Monday, August 27, 2012

Upcoming Canadian Films (+ Amy George & The Strawberry Tree)

The new Canadian films that I'm most looking forward to at the Toronto International Film Festival are: from Toronto there is Igor Drljaca’s Krivina and Kazik Radwanski’s Tower (both in the Discovery section), Sean Garrity’s My Awkward Sexual Adventure (Contemporary World Cinema), Simon Ennis’s Lunarcy! (TIFF Docs), Peter Mettler's The End of Time (Masters), Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell (Special Presentation), Blake Williams’s Many a Swan and Jean-Paul Kelly’s A Minimal Difference (both in the adventurous Wavelengths program, where, as an aside, they are also screening Lillian Schwartz's recently restored UFOs). From Montréal there is Rafaël Ouellet' Camion (Contemporary World Cinema), Denis Coté’s Bestiaire (Wavelengths), Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch'Allah (Special Presentation), Bernard Émond's Tout Ce Que Tu Possèdes (Masters), and Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways (Special Presentation).
In the Short Cuts Canada program there is Sophie Goyette’s Le futur proche, Ashley McKenzie’s When You Sleep, Theodore Ushev’s Apart, Deco Dawson’s Keep a Modest Head, and Aaron Phelan’s Dear Scavengers.
I’ll hopefully get to review some of these films later, after, when I’ve seen them. 
Now onto discussing two recent Canadian films: Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis's Amy George, and Simone Rapisarda Casanova’s The Strawberry Tree.

In the newest issue of Cahiers du cinéma (N.680), Stéphane Delorme highlights what kind of traits Cahiers likes to champion: “intimate, and affectionate films, […] because of their ambition, richness, and generosity are worth infinitely more than prefabricated narcissistic masterpieces.” I can't think of a better way to start a review of Amy George as describing its treatment of a teenager wading through the difficulties of childhood as being intimate, affectionate and generous. It's like L'argent de poche meets Terry within that Baumbach realm of dysfunctional families but with the humor of The Color Wheel.

Amy George takes place in the Riverdale neighborhood where thirteen-year-old Jesse (the excellent Gabriel del Castillo Mullally), a shaggy haired kid usually dressed in a striped shirt and jeans, is given a school assignment, The Fearless Project. The project is to take a picture of something that best represents himself. The teacher's advice is “you can find something interesting anywhere… you just have to look around.” Jesse asks his parents for a new camera - more points if it's analog - so they bring him to a store to buy him one, and there the store clerk shows him a few tricks on how to use it. At first the curious Jesse tries to find inspiration walking through a park, on his solute strolls, he tries to find something of himself in the surrounding nature. He takes a stunning photograph of a pot in silhouette. Jesse even goes to the library to do some research on how to be an artist, and after some reading, he’s worried that he can’t be a 'true artist' as he hasn't yet experienced true suffering or as he reads in a book The Artist, “You can never be a real artist until you have made love to a woman.”

The challenges of the creative process aren't made easier for Jesse, who’s a single child, as his relationship with his parents is at odds. There is an awkward tension between Jesse and his parents, Tim (Don Kerr) and especially with his mother Sabi (Claudia Dey), as when he's not around she speaks about her concerns that he might be 'gay' or if he'll turn out 'alright.' One day when in the house a watch and money go missing, Sabi asks Jesse if he knows what has happened to them, and even though Jesse says that he doesn't and that his guess is that it was probably the maid - who they eventually, and wrongly, fire - his mother still searches his room, where she discovers that he hasn't been taking his medicine and finds his porno magazines. It is later revealed that it was Jesse's aunt, Tara (Natasha Allan), who stole from them, which was partly caused by her alcohol problem. Jesse's relationship with Tara is the core emotional bond in Amy George, and their conversations together, reveal his timidity and his anxiety of growing up. Jesse shares with his aunt his thoughts about his emerging interest in the opposite sex and how instead of paying much attention in class all that seems to be on his mind is girls. When one day the neighborhood girl he has crush on, Amy (Emily Henry, of the film’s title), is spending the afternoon at his family’s house - her parents are dealing with the police, after their own house has been broken into - the two of them flirt and play a game where he 'hypnotizes' her: where, when she is unconscious, he mischievously unzips her pants and touches her underwear. This is the kind of guilt that he can only share with his aunt. “Have you ever raped somebody?” He asks her, which is what he thought that he did. Jesse's lack of belonging and feelings of shame, guilt and teen angst will all come out in the final photograph that he hands in to his teacher - and it won’t be what you would expect.

