Chris Shepherd

Dad's Dead; Bad Night for the Blues


Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for

2001: A Space Odyssey


Stanley Kubrick

Apartment, The


Billy Wilder

Bicycle Thieves, The


Vittorio de Sica



Lindsay Anderson



Paul Thomas Anderson

Midnight Cowboy


John Schlesinger

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


Milos Forman

Seven Samurai


Akira Kurosawa

Theatre of Blood


Douglas Hickox

Wages of Fear, The


Henri-Georges Clouzot


Midnight Cowboy: This was the last film my mother saw in the cinema before she brought me up. She never got the chance to go to the pictures once I appeared on the scene. She raved about it and indeed she had very good taste. This classic skips between deep emotion and comedy like a reflex action. Heart breaking, funny and mind-blowing. It has epic cinematography while having the common touch. It’s maybe my favourite film of all time.

One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: I saw this in the Studio123 in Liverpool at the end of 70s or early 80s. I came out of the cinema a changed man. It altered not only the way I saw cinema but how I viewed the world. The mixture of pathos, farce, drama and heartbreak blew my mind. I’ve never been the same since.

Magnolia: This reaches out and grabs you emotionally. Magnolia sends you on a roller-coaster of human failure. In my favourite moment, when all of the characters sing ‘Wise Up’, it’s like their loneliness and collective isolation all come together. It makes me want to cry every time.

2001: A Space Odyssey: I saw this in the Futurist on Lime Street as a re-release when Star Wars came out. If there ever was a towering giant of a film, this is it. Completely genre-busting. No sound in space. It threw down a gauntlet to modern sci-fi which has never really been taken up, with the exception of Alien (which could also be in my top ten). I love the way 2001 shows you the story but doesn’t tell you it. Courageous filmmaking. It occupies its own place in the cosmos.

The Apartment: I first saw Billy Wiler’s classic on BBC2 on a New Years Eve in the early 80s. BBC2 had lots of great Welles, Kubrick, Anderson and Wilder seasons. People – that’s what Wilder was good at capturing.The antics and self sacrifice of CC Baxter only go to prove this. Everyone relates to a mensch.

If…: I never went to public school but nevertheless felt that the film’s sense of anarchy defines the rebellion we all feel as teenagers. I’m a massive Lindsay Anderson fan. His blurring of reality and fantasy is a core inspiration to me.

Bicycle Thieves: Realism. The power of the small moment. Infinitely affecting and beautiful.

Seven Samurai: A masterpiece. Its power in terms of acting, staging and direction is hard to beat.

The Wages of Fear: The ultimate comment on capitalism wrapped in what has become an inspiration for many an action film. It’s a story of losers, as are most of the films on my list. I only now realise that’s the commonality in my choices. My sympathy is always with the underdog.

Theatre of Blood: Okay, I love comedies. This should be a top 100 so I could include Mel Brooks and Woody Allen too. But here we have the classic satire on on critics. It’s devilishly funny and dark. OTT and fun. It puts a smile on my face every time.

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