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My Essentials — Film & TV Favorites

Listing here for personal reference. I hope to write about all of them someday. To address people who ask me (likely in outrage), “Why is so-and-so film, director… missing?” This list doesn’t necessarily have the greatest works of all time — rather, these are works that have influenced, shaped, and made an impression on my ongoing filmmaking journey. For example, Hitchcock’s Psycho isn’t on here; does that mean I didn’t like it? No—Psycho is a great film but for reasons unexplained, I enjoy Vertigo, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt… more.

Films underlined will link to an essay I’ve written on them.

In Chronological Order:

  1. A Trip to the Moon (1902) dir. George Melies
  2. Metropolis (1927) dir. Fritz Lang
  3. Un Chien Andalou (1928) dir. Luis Buñuel/Salvador Dali
  4. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
  5. Detour (1945) dir. Edgar G. Ulmer
  6. The Red Shoes (1948) dir. Powell + Pressburger
  7. The Third Man (1949) dir. Carol Reed
  8. Los Olvidados (1950) dir. Luis Bunuel
  9. Sunset Boulevard (1950) dir. Billy Wilder
  10. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Elia Kazan
  11. Ikiru (1952) dir. Akira Kurosawa
  12. La Strada (1954) dir. Federico Fellini
  13. Seven Samurai (1954) dir. Akira Kurosawa
  14. Rear Window (1954) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
  15. Wild Strawberries (1955) dir. Ingmar Bergman
  16. Mon Oncle (1956) dir. Jacques Tati
  17. Touch of Evil (1957) dir. Orson Welles
  18. Vertigo (1958) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
  19. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) dir. Alain Resnais
  20. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964) cr. Rod Serling
  21. La Dolce Vita (1960) dir. Federico Fellini
  22. 8 1/2 (1963) dir. Federico Fellini
  23. La Rivière du Hibou (1963) dir. Robert Enrico (short)
  24. From Russia with Love (1963) dir. Terence Young
  25. Blow-Up (1966) dir. Michaelangelo Antonioni
  26. Persona (1966) dir. Ingmar Bergman
  27. Belle de Jour (1967) dir. Luis Buñuel
  28. Weekend (1967) dir. Jean-Luc Godard
  29. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1967) dir. Sergio Leone
  30. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) dir. Roman Polanski
  31. Bullitt (1968) dir. Peter Yates
  32. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick
  33. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) dir. George Roy Hill
  34. The Conformist (1970) dir. Bernardo Bertolucci
  35. Five Easy Pieces (1970) dir. Bob Rafelson
  36. The French Connection (1971) dir. William Friedkin
  37. The Godfather I (1972) dir. Francis Ford Coppola
  38. The Getaway (1972) dir. Sam Peckinpah
  39. La Cabina (1972) dir. Antonio Mercero (short)
  40. Last Tango in Paris (1973) dir. Bernardo Bertolucci
  41. The Last Detail (1973) dir. Hal Ashby
  42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) dir. Sam Peckinpah
  43. The Conversation (1974) dir. Francis Ford Coppola
  44. The Godfather II (1974) dir. Francis Ford Coppola
  45. Chinatown (1974) dir. Roman Polanski
  46. The Phantom of Liberty (1974) dir. Luis Buñuel
  47. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) dir. Milos Forman
  48. Barry Lyndon (1975) dir. Stanley Kubrick
  49. The Mirror (1975) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
  50. The Passenger (1975) dir. Michaelangelo Antonioni
  51. The Tenant (1976) dir. Roman Polanski
  52. Taxi Driver (1976) dir. Martin Scorsese
  53. Sorcerer (1977) dir. William Friedkin
  54. The Deer Hunter (1978) dir. Michael Cimino
  55. Apocalypse Now (1979) dir. Francis Ford Coppola
  56. Manhattan (1979) dir. Woody Allen
  57. Raging Bull (1980) dir. Martin Scorsese
  58. The Shining (1980) dir. Stanley Kubrick
  59. Blow Out (1981) dir. Brian De Palma
  60. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) dir. Steven Spielberg
  61. The Thing (1982) dir. John Carpenter
  62. Videodrome (1983) dir. David Cronenberg
  63. Once Upon a Time in America (1984) dir. Sergio Leone
  64. Back to the Future (1985) dir. Robert Zemeckis
  65. After Hours (1985) dir. Martin Scorsese
  66. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) dir. Woody Allen
  67. Blue Velvet (1986) dir. David Lynch
  68. Full Metal Jacket (1987) dir. Stanley Kubrick
  69. Spoorloos (1988) dir. George Sluizer
  70. I…Dreaming (1988) dir. Stan Brakhage (short)
  71. Life Lessons (1989) dir. Martin Scorsese (short)
  72. Goodfellas (1990) dir. Martin Scorsese
  73. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) dir. Jonathan Demme
  74. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1992) dir. James Cameron
  75. Carlito’s Way (1993) dir. Brian De Palma
  76. Menace II Society (1993) dir. The Hughes Brothers
  77. The Age of Innocence (1993) dir. Martin Scorsese
  78. The X-Files (1993–2016) cr. Chris Carter
  79. Pulp Fiction (1994) dir. Quentin Tarantino
  80. Casino (1995) dir. Martin Scorsese
  81. Before Sunrise/Sunset (1995; 2004) dir. Richard Linklater
  82. The Bridges of Madison County (1995) dir. Clint Eastwood
  83. Heat (1995) dir. Michael Mann
  84. Se7en (1995) dir. David Fincher
  85. Cure (1997) dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  86. Lost Highway (1997) dir. David Lynch
  87. L.A. Confidential (1997) dir. Curtis Hanson
  88. Jackie Brown (1997) dir. Quentin Tarantino
  89. Saving Private Ryan (1998) dir. Steven Spielberg
  90. The Ninth Gate (1999) dir. Roman Polanski
  91. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) dir. Stanley Kubrick
  92. Traffic (2000) dir. Steven Soderbergh
  93. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001) dir. Alfonso Cuaron
  94. Mulholland Drive (2001) dir. David Lynch
  95. Punch-Drunk Love (2002) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
  96. 25th Hour (2002) dir. Spike Lee
  97. The Pianist (2002) dir. Roman Polanski
  98. Cache (2005) dir. Michael Haneke
  99. Match Point (2005) dir. Woody Allen
  100. Three Times (2005) dir. Hou Hsiao Hsien
  101. No Country for Old Men (2007) dir. The Coen Brothers
  102. There Will Be Blood (2007) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
  103. The Dark Knight (2008) dir. Christopher Nolan
  104. Breaking Bad (2008–2013) cr. Vince Gilligan
  105. The Ghost Writer (2009) dir. Roman Polanski
  106. Tree of Life (2011) dir. Terrence Malick
  107. Midnight in Paris (2011) dir. Woody Allen
  108. The Master (2012) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
  109. True Detective S1 (2014) dir. Cary Fukanaga / cr. Nic Pizzalatto
  110. Interstellar (2014) dir. Christopher Nolan
  111. Burning (2018) dir. Lee Chang Dong
  112. The Irishman (2019) dir. Martin Scorsese

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