Amy George's minimal score by Lev Lewis creates a mood of wistful longing (especially the song The Whole World by Michael Holt) and the somber cinematography by the directorial pair reflects Jesse's feelings of solitude. This dark cinematography seems like it is going to anticipate Calvin and Yonah’s forthcoming production: The Oxbow Cure starring Claudia Dey, which is supposed to be a lot more experimental. An important film to look out for.

The local filmmaker Kazik Radwanski put together a list of First Generation filmmakers that, as he describes them, are a new breed of Toronto filmmakers whose uniqueness is that though they are informed by living in Toronto they shoot their films outside Canada. The First Generation directors that Kazik highlights are Igor Drljaca, Chris Chong Chan Fui, and Nicolás Pereda. And now after seeing The Strawberry Tree I would have to include the York University graduate Simone Rapisarda Casanova onto that list. The Strawberry Tree, which had its Toronto premiere at the Images Festival, is a hybrid documentary. Its subject is the village of Juan Antonio on Cuba’s North Coast and it depicts the rural community filled with fragile straw huts - one year before it was devastated by a category-four hurricane.

The Strawberry Tree is filmed in a poetic-ethnographic style that is really similar to that of the important Canadian documentary, Pierre Perrault's Pour la suite du monde. It is also similar to Andrés Livov-Macklin's A Place Called Los Pereyra as they are both naturalistic documentaries made by outsiders about a foreign community. But where Los Pereyra's approach is more anthropological and in the style of Fred Wiseman, The Strawberry Tree is more ontological and bizarre, in the style of Luis Buñuel. At first The Strawberry Tree is filmed in a tranquil, observatory style capturing the villagers of Juan Antonio preparing, singing, playing around etc. What at first is the capturing of natural activities slowly dissolves into the events that would be the center of attention would slowly gets pushed to the periphery, and it is what's going around these moments that become the center of attention. What is being shown is the physicality of the people and the characteristics of the village. Then there is almost a sinister twist: the beating of a fish, an eerie magician, the killing of a goat. Everything culminates at the end with the sight of the lightning and the thunder storm that would ravage the community. This uneasy sense of dread, of knowing what is going to happen to the village, and knowing that the villagers are going to end up alright, make The Strawberry Tree such a fascinating experience.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Greatest Films of All Time According to Some Toronto Cinephiles

David Davidson (Blogger: Toronto Film Review)
  1. Indo-china: Opium den (Lumière Brothers)
  2. The Lady from Shanghai & Double Indemnity
  3. Les Enfants du Paradis & Les Anges du péché
  4. Rear Window & Scarlet Street
  5. Cheyenne Autumn & Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  6. Land of the Pharaohs & Hatari! & Red Line 7000
  7. Rameau's Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen & The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach
  8. 3 Women & Two-Lane Blacktop & The Swimmer
  9. The Last House on the Left & Assault on Precinct 13 & Rampage & Blue Collar
  10. Les Nuits de la pleine lune & Le viol d'une jeune fille douce  & J’entend plus la guitar
  11. Tucker: The Man and His Dream  & Catch Me If You Can
  12. Eyes Wide Shut
  13. As Good as it Gets & J'ai pas sommeil
  14. Promises Written in Water & Colossal Youth
  15. Cosmopolis
Arielle Gavin (Blogger: Dragonaut)
  1. The Hole (Tsai Ming-Liang, 1998)
  2. (nostalgia) (Hollis Frampton, 1971)
  3. Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993)
  4. Le beau mariage (Éric Rohmer, 1982)
  5. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006)
  6. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)
  7. Le diable probablement (Robert Bresson, 1977)
  8. The Smiling Lieutenant (Ernst Lubitsch, 1931)
  9. A nos amours (Maurice Pialat, 1983)
  10. Ms.45 (Abel Ferrara, 1981)
Kazik Radwanski (Filmmaker: Tower, Green Crayons)
1. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Dreyer, 1928)
2. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)
3. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
4. Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967)
