Friday, September 9, 2011

Towards A Personal Canon

 A list of my cinematic touchstones. 

Warning: It can get counter-canonical, but it's intended that way. An alternative.


The Cameraman's Revenge (Ladislaw Starewicz, 1912)
Fantomas (Louis Feuillade, 1913)
Ingeborg Holm (Victor Sjostrom, 1913)]
Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914)
Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915)
Der Golem (Henrik Galeen/Paul Wegener, 1915)
Judex (Louis Feuillade, 1916)
The Dying Swan (Yevgeni Bauer, 1917)
True Heart Susie (D. W. Griffith, 1919)
The Oyster Princess (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919)
Father Sergius (Yakov Protazanov, 1919)
Die Puppe (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919)
Sir Arne's Treasure (Mauritz Stiller, 1919)


Souls on The Road (Minoru Murata, 1921)
Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (Fritz Lang, 1922)
La Roue (Abel Gance, 1923)
The Smiling Madame Beudet (Germaine Dulac, 1923)
Die Niebelungen (Fritz Lang, 1924)
L’Inhumaine (Marcel L’Herbier, 1924)
Strike (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
The Joyless Street (G.W. Pabst, 1925)
Menilmontant (Dmitri Kirsanoff, 1926)
A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926)
By The Law (Lev Kuleshov, 1926)
La Glace A Trois Faces (Jean Epstein, 1927)
Napoleon (Abel Gance, 1927)
The Seashell and the Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928)
Zvenigora (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1928)
The Man with The Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
Finis Terrae (Jean Epstein, 1929)


Salt for Svanetia (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1930)
Enthusiasm (Dziga Vertov, 1931)
Road to Life (Nikolai Ekk, 1931)
The Murderer Dimitri Karamazov (Fyodor Otsep, 1931)
Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932)
Ganga Bruta (Humberto Mauro, 1933)
L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty, 1934)
Happiness (Alexander Medvedkin, 1935)
By the Bluest of Seas (Boris Barnet, 1936)
Rose Hobart (Joseph Cornell, 1936)
The Only Son (Yasujiro Ozu, 1936)
Story of the Late Chrysanthemums (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939)


Ornamental Hairpin (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1941)
Aniki Bobo (Manoel de Oliveira, 1942)
Day of Wrath (Carl Dreyer, 1943)
Fires Were Started (Humphrey Jennings, 1943)
Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943)
Ivan the Terrible (Sergei Eisenstein, 1944-1946)
Paisa (Roberto Rossellini,1946)
Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin, 1947)
The Red Shoes (Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
La Terra Trema (Luchino Visconti, 1948)
Jour de Fete (Jacques Tati, 1949)
Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)


The Young and the Damned (Luis Bunuel, 1950)
Venom and Eternity (Isidore Isou, 1951)
Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1952)
Voyage to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1953)
Bienvenido Mister Marshall (Luis Garcia Berlanga, 1953)
Sound of the Mountain (Mikio Naruse, 1954)
Lola Montes (Max Ophuls, 1955)
Tales of The Taira Clan (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1955)
Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse, 1955)
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955)
A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)
Antcipation of the Night (Stan Brakhage, 1958)
Moi, Un Noir (Jean Rouch, 1958)
Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati, 1958)
India (Roberto Rossellini, 1959)
The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959)


Triptico Elemental de Espana (Jose Val del Omar, 1960)
Pour La Suite du Monde (Michel Brault/Pierre Perrault, 1963)
Muriel (Alain Resnais, 1963)
I Am Twenty (Marlen Khutsiev, 1964)
Mass for the Dakota Sioux (Bruce Baillie, 1964)
Beppie (Johan van der Keuken, 1965)
Red Angel (Yasuzo Masumura, 1966)
Unsere Afrikareise (Peter Kubelka, 1966)
Marketa Lazarova (Frantisek Vlacil, 1967)
No Passage Through Fire (Gleb Panfilov, 1968)
Nostra Signora dei Turchi (Carmelo Bene, 1968)
The Hour of the Furnaces (Fernando E. Solanas, 1968)
Tres Tristes Tigres (Raoul Ruiz, 1968)
Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomas Gutierez Alea, 1968)
Reconstruction (Lucian Pintilie, 1968)
79 Primaveras and Other Shorts (Santiago Alvarez, 1969)
A Gentle Woman (Robert Bresson, 1969)
Antonio Das Mortes (Glauber Rocha, 1969)
Bhuvan Shome (Mrnal Sen, 1969)
Eros Plus Massacre (Yoshishige Yoshida, 1969)
Macunaima (Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, 1969)


