Josh Safdie

Go Get Some Rosemary; The Pleasure of Being Robbed


Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

Atalante, L'


Jean Vigo

Brown Bunny


Vincent Gallo



John Cassavetes

Julien Donkey Boy


Harmony Korine

Married Couple, A


Allan King



Robert Kramer

Moment of Truth, The


Francesco Rosi

Saturday Night Fever


John Badham

Taxi Zum Klo


Frank Ripploh

We Won't Grow Old Together


Maurice Pialat


A top 10 is really difficult, though I do try to maintain a top 100 list. Here are my current top 10. This list as a whole does not reflect the ten most important films to me. There are a few that seem to always be relevant for me: L'Atalante, Bicycle Thief, Taxi Driver, Sorcerer or Milestones, but for the most part this list is a reflection of what currently ranks as the top ten in my periphery as of late. 
A Married Couple: To paraphrase, or butcher, a brilliant thing Ray Carney once said to Benny and me, "of course all documentaries are great on some level, because they deal with reality," it's the way reality is portrayed that interests us. Fiction... This is the sole exception at the moment for me. As Alan King put it, A Married Couple is part of his actuality dramas. To me this is what makes being free-spirited so mean: "love." This film is so opaque, i'm even fooled into it all working out. 
Saturday Night Fever: When Travolta, the star that he was, set out to make this film, Disco was not popular outside of NYC and places like Philly. It was niche. It had already reached the outer-outer boroughs like Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. He thought he was making a "weirdo art movie." He had to scour second hand stores just to find the right outfits. He gave "dumb" a whole new chapter in a smart book. It's a film that's of itself, even its flashy use of style and stedicam, it's perfectly embedded in the fabric of the film. Tony Manero is such thick guy, and that's compelling. Slobs over Snobs. Revisiting this film a bunch also led me to another great Travolta jealousy-classic: Urban Cowboy.
L'Atalante: That underwater scene where Jean opens his eyes underwater in a despondent cleansing, a scene that's been homaged a million times (Graduate being the most obvious to me), carries me through most days. Jean Vigo is a god. He was the son of an outlaw. Also this was an introduction to Michel Simon for me. Emotional, Sloppy, Manic, Cinema. 
Moment Of Truth: An emotional wallop embedded in one of the most strikingly beautiful films I've ever looked at. Technoscope treated so brutally, yet with such careful imagery. Rossi knew that he had a star in a profession that absolutely begs for a star. I could look at Miguelin for hours.  I had grown up around a dad who always talked about Cordebes, Miguelin does things for himself just the same. The film is right there with Miguelin and his moving relationships with the bulls. It literally moved me to the edge of my seat. An absolute masterpiece.  Emotional, Sloppy, Manic, Cinema. (This italian sect in my brain is normally occupied by Bicycle Thief, which may be the greatest film ever made.)
We Won't Grow Old Together: Just the most vicious "love" story i've ever seen. Or what they'll call love. This along with A Married Couple could be labeled as a horror film, a beautiful one that shows glimmers of what we call love, or the glory of it vs the reality of living practically. It's about that smell of a nightmare and how we all want to remember our dreams. We've all been in a relationship like Jean and Catherine, one that makes no sense but we krawl back to it every time like there's no other alternative in this world. Self destruction... Just beautiful. Emotional, Sloppy, Manic, Cinema. 
Milestones: This or Route 1, moreso Milestones for it's goofiness and broken 60s ideals and 70s hardships. Manson did a number on em.. but that's not at all why I keep responding to this film. The characters memories in the film are my own by the end. Each time, i'm depleted and moved. In shock Kramer was able to capture life in such an expansive way and still include wild robbery scenes and John Douglas playing a blind potter. Emotional, Sloppy, Manic, Cinema. 
Taxi Zum Klo: Just great junk... by junk I mean the lack of preciousness this film was made with. It's so expressive and Frank Ripploh's character is so clogged up you can't help but relate to him. It's also really stupid and funny. A man expresses his love for his boyfriend by pissing a heart in snow. Friedkin's masterpiece, Cruising, normally occupies the confusing gay cruising scene in my brain.  Emotional, Sloppy, Manic, Cinema. 
Julien Donkey Boy: The looseness of this film really grabs me. Like Joan Miro paintings.. Every aesthetic choice really sits right up with how each scene is supposed to feel. It's a real great Queens film too. Feels like many homes of friends growing up. The way this film looks is a triumph in its own right. It looks like nothing else in this world, just like the films characters, a felt eye in the home of these people. If films are supposed to create meaningful images, a mantra Herzog often recites, this is a testament to that. I often quote and feel Juilen's poem that Herzog bangs down, "Midnight chaos, eternity chaos, morning chaos, noon chaos, midnight chaos, eternity chaos..." 
Gloria: Strange that he didn't want to actually make this film, maybe that's why it's one of his best. All his films are absolutely great, and I may just be a mainstreamer because i'm most attracted to this & Minnie and Moskowitz. Don't get me wrong I can always sit with Husbands or Woman Under the Influence. This one just seems to be the most relevant to what we're doing next. Seeing that puerto rican kid tell Gloria that he's the man, reminds me just how important it is to be a man. New York looks great in it and it shows that the mobb and kids are people as well. Plus Buck Henry would be the mafia's accountant and fuck and live with a Puerto Rican up in Inwood. 
Brown Bunny: No matter how many times you run it over in your head, no matter how many times you act it out, ride a motorcycle, hit the road, you're alone with yourself and you always come back to the same thoughts and that is loneliness. Milk and Honey. That is why the Brown Bunny is Gallo's best work. Self expression at its dire straights and most important. Been revisiting it lately. Also the fact that Gallo was able drag some of the people I know who see films the least into a theater, albeit for the blow job scene alone, is an eternal triumph in its own right. 

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