My Favorite Films

Over the years my interest in the list-making rituals so beloved by the cinephile community has waned, and my Personal Canon list is intended to acknowledge the impossibility of trying to and whittle down a list of “favorites” to a specific number of titles.

At the same time I also realize there is something to be said about going through the process of assembling a “favorites films” list. Most important to me is how it creates a kind of “time capsule” capturing the sensibilities, tastes, and interests of a particular moment in one’s life. It is in the spirit of such documentation that the following list of 101 titles was compiled. [Last updated:  November 2017]

01) BEFORE SUNSET (Richard Linklater, USA, 2004)
02) L’ANNÉE DERNIÈRE À MARIENBAD (Alain Resnais, France, 1961)
03) HOLIDAY (George Cukor, USA, 1938)
04) LES DEMOISELLES DE ROCHEFORT (Jacques Demy, France, 1967)
05) L’ECLISSE (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1962)
06) GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (Howard Hawks, USA, 1953)
07) HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (Alain Resnais, France/Japan, 1959)
08) IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 2000)
09) MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1944)
10) VENDREDI SOIR (Claire Denis, France, 2002)

11) VAMPYR (Carl Th. Dreyer, Germany/France, 1932)
12) NASHVILLE (Robert Altman, USA, 1975)
13) LOOKING FOR LANGSTON (Isaac Julien, UK, 1989)
14) PAPAGENO (Lotte Reiniger, Germany, 1935)
15) 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 2004)
16) CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Richard Brooks, USA, 1958)
17) SHANGHAI EXPRESS (Josef von Sternberg, USA, 1932)
18) MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON (Maya Deren, USA, 1943)
19) LE MÉPRIS [CONTEMPT] (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1963)
20) THE BIG SLEEP (Howard Hawks, USA, 1946)
21) LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN (Max Ophüls, USA, 1948)
22) CÉLINE ET JULIE VONT EN BATEAU (Jacques Rivette, France, 1974)
23) GILDA (Charles Vidor, USA, 1946)
24) LA CHARM DISCRET DE LA BOURGEOISIE (Luis Buñuel, France, 1972)
25) FIREWORKS (Kenneth Anger, USA, 1947)

26) THE NEW WORLD (Terence Malick, USA, 2005)
27) THE BIRDS (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1961)
28) HAPPY TOGETHER (Wong Kar-Wai, Hong Kong, 1997)
29) LE TEMPS RETROUVÉ [TIME REGAINED] (Raul Ruiz, France, 1999)
30) ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (Howard Hawks, USA, 1939)
31) LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR (Christophe Honoré, France, 2007)
32) LE SANG D’UN POÈTE (Jean Cocteau, France, 1930)
33) DAISIES (Vera Chytilová, Czechoslovakia, 1966)
34) LE BONHEUR (Agnès Varda, France, 1965)
35) INDIA SONG (Marguerite Duras, France, 1975)
36) JUDEX (Georges Franju, France, 1963)
37) ONE HOUR WITH YOU (Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1932)
38) THE PLACE BETWEEN OUR BODIES (Michael Wallin, USA, 1975)
39) L’HEURE D’ÉTÉ [SUMMER HOURS] (Olivier Assayas, France, 2008)
40) MACAO (Josef von Sternberg, USA, 1952)

At a certain point rankings become meaningless, so the rest are presented in alphabetical order:

THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED (Lotte Reiniger, Germany, 1926)
ALONE. LIFE WASTES ANDY HARDY (Martin Arnold, Austria, 1998)
L’AVVENTURA (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1960)
AUGUST AND AFTER (Nathaniel Dorsky, USA, 2012)
BONJOUR TRISTESSE (Otto Preminger, USA, 1958)
CARNIVAL OF SOULS (Herk Harvey, USA, 1962)
UN CHANT D’AMOUR (Jean Genet, France, 1950)
THE CHASE (Arthur Ripley, USA, 1946)
CHRISTOPHER STRONG (Dorothy Arzner, USA, 1933)
CLÉO DE 5 À 7 (Agnès Varda, France, 1962)
THE CLOCK (Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1945)
CRONACA DI UN AMORE (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1950)
THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (Robert Wise, USA, 1944)
THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (Delbert Mann, USA, 1960)
DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (Harry Kümel, Belgium/France, 1971)
THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN (Werner Schroeter, West Germany, 1972)
ÉLOGE DE L’AMOUR [IN PRAISE OF LOVE] (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 2001)
EYES WIDE SHUT (Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1999)
FLESH AND THE DEVIL (Clarence Brown, USA, 1927)
THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS (Lech Majewski, UK/Italy/Poland, 2004)
THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINI (Vittorio de Sica, Italy, 1970)
GERTRUD (Carl Th. Dreyer, Denmark, 1964)
LES GLANEURS ET LA GLANEUSE (Agnès Varda, France, 2000)
HEARTBEATS [LES AMOURS IMAGINAIRES] (Xavier Dolan, Canada, 2010)
L’IMMORTELLE (Alain Robbe-Grillet, France, 1963)
INNOCENCE (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Belgium/France, 2004)
JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (Chantal Akerman, Belgium, 1975)
JOURNAL D’UN CURÉ DE CAMPAGNE (Robert Bresson, France, 1951)
LOADS (Curt McDowell, USA, 1985)
THE LONG DAY CLOSES (Terence Davies, UK, 1992)
THE MAGIC FLUTE (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1975)
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1946)
MEETING OF TWO QUEENS (Cecilia Barriga, Spain, 1991)
MISTÉRIOS DE LISBOA (Raul Ruiz, Portugal/France, 2011)
MODEL SHOP (Jacques Demy, USA, 1969)
MUSEUM HOURS (Jem Cohen, Austria/USA, 2012)
NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST (Peter Sollett, USA, 2008)
NO SKIN OFF MY ASS (Bruce LaBruce, Canada, 1993)
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (Jim Jarmusch, Germany/France, 2013)
OUTER SPACE (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2000)
PATHER PANCHALI (Satyajit Ray, India, 1955)
LA PEAU DOUCE (François Truffaut, France, 1964)
PINK NARCISSUS (James Bidgood, USA, 1972)
PORTRAIT OF JASON (Shirley Clarke, USA, 1967)
POTO AND CABENGO (Jean-Pierre Gorin, USA, 1980)
QUERELLE (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany/France, 1982)
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (Wes Anderson, USA, 2001)
ROSE HOBART (Joseph Cornell, USA, 1936)
SALOMÉ (Charles Bryant & Alla Nazimova, USA, 1923)
SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (Stanley Donen, USA, 1954)
THE SEVENTH VICTIM (Mark Robson, USA, 1943)
SOMEWHERE (Sofia Coppola, USA, 2010)
STAGE DOOR (Gregory La Cava, USA,1937)
THE TEMPEST (Derek Jarman, UK, 1979)
TEOREMA (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy, 1968)
THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (Nicholas Ray, USA, 1948)
THE TREE OF LIFE (Terence Malick, USA, 2011)
THE WATERMELON WOMAN (Cheryl Dunye, USA, 1996)
THE WOMAN ON THE BEACH (Jean Renoir, USA, 1947)
VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1958)
WEEKEND (Andrew Haigh, UK, 2011)

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