For me, it will always be Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)
It’s the perfect film. Because you don’t understand or complete the story in the film itself. You complete it in the realm of reflection, experience, and assumptions you made in your own life story.
Chinatown, by Roman Polanski
If I were compiling a list of my 25 favorite thespians of all time, Nicholson and Dunaway make that list….so the fact that they turn in their best work here is astounding
Direction and Script —
The respect Towne and Polanski have for the audience, and the diligence and patience they use to develop the story arc is mesmerizing.
The Ending —
Werkmeister Harmonies by Bela Tarr, if any of the long takes was slightly off the entire piece would have failed but as it stands it is the closest thing I have seen to “pure cinema” a cinema that like music feels like a movement. Nothing can match the feeling I had watching this film for the first time. (The Shinning comes darn close though!!)
Vertigo & La jetée.
Eyes Wide Shot (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
Tin Drum (1979) by Volker Schlöndorff … for the imagery/scenes and the complex sensibilities that only a film could capture
ahh Wild Strawberries…
The Rules of the Game
Oh, I forgot about the Renoir, right on Matthew!
Hard to think of just one film.
I don’t think I have seen a perfect film these days for a long time.
For me it cannot be a contemporary film but a classic one.
“Tess” and/or “Pianist” by Roman Polanski
“Doctor Zhivako”, my favorite of all time
“Jeux interdits” by Rene Clement
“Woman Next Door” by Truffaut
I also loved Werkmeister Harmonies by Bela Tarr, Elric.
Regarding 2046, Efe, I wrote my comment on the site as below:
2046 was the number of the hotel room, in which Tony Leong and Maggie Chan had an affair in the film “In the Mood for Love”. Four years after its release, Wong Kar-Wai produced “2046”. When Hong Kong was handed over by UK in 1997, the Mainland China promised fifty years of self-regulation there. The year 2046 means the moment Hong Kong’s special status ends. Kar-Wai wished to present something unchangeable even after 2046. However, this film is not actually about future but memories.
Efe, fascinating choice! I think I like 2046 because (I feel) it is so imperfect! It is so fractured, elliptical, constructed from slivers and suggestions. You are so right—-the real movie exists outside the film, in our heads. But that’s exactly why I would call it a perfect imperfect film!
I forgot Woman in the dune
I Love Woman in the dunes!!!
i also love WOMAN IN THE DUNES, but for me CONTEMPT is about as close to perfection as it comes…and i guess also RULES OF THE GAME and VERTIGO. which is not to say these are my favourite films of all time, although they are definitely among them.
i think there is something to be said for imperfection being maybe more interesting sometimes. truffaut says this in the hitchcock book when he talks about preferring a director’s “great flawed films” to the masterpieces.
Le Dérnier Tango à Paris. Also I need to mention Tous les Matins du Monde, Hiroshima Mon Amour, The Sheltering Sky, Rendez-Vous, La Femme Publique, The NIght Porter, 2046, Damage, Oldboy, 8 1/2, he Godfather, 3-Iron, Santa Sangre, Persona, The Conformist, The Serpent’s Egg, The Pillow Book, Barry Lyndon, The Hunger, La Niut de Varennes, Giulietta degli Spiriti, Spellbound, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & her Lover, Rashamon, Carne Trémula, A Snake of June, Le Mepris, Amarcord, Ran, Das Leben des Anderes, La Pianiste, Trois Coleurs: Rouge, La Noche más Oscura, Crimes and Misdeminors, Winterschlafer; Shadow of a Doubt, Casino, Rappenau’s Cyrano de Bergerac, Kagemusha, The Rope, 1900, A Man for all Seasons, Apocalypse Now, Blade Runner, Gemini, Tierra, Rear Window, Pulp Fiction, Los Amantes del Círculo Polar Artíco, Path of Glory, Charade, The Childrens Hour, Another Woman, The Night of the Hunter…
Johnny Got His Gun
Hiroshima Mon Amour
I’ve always been interested in seeing Johnny Got His Gun.
It’s really great. It’s dark as hell, and very depressing, but I think it’s brilliant. We should get it here on The Auteurs.
As long as we get Paris, Texas on here
Agreed. And “Wings of Desire”
On reflection (I know I wasn’t supposed to reflect, but…) – “If” (Lindsay Anderson). Absolutely perfect because it’s completely imperfect.
And “Walkabout” (Nicolas Roeg). It still haunts me.
“In the mood for love” by Wong Kar Wai. Perfec performances, perfec score, perfect music… and it was recorded without script! I’ll see it million times…
Umbrellas of Cherbourg popped into my head first, but I could also have gone with Je Vous Salue Sarajevo, Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960’s in Brussels, or La Jetee (and possibly also To Be Or Not To Be, Army of Shadows, The Rules of the Game, The Searchers, Contempt).
4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile or Ladri Di Biciclette, two films that embody such beautiful craftsmanship. Brilliant stories that get to the very root of humanity.