Mustapha Benfodil

Critic

Algeria

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

1963

Federico Fellini

Born on the Fourth of July

1989

Oliver Stone

City Lights

1931

Charles Chaplin

Gabbla

2008

Tarek Teguia

mépris, Le

1963

Jean-Luc Godard

Opening Night

1977

John Cassavetes

Passenger, The

1974

Michelangelo Antonioni

Rain Man

1988

Barry Levinson

Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom

1975

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Taxi Driver

1976

Martin Scorsese

Comments

I think that Charlie Chaplin is the greatest silent movies star and the best body-language artist, with an astonishing facial expression. I would choose all his films but I think that he has been especially marvelous in City Lights, a romantic love story about a tramp and a blind woman. I love all the movies of Fellini for their strange and baroque atmosphere. But I’ll choose Otto e Mezzo because of its poetic aesthetic. The story of lonely filmmaker Guido Anselmi, lost in his memories and dreams, is very beautiful. I love the mix between fantasy and reality, the black-and-white scenes and the foolish narration of Fellini. It’s a fantastic, artistic movie. I have a great admiration for Pier Paolo Pasolini. I can say that he is really a global artist. He was poet, writer, journalist and film director. I think that Salo is his most violent and most radical movie, in which he explores the links between political corruption and sexual perversion. The narrative structure of the film is amazing. We must remember that it was the last movie Pasolini made before his assassination. I’m very interested by the situation of autistic persons and I’ve been very touched by the role hold by Dustin Hoffman in Rainman as Raymond Babbitt. He was absolutely incredible as this character. As a playwright, I know what it means for an actor to be on stage and to hide his feelings and troubles when he is in the skin of a character. Opening Night shows with a great skill the dark side of the theatre, and Gena Rowlands is phenomenal in the role of Myrtle Gordon, this big Broadway star who must continue to act, despite the horror of the scene she has witnessed. Taxi Drives sees a big, big, big, unforgettable Robert de Niro brilliantly directed by a big, big Martin Scorsese in a very tough psychological thriller – one of the best of his kind. Contempt is a beautiful opus to Nouvelle Vague cinema, and one of Godard’s most experimental movies. I love his troubled and troubling narration, his obsession with breaking the codes of popular cinema using some typical Godardian tropes: minimal dialogues with strange gestures, stares and situations. It’s intellectual as usual but also aesthetically different and courageous. The Passenger is one of Antonioni’s best movies, especially with its famous last sequence: a seven-minute-take tracking shot around the hotel where David Locke (John Nicholson) is dead. The most spectacular performance of Tom Cruise’s career as is in Born on the Fourth of July as Ron Kovic, a veteran of the Vietnam War who goes home in a wheelchair and begins a new struggle against the politics of the United States in Vietnam. In the west, people know almost nothing about Algerian cinema but Inland is the best movie ever made in my country. It’s a film about the effects of the civil war in the deep countryside, a very beautiful road movie with fantastic scenes and a radical aesthetic.

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