La Region Centrale (Michael Snow, 1970)
Eden and After (Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1970)
The Man Who Left his Will on Film (Nagisa Oshima, 1970)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jires, 1970)
The Hart of London (Jack Chambers, 1970)
Days and Nights in the Forest (Satyajit Ray, 1970)
Umut (Yilmaz Guney, 1970)
The Death of Maria Malibran (Werner Schroeter, 1972)
Red Psalm (Miklos Jancso, 1972)
Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety, 1973)
A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)
Mes Petites Amoureuses  (Jean Eustache, 1974)
Still Life (Sohrab Shahid Saless, 1974)
Jeanne Dielman (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
Welfare (Frederick Wiseman, 1975)
India Song (Marguerite Duras, 1975)
Adoption (Marta Meszaros, 1975)
One Hundred Days After Childhood (Sergei Solovyov, 1975)
Four Seasons (Artavazd Peleshian, 1975)
Kings of the Road (Wim Wenders, 1976)
Le Fond de L'air est Rouge (Chris Marker, 1977)
Hitler: A Film From Germany (Hans-Jurgen Syberberg, 1978)
Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
A Few Days in the Life of Oblomov (Nikita Mikhalkov, 1979)


Berlin Alexanderplatz (R.W. Fassbinder, 1980)
The Subjective Factor (Helke Sander, 1980)
Crac (Frederic Back, 1981)
Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1981)
Too Early, Too Late (Daniele Huillet/Jean-Marie Straub, 1982)
Three Crowns of a Sailor (Raoul Ruiz, 1983)
In The White City (Alain Tanner, 1983)
Monanieba (Tengiz Abuladze, 1984)
Les Favoris de la Lune (Otar Iosseliani, 1985)
Parade of The Planets (Vadim Abdrashitov, 1986)
O Melissokomos (Theo Angelopoulos, 1986)
Yeelen (Souleymane Cisse, 1987)
A Tale of the Wind (Joris Ivens, 1988)
Camp de Thiaroye (Ousmane Sembene, 1988)
The Hoary Legends of the Caucasus (Sergei Parajanov, 1988)
Alice (Jan Svankmajer, 1988)
The Eye Above The Well (Johan van der Keuken, 1988)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988)
Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Harun Farocki, 1989)
Recollections of the Yellow House (Joao Cesar Monteiro, 1989)
Sitting on a Branch, Enjoying Myself (Juraj Jakubisko, 1989)
The Days of Eclipse (Alexander Sokurov, 1989)


Aesthenic Syndrome (Kira Muratova,1990)
And Life Goes On (Abbas Kiarostami, 1991)
The Suspended Step of The Stork (Theo Angelopoulos, 1991)
El Sol del Membrillo (Victor Erice, 1992)
La Chasse Aux Papillons (Otar Iosseliani, 1992)
Ladoni (Artour Aristakisian, 1993)
Caro Diario (Nanni Moretti, 1994)
Satantango (Bela Tarr, 1994)
Silences of the Palace (Moufida Tlatli, 1994)
Deseret (James Benning, 1995)
Spiritual Voices (Alexander Sokurov, 1995)
A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996)
A Casa (Sharunas Bartas, 1997)
Masumiyet (Zeki Demirkubuz, 1997)
Tren de Sombras (Jose Luis Guerin, 1997)
Khrustalyov, Get the Car! (Aleksei German, 1998)
Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1998)
Rosetta (Jean Pierre/Luc Dardenne, 1999)
Histoire(s) du Cinema (Jean Luc Godard, 1988-1999)
L'Humanite (Bruno Dumont, 1999)


As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionaly I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas, 2000)
The Isle (Kim Ki-duk, 2000)
The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda, 2000)
What Time is It There? (Tsai Ming-Liang, 2001)
Klassenfahrt (Henner Winckler, 2002)
Corpus Callosum (Michael Snow, 2002)
Uzak (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2002)
Crimson Gold (Jafar Panahi, 2003)
Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs, 2004)
Los Muertos (Lisandro Alonso, 2004)
Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (Peter Tscherkassky, 2005)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005)
Les Amants Reguliers (Philippe Garrel, 2005)
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (Quay Brothers, 2005)
Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006)
Todo Todo Teros (John Torres, 2006)
Syndromes and A Century (Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
Death in the Land of Encantos (Lav Diaz, 2007)
My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007)
Two Lovers (James Gray, 2008)
Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008)
Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008)
A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)

Sources include:

24 Frames  (a book series focusing on national cinemas)
Essential Cinema - On The Necessity of Film Canons (Jonathan Rosenbaum)
Film - The Critic's Choice (edited by Geoff Andrew)
A Century of Films - Derek Malcolm's Personal Best (Derek Malcolm)
They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
Cahiers du Cinema
Sight and Sound
Foreign Affairs (edited by Kathy Schulz Huffhines)
The A List- 100 Essential Films (edited by Jay Carr)
Film History - An Introduction (Kristin Thompson/David Bordwell)
A History of Narrative Film (David A. Cook)



  1. Not a fan of Ishma or Mike de Leon?

  2. Itim could have made it, and some Brocka. Ishma is there too with Manila By Night and Himala. They are very strong movies, but I think that the most daring and experimental Filipino films were made in the 2000s onwards. There's a bit of presentism there, I guess. Which Filipino films would make your own list?