MICHAEL MANN’s Favourite Films

Michael Kenneth Mann is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer of film and television who is best known for his distinctive brand of stylised crime drama. For his work, he has received nominations from international organisations and juries, including those at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Cannes and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His most acclaimed works are the crime film Heat (1995) and the docudrama The Insider (1999). Total Film ranked Mann No. 28 on its list of the 100 Greatest Directors Ever, Sight and Sound ranked him No. 5 on their list of the 10 Best Directors of the Last 25 Years, and Entertainment Weekly ranked Mann No. 8 on their 25 Greatest Active Film Directors list.

1. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
2. Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. Dr Strangelove (Kubrick, 1963)
5. Faust (Murnau, 1926)
6. Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, 1961)
7. My Darling Clementine (Ford, 1946)
8. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
9. Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980)
10. The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, 1969)

The Cinema of Michael Mann: Vice and Vindication (Directors’ Cuts) Paperback
Michael Mann – Hollywood’s Best Film Directors – Buy or Rent (Watch Online)
Michael Mann (Hardcover)
Michael Mann: Crime Auteur (Hardcover)
Michael Mann Cinema And Television: Interviews, 1980-2012 (Hardcover)
Existentialism and Social Engagement in the Films of Michael Mann (Hardcover)


TIFF’s Essential 100

In 2010, the Toronto International Film Festival released its “Essential 100” list of films, which merged one list of the 100 greatest films of all time as determined by an expert panel of TIFF curators with another list determined by TIFF stakeholders. The list reads like a definitive guide to the best of world cinema.

1 THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
2 CITIZEN KANE (Orson Welles)
3 L’AVVENTURA (Michaelangelo Antonioni)
4 THE GODFATHER (Francis Ford Coppola)
5 PICKPOCKET (Robert Bresson)
6 SEVEN SAMURAI (Akira Kurosawa)
7 PATHER PANCHALI (Satyajit Ray)
8 CASABLANCA (Michael Curtiz)
10 BICYCLE THIEVES (Vittorio De Sica)
11 ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
12 8 ½ (Federico Fellini)
13 BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (Sergei Eisenstein)
14 RASHOMON (Akira Kurosawa)
15 TOKYO STORY (Yasujiro Ozu)
16 THE 400 BLOWS (François Truffaut)
17 UGETSU (Kenji Mizoguchi)
18 BREATHLESS (Jean-Luc Godard)
19 L’ATALANTE (Jean Vigo)
20 CINEMA PARADISO (Giuseppe Tornatore)
23 PERSONA (Ingmar Bergman)
24 GONE WITH THE WIND (Victor Fleming)
25 SUNRISE (F.W. Murnau)
26 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Stanley Kubrick)
27 VOYAGE IN ITALY (Roberto Rossellini)
28 AMÉLIE (Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
29 CITY LIGHTS (Charlie Chaplin)
30 STAR WARS (George Lucas)
31 SHERLOCK JR. (Buster Keaton)
32 RULES OF THE GAME (Jean Renoir)
33 THE LEOPARD (Luchino Visconti)
34 LA DOLCE VITA (Federico Fellini)
35 L’ARRIVÉE D’UN TRAIN À LA CIOTAT (Frères LumiereLouis Lumière and Auguste Lumière)
36 THE WIZARD OF OZ (Victor Fleming)
37 LA JETÉE (Chris Marker)
38 VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock)
39 NIGHT AND FOG (Alain Resnais)
40 PULP FICTION (Quentin Tarantino)
41 THE SEARCHERS (John Ford)
43 THE CONFORMIST (Bernardo Bertolucci)
44 CITY OF GOD (Fernando Meirelles)
45 TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese)
46 APOCALYPSE NOW (Francis Ford Coppola)
47 SALÓ, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
48 THE SEVENTH SEAL (Ingmar Bergman)
49 LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (Georges Méliès)
50 METROPOLIS (Fritz Lang)

