I know a cinephile usually achieves that title buy the sheer amount of films they have seen (and other things as well, I know) but surely you cannot be a cinephile if you havn’t seen certain important films. List 10 films you think should be essential viewing for a cinephile. I’m wondering how many I have/haven’t seen.. :)
You’re right, it takes years of cramming and constant viewings to be considered a film buff, and listing just ten “essentials” is practically impossible. I’d rather list ten directors and you can branch from there: Kurosawa, Ford, Bergman, Hitchcock, Welles, Fellini, Bunuel, Griffith, Chaplin, Murnau. Is that ten, it’s woefully underrepresented. Here’s ten more: Antonioni, Ozu, Wilder, Melville, Godard, Lang, Powell, Keaton, Kieslowski, Tarkovsky. That’s hardly enough, but you get my point, years my friend, years.
Well I’m doin’ ok so far then. I’ve seen a lot of films by all of them :)
4.Band of outsiders
5.The 400 blows
9.The Seventh Seal
10.Le Cercle Rouge
To feel complete it would have to be at least fifty films, like a nice course for the summer.
I just use They Shoot Pictures as my guide.
There aren’t 10 definitive films. Just see films that are on different lists to guide you to even better films.
To be a cinephile, or simply a movie enthusiast, does not require a person to watch certain movies. It simply requires an enthusiasm. That said, if I were to try and simplify the entire history of cinema into 10 films (an impossible task) these would be it:
2. The Gold Rush
3. The Rules of the Game
4. Citizen Kane
5 Seven Samurai.
6. The Searchers
8. The Graduate
10. sex, lies, and videotape
OK here goes my list of must sees:
1. The Bicycle Thief (AKA Bicycle Thieves)
2. The Red Shoes
3. The Bakery Girl Of Manceau (also recommenr the rest of the Six Moral Tales)
4. Way Down East
5. Rashomon (although my personal Kurosawa fav is still Dreams)
6. Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears
7. Imitation of Life (either version)
9. Le Samourai
10. Mirrormask (to lighten up and remember that cinema is a form of entertainment)
2. Night of the Hunter
8. Tokyo Story
9. The Rules of the Game
10. 8 1/2
In no order:
Un Chien Andalou
Farewell My Concubine
Fanny and Alexander
Tried to get a bit of everything.
Not in a specific order;
Un Chien Andalou
Pierrot le Fou
The Last Picture Show
Fanny and Alexander
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
Bicycle Thieves or Rome Open City (It was hard choosing one from this period)
But those are classics.. I think true cinephiles spend glorious amounts of time digging into the dark less known corners of a director’s ouvre, mostly* late films.. past their artistic prime decade;
Fellini- La Voce Della Luna
Truffaut- The Last Metro
Fuller- I Shot Jesse James
Godard- Made in U.S.A
Allen- The Purple Rose of Cairo
Ford- Young Mr. Lincoln
De Sica- Two Women
Keaton- Spite Marriage
Cinephilia is a disease.
Absurd list making in decimal systems, generating endless, useless hierarchies of subjective art opinion. An approach to film criticism in which the sensibility of the critic is considered more “refined” and “educated” than the common human, often to such an extent that the diseased cinephile believes they have wisdom enough to pronounce judgment on work which they could never create in ten lifetimes.
And in its final, fatal stages, the strange twitching of celebrity deathmatching— placing one film or director in opposition to another while slapping them about the head with the wet fish of nerdism. The death throes are marked by excessive use of the words “over-rated” and “under-rated”.
Death is however painless, as the cinephile dissolves peacefully in a cloud of their own excreted gas, breathing deeply.
I think it requires an appreciation for all types of genres and ages of filmmaking. I’d say if you can find a favorite film in any category, you are a true cinephile. I’d say the essential eras you need to appreciate would be Silent, French New Wave, Classic Hollywood, Neorealism, German Expressionism, Film Noir/Gangster, (not sure the label, but new Hollywood films of late 60s-late 70s…say BONNIE & CLYDE to APOCALYPSE NOW), the Blockbusters (JAWS to JURASSIC PARK) and Independent Movement (STRANGER THAN PARADISE to CLERKS).
Some of these are pretty loose labels, but the main thing is that I tend to gravitate towards films of all walks for different reasons, and appreciate them by for their own era/genre. I enjoy A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET as much as I enjoy LA STRADA…but I would never compare the two. I appreciate avant-garde films and will watch them, although I don’t regard any of them as my favorites.
I rarely hate a film. I may not enjoy it. I certainly do not care to see a film again or at all, but I rarely use the word “hate” to describe a film because I love the medium so much, and from working on student films I know that even filmmakers that have the best intentions can make a film that does not capture the essence of the story they were trying to tell.
Overall, I’d say a true cinephile is someone that is open to all films, even a film they know they are not going to enjoy they will try and find a positive in it…and will have an educated reason to like or dislike a film.
Okay here’s my go at it. As someone who’s seen a lot, their are still so many I still need to see but here’s 10 which would give you a pretty good survey of film History.
1. City Lights
2. Battleship Potemkin
3. Bringing up Baby
5. Red River
6. Late Spring
7. 400 Blows
9. Resevoir Dogs
10. Ghost world
That post about cinephilia as a disease was funny. Maybe we should start a Cinephiles Anonymous. Cinephile steps?