5. Stroszek (Werner Herzog, 1977)
6. Vivre sa vie, The Mother and the Whore, À nos amours
7. Wanda, Killer of Sheep, Mikey and Nicky
8. Made in Britain, Meantime, Raining Stones
8. Beau travail, In Vanda’s Room, Where is the Friend’s Home?
10. A Married Couple, Pour la suite du monde, Goin' Down the Road
Igor Drljaca (Filmmaker: Krivina, The Fuse: or How I Burned Simon Bolivar)
Here is a list of my favourites, though I might be forgetting a few. I refuse to rank them.
-       The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975)
-       2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
-       Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
-       Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
-       Le fils (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2002)
-       Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
-       Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
-       The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris,1988)
-       A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989)
-       RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987)
-       Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002)
-       Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
-       Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
-       Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley  Kubrick, 1964)
-       Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
-       What Time Is It There? (Tsai Ming-liang, 2001)
-       Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
-       The Decalogue (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1989)
-       In the Mood For Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)
Antoine Bourges (Filmmaker: East Hastings Pharmacy, Woman Waiting)
These are honestly the first ones that came to mind. They are in no particular order. I am probably forgetting 12 more that I'll regret not including, but I feel these ones all deserve top positions anyway.
-       Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
-       Vivre sa vie (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962)
-       Faces (John Cassavetes, 1968)
-       Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964)
-       2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
-       Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970)
-       La maman et la putain (Jean Eustache, 1973)
-       Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
-       L'argent (Robert Bresson, 1983)
-       The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (Roberto Rossellini, 1966)
-       Le rayon vert (Éric Rohmer, 1986)
-       Liverpool (Lisandro Alonso, 2008)
Simon Ennis (Filmmaker: Lunarcy!, You Might as Well Live)
Top Ten (in no particular order):
-       The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
-       That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Buñuel, 1977)
-       Vernon, Florida (Errol Morris, 1981)
-       Lost Highway (also Blue Velvet / Eraserhead)
-       Double Indemnity or The Apartment
-       Two or Three Things I Know About Her / Weekend
-       The Shining (also Dr. Strangelove / 2001)
-       Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
-       Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz, 1995)
-       Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995)
Ten More (in no particular order):
-       Seul contre tous (Gaspar Noé, 1998)
-       Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
-       Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)
-       Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995)
-       Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984)
-       Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)
-       Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat, 2001)
-       Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones, 1975)
-       Top Hat (Mark Sandrich, 1935)
-       Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
Hugh Gibson (Producer: A Place Called Los Pereyra)
Here's my list in no particular order.
-       2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
-       Life and Nothing More… (Abbas Kiarostami, 1992)
-       Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
-       Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
-       Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
-       Muriel (Alain Resnais, 1963)
-       The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
-       Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
-       The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris,1988)
-       The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
Special mention: La jetée, The General, The Godfather II, Goodfellas, Tristana, The Mystery of Picasso, Unforgiven, Dimensions of Dialogue, A Moment of Innocence, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, M, The Manchurian Candidate, Contempt, Sherlock Jr., Fantasia, Crimson Gold, A Brighter Summer Day, Close Up, and many more....
Lev Lewis (Composer: Amy George)
I won’t waste space distinguishing between “best” and “favourite”. The “best” lists always straddle the middle, and as valuable an artifact as the S&S list is as a collective group-think, in the end the personal compilation is usually more compelling. What I do want to stress is my still forming library of knowledge. It feels as if I’ve seen a fair share of the past 100 years of movies, but when tasked with making a statement of this sort, I realize how little of a dent I’ve actually made. With that said, this can stand as the ten best films I’ve seen at the ripe age of 21.
