The Great Movie List: A Theory of Everything

Top 11-20 Double Features

  1. Bicycle Thieves (1948), Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
  2. The Noir Codex: The Third Man (1949), Unforgiven (1992)
  3. Slinkily Disorientating: Persona (1966), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Mulholland Drive (2001)
  4. Blessed Journey: Malcolm X (1993), Baraka (1992)
  5. Going Home: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018), The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)
    You “cannot play another man’s hand”. More: Isao Takahata and His Tale of Princess Kaguya (2014), Glenn Kenny/Roger Ebert on The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is the most gorgeous film you’ll see all year
  6. Ghosts Don’t Cry: Vertigo (1958), Don’t Look Now (1973), Volver (2006)
  7. Who Am I?: I Am Cuba (1964), Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  8. Hunter, Prey: M (1931), Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)
  9. Visualizing Compassion: La Strada (1954), Wings of Desire (1987)
  10. Liberties Taken: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Solar Walk (2017)
    Cinema is abstract and experimental by nature. The “true” stories at the core of Aguirre and Lawrence are minor conveniences, used only when productive. The actual true story, of all three films, is scale. It’s the concern of self-proclaimed gods with existence, of characters trying to sculpt the rules and boundaries of the universe, always in the end finding themselves smaller than they either suspected or hoped, and of directors trying to manifest a vision. From Lean’s massive production to Herzog’s shoestring epic to Bucsi’s humble exploration, all guided primarily by emotion, aesthetics, and charismatic leadership of teams, the construction of these films is equivalently heroic. More: Réka Bucsi Talks ‘Solar Walk’