Melissa Gronlund

Editor, Afterall


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Ballet mécanique


Fernand Léger/Dudley Murphy

Blow Job


Andy Warhol

Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles


Chantal Akerman

Jetée, La


Chris Marker



Fritz Lang

Ritual in Transfigured Time


Maya Deren

Scenes from a Marriage


Ingmar Bergman

Taxi Driver


Martin Scorsese

Videograms of a Revolution


Harun Farocki/Andrei Ujica



Michael Snow


In its exploration of dance and movement, stillness and photography, ritual and film, Maya Deren’s 1946 film Ritual in Transfigured Time questions what an artist’s film could be and – particularly in its emphasis on ritual – provides a could-have-been as a direction for artist’s film. I’ve chosen Blow Job Not just for a title that leaves nothing to the imagination, but for its enquiry into narrative, suspense and fulfilment in outrageously literal terms. As a native New Yorker, Taxi Driver speaks to me of a city that is long gone: one could take away the narrative and have just the streets, the coffee shops and the stoops, and the whole film would remain intact. Wavelength is so tightly focused that it becomes about everything – its final moments are like leaving your house for the first time, or thinking you were in a valley and finding yourself on a mountain. Akerman filmed Jeanne Dielmann, 23 quai de Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles at a lower camera height than one is used to – her own height (she is quite short) – and a feeling of claustrophobia seems to follow from that, pervading the film and, despite its dramatic ending, never fully abating.

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