There are many apologies necessary. First to women, who go unrepresented here, even if seven of my choices identify a woman as their primary narrative focus. To the 1940’s, who despite yielding The Grapes of Wrath, The Letter, The Philadelphia Story, The Lady Eve, The Ox-Bow Incident, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Laura, The Best Years of our Lives, Notorious, The Red Shoes, Bicycle Thieves & A Letter to Three Wives did not make the cut. To silents, who get one paltry mention. To the last 25 years of filmmaking. To Bergman and Bresson and Cassavetes and Chaplin and Cukor and Hitchcock and Hou and Kazan and Mizoguchi and Resnais and Wong and Woody. And to all the magnificent films I still have to experience. I’m looking forward to you.
1. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
2. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)
3. Woman in the Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1964)
4. The Earrings of Madame De... (Max Ophüls, 1953)
5. Broadcast News (James L. Brooks, 1987)
6. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Sidney Lumet, 1962)
7. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
8. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
9. New York, New York (Martin Scorsese, 1977)
10. Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
Chris Kennedy (Programmer: The Free Screen, Early Monthly Segments. Filmmaker: Towards a Vanishing Point, Tamalpais
A very personal list. These are not the best by any objective standards, but they all spun me in different ways.
1. Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith, USA, 1963)
2. Out 1: noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, France, 1971)
3. The Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2000)
4. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavettes, USA, 1976)
5. Le Fond de l'air est rouge (Grin Without a Cat) (Chris Marker, France, 1977)
6. Sátántangó (Bela Tarr, Hungary, 1994)
7. Life Dances On (Robert Frank, USA, 1980)
8. Les Maître Fous (Jean Rouch, France/Niger, 1955)
9. Nest of Tens (Miranda July, USA, 2000)
10. The Hart of London (Jack Chambers, Canada, 1970)
10. A Burning Star (Kenji Onishi, Japan, 1995)
Blake Williams (Filmmaker: Many a Swan, Coorow-Laptham Road)
1. Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
3. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
4. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
5. Nashville (Robert Atlman, 1975)
6. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
7. Wavelength (Michael Snow, 1967)
8. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
9. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
10. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
Marco Gualtieri
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
2. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
3. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
4. Where is the Friend's Home? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987)
5. Un condamné à mort s'est échappé (Robert Bresson, 1956)
6. Le Beau Serge (Claude Chabrol, 1958)
7. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
8. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
9. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
10. Les parapluies de Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964)
1. Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel, 1971)
2. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) 
3. On the Silver Globe (Andrzej Żuławski, 1987)
4. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
5. Choses Secrètes (Jean-Claude Brisseau, 2002)
6. Outer Space (Peter Tscherkassky, 1999)
7. Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
8. Bungalow (Ulrich Köhler, 2002)
9. Nuit de Chien (Werner Schroeter, 2008)
10. Class Relations (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1984)
11. Fascination (Jean Rollin, 1979)
12. The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)
13. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
14. The Shooting (Monte Hellman, 1962)
15. A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)
16. The Earrings of Madame de… (Max Ophüls, 1953)
17. Perceval le Gallois (Eric Rohmer, 1978)
18. Blind Beast (Yasuzo Masumura, 1969)
19. Grin Without a Cat (Chris Marker, 1977)
20. Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)
Adam Nayman (Film Critic: Cinema Scope, The Grid, The Globe and Mail)
1.     2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
2.     Beau travail (Claire Denis, 1998)
3.     A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991)
4.     Céline et Julie vont en bateau (Jacques Rivette, 1974)
5.     Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
6.     Duck Amuck (Chuck Jones, 1953) 
7.     La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
8.     Sans Soleil (Chris Marker, 1982)
9.     Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
10.  Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961)
John Semley (Film Critic: The A.V. Club, Cinema Scope)
1. 8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
2. Bigger Than Life (Nicolas Ray, 1956)
3. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
4. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
5. Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
6. Performance (Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, 1970)
7. Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
9. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
10. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
Kiva Reardon (Film Critic: inMovies)
In making this list the first rule was it had to be a favourite. Not necessarily something I watch once a year (though many are), but films whose titles instantly conjure a memory, image, or even a tactile experience. That said, I naturally had the established canon in mind when cultivating this list: the French New Wave classic, the Technicolor masterpiece, the silent era favourite etc. But if these types of lists are meant to indicate the greatest contribution to cinema, here I am hoping to suggest we might recalibrate how we—because there is always a bias in any presumed collective—think about “contribution.”
