A personal canon of 100 films (2021 ed.)

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Inspired by Mr. Minio. No pictures, write-ups, no countdown.



Here is the full list in chronological order:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, 1920)
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925)
The General (Keaton, 1926)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
M (Lang, 1931)
Mr. Thank You (Shimizu, 1936)
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, 1940)
Day of Wrath (Dreyer, 1943)
Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)
Late Spring (Ozu, 1949)
Early Summer (Ozu, 1951)
Lightning (Naruse, 1952)
Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, 1954)
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, 1954)
Sound of the Mountain (Naruse, 1954)
Ordet (Dreyer, 1955)
Pather Panchali (Ray, 1955)
A Man Escaped (Bresson, 1956)
Tokyo Twilight (Ozu, 1957)
Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
The Human Condition (Kobayashi, 1959)
The Cloud-Capped Star (Ghatak 1960)
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, 1961)
The Exterminating Angel (Bunuel, 1962)
La Jetee (Marker, 1962)
Black God, White Devil (Rocha, 1964)
Charulata (Ray, 1964)
Woman in the Dunes (Teshigahara, 1964)
Yearning (Naruse, 1964)
The Golden Thread (Ghatak, 1965)
Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky, 1966)
Persona (Bergman, 1966)
Marketa Lazarova (Vlacil, 1967)
Playtime (Tati, 1967)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
Memories of Underdevelopment (Alea, 1968)
The Color of Pomegranates (Parajanov, 1968)
Jackal of Nahueltoro (Littin, 1969)
Minamata: The Victims and Their World (Tsuchimoto, 1971)
Distant Thunder (Ray, 1973)
Scenes from a Marriage (Bergman, 1973)
Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman, 1975)
The Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1975)
Moses and Aaron (Straub/Huillet, 1975)
The Travelling Players (Angelopoulos, 1975)
Welfare (Wiseman, 1975)
The Churning (Benegal, 1976)
Harvest: 3000 Years (Gerima, 1976)
And Quiet Rolls the Dawn (Sen, 1979)
Stalker (Tarkovsky, 1979)
In Search of Famine (Sen, 1981)
Tango (Rybczynski, 1981)
My Memories of Old Beijing (Wu, 1983)
Sans Soleil (Marker, 1983)
Memories of Prison (Dos Santos, 1984)
When the Tenth Month Comes (Dang, 1984)
Shoah (Lanzmann, 1985)
Street of Crocodiles (Quay, 1987)
The Terrorizers (Yang, 1987)
Yeelen (Cisse, 1987)
In the Mouth of the Wolf (Lombardi, 1988)
Near Death (Wiseman, 1989)
Close-up (Kiarostami, 1990)
A Brighter Summer Day (Yang, 1991)
The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski, 1991)
Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang, 1991)
The Road to the Racetrack (Jang, 1991)
The Quince Tree Sun (Erice, 1992)
The Puppetmaster (Hou, 1993)
Through the Olive Trees (Kiarostami, 1994)
Maborosi (Koreeda, 1995)
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, 1996)
Time Regained (Ruiz, 1999)
In Vanda’s Room (Costa, 2000)
Platform (Jia, 2000)
Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (Hong, 2000)
Werckmeister Harmonies (Tarr, 2000)
Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001)
What Time is It There? (Tsai, 2001)
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (Wang, 2002)
Evolution of a Filipino Family (Diaz, 2005)
Tropical Malady (Apichatpong, 2004)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Puiu, 2005)
Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong, 2006)
Death in the Land of Encantos (Diaz, 2007)
Extraordinary Stories (Llinas, 2008)
A Separation (Farhadi, 2011)
The Act of Killing (Oppenheimer, 2012)
‘Til Madness Do Us Part (Wang, 2013)
Drishyam (Joseph, 2013)
Misaeng: Incomplete Life (Kim, 2014)*
Hill of Freedom (Hong, 2014)
Winter Sleep (Ceylon, 2014)
Embrace of the Serpent (Guerra, 2015)
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong, 2015)
The Day After (Hong, 2017)
Ee.Ma.Yau (Pellissery, 2018)
North Chennai (Vetrimaaran, 2018)
Parasite (Bong, 2019)
DAU. Degeneration (Khrzhanovsky, 2020)


*TV series



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Great list!

