Martin Scorsese, Sonic Youth, Guillermo del Toro, Wes Anderson & Other Icons List Their Top 10 Art Films

the red shoes movie poster

If you are a movie maven, you know about the Cri­te­ri­on Col­lec­tion. Since the days of Laserdiscs, Cri­te­ri­on has made a name for itself by amass­ing a vast and thor­ough cat­a­log of indie films, art house flicks and the occa­sion­al block­buster. They dis­trib­ute DVDs of direc­tors as diverse as Aki­ra Kuro­sawa, Jane Cam­pi­on, and Stan Brakhage.

For their web­site, Cri­te­ri­on has asked a num­ber of film­mak­ers, writ­ers and oth­er cul­tur­al fig­ures to come up with their Top 10 Cri­te­ri­on movies ever. They are fas­ci­nat­ing, illu­mi­nat­ing and often sur­pris­ing.

The late, great band Son­ic Youth – which made a name for itself for its loud, growl­ing gui­tars and end­less lay­ers of noisy feed­back — picked some remark­ably qui­et, med­i­ta­tive movies: Yasu­jiro Ozu’s con­tem­pla­tive late mas­ter­piece Float­ing Weeds tops the list and Chan­tal Aker­man’s three-hour long min­i­mal­ist mas­ter­piece Jeanne Diel­man, 23, quai du Com­merce, 1080 Brux­elles comes in at num­ber two.

Like­wise, low-bud­get hor­ror leg­end Roger Cor­man picked Michelan­ge­lo Anto­nioni’s high art mas­ter­piece L’avventura as his top pick. “Nev­er has ‘wait­ing around’ been so glo­ri­ous,” he writes.

Less sur­pris­ing are Mar­tin Scors­ese’s picks. He puts Rober­to Rossellini’s Paisan at num­ber one and Michael Pow­ell and Emer­ic Pressburger’s Tech­ni­col­or mar­vel The Red Shoes at num­ber two. Scors­ese has on mul­ti­ple occa­sions declared his love of the for­mer and was cen­tral to get­ting the lat­ter restored.

Edgar Wright – direc­tor of Scott Pil­grim vs. the World and last summer’s apoc­a­lyp­tic com­e­dy The World’s End – proud­ly picked Bri­an DePal­ma’s Blow Out as his top movie. “I have heard peo­ple call them­selves Bri­an De Pal­ma apol­o­gists,” he writes. “I am proud to say that I am a huge fan with­out any caveats.”

And The Exor­cist direc­tor William Fried­kin reveals him­self to be a fan of Alain Resnais, plac­ing both Night and Fog and The Last Year at Marien­bad high on his list. His praise of the recent­ly depart­ed French New Wave icon’s most famous movie is also an elo­quent defense of any chal­leng­ing movie.

I’ve seen Marien­bad at least twen­ty times over the past fifty years, and I don’t under­stand one scene of it, but what a fan­tas­tic expe­ri­ence. I don’t 
under­stand the Grand Canyon or Schoenberg’s Trans­fig­ured Night, either, but they con­tin­ue to move me.

You can see all of the Cri­te­ri­on top ten lists here. Oth­er fig­ures on the list include Jonathan Lethem, the Beast­ie Boys’ Adam Yauch, James Fran­co, Lena Dun­ham, Guiller­mo del Toro, Wes Ander­son, John Lurie, Brie Lar­son, Don­ald Fagen & More.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The 10 Great­est Films of All Time Accord­ing to 846 Film Crit­ics

Mar­tin Scors­ese Reveals His 12 Favorite Movies (and Writes a New Essay on Film Preser­va­tion)

Stan­ley Kubrick’s List of Top 10 Films (The First and Only List He Ever Cre­at­ed)

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

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