Andrei Ujica

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu; Videograms of a Revolution

Romania

Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

Andrei Rublev

1966

Andrei Tarkovsky

argent, L'

1983

Robert Bresson

Barry Lyndon

1975

Stanley Kubrick

Gertrud

1964

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Magnificent Ambersons, The

1942

Orson Welles

Man of Aran

1934

Robert J. Flaherty

Rear Window

1954

Alfred Hitchcock

Story of the Late Chrysanthemums, The

1939

Mizoguchi Kenji

Sunrise

1927

F. W. Murnau

Wild Strawberries

1957

Ingmar Bergman

Comments

Based on the fundamental intuition that – compared with classic literature – cinematic narrative, governed as it is by duration, cannot go beyond the boundaries reached by the 18th-century novel due to its physical constraints, Kubrick teaches us in Barry Lyndon a lesson about the essence of epic film at the highest level possible. An aesthetic and technical accomplishment that lies above any sort of hierarchy.

Gertrud is a movie like a Schumann Lied about the romantic idea of love as religion. It’s remarkable the way in which Dreyer handles the stylisation of emotion, like an imposing funambulism act, without any safety nets, defying at every step the danger of falling into the abyss of ridicule that looms beneath. The kind of work that marks the ending of one road.

The bastard condition of film, originated in fairs and in serial stories, as well as its unruly ambition to ascend to the superior arts sphere, are illustrated in Sunrise through choreography and the pictorial composition of the frames, staged like a fireworks show in the final hour of the silent-cinema era. A cry for modernity as deafening as Munch’s.

Flaherty’s incomparable force of staging reality rides like a tsunami over all attempts to decide upon a final terminology for non-fiction cinema. His capacity for visualising anthropological archetypes and for understanding the scale of human-against-nature confrontation in the pre-industrial era remains exemplary.

The supreme mastery of portrait in film, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums is a philosophical inquiry into femininity as horizon of perception, and as sacrifice in art rituals.

An Ivan the Terrible of the post-Stalinist generation, Andrei Rublev is a manifesto for the continuity of Russian thinking that undermined the Soviet system. The creator’s fable in the third act remains one of the most imposing pieces of its kind in the entire history of art.

The catholic version of Tolstoy’s disappointment in its final stage, L’Argent is a testament-movie of crisp insight and ruthless lack of compromise.

The 90-minute version of In Search of Lost Time, Wild Strawberries is A movie in which memory becomes tangible, and remembrance is materialised as wound and pleasure. And this was coming from a director who was 40 years old at the time.

A monument of amputated genius, The Magnificent Ambersons is a memento of one of the biggest crimes against art in the 20th century.

Rear Window: film has never looked at itself in a mirror of such outstanding clarity.

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