No write-ups just like mine, you copycat! No pictures either? That's radical! All in one post, too. Fightin' them rep beggars!

First of all, here's the meaning behind every rating in my new rating system, so that people no longer say I hate everything:

(life-changing - films that I could write books about but they're best described by silence)
(personal - films that are deeply personal to me)
(special - films that are special to me but simply might not be as special as 5s and 4.5s)
(masterwork - total masterworks, don't have to be personal but some are)
(incredible - very high level of filmmaking artistry or entertainment and just along my way; films I love very much)
(very good - self-explanatory)
(good - self-explanatory)
(tolerable - films I didn't think were good but I can tolerate; movies I'm okay with)
(unacceptable - reprehensible, harmful, disgusting films that I wouldn't recommend and think a crime against humanity)

Here are my ratings and thoughts on the films from your list, when suitable:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene, 1920) -
- A very good silent that I sure have to rewatch. The German Expressionist scenography is to die for, but it didn't quite hit me like the other silent masterpieces I had been watching back then. I watched it only once back in 2013, so a rewatch is long due.
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925) -
- one of the best Soviet silents and such a good display of Soviet Montage; inferior to Man with a Movie Camera, though!
The General (Keaton, 1926) -
- I love Keaton, he's no doubt the best stuntman of the Keaton-Chaplin-Lloyd trio, and the kinetic energy of his films is so powerful! I think that I slightly prefer One Week, but The General is a great choice, too!
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928) -
- do I really have to say something?
M (Lang, 1931) -
- crazy good use of a sound (whistling) in early sound cinema, and then you have Lorre who's simply terrifying, and that ending - speechless!
Mr. Thank You -
(Shimizu, 1936) - such an adorable film from Shimizu! I prefer his children's pictures and Ornamental Hairpin, but this one is a joy, too!
The Shop Around the Corner (Lubitsch, 1940) -
- Stewart is cutely badass as always and it's a wonderful film but I like at least 3 other Lubitsch films more
Day of Wrath (Dreyer, 1943) -
- aah, them lovely stakes again, what a natural follow-up to Joan of Arc, and yet another masterpiece, my second favorite Dreyer for sure!
Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948) -
- I like Umberto D more, but I hated Bicycle Thieves the first time I watched it, so a rewatch proved one of the biggest increments in ratings of all-time.
Late Spring (Ozu, 1949) -
- my favorite from the Noriko Trilogy, and it's wonderful how much sadness a picture of a man peeling an apple can hold
Early Summer (Ozu, 1951) -
- the beach/meadow scenes tho!
Lightning (Naruse, 1952) -
- this seems to be championed by many Naruse fans as one of his best but I couldn't get what's so great about it back when I was on a Naruse binge; might require a rewatch
Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953) -
- not much to say about it except for whatever I said in my post when I rewatched it quite recently
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi, 1954) -
- I believe I said enough in my own TOP 300 thread
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, 1954) -
- one of Kurosawa's six best films, seen it twice and wouldn't mind seeing it again
Sound of the Mountain (Naruse, 1954) -
- no doubt the best Naruse film, it has Setsuko Hara, tackles abortion, and has lovely tracking shots following two people walking
Ordet (Dreyer, 1955) -
- one of Dreyer's best, and what a powerful and elegant film on faith, this is exactly the way I like my Christian cinema
Pather Panchali (Ray, 1955) -
- a lovely film, a part of a lovely trilogy
A Man Escaped (Bresson, 1956) -
- a great Bresson, but Four Days of a Dreamer this ain't
Tokyo Twilight (Ozu, 1957) -
- IMO the best Ozu film, so dark and hopeless!
Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) -
- perhaps the best sound Hitchcock film, there is a lot to untangle, especially after you read a lot about all the meanings of the film, but it's best when watched by an unguided eye
The Human Condition (Kobayashi, 1959) -
