 1,000 greatest films.
Sure their priorities are more academic and tend to emphasize outdated classics, and sure they left some movies outside (there is obvious absence of cult films), but it is indeed most convincing and most accurate compilation of the greatest films you'll find. In addition to such list, this website is also great source of cinematic knowledge. If you are serious about your movies, this is the website you have to be familiar with.

And now on more personal note, I've watched most of the movies listed there, but many of them, shame on me, I managed to completely forget. The only thing I remember from Tokyo Story is how they got very drunk and it was very funny, and I'll be damned if I remember a single frame from Jeanne Dielman. On the second thought, if I don't remember them it's the sign I didn't really like them, and they didn't make any serious impact on me.

So with that thought in mind, here is my modest attempt to do my personal and much shorter list of films that I consider to be the greatest films ever made. In addition I will also list my favorite films, that I would not necessarily include them among the greatest, but I like them nevertheless.
The list will be very selective, I don't want to mention all the movies, just to make general impression. The order is chronological and has no meaning in terms of rating. All the movies in each list are equal in their value to me, although I will mention the number one in each category.
And just to get it out of the way, my most favorite film is Brazil by Terry Gilliam, and the film that I consider as the greatest ever made is The Tin Drum by Volker Schlöndorff.

Greatest Films

The General, Buster Keaton 1926

The Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio De Sica 1948

My Uncle, Jacques Tati 1958

, Federico Fellini 1963

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Jacques Demy 1964

Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick 1964

Doctor Zhivago, David Lean 1965

Persona, Ingmar Bergman 1966

The Conformist, Bernardo Bertolucci 1970

Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Werner Herzog 1972

Solaris, Andrei Tarkovsky 1972

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Luis Buñuel 1972

The Exorcist, William Friedkin 1973

The Savage Planet, René Laloux 1973

The Tenant, Roman Polanski 1976

Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola 1979

Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese 1980

Ran, Akira Kurosawa 1985

Blue Velvet, David Lynch 1986

Wings of Honneamise, Hiroyuki Yamaga 1987

Time of the Gypsies, Emir Kusturica 1988

Crimes and Misdemeanors, Woody Allen 1989

The Kingdom I and The Kingdom II, Lars Von Trier 1994-1997

Kids Return, Takeshi Kitano 1996

Memories of Murder, Joon-ho Bong 2003

The Aviator, Martin Scorsese 2004

Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón 2006

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Tom Tykwer 2006

There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson 2007

#1. The Tin Drum, Volker Schlöndorff 1979

My Favorite Movies

Dark Star, John Carpenter 1971

Heavy Metal, Gerald Potterton 1981.

Blade Runner, Ridley Scott 1982

The Meaning of Life, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam 1983

Videodrome, David Cronenberg 1983

Repo Man, Alex Cox 1984

Flesh+Blood, Paul Verhoeven 1985

Withnail & I, Bruce Robinson 1987

Tremors, Ron Underwood 1990

Boiling Point, Takeshi Kitano 1990

Miller's Crossing, Joel Coen 1990

Army of Darkness, Sam Raimi 1992

Pulp Fuction, Quentin Tarantino 1994

Starship Troopers, Paul Verhoeven 1997

The Big Lebowski, Joel Coen 1998

The Matrix, Wachowski Brothers 1999

eXistenZ, David Cronenberg 1999

The Ninth Gate, Roman Polanski 1999

Azumi, Ryûhei Kitamura 2003

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Wes Anderson 2004

Team America: World Police, Trey Parker 2004

Kung Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow 2004

The Descent, Neil Marshall 2005

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Adam McKay 2006

Aachi and Ssipak, Jo Beom-jin 2006

Apocalypto, Mel Gibson 2006

[Rec], Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza 2007

#1. Brazil, Terry Gilliam 1985


  1. Videodrome is one of my favorite Cronenberg movies. There are a lot of movies here i haven't seen. On your greatest films list i think i've only seen about 10 of them. There's so many classic movies i haven't seen yet that it's almost embarrassing lol Will take a look at that 1000 greatest films list...that should keep me busy for a few years lol

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  3. Damn, Julia! That was funny. If you don't mind I'll remove your comment once the last movie plays out.

  4. I don't think people need to see all the films in such lists. I'll suggest you to be more selective, and to watch only what seems right to you.

  5. I applaud your adoration of Brazil. What a fantastic, undeniably interesting, artful, and complex film. Also, bravo for recognizing the inherent problems in making "best of" lists without a set of criteria that dictates what "best" even means. And Nekrosoma, I completely disagree. That outlook is incredibly limiting and hinders exploration, learning, and growth.

  6. Exploration and learning is nice when you have nothing to do and all day you watch movies.
    But people have work, and families and hobbies, they cannot watch everything. And with such large selection of films you have to be selective, looking for movies that will appeal to you. This is how it goes in real life.
    Believe me, there is enough great movies to see even if going by what seems right to you, not just blindly picking something that you know you won't like.

  7. It is so hard to compile a list of top 50 movies of all time. There are just so many genres and most are not comparable across genres. We try to take the approach to segment it heavily and then have members rank their favorites to come up with blended averages.

    Top Ten Movies Lists