I have never felt guilty about any pleasure, so what follows is a spontaneous list of those films that seem to be the most important to me, for various reasons. There is no specific meaning to the order and placement of the titles.
Ordet/The Word (Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1954) Dreyer’s most religious work. Transcendental style and Scandinavian puritanism. Faith over science. God is good, God is great, let us thank him for this plate. Ah men!!!
The Mother and the Whore (Jean Eustache, 1973) The greatest movie about love. The only true love story. Jean-Pierre Leaud, Isabelle Weingarten, Bernadette Lafont, and Francoise Lebrun. I wrote a poem about this movie when I was 18; it went “jean eustache killed himself after he made the mother and the whore 219 minutes long.”
Even Dwarves Started Small (Werner Herzog, 1970) The greatest movie ever made.
Every Which Way But Loose (James Fargo, 1978) Clint Eastwood, the auteurist icon of darkness, plays a trucker who wins an orange orangutan in a prizefight. He drinks beer with the ape. Clint is short for clinterous.
Pixote (Hector Babenco, 81) In my opinion this film and The King of Comedy are the two greatest films of the Eighties. But as far as influence, there is no denying that Pixote came to me as a revelation, setting the mark by which all realism in cinema should be judged. Pixote contains absolutely no pretense or false moves. When I close my eyes, I can see little Pixote running down the street with his glue-sniffing compatriots. Little Pixote the redeemer. No truer film exists. Bow to Babenco for the creation of this film. Shortly after its completion, almost all the youths used in the film, including the 10-year-old star, were gunned down in the streets by death squads. They shall endure forever in my memory.