- no comment, really, this is a humanistic anti-war masterpiece of the highest order, Kaji's journey is among the greatest stories ever told, a rewatch is so long due; PS: hate people hating on it calling it idealistic, well, buy a heart if you don't have one, but don't be surprised you need two to make up for it!
The Cloud-Capped Star (Ghatak 1960) -
- watched this one recently and liked it but couldn't get into it as much as I wanted; I prefer The Golden Thread from Ghatak
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, 1961) -
- loved making people lose every time after I read up on how the game portrayed in the movie works, then you have a Hitchcock cameo, you have the feminist actress icon Seyrig in one of her early roles, incredible cinematography and mind-boggling story - Resnais is sure at top of his game here!
The Exterminating Angel (Bunuel, 1962) -
- yet another film I hated the first time I watched it and then recognized as very good on a rewatch; a very fresh idea for its time and still a confusing and mind-boggling film!
La Jetee (Marker, 1962) -
so short yet so spellbinding, perhaps the best Foto Film ever made with Marker's trademark poetic narration; not quite up to the greatness of his full-lengths Level Five and Sunless but not many films are!
Black God, White Devil (Rocha, 1964) -
- hold on, guys, we have a Cinema Novo lover here! Wait a sec! I'm one, too! We have two! This is quite an amazing religious acid western. I can't tell if I like this or Entranced Earth more, tho!
Charulata (Ray, 1964) - no doubt among the better Ray films (then again, he's got about 10 'better' films)
Woman in the Dunes (Teshigahara, 1964) -
- really, really good. A movie with three protagonists: a man, a woman, and sand. Seriously, the way sand besets the protagonists, the way you can hear it, wow! Also: a claustrophobic masterpiece. I'm not sure if I prefer this or The Face of Another but since I already had its American twin brother Seconds on my list...
Yearning (Naruse, 1964) -
- Takamine tour-de-force and quite a heart-breaking love story, could use a rewatch
The Golden Thread (Ghatak, 1965) -
- my favorite Ghatak, up there with best Ray films if you ask me!
Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky, 1966) -
- Andrei makes a film on Andrei, what more is there to say?
Persona (Bergman, 1966) -
- Bergman's second best after Fanny and Alexander
Marketa Lazarova (Vlacil, 1967) -
- the cinematography made my jaw drop so hard I almost dislocated my jaw
Playtime (Tati, 1967) -
- sorry seen it only once years ago and I might have to rewatch it, but generally, I'm not that big on Tati, I prefer Etaix; Mr. Hulot's Holiday is my favorite Tati from what I've seen
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968) -
- along with Barry Lyndon, this is Kubrick's best, the metaphysical bits toward the end elevate it to the ranks of a masterpiece!
Memories of Underdevelopment (Alea, 1968) -
- the name of the genre this film belongs to - Imperfect Cinema - is quite spot on. I really can't remember much about it except for the fact it was great yet perfectible.
The Color of Pomegranates (Parajanov, 1968) -
- seen it twice, the second time hoping I will like it more, but nope, this is as high as I can go with this film. Not a personal favorite by no means nor a favorite Parajanov, but everybody should watch it as it's Cinema 101
Jackal of Nahueltoro (Littin, 1969) - HAVEN'T SEEN - there goes my hope to 100% this list Heard about it but haven't watched it. Oh, it's a good decision to make the list all in English titles because the original title of the film is: En cuanto a la infancia, andar, regeneración y muerte de Jorge del Carmen Valenzuela Torres, quien se hace llamar también José del Carmen Valenzuela Torres, Jorge Sandoval Espinoza, José Jorge Castillo Torres, alias El Campano, El Trucha, El Canaca, El Chacal de Nahueltoro. And I thought the Marat / Sade one was long...
Minamata: The Victims and Their World (Tsuchimoto, 1971) - HAVEN'T SEEN - another one I had ready to watch for a long time but didn't get to it yet
Distant Thunder (Ray, 1973) -
- without looking it up I guess this was the Bengali famine film; it was very good but not up there with Ray's best IMO
Scenes from a Marriage (Bergman, 1973) -
- this was actually one of my least favorite Bergmans back when I was binge-watching his films at the age of like 17. Least favorite of the bunch but still great because, come on, it's freakin' Bergman!
Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman, 1975) -