1. Cléo de 5 à 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
Because Agnès Varda’s film captures and breaks down bourgeois malaise/idealism; but unlike any, say, Jean-Luc Godard film which has the same aim, she doesn’t merely use the female protagonist as a rhetorical device.
2. All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)
For the colour, the melodrama, and it’s influence on Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (which is my way of getting that film on my list).
3. Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
For creating a new form of war film and the way in which the Denis Lavant’s body becomes the skin of the film.
4. Attenberg (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2010)
Because years from now we will look back on the New Greek Cinema and marvel at the films (this is the only forecasting I’ll engage in, I promise); for its conflation of the animal’s body and the human’s; and for the ingenious inserts, which speak louder than any dialogue.
5. 24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)
Because digital is not the death of cinema.
6. Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940)
Because of the fear of the doppelganger and the latent lesbianism.
7. Les Amours de la Pieuvre (Jean Painlevé, 1965) 
Because when else do we stare into the soul of the mighty octopus and bask in its formless wonder?
8. King Kong (Merian C. Cooper &d Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933)
The best monster movie; sheer entertainment.
9. The Marriage of Maria Braun (R.W. Fassbinder, 1979)
Because there is no better role model than Maria Braun, or R.W. Fassbinder.
10. Orlando (Sally Potter, 1992)
Because it is a celebratory, wildly free feminist exegesis on lived experience and alternate histories.
Nicholas Little
1. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
2. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)
3. The Earrings of Madame de... (Max Ophüls, 1953)
4. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
5. Taxi Diver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
6. North by Northwest (Alred Hitchcock, 1959)
7. La jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
8. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)
9. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
10. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
Honorable mentions:
- Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
- Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
- Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
- Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)
- King Kong (Merian C. Cooper &d Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933)
Megan Widawski
1. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993)
2. Heathers (Michael Lehmann, 1988)
3. Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 1995)
4. Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (Peter Hewitt, 1991)
5. Rivers Edge (Tim Hunter, 1986)
6. Sixteen Candles (John Hughes, 1984)
7. Shopgirl (Anand Tucker, 2005)
8. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
9. West Side Story (Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise, 1961)
10. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
Honorable mentions:
- Cinderella (Clyde Geronimi, 1950)
- The Lost Boys (Joel Schumacher, 1987)
- Jaws (Stephen Spielberg, 1975)
- Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
- The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965)
- Sid and Nancy (Alex Cox, 1986)
1. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
These first six entries could be swapped out for any other film by their respective filmmakers. Ambersons remains Welles's roomiest film, his saddest. Poetic, its having been ruined.
2. Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks, 1939)
Featuring the most hermetic of Hawks's clans, and so, the most perfect. Tempted to say Red River, instead, if only to include a western on here.
3. Eloge de l'amour (Jean-Luc Godard, 2001)
The most recent title on this list eulogises not just love, but cinema, resistance, the 20th century, all those elements that Godard sees as interchangeable and abandoned.
4. Muriel (Alain Resnais, 1963)
Like Eloge, another film haunted by war, seized by war, fissured by war. Resnais's most tightly controlled film, aside from those devastating flourishes.
5. Vampyr (Carl Dreyer, 1932)
Film's nearest approximation of nightmare, that close cousin to the vaunted spirituality of Dreyer's other work. Plus, a good representative of the horror flick -- another favourite genre.
