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

Written by

Filmmaker | Photographer | MatthewOquendo.com

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