- this is my favorite feminist film of all-time and, come on, every film that has a scene of peeling potatoes should at least be considered as one of the best ever (The Turin Horse is another one)
The Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1975) -
- my favorite Tarkovsky and one of the most poetic movies of all-time
Moses and Aaron (Straub/Huillet, 1975) -
- I have a very love-hate relationship with Straub/Huillet (is it polyamory already?) and this one is hate, sorry
The Travelling Players (Angelopoulos, 1975) -
- this is usually cited as one of Angelopoulos' best and I love it but prefer like 6 of his other films over this
Welfare (Wiseman, 1975) -
- a Wiseman fan, I see! Yeah, his Direct Cinema behemoths are highly watchable!
The Churning (Benegal, 1976) - HAVEN'T SEEN - what is this?! stop adding obscure movies to your list!!! just kidding, love the inclusion of films I haven't seen!!!
Harvest: 3000 Years (Gerima, 1976) -
- yet another highly regarded film that flew over my head, didn't think much of it tbh
And Quiet Rolls the Dawn (Sen, 1979) - HAVEN'T SEEN - a good pick! I haven't seen any Mrinal Sen yet, thanks for reminding me I have to!
Stalker (Tarkovsky, 1979) -
- no comment, if you haven't seen it yet you should drop everything (maybe except a baby you're holding in your arms atm) and go watch it
In Search of Famine (Sen, 1981) - HAVEN'T SEEN - STOP IT! you already showed me I need some watching to do in the Indian cinema area as if I didn't know it myself!
Tango (Rybczynski, 1981) -
- great animation
My Memories of Old Beijing (Wu, 1983) - HAVEN'T SEEN - I actually started this one a couple of times in the past year and upon watching the first 10 minutes decided I'm not in the mood for a film like this, but I swear one day I will be in the mood and I will watch it!!!
Sans Soleil (Marker, 1983) -
- you were saying?
Memories of Prison (Dos Santos, 1984) - HAVEN'T SEEN - I doooon't caaaare, I will continueeee watching Asiaaaan cinemaaaaaaaa and ignoreeeee Latin Americaaaaaa CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
When the Tenth Month Comes (Dang, 1984) -
- this is my second favorite Dang and I'm thinking about bumping the rating. A beautiful, noble melodrama about hope and love.
Shoah (Lanzmann, 1985) -
- I see you're easily impressed by long things! Oh well, it's a very good behemoth of a documentary. Be sure to watch Ophuls (the son's) documentaries, too!
Street of Crocodiles (Quay, 1987) -
- never was a fan of the Quay Brothers. Just like with Svankmajer, I appreciate the craft behind it, but the films themselves leave me cold.
The Terrorizers (Yang, 1987) -
- my favorite Yang, actually
Yeelen (Cisse, 1987) -
- yet another film from Africa I can't understand, been years and years since I've watched it, low priority rewatch maybe
In the Mouth of the Wolf (Lombardi, 1988) - - HAVEN'T SEEN - okay, can I not get below 90/100, please? I want to appear as a seen-it-all!
Near Death (Wiseman, 1989) - ah I see! There are three films about death: (because quoting Eric Pauwels: "Only in cinema can you look at the sun and death in the face.") Dying in a Hospital (my favorite), Near Death (your favorite) and Dying at Grace ( @mark f 's favorite then, I presume?) - all three should be watched at least once in everybody's life so that you get used to death
Close-up (Kiarostami, 1990) -
- one of my favorite Kiarostamis, but that's not saying much because I'm not a fan. Obviously, I love its meta-brother A Moment of Innocence much more
A Brighter Summer Day (Yang, 1991) -
- a great, great Yang, somebody called it "The Godfather of high school", which isn't really true but sounds cool. Didn't love it quite as much as I wanted to, but loved it enough.
The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski, 1991) -
- a great Kieślowski film, but I prefer Red.
Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang, 1991) - one of Zhang's best, but The Road Home is my personal favorite and the best ever
The Road to the Racetrack (Jang, 1991) -
- I like Bad Movie more but this one is good, too
The Quince Tree Sun (Erice, 1992) - HAVEN'T SEEN - had this ready to watch for like 5 years but I'm slacking
The Puppetmaster (Hou, 1993) -
- yeah, it's great, but Flowers of Shanghai... anyone?!
Through the Olive Trees (Kiarostami, 1994) -
- remember when I said I'm not big on Kiarostami? DUH
Maborosi (Koreeda, 1995) -
- my favorite Koreeda along with Still Walking