6. Lancelot du lac (Robert Bresson, 1974)
Bresson's cinema was never about transcendence so much as presence -- this is his most brute and physical film.
7. Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith, 1963)
Smith's gauzy orgy, however, provides the most tactile experience in movies. Tough to pick from among so many other major works in the avant garde, which too rarely get mentioned in exercises like this.
8. Bimbo's Initiation (Dave Fleischer, 1931)
Along with the Hawks and the Minnelli, this is one of the films on this list I've had the pleasure to teach, though always too briefly. As Jonathan Rosenbaum said of Guy Maddin's Heart of the World, the few dense minutes of this flailing, feverish short are "inexhaustible."
9. Sátántangó (Bela Tarr, 1994)
Carved from life's muck.
10. Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944)
Rich, unalloyed pleasure. Opulence without decadence -- Hollywood at its finest.

The requisite caveats:
a. Listed in the order I thought of them.
b. I'm aware of how American, French, and male these choices shook out. A quick, sneaky corrective might go: The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, A City of Sadness, Close-Up, Jeanne Dielman..., Ceddo, Daisies, Ivan the Terrible I & II, Marketa Lazarova, M, and Go! Go! Go!.
c. I'm working under the assumption that it's become passé to include Vertigo...
Marc Saint-Cyr (Blogger: Subtitle Literate)
1. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
2. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
3. 8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
4. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
5. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
6. The Ascent (Larisa Shepitko, 1976)
7. What Time is it There? (Tsai Ming-liang, 2001)
8. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
9. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
10. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
Christopher Heron (Film Critic: The Seventh Art)
1. Sans Soleil (Chris Marker, 1983)
2. Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1951)
3. The Crime of Monsieur Lange (Jean Renoir, 1936)
4. Journal d'un curé de campagne (Robert Bresson, 1951)
5. Sansho the Baliff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
6. Gertrud (Carl Dreyer, 1964)
7. Sátántangó (Bela Tarr,1994)
8. Hail Mary (Jean-Luc Godard, 1985)
9. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
10. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1943)
11. Young Mr. Lincoln (John Ford, 1939)
12. The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub,1968)
13. Loulou (Maurice Pialat, 1980)
14. Alexander Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein, 1938)
15. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
16. Le Plaisir (Max Ophüls, 1952)
17. Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
18. The Falls (Peter Greenaway, 1980)
19. Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1965)
20. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
David Balzer (Art Critic: Canadian Art. Writer: Contrivances)
Here's a pretty personal list of essentials, unranked and free of commentary:
- The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1943)
- L'avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
- Bunny Lake Is Missing (Otto Preminger, 1965)
- Yolanda and the Thief (Vincente Minnelli, 1945)
- Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
- Léon Morin, Prêtre (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1961)
- Lola Montès (Max Ophüls, 1955)
- Journey in Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)
- Andrei Rublev (Andrey Tarkovsky, 1969)
- Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
Daniel Gallay
1. Out 1: Spectre (Jacques Rivette, 1974)
2. The Far Shore (Joyce Wieland, 1976)
3. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
4. L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
5. F for Fake (Orson Welles, 1973)
6. Lola Montès (Max Ophüls, 1955)
7. A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946)
8. The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini, 1950)
9. Dishonored (Josef von Sternberg, 1931)
10. Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, 1950)
Calum Marsh (Film Critic: Slant)
An alternative to my Slant Top Ten list, in the spirit of Rosenbaum, who picks a different top 10 for every Sight & Sound poll and doesn't let himself pick the same movies twice, I wanted to come with new picks which I also love.
