The 75 best looking films ever made

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Not seen I am Cuba and if I've seen either Days of Heaven or Black Narcissus it's been such a long time that I might as well not have - what you've posted from each looks good though. I'm really not a fan of the news-reel montage at the beginning of Citizen Kane but it's very good otherwise and rightly highly regarded and influential. In the Mood for Love is quite simply sumptious imo.
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The Top 5:
No 5.: The fabulous Baron Munchausen (1962)
Directed by Karel Zeman
DoP.: Jirν Tarantνk



This is an astonishing film which deserves to be spoken about more. It’s a mixture of animation and live action and is a colourful fable based on an old book. Famously remade by terry Gilliam, the original is a far more daring, pioneering and beautiful.

Every scene has some jaw dropping animation or technique that makes the colours and action jump off the screen. It is scintillating.
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No 4.: ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ (1968)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
DoP.: Geoffrey Unsworth


So much has been written about this film. It almost needs no introduction. Years ahead of it’s time, so visually exciting that it spawned conspiracy theories about the moon landings. So amazingly shot and constructed. It still holds up today as one of the most awe inspiring films ever made, and could easily have been no.1.



The film has inspired countless others, but remains the daddy of Sci-Fi, and is one of the very rare films that we can say genuinely changed cinema.

Some comparisons. Jonathan Glazer’s ‘Under the Skin’ :


Duncan Jones’ ‘Moon’:


Even 2001’s special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull directed a sci fi film with many influences from Kubrick’s masterwork:



Kubrick calculated that it would take one person 13 years to hand draw and paint all the mattes needed to insert the assorted spacecraft into the starry backgrounds. Kubrick hired 12 other people, and did the job in one year. He worked for several months with effects technicians to come up with a convincing effect for the floating pen in the shuttle sequence. After trying many different techniques, without success, Kubrick decided to simply use a pen that was stuck with tape to a sheet of glass and suspended in front of the camera:



A true masterpiece.
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No 3.: ‘Persona’ (1966)
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
DoP.: Sven Nykvit


The greatest Bergman film of all. A film about existentialism, the duality of the self, sexuality, gender, family, loneliness or all or none of those things. An absolute masterpiece. You can feel Bergman and Nykvist bouncing off each other. How does a film set in just a few locations have such ingenious photography?



According to text on the film:

"In the spring of 1965 Bergman was admitted to the Sophia Hospital, Stockholm, for double pneumonia and acute penicillin poisoning. While hospitalized, he created the basic script of "Persona". Inspired by August Strindberg's one-act play "The Stronger", an existence which consisted of dead people, brick walls and some dreary park trees and conceived as a sonata for two instruments."

The film has had so much influence in cinema. From recent films like ‘The Handmaiden’ and ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ to Lynch masterpieces such as ‘Mulholland Drive’ :



It will remain a visual masterpiece as new generations of filmmakers discover it.
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No 2.: ‘Blade Runner’ (1982)
Directed by Ridley Scott
DoP.: Jordan Cronenweth




Ridley Scott’s world building in Blade Runner is perhaps the most beautiful ever committed to film. The tech noir neon lit underworld is so pretty I’d probably watch hours of footage of it.



It’s one of the most inspiring films of the 20th century, and wasn’t received that well on release but is rightly revered across cinema these days.

The influence even spreads across to anime, here a comparison with Mamoru Oshii’s ‘Ghost in the Shell’ (1995):



It’s a magnificent film.
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No 1.: ‘Metropolis’ (1927)
Directed by Fritz Lang
DoP.: Karl Freund, Gόnther Rittau, Walter Ruttmann



If 2001 is the daddy of Sci-Fi, then 'Metropolis' is the Grandaddy. There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Metropolis.



Metropolis is the most ambitious film ever made, but unlike many, it realises that ambition level and gives the viewer one of the most audacious Sci Fi viewing experiences one can imagine. And it was made 94 years ago.



There are 37,000 extras in this film and it was so expensive to make that it bankrupted the production company.

It has influenced everything from Star Wars...........


to films like 'Dark City':



The establishing shots of the city - with cars, planes and elevated trains moving about - were shot using stop-motion photography. The cars were modelled on the newest taxicabs driving the streets of Berlin. It took months to build the city model and several days to film the few short sequences. Then the lab ruined the first shots. The backgrounds in the shot had been dimly lit to create a greater sense of depth, but the head of the lab, who developed the film himself, decided that was a mistake and lightened the backgrounds, thereby destroying the sense of forced perspective.

It is a work of utter genius - And all things considered (the time / the techniques / what had come before / the equipment available), It is the greatest looking film ever made.



Professional horse shoe straightener
Thank you for reading.

Some honourable mentions that didn't make the cut:

Claire's Knee
Koyaanisquatsi
Solaris
Mother and Son
The Banishment
Taste of Cherry
El Sur
Hard to be a God
Cries and Whispers
Irreversible
Melancholia
The Fountain
Badlands
Happy Together
Dreams



Love three of those five (and the visuals certainly play a part in that) so naturally I'm delighted to see 2001, Blade Runner and Metropolis this high. Yet to see either The Fabulous Baron Munchausen or Persona.

'Grats on finishing the list



I just discovered Zeman within the past couple of years and felt robbed that no-one had alerted me to his existence earlier. Invention For Destruction could also have a spot on this list.



Fantastic list, will make sure to watch those I've missed.



Professional horse shoe straightener
Thanks. And thank you to everybody that read anything I posted. If even 1 person watches a film they had never seen before because of this list then it's job done.