51 THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS (Gillo Pontecorvo)
52 IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Wong Kar Wai)
53 VIRIDIANA (Luis Buñuel)
54 LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (Roberto Benigni)
55 THE SORROW AND THE PITY (Marcel Ophüls)
56 PAN’S LABYRINTH (Guillermo del Toro)
58 BLADE RUNNER (Ridley Scott)
59 THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES (Abbas Kiarostami)
61 BRINGING UP BABY (Howard Hawks)
62 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (Stanley Donen)
63 JOHNNY GUITAR (Nicholas Ray)
64 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Stanley Kubrick)
66 M (Fritz Lang)
67 SCORPIO RISING (Kenneth Anger)
68 PSYCHO (Alfred Hitchcock)
69 DUST IN THE WIND (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
70 SCHINDLER’S LIST (Steven Spielberg)
71 NASHVILLE (Robert Altman)
73 WAVELENGTH (Michael Snow)
74 JULES ET JIM (François Truffaut)
75 CHRONIQUE D’UN ÉTÉ (Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch)
76 THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
77 GREED (Erich von Stroheim)
78 SOME LIKE IT HOT (Billy Wilder)
79 JAWS (Steven Spielberg)
80 ANNIE HALL (Woody Allen)
81 THE BIRTH OF A NATION (D.W. Griffith)
83 LA NOIRE DE… (Ousmane Sembene)
84 RAGING BULL (Martin Scorsese)
86 CHINATOWN (Roman Polanski)
87 ANDREI RUBLEV (Andrei Tarkovsky)
88 WINGS OF DESIRE (Wim Wenders)
89 VIDEODROME (David Cronenberg)
90 WRITTEN ON THE WIND (Douglas Sirk)
91 THE THIRD MAN (Carol Reed)
92 BLUE VELVET (David Lynch)
94 BREAKING THE WAVES (Lars von Trier)
95 A NOS AMOURS (Maurice Pialat)
96 CLEO DE 5 A 7 (Agnès Varda)
97 ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (Pedro Almodóvar)
98 EARTH (Aleksandr Dovzhenko)
99 OLDBOY (Park Chan-wook)
100 PLAYTIME (Jacques Tati)

Tsai Ming-Liang (Sight & Sound) Top 10 Films

Tsai Ming-liang is a Taiwanese filmmaker. He has written and directed ten feature films and has also directed many short films and television films. Tsai is one of the most celebrated “Second New Wave” film directors of Taiwanese cinema. His films have been acclaimed worldwide and have won numerous awards at film festivals. Below are his top 10 choices for Sight & Sound’s Director film poll for 2012.

400 Blows, The 1959 François Truffaut
L’Eclisse 1962 Michelangelo Antonioni
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul 1974 Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Goodbye, Dragon Inn 2003 Tsai Ming Liang
Mouchette 1966 Robert Bresson
The Night of the Hunter 1955 Charles Laughton
The Only Son 1936 Ozu Yasujirô
Passion of Joan of Arc 1927 Carl Theodor Dreyer
Spring in a Small Town 1948 Fei Mu
Sunrise 1927 F. W. Murnau

Tsai Ming-liang and a Cinema of Slowness (Hardcover)
Tsai Ming-Liang (Paperback)
The River by Ming-liang Tsai (DVD)
The Hole by Ming-liang Tsai (DVD)
Ming-liang Tsai Films 1992-1997 (Rebels of the Neon God / The River / Vive l’amour) [Blu-ray]
Cinematic Absence: An Analysis of Tsai Ming-liang’s “Goodbye Dragon Inn” (Paperback)


Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Director: F. W. Murnau Cinematographer: Charles Rosher, Karl Struss
 Sunrise (1927) on IMDb