- California Split (Robert Altman, 1974)
- Bitter Victory (Nicholas Ray, 1957)
- Rock Hudson's Home Movies (Mark Rappaport, 1992)
- The Devil, Probably (Robert Bresson, 1977)
- The Exiles (Kent MacKenzie, 1961)
- The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges, 1942)
- Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995)
- Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
- Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
- The Act Of Seeing With One's Own Eyes (Stan Brakhage, 1971)
Tina Hassannia
1. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
2. Céline et Julie vont en bateau (Jacques Rivette, 1974)
3. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F. W. Murnau, 1927)
4. Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
5. Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966)
6. Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984)
7. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl T. Dreyer, 1928)
8. The Cow (Dariush Mehrjui, 1969)
9. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
10. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)
Samuel Adelarr (Blogger: Guntalk) 
In chronological order:
- Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
- My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)
- Voyage to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)
- An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu, 1962)
- 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
- Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
- Milestones (Robert Kramer, 1975)
- The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975)
- L'argent (Robert Bresson, 1983)
- Abraham's Valley (Manoel de Oliveira, 1993)
Jovana Jankovic (Blogger: Toronto Film Society)
1. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
2. 3 Women (Robert Altman, 1977)
3. Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)
4. Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, 1992)
5. Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
6. Lili Marleen (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1981)
7. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
8. La ley del deseo (Pedro Almodóvar, 1987)
9. Match Point (Woody Allen, 2005)
10. Barton Fink (Coen Bros., 1991)
11. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
12. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
13. The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962)
14. La haine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995)
15. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
16. Der Blaue Engel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930)
17. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
18. Thelma and Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991)
19. In The Cut (Jane Campion, 2003)
20. Harlan County, USA (Barbara Kopple, 1977)
Eastern Yoo (Clerk: Suspect Video)
1. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
2. La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)
3. Andrei Rublev (Andrey Tarkovsky, 1969)
4. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
5. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
6. Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997)
7. Akira (Katsuhiro Ohtomo, 1988)
8. Ma nuit chez Maud (Éric Rohmer, 1969)
9. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
10. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Moen Mohamed
My ten films will not be my Top Ten, but it is a selection of ten films that are among my favourites.  I make that distinction very clear because I don't believe in a single film or 10 films being the best of all time.  It is just a personal choice.  I have been lucky to have seen dozens and dozens of masterpieces in my life.  So, I think they all should be given that honour of appearing on any list I create.  I am just being kind and appreciative to the directors whose films mean so much to me.
In alphabetical order:
- The Burmese Harp (Kon Ichikawa, Japan, 1956)
- La Chambre Vertre (Francois Truffaut, France, 1978)
- Cronaca di un Amore (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1950)
- In a Year with Thirteen Moons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Germany, 1978)
- Landscape in the Mist (Theo Angelopoulos, Greece, 1988)
- The Mad Fox (Tomu Uchida, Japan, 1962)
- Pakeezah (Kamal Amrohi, India, 1972)
- Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, Australia, 1975)
- Tokyo Twilight (Yasujiro Ozu, Japan, 1957)
- The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi, Italy, 1978)
Ron Walther
  1. Purple Noon (René Clément, 1960)
  2. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004)
  3. Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
  4. Kiss me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955)
  5. If… (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
  6. This Sporting Life (Lindsay Anderson, 1963)
  7. The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)
  8. Love with a Proper Stranger (Robert Mulligan, 1963)
  9. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)
  10. On Dangerous Ground (On Dangerous Gound, 1952)
Scott Cowan
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
2. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
3. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
4. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
5. La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)
6. Les enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné, 1945)
7. On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954)
8. Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
9. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
10. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
Thom Ernst (Host: Saturday Night at the Movies)
- The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
- The Godfather: Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
- Nashville (Robert Atlman, 1975)
- The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica, 1947)
- Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989)
             - The Miracle at Morgan's Creek (Preston Sturges, 1944)
- Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
- Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957)
- Magnolia (P.T. Anderson, 1999)
- La Strada (Federico Fellini)
Ryan McNeil (Blogger: The Matinee)
-Modern Times  Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
- Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
- Rashomon  (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
- Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
- Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
- The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
- Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
- No Country For Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
Andrew Proczek
1. The Noriko Trilogy: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story
2. Germany Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1948)
3. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)
4. Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
5. India Song (Marguerite Duras, 1975)
6. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
7. Le Plaisir (Max Ophüls, 1952)
8. Ordet (Carl T. Dreyer, 1955)
9. Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983)
10. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
Thom Loree
1. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
3. Dead of Night (Ealing Studios, 1945)
4. The Thief of Bagdad (Ludwig Berger & Michael Powell, 1940)
5. The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg, 1928)
6. The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby & Howard Hawks, 1951)
7. The Chase (Arthur Ripley, 1946)
8. Fires on the Plain (Kon Ichikawa, 1959)
9. He Who Gets Slapped (Victor Sjöström, 1924)
10. Flesh and Fantasy (Julien Duvivier, 1943)
The Edward G. Robinson episode.