Absurd list making in decimal systems, generating endless, useless hierarchies of subjective art opinion
1. Fright Night – Isn’t Motorhead on the soundtrack? Judas Priest? Someone in leather pants sings.2. Singles – Touch me, I’m sick. How’s your latte? Don’t nod out on me babe.3. Beach Blanket Bingo – A seminal precursor to – among other things – California’s mellow mafia (Eagles, Doobies, Joni, Ronstadt, et. al.)4. Glen Or Glenda – Ok. Tonight, I’ll play J. Edgar Hoover, and you get to be the filthy, naughty communist.5. Mars Needs Women – Aliens who look like Kraftwerk have come to steal our women.6. Mitchell – Joe Don Baker, the obese action hero with a jones for Schlitz. Lynda Evans (spouse of Yanni) gets to be a hooker with a heart of gold. Co-stars bushy-eybrows guy, who later popped up in St Elmo’s Fire7. St Elmo’s Fire – Joel Schumacher’s magnum opus. Coke, jeeps, 80s music, the brat pack, Ally Sheedy making stir-fry, people arguing about Pretenders albums. Montrachet. Gosh, our future is sooo uncertain – some of our friends can’t afford lofts! What’s happening to our world?8. Convoy – Generally undiscussed Peckinpah. Fueled a short-lived CB radio fad, good buddy.9. Phantom Menace – Gee, wow, whee, yip, yay, wheeeee! That Jar Jar’s a real credit to his race.10. The Doors – BEHOLD! – I’m a cute shaman. I’m a drunk shaman. I’m a skinny shaman. I’m a drunk shaman. I’m a fat shaman. I’m a drunk shaman. I’m a dead shaman. Or not. Leather pants, yet again.
SHOTZI, please do put up a list…I am sure there are so many who want to see your recommendations :)
metropolis, seven samurai, the seventh seal, breathless, 400 blows, la dolce vita, citizen kane, spartacus, the godfather, casablanca
i like this endless(or senseless?) game of picking alltime favorites and the absurd rule of restricting them to 10 makes it even more irrational.when i look at other peoples,specially film-makers,lists i’m intrigued when they present lesser known films,because it makes me want to go after them.i mean.lets face it whats the point of selecting “Citizen Cane” for the umpteenth time?here’s mine,with a few apologies that some of them r quite well known,anyhow its the heart,isn’t it?
there are so many more than 10 films that need to be seen, cinephile or not.
I think most of these are a little esoteric for just general cinephile status. I’d think that you’d have to see the canonized works and branch out from there. So The Seventh Seal, Citizen Kane, Grand Illusion, etc rather than Le Cercle Rouge, or personal oddities we may prefer to the canon.
The 10/11 you have to have watched at some point:
Joan of Arc
KIng Kong (1933)
The Last Laugh
Touch of Evil
Tokyo Story (or Floating Weeds)
The Bicycle Thief
Best Years of our Lives
I tried to encompass as many styles and genres as I could. Beyond this, “The Searchers” for Ford’s finest hour, “2001” or any of Stanley’s big ones; “La Ronde” and any of the great Asian films of the past 10 years or so….I mean, the list goes on, and we haven’t even done ‘Nosferatu’.
i dont think that loving film has anything to do with which films you choose to watch/ which films you actually enjoy.
I think as long as you enjoy a wide variety of movies ranging from current flicks to well before you were born, you’re a cinephile. You don’t have to necessarily like silent films but you should at least give them a shot (read Chaplin). You don’t have to get into french new wave films but you should watch at least one to see what you might be missing. You don’t have to get into Renoir or Kubrick to be a true passionate lover of movies. You do however have to watch Citizen Kane, Casablanca and the Godfather. There’s no exception on those three. You can catch a pardon on stuff like Bicycle Thieves and Seven Samurai but it’s kind of like Mecca. You have to desire to see them and if it’s within your resources, you have to watch those as well. Oh, and E.T. and Star Wars are not even worth mentioning because everyone’s seen those, right? And well, come on, the term cinephile implies that you’ve seen at least one Fellini film so… 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita or La Strada, any of those will do…and one Bergman, the Seventh Seal, if only because it’s a great watchable movie that will also come in handy in a pretentious conversation at some point… and while we’re on conversations, you better have a Buster Keaton movie to go with your Chaplin so you can express a preference when it comes up. Hmm, so there are no movies you have to watch to be a cinephile but there are some you have to watch to talk to cinephiles and that’s just the beginning. Those above ten… er, eleven… Shit, Raging Bull, 2001… those 13 movies are just some of the ones, if you haven’t seen them, you should watch really soon to keep your movie loving friends from laughing at you. But if you’re just really into movies for you own enjoyment and your tastes range from Michael Bay to Edward Zwick, you’re still a cinephile in my book. I just can’t talk to you in the hallway around here, you understand. It’s a peer pressure thing.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that if you have to see Citizen Kane, Casablanca and the Godfather, you should at least taste Kurosawa and De Sica.
I’m beginning to wonder why anyone would want to be a cinephile at all — and that maybe the less you are, the better.
Notice the absence of Citizen Kane among the lists. Interesting. What is a cinephile?
I think a cinephile is exactly what it sounds like. It is a person who loves film, not just a basic enjoyment of entertainment but a love of the medium itself and its potential for expressing a variety of ideas and showing us something new about ourselves and the world. I understand the need to create a definition and a structured way of understanding what a cinephile is, who can be a cinephile, and what criteria must be met etc. I just feel the that incessant list making is a way of trying to categorize something that doesn’t need to be categorized in this way. I think a person that has seen a handful of films but truly loves the idea of film and what it can do is, for all intents and purposes, a cinephile.
I think at least one spot should go to any random porno-flick with a plot line.