Thanks to the phenomenal success of German director Murnau’s The Last Laugh, he was invited to Hollywood by William Fox to make an expressionist film and given complete control on Sunrise. While the film is invariably described as silent cinema it was one of the first to be released and widely seen with a Fox Movietone sound-on-film music and effects track. Based on the Hermann Sudermann novel A Trip to Tilsit, it takes place in a colourful farming community, where people from the city regularly take their weekend holidays. Local farmer George O’Brien, happily married to Janet Gaynor, falls under the seductive spell of Margaret Livingston, a femme fatale from The City. He callously ignores his wife and child and strips his farm of its wealth on behalf of Livingston, but even this fails to satisfy her. Shot in Murnau’s accustomed manner, with elaborate stylised sets, complicated location shooting and experimental visual effects, the film’s costs far exceeded its earnings, but the poetic tale of sin and redemption overwhelmed critics with its beautiful visual aesthetics and continues to be regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.

Buy or Rent (watch online)
Blu-ray + Dvd Combo
Studio Classics – Best Picture Collection (Sunrise / How Green Was My Valley / Gentleman’s Agreement / All About Eve) DVD
Film Sunrise 1927 Ngeorge OBrien About To Kill His Wife Janet Gaynor In A Scene From Sunrise A Song Of Two Humans Directed By FW Murnau 1927 Poster Print by (24 x 36)
1990 Score To 1927 Film



  • George O’Brien as The Man
  • Janet Gaynor as The Wife
  • Margaret Livingston as The Woman From the City
  • Bodil Rosing as The Maid
  • J. Farrell MacDonald as The Photographer
  • Ralph Sipperly as The Barber
  • Jane Winton as The Manicure Girl
  • Arthur Housman as The Obtrusive Gentleman
  • Eddie Boland as The Obliging Gentleman
  • Sally Eilers as Woman in Dance Hall with failing straps (uncredited)
  • Gino Corrado as Manager of Hair Salon (uncredited)
  • Thomas Jefferson as The Old Seaman (uncredited)
  • Herman Bing as Streetcar Conductor (uncredited)
  • Gibson Gowland as Angry Driver (uncredited)

Directed by F. W. Murnau
Produced by William Fox
Screenplay by Carl Mayer
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld, Ernö Rapée
Cinematography Charles Rosher, Karl Struss
Edited by Harold D. Schuster
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film, English subtitles

The 100 most beautiful films in the world

In 2008 Le Figaro polled 76 participants: critics, screenwriters and directors to come up with a list of the one hundred most beautiful films in the world. Citizen Kane predictably came top while Charles Laughton’s only film, The Night of the Hunter was second along with the highest ranked French Film from Jean Renoir, The Rule of the game. Charlie Chaplin is the only one to have five films listed. The most recent titles are Talk to Her by Pedro Almodovar (2002) and Mulholland Drive (2001).