Simon Hue
In chronological order:
- It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
- Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956)
- Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
- Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)
- Les demoiselles de Rochefort (Jacques Demy, 1967)
- The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
- The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985)
- The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)
- Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
David Acacia
1. Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
2. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)
3. The Earrings of Madame de... (Max Ophüls, 1953)
4. Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise, 1991)
5. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
6. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
7. In a Year with Thirteen Moons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1978)
8. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
9. Les enfants du paradis (Marcel Carné, 1945)
10. Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman, 1972)
Clint Enns (Filmmaker)
A Few of My Favorite Short Experimental Films and Videos of Recent Years (in no particular order):
1)    Evan Meaney – The Well of Representation (2011) The Well of Representation is arguably Meaney’s best work to date and was easily my favourite video at the 2012 Images Festival.
This video is the epilogue to The Ceibas Cycle
, a 10 part series of videos made between 2007 and 2011 that investigates glitches and their connection to communication theory, the archive, ghosts, and our digital identities.  The Well of Representation combines all of these ideas into a hacked, 16-bit re-make of Hollis Frampton's Gloria! (1979).
2)    Scott Fitzpatrick – Places With Meaning (2012) and Up (2012)
Places With Meaning is the sequel to Wingdings Love Letter (2011) and celebrates the often misunderstood and critically under-appreciated font, Webdings.  These 16mm films were created by laser printing directly onto recycled film.
(2012) was created to be viewed with ChromaDepth glasses (Walter Forsberg's article about Lillian Schwartz and ChromaDepth can be found in Issue #3 of Incite and is available hereIf you would like a pair of  ChromaDepth glasses, Incite Issue #3 comes with a pair and can be purchased here).  The piece can easily be read as a 3D spacial study through colour.
3)    Nicholas O'Brien - A Letter (to Chelsey Hoff) (2010)
A letter to artist Chelsey Hoff made on VHS for a secret santa exchange.  Check out Chelsey Hoff's videos here
4)    Zahid Jiwa - Five Towns: Video Asylum for Shut-Ins  (2010)
A tongue-in-cheek VHS homage to one of my favourite filmmakers James Benning.
5)    Sabrina Ratté - Station Balnéaire V.1 (2011)
The Almalfi Coast electronically manipulated to create a video that is spiritual, meditative, and soothing.  This video could be seen as an extension of Jane Wright's video landscapes.
6)    Mark Pellegrino – On Being Selfish (2011)
In the future we will all have our 15MBs of fame.  Enjoy it while it lasts Mark.
7)    David Domingo – Sound of the Sun (2011)
Remember those 16mm educational documentaries you were forced to watch as a child?  Don't you wish you were watching this instead? 
8)    Sean Dunne - American Juggalo (2011)
The decline of Western Civilization captured in one exploitative ethnographic documentary.  This film is destined to become a cult classic.
9)    Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, and Zacharias Kunuk – Kobe (2012) 
I recently saw this video as part of the Home On Native Land exhibit at the Lightbox.  The video perfectly uses 3D technologies to capture the sparse landscape of the north and to present a portrait of contemporary Inuit culture by documenting a the life of a young Inuit boy.  The pacing of the video provides the viewer with time to reflect, a luxury that is missing in major cities.
10) Ji Yeon Lim (aka YALOO林) - Mountain for your mind (2012)
A video that re-imagines the landscape film in a digital era.