Shanay Jhaveri

Writer/curator; editor of Outsider Films on India: 1950 -1990; curator of film programmes at Tate Modern, Frieze and INIVA


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Au Hasard Balthazar


Robert Bresson

Beau Travail


Claire Denis

Brighter Summer Day, A


Edward Yang

Flaming Creatures


Jack Smith

Funeral Parade of Roses


Toshio Matsumoto



Carl Theodor Dreyer

Hapax Legomena

Hollis Frampton

mépris, Le


Jean-Luc Godard

Peggy and Fred in Hell


Leslie Thornton

Sans Soleil


Chris Marker


Like drawing a line in the sand, my list is arbitrary. When I look over the ten films listed alphabetically, I only cover a period of four decades. I had hoped to have reached further and broader, but this list will always be incomplete. I cannot cover all bases. It is inescapable that these are my inclinations and have nothing to do with film history. If there will ever be another list, will I be more discriminating? This process of listing is a dangerous one, causing one to weigh up passion versus necessity. Almost anything can be argued for, but what is real is how generous a companion the cinema has been to me. I am amazed at all I have seen, and yearn to be shown so much more. “Brancusi said that creation should be as easy as breathing; and his beautiful and perfect works attest to the depth and ease of his breath. But sometimes the breath comes hard, in choking spasms, and sometimes it is reduced to the merest sibilance. Creation is just as uneasy as breathing. With inspiration, we draw in breath. In the end, we expire. While the breath runs, we feel moved, mysteriously, to conspire, to share breath. Of all the arts, none responds more fully and intricately to the flow of the breath of life than does film, nor does any other give itself so freely to the sharing of breath, unless we take inspiration from Ovid and look to an Art of Love, in which closest of all conspiracies we conceive, and were conceived.” – Hollis Frampton, Mental Notes, Buffalo, March 1973; from On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters, ed. Bruce Jenkins, 2009, p. 255. When I think of home, The Music Room (Satyajit Ray) India Song (Marguerite Duras) Two Couplets: Out 1 (Jacques Rivette) Milestones (Robert Kramer) Ludwig (Luchino Visconti) Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky) An incredible first film, Fireworks (Kenneth Anger) A Few More: Beauty #2 (Andy Warhol) A Letter From an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls) Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais) Satantango (Bela Tarr) Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) The Temenos What about Pier Paolo Pasolini, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Nathaniel Dorsky, Michael Snow, James Benning, Jean Marie-Straub and Danielle Huillet, Chantal Akerman, George Kuchar, Peter Hutton? The last seven minutes of L’Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni) This must stop. Now.

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