1st : Citizen Kane, Orson Welles.
2nd tie : The Night of the Hunter, Charles Laughton; The Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir.
3rd : Sunrise, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau.
4th : L’Atalante, Jean Vigo.
5th : M, Fritz Lang.
6th : Singin’ the Rain, Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly.
7th : Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock.
8th tie : The Children of Paradise, Marcel Carné; The Searchers, John Ford; Greed, Eric von Stroheim.
9th tie : Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks; To Be or Not to Be, Ernst Lubitsch.
10th : Tokyo Story, Yasujiro Ozu.
11th : Contempt, Jean-Luc Godard.
12th tie : Ugetsu, Kenji Mizoguchi; City Lights, Charles Chaplin; The General Buster Keaton; Nosferatu, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau; The Music Room, Satyajit Ray.
13th tie : Freaks, Tod Browning; Johnny Guitar, Nicholas Ray; The Mother and the Whore, Jean Eustache.
14th tie : The Dictator, Charles Chaplin; The Leopard, Luchino Visconti; Hiroshima My Love, Alain Resnais; Pandora’s Box, GW Pabst; North By Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock; Pickpocket, Robert Bresson.
15th tie : Casque d’or, Jacques Becker; The Barefoot Contessa, Joseph Mankiewicz; Moonfleet, Fritz Lang; Madame de …, Max Ophuls; Le Plaisir, Max Ophuls; The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino.
16th tie : L’Avventura, Michelangelo Antonioni; Battleship Potemkin, SM Eisenstein; Notorious, Alfred Hitchcock; Ivan the Terrible, SM Eisenstein; The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola; Touch of Evil, Orson Welles; The Wind, Victor Sjöström.
17th tie : 2001: The Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick; Fanny and Alexander, Ingmar Bergman.
18th tie : The Crowd, King Vidor; Eight and a half, Federico Fellini; La Jetee, Chris Marker; Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard; The Story of a Cheat, Sacha Guitry.
19th tie : Amarcord, Federico Fellini; Beauty and the Beast, Jean Cocteau; Some like it hot, Billy Wilder; Some Came Running, Vincente Minnelli; Gertrud, Carl Th. Dreyer; King Kong, Ernest Schoedsack and Merian J. Cooper; Laura, Otto Preminger; The Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa.
20th tie : The 400 Blows, François Truffaut; La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini; The Dead, John Huston; Trouble in Paradise Ernst Lubitsch; It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra; Mr. Verdoux, Charles Chaplin; The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Th. Dreyer.
21st tie : Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard; Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola; Barry Lindon, Stanley Kubrick; The Grand Illusion, Jean Renoir; Intolerance,  DW Griffith; A Day in the Country, Jean Renoir; Playtime, Jacques Tati; Rome open city, Roberto Rossellini; Senso, Luchino Visconti; Modern Times, Charles Chaplin; Van Gogh, Maurice Pialat.
22nd tie : An Affair to Remember, Leo McCarey; Andrei Rublev, Andrei Tarkovsky; The Scarlet Empress, Joseph von Sternberg; Sansho the Bailiff, Kenji Mizoguchi; Talk to Her, Pedro Almodovar; The Party, Blake Edwards; Tabu, FM Murna; The Band Wagon, Vincente Minnelli; A Star is Born, George Cukor; Les Vacances de M. Hulot, Jacques Tati.
23rd tie : America America, Elia Kazan; El, Luis Bunuel; Kiss Me Deadly, Robert Aldrich; Once Upon a Time in America, Sergio Leone; Le jour se lève, Marcel Carné; Letter from an unknown Woman, Max Ophuls; Lola, Jacques Demy; Manhattan, Woody Allen; Mulholland Drive, David Lynch; My night at Maud’s, Eric Rohmer; Night and Fog, Alain Resnais; The Gold Rush, Charles Chaplin; Scarface, Howard Hawks; Bicycle thieves, Vittorio de Sica; Napoleon, Abel Gance.

Brussels World’s Fair (aka Expo 58) best films of all time

At the Brussels World’s Fair (aka Expo 58), a panel of 117 international film experts/reviewers/historians from 26 countries organised by the Belgian Cinematek (The Royal Belgian Film Archive) voted in a poll to determine the best films of all time. It’s considered the first international film poll to take place.

1 Броненосец Потёмкин (Battleship Potemkin) Sergei Eisenstein 1925 – 100 Votes
=2 The Gold Rush Charles Chaplin 1925 – 85
=2 Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves) Vittorio De Sica 1948 – 85
4 La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc) Carl Theodor Dreyer 1928 – 78
5 La Grande Illusion Jean Renoir 1937 – 72
6 Greed Erich von Stroheim 1924 – No. of votes unknown
7 Intolerance D. W. Griffith 1916 – No. of votes unknown
8 Mother Vsevolod Pudovkin 1926 – No. of votes unknown
9 Citizen Kane Orson Welles 1941 – 50
10 Earth Alexander Dovzhenko 1930 – No. of votes unknown
11 The Last Laugh F.W. Murnau 1924 – No. of votes unknown
12 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Robert Wiene 1920 – No. of votes unknown