To paraphrase [steal from] Jonathan Rosenbaum: my favourite movies collected here under ‘FAVORITE FILMS’ are the movies that fascinate me the most because they still have secrets to withhold. It seems to me that the best litmus test for determining this quality is repeat viewings. It’s true that I’ve only seen some of the films once, but I’ve decided to include them because something about them persuades me that a second look would keep the mysteries of those films alive.
“Many filmmakers pretend that they never see anything, which has always seemed odd to me. Everyone accepts the fact that novelists read novels, that painters go to exhibitions and inevitably draw on the work of the great artists who came before them, that musicians listen to old music in addition to new music… so why do people think it’s strange that filmmakers – or people who have the ambition to become filmmakers – should see movies? When you see the films of certain young directors, you get the impression that film history begins for them around 1980. Their films would probably be better if they’d seen a few more films, which runs counter to this idiotic theory that you run the risk of being influenced if you see too much. Actually, it’s when you see too LITTLE that you run the risk of being influenced. If you see a lot, you can choose the films you want to be influenced BY. Sometimes the choice isn’t conscious, but there are some things in life that are far more powerful than we are, and that affect us profoundly.” – Jacques Rivette