Recommendations required - top ten films (no wait - come back!)


Well-known member
the tv thing is completely overblown. none of those shows are actually that good. the wire is hammy and overblown, breaking bad has that mechanical script writing machine, etc. we are in game world now and I cant wait to see how it develops. I wouldn't have the slightest interest in writing for tv or film but would gnaw a leg off to write for games. in fact im going to write to all the games companies and ask them for work.

yeah i can agree with most of that, modern films and tv are just crap. i do like the sopranos though. does that still count as modern?

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
no horror list, doubled my general list instead. if that's cheating (it is) I don't care. deal with it list sticklers.

i'm sure i forgot a bunch of things that might replace some films on this list but oh well.

Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)
Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
The Battle of Algiers
Walkabout (Roeg)
Aguirre the Wrath of God/Fitzcarraldo (Herzog)
Apocalypse Now (FF Coppola)
Mad Max/The Road Warrior (George Miller)
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
The Thing (Carpenter)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (Paul Schrader)
Walker (Alex Cox)
Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow)
Edward II (Derek Jarman)
Totally Fucked Up (Gregg Araki)
Burnt by the Sun (Nikita Mikhalkov)
La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz)
Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee)
Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)
Animal Kingdom (David Michod)
*honorary spot for Jodorowsky’s unmade Dune

also 2 directors who would all make my director list but don't have a single film that makes this list for me: Tarkovsky (Stalker if I had to pick), Malick (Badlands). Edward II is kind of a stand in for all Jarman's work too

and 2 to add for horror I guess in the spirit of recommendations:
Santa Sangre (Jodorowksy)
Shadow of the Vampire (the greatest meta-horror film of all time. Willem Dafoe is otherworldly. literally)


Darned cockwombles.
Animal Kingdom is a good call. Film for film I think Australian cinema is a match for any other country over the past 20 years

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
whenever I hear people complain about Tarr, Tarkovsky, Malick, etc for being too long and boring (even late period Kurosawa gets accused of this) it's almost always a defensive thing, like they need to justify why they don't like them so they attack them. I think it's better not to look on it as a failing of the viewer or the film. if you don't like, cool. Tarkovsky's not for everyone. that doesn't make his films not masterpieces, or that people who find them boring are philistines.

also for the record if we were just going to go by what we watched the most for like 3 years growing up the only tape I had was a version of Willow I taped off TV and I must have watched it like 50 times, literally. it's not bad. I mean, it's cool they got actual dwarves to play halflings instead of CGI Elijah Woods. skinny young charismatic Val Kilmer. you could do worse.


Darned cockwombles.
This is true, but I think the defensiveness comes from both sides. It's rare to encounter a clear, straightforward defence of these directors that doesn't take refuge in the alleged 'sophistication' of the films or similar.

Sometimes (and I wouldn't level this criticism at fans of Tarkovsky - I just find his pacing too slow, rather than having any problems with the films) it seems that certain European directors are lauded when, had an equivalent film been made in the English language, it would be found intolerably pretentious. I'm particularly thinking of the beginning of Werckmeister Harmonies.

Obviously this is not a blanket criticism of European directors who trade in longueur (treating this word as if it needn't be derogatory - don't know if this is correct) - something like 1080 Bruxelles is amazing, and to me quite unpretentious.
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Darned cockwombles.
Eh? What are you on about?

He means the film you've watched the most, which most often will be something you obsessed about in childhood. For me, Jaws, which probably would be in my top ten if I rethought it. Peerless pacing, and some fantastic visual ideas too.


Well-known member
Definitely the visually stunning Ivan's Childhood and the Andre Rublov for Tarkovsky for me over the later ones, those two are both knock outs.

Top ten, man it's so hard!

Rear Window for sure
Atanarjuat the Fast Runner - stunning elemental film
Drowning by Numbers (Peter Greenaway)
Passion of Joan or Arc for the silent spot
L'Eclisse (Antonioni) for the amazing set piece in the stock exchange maybe..

hmm, will try and come back and complete


Darned cockwombles.
My girlfriend launched a Deadwood propaganda campaign to try to get me to watch it - I really had difficulties with the first few episodes (mostly because I found it excessively bleak and violent, without payoffs in other areas), but I hear it gets a lot better....
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call me big papa
10 off the top of my head:

Wild Strawberries
Barry Lyndon
Before Sunrise
Rear Window
Seventh Samurai
Apocalypse Now
This is Spinal Tap


Top 10 from Netflix watched recently (no particular order):

The Lives Of Others
The Baader Meinhof Complex
Glengarry Glen Ross
Fish Tank
A Royal Affair
Hard Boiled
Battle Royale


Well-known member
Staff member
the problem with malick is not just that hes thick as fuck its that his visual sense is so national geographic. tarkovsky films look great even when youre bored. malick films are offensive to the eye and boring and stupid so hes in a different category.


Evenly Distributed
allegiant, I like the way you led with this tentative caveat, and then immediately followed with a sublime, super-stylish, cinephile list of horror movies. That's the way to do it!

Just noticed/bookmarked Cinecitta. Your piece on Le orme is tempting me.


Darned cockwombles.
badlands is his best film. he wasnt trying to be deep at that point.

Indeed. Days of Heaven is just about saved by the golden hour idea, but it's still cosmically dull. Less said about the rest...

Good call on Baader-Meinhof, continuum. Great film. And Apocalypto.

Another I missed: Reds. Has Warren Beatty ever been in anything else nearly as good (I find B&C laboured, if obviously important in the Hollywood narrative)?
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Beast of Burden
Just noticed/bookmarked Cinecitta

Thank you, very appreciated.

Talking of Le Orme, Reds was also shot by Storaro, which is one the main reasons I want to watch it, apart from the subject matter of course.


"TV is obviously in a stellar period too (and before HBO and its progeny, I think lots of people would have predicted a slow death for that medium), which has more than a little to do with making series more cinematic (BB is obvious example)"
The fourth series of Big Brother was especially cinematic.
I think I'm gonna have to watch Breaking Bad now that EVERYONE in the world is talking about it.