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf, 1996) -
- now that's Iranian cinema I'm talking about! Sorry to break it to you, but The 400 Blows is not the best freeze-frame ending ever. This one is.
Time Regained (Ruiz, 1999) -
- an intriguing choice! I love City of Pirates most!
In Vanda’s Room (Costa, 2000) -
- I'm kinda lost with people championing this as best Costa. His latest trilogy is so much better in my eyes!
Platform (Jia, 2000) -
- OH YEAH, this is GOAT but The World is more personal to me OH WELL
Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (Hong, 2000) -
- ah, a good old Hong who makes a film a year and every one of them is very good but none great
Werckmeister Harmonies (Tarr, 2000) -
- what is this film? It's the first time I hear about it! Naaah, just f*ckin' with you!
Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001) -
- every cool guy knows Inland Empire is Lynch's best, but hey, this is a close second!
What Time is It There? (Tsai, 2001) -
- Tsai's best by a mile! Dude needs to get back to pissing in the bottle & masturbating with a watermelon & random musical numbers filmmaking ASAP!
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (Wang, 2002) -
- Wang's best. Watching it in one sitting was quite an experience. If you feel like a challenge watch Crude Oil in one sitting (13h iirc). I had to watch it in 2 or 3 sittings.
Evolution of a Filipino Family (Diaz, 2005) -
- gr8 but Melancholia is much gr8ter
Tropical Malady (Apichatpong, 2004) -
- my fav Joe, I guess, but I look at his films as a whole anyway...
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Puiu, 2005) -
- Romanian New Wave reminds me too much of cinephile wannabe festival crowds, but it's a solid film all the same
Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong, 2006) -
- rewatched it recently and was disappointed the rating didn't budge, no way! But it's sure aesthetically pleasing
Death in the Land of Encantos (Diaz, 2007) - my fav Diaz along with Melancholia
Extraordinary Stories (Llinas, 2008) - HAVEN'T SEEN - another festival crowd pre-taste, avoided it, might give it a chance now...?
A Separation (Farhadi, 2011) -
- Farhadi is the one festival crowd-pleaser that's actually fun to watch
The Act of Killing (Oppenheimer, 2012) -
- great documentary; I wonder what's @resopamenic's opinion on it - she rated it 4/5 on LBD!
‘Til Madness Do Us Part (Wang, 2013) -
- yet another strong Wang, not an easy Sunday afternoon watch!
Drishyam (Joseph, 2013) - HAVEN'T SEEN - thank you for telling me once again Indian cinema is a big empty spot on my map. I actually know this film. Looks like a normie-pleaser... :O
Misaeng: Incomplete Life (Kim, 2014)* - HAVEN'T SEEN - TV series?! That's cheating!
Hill of Freedom (Hong, 2014) - HAVEN'T SEEN - one of many Hongs I still haven't seen. All in good time...
Winter Sleep (Ceylon, 2014) -
- I used to dislike Ceylan (yes, Ceylan!!! Ceylon is an old name for Sri Lanka!), but I liked this one!
Embrace of the Serpent (Guerra, 2015) -
- now we're talking!
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong, 2015) -
- a simple movie that tells you honesty is most important
The Day After (Hong, 2017) - HAVEN'T SEEN - but I mean if you've seen one Hong, you've seen them all. You all know the Kim Min-hee yarn!!! Also, is that it for Hong? Where's Nobody's Daughter Haewon with its impeccable visuals?!
Ee.Ma.Yau (Pellissery, 2018) - HAVEN'T SEEN - heard about it & ready to watch it, just waiting for the mood
North Chennai (Vetrimaaran, 2018) - HAVEN'T SEEN - India again? It's in Tamil this time!
Parasite (Bong, 2019) -
- gr8 but I prefer at least two other Bong films, nyah nyah!
DAU. Degeneration (Khrzhanovsky, 2020) - HAVEN'T SEEN - phew! Recency bias! Have fun watching the rest of it (like 394854449445949594 hours)

RESULT: 83/100

Could be better. Maybe I should cut down on pinku eiga and watch some Indian cinema instead?!

EDIT: I can't count.
EDIT 2: And can't spell either.
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how do i end up here

owh i see
The Act of Killing (Oppenheimer, 2012) -
- great documentary; I wonder what's @resopamenic's opinion on it - she rated it 4/5 on LBD!
a dark but also a key moment in our history. understandably, ppl here will and still justify the horrendous event.
i feel the juxtaposition in the opening scene (at the city) further emphasized the nation's fate lead.
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