My 1.11%

film list

This is a list of 113 outstanding films that I selected from my movie-going career. All the films I have watched up to now amount to a complex experiential landscape dominated by trivial, routine, empty, senseless, pretentious, overestimated, arrogant or just plain silly enterprises, painted with a curious mix of disregard and cultural hegemony, but spiked with the instances of charm, grace and joy which remind us that we are lucky to be alive. The brightest of these sparks comprise the list.

I made a wider selection of 235 films according to a set of the interrelated poetic criteria such as concept, structure, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, acting, music, editing, art direction, visual and sound design, and overall atmosphere. Out of these I selected the films which touch and fascinate me the most, which are most fun, excitement and pleasure to watch, which repeatedly surprise me, teach me something new and bring up that incomparable ‘larger than life’ feeling. I narrowed down the final set as much as possible but would not go below without eliminating some essential and a couple of idiosyncratic works because this is an intimate choice of a film lover.

The list is not and cannot be hierarchical. It is initially ordered by the production year, but you can reorder it by all three headers, and click any title to search for it on the IMDb. Here is the basic stats. Here is my other 1.23%.

Stellan Rye & Paul WegenerDer Student von Prag (Student of Prague)1913
Robert WieneDas Kabinet des Dr Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari)1919
Friedrich Wilhelm MurnauNosferatu1922
Buster KeatonThe General1927
Walter RuttmannBerlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis)1927
Dziga VertovČelovek s kino-apparatom (A Man the Movie Camera)1929
Georg Wilhelm PabstDie Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box)1929
Luis BuñuelUn Chien Andalou1929
Robert Siodmak & Curt SiodmakMenschen am Sontag (People on Sunday)1930
Fritz LangM1931
Leni RiefenstahlOlympia1938
Billy WilderDouble Indemnity1944
Edward DmytrykMurder My Sweet1944
Fritz LangMinistry of Fear1944
John FordMy Darling Clementine1946
Robert SiodmakThe Killers1946
Alfred L. Werker & Anthony MannHe Walked by Night1948
Jules DassinThe Naked City1948
Roberto RosselliniGermania anno zero (Germany Year Zero)1948
Raoul WalshWhite Heat1949
Nicholas RayIn a Lonely Place1950
Rudolph MatéD.O.A.1950
Samuel FullerPickup on South Street1953
Robert AldrichKiss Me Deadly1955
Ingmar BergmanDet Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal)1956
Akira KurosawaShichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai)1957
Anthony MannThe Tin Star1957
John SturgesGunfight at the O.K. Corral1957
Alfred HitchcockNorth by Northwest1959
François TruffautLes Quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows)1959
Howard HawksRio Bravo1959
Otto PremingerAnatomy of a Murder1959
Michael PowellPeeping Tom1960
Akira KurosawaYojimbo1961
Andrej TarkovskiIvanovo Detstvo (Ivan’s Childhood)1962
Jean-Luc GodardLe Mépris (Contempt)1963
Sergio LeoneFor a Few Dollars More1965
Michelangelo AntonioniBlow Up1966
Jean-Pierre MelvilleLe Samourai (The Godson)1967
Peter YatesBullitt1968
Luchino ViscontiGötterdämmerung (The Damned)1969
Sam PeckinpahThe Wild Bunch1969
Jean-Pierre MelvilleLe Cercle rouge (The Red Circle)1970
William FriedkinFrench Connection1971
John BoormanDeliverance1972
Federico FelliniAmarcord1973
Fred ZinnemannDay of the Jackal1973
William FriedkinThe Exorcist1973
Sidney PollackThree Days of the Condor1975
Alan J. PakulaAll the President’s Men1976
John CarpenterAssault on Precint 131976
John SchlesingerMarathon Man1976
Martin ScorseseTaxi Driver1976
John FrankenheimerBlack Sunday1977
Francis Ford CoppolaApocalypse Now1979
Ridley ScottAlien1979
Werner HerzogNosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (Nosferatu the Vampyre)1979
Woody AllenManhattan1979
Brian De PalmaDressed To Kill1980
Jean-Jacques BeineixDiva1981
John IrvinThe Dogs of War1981
Wolfgang PetersenDas Boot1981
John CarpenterThe Thing1982
Ridley ScottBlade Runner1982
Godfrey ReggioKoyaanisqatsi1983
Clint EastwoodPale Rider1985
Juzo ItamiTampopo1985
David LynchBlue Velvet1986
Michael MannManhunter1986
John McTiernanDie Hard1988
Shinya TsukamotoTetsuo (The Iron Man)1988
Peter WeirDead Poets Society1989
Phillip NoyceDead Calm1989
Martin ScorseseGoodfellas1990
Oliver StoneJFK1991
Andrew DavisThe Fugitive1992
Paul VerhoevenBasic Instinct1992
Phil Alden RobinsonSneakers1992
Steven SpielbergSchindler’s List1993
Frank DarabontThe Shawshank Redemption1994
Mathieu KassovitzLa Haine1995
Trần Anh HùngXich lo (Cyclo)1995
Andrew NiccolGattaca1997
Curtis HansonL. A. Confidential1997
Gus Van SantGood Will Hunting1997
Jonathan MostowBreakdown1997
Mike van DiemKarakter (Character)1997
Steven SpielbergSaving Private Ryan1998
David FincherFight Club1999
Steven SoderberghTraffic2000
Roman PolanskiThe Pianist2002
Oliver HirschbiegelDer Untergang (The Downfall)2004
Stephen GaghanSyriana2005
Steven SpielbergMunich2005
Florian Henckel von DonnersmarckDas Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)2006
Guillaume CanetNe le dis a personne (Tell No One)2006
Spike LeeInside Man2006
Ethan & Joel CohenNo Country for Old Men2007
Stefan RuzowitzkyDie Fälscher (The Counterfeiters)2007
David AyerStreet Kings2008
Kathryn BigelowThe Hurt Locker2008
Martin KoolhovenOorlogswinter (Winter in Wartime)2008
Antoine FuquaBrooklyn’s Finest2009
Bertrand TavernierIn the Electric Mist2009
Patrick HughesRed Hill2010
Roman PolanskiThe Ghost Writer2010
Morten TyldumHodejegerne (Headhunters)2011
Denis VilleneuvePrisoners2013
Ivan SenMystery Road2013
Jim MickleCold in July2014
Richard LinklaterBoyhood2014
Alberto Rodríguez LibreroLa isla mínima (Marshland)2014
David MackenzieHell or High Water2016

Production countries by the number of films: USA: 68, Germany: 13, France: 9, Italy: 6, Great Britain: 5, Japan: 4, Australia: 3, Holland: 2, Soviet Union: 2, Sweden: 2, Austria: 1, Belgium: 1, Spain: 1, Norway: 1, Vietnam: 1. Coproductions: 6.

Directors with more than one film: Steven Spielberg: 3, Akira Kurosawa: 2, Fritz Lang: 2, Jean-Pierre Melville: 2, John Carpenter: 2, Martin Scorsese: 2, Ridley Scott: 2, Robert Siodmak: 2, Roman Polanski: 2, William Friedkin: 2.

Decades by the number of films: 1970’s: 16, 1990’s: 16, 1980’s: 15, 2000’s: 15, 1950’s: 12, 1960’s: 10, 1940’s: 9, 2010’s: 9, 1920’s: 6, 1930’s: 3, 1910’s: 2.

Years with more than three films: 1997: 5; 1959: 4; 1976: 4; 1979: 4.