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I surprised myself several times during its compilation (and it will surely change) but ended up with as accurate a list as I’m able to make. Movies are arranged in chronological order instead of trying to make impossible decisions. Also, I limited myself to one movie per director, which creates a somewhat misleading list because I value Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999) (which is not listed) more than, say, Siegel’s Charley Varrick—but if I don’t then the list will be full of Buñuel, Bresson and other usual suspects. And this way offers just-below-the-cut folks (Denis, Linklater, Godard, Ozu, W. Anderson…among so many others) hope of making… Read more

I surprised myself several times during its compilation (and it will surely change) but ended up with as accurate a list as I’m able to make. Movies are arranged in chronological order instead of trying to make impossible decisions. Also, I limited myself to one movie per director, which creates a somewhat misleading list because I value Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999) (which is not listed) more than, say, Siegel’s Charley Varrick—but if I don’t then the list will be full of Buñuel, Bresson and other usual suspects. And this way offers just-below-the-cut folks (Denis, Linklater, Godard, Ozu, W. Anderson…among so many others) hope of making my list upon subsequent revisions. Furthermore, the list is comprised almost entirely of feature length films; admittedly, though “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex…” is only included because of the short ‘What is Sodomy?’ It is a perfect (standalone) segment of a good movie and because of the episodic nature of the feature, I decided it would be okay to extricate it myself (even though Mubi won’t let me). Those 15 minutes are heaven. I had to exclude other short films that I am also in love with—Ménilmontant (Kirsanoff; 1926), Khaneh Siyah Ast (Farrokhzad; 1962/3), Necrology (Lawder; 1971), Brasília, Contradições de uma Cidade (de Andrade; 1968), Mitchell’s Death (Linda Montano; 1977), The Fatal Glass of Beer (Bruckman; 1933), Gus Visser and His Singing Duck (Case; 1925), Go West (Powers; 1923), various actualities by Kenyon & Mitchell (1900-1913) and every ‘phantom ride’ shot—in an attempt at restraint. Even though I don’t have early cinema represented basically at all, I am listing my favorite 119 movies, which is about how many years we’ve been making movies (cir. 1895-present), this was considerably easier than only a top 100 and just as arbitrary. And, it allows for me to include another for every several hundred movies I experience, which only seems fair.

And for what it’s worth, Playtime is my favorite movie I’ve ever seen.

Updated 2015

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