21 April 2014

New Voices in Irish Experimental Cinema

By Donal Foreman

Copyright © by Donal Foreman . This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged for access.


  • New Voices in Irish Experimental Cinema


Irish cinema has never been renowned for harbouring a vibrant underground or experimental film scene. There have been significant exceptions (most importantly, aspects of the Irish “First Wave” of the 1970s), but it’s only in recent years that a body of films has emerged that offer a powerful rebuttal to that perception. While to announce a fully-fledged “movement” would be premature, it is safe to say that the work of Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain, Dean Kavanagh and Michael Higgins represent an important new direction in Irish cinema. Working without scripts and shooting primarily on video, with zero crew, casts typically drawn from friends and family, and minimal or more often non-existent budgets, all four filmmakers have been developing at a prolific rate over the past few years. Between them, they have produced 32 features and countless shorts since 2008 – though it should be noted that Rashidi, who in 2012 alone directed 9 features and 76 short films, has been the most incredibly fertile contributor. They are all members of the Experimental Film Society, an international organization founded by Rashidi in 2000 in his birthplace, Iran, aiming “to produce and promote films by its members” who are “distinguished by an uncompromising, no-budget devotion to personal, experimental cinema.”1

For the most part, the films operate in an uncanny space between experimental and narrative film. On the one hand, they generally eschew plot and any conventional notion of “eventfulness” in favor of the immediate sensuousness of images and sounds and their juxtaposition. On the other hand, performers, locations, lighting, and sound design are used to evoke affects and atmospheres more readily associated with genre cinema, especially the horror film. Le Cain, also an accomplished critic, once wrote about David Lynch that he “frees the paranoia of noir from the straightjacket of narrative … [drowning] the plot in a great tidal wave of emotion”, and one can identify a similar impulse at work here. Le Cain adds that “the most unsettling aspect of [Lynch’s work] is that the fear seems to come from a source that is deeper than the plot indicates.”2

It’s this deeper level that these filmmakers mostly concern themselves with. As the title of Rashidi’s recent, Arts Council-funded feature, HSP: There is No Escape from the Terrors of the Mind (2013), makes explicit, the unease evoked is existential rather than circumstantial: it’s much more about the nature of perception, memory and consciousness than anything that can be resolved, or even expressed, through action or dialogue. Usually forsaking plot entirely to tackle these depths head-on, the films mostly seem to reside in a strange, subterranean world free of the typical “narrative” trappings of our daily life. Jobs, money, the State, even social interaction, are rarely visible. Instead, there are bodies and there are spaces, there are sensations and there are memories, and there is the coming-into-being and intermingling of each of these through processes of perception (and cinema).

When language is foregrounded in these worlds – for example, in Higgins’ Birds on a Wire (2011) or Rashidi’s Bipedality (2010) – it is usually fragile and woefully insufficient, more resonant as another environmental sound than a medium of communication. Le Cain has described Bipedality, one of Rashidi’s last films to feature extensive dialogues, as a study of “how inadequate language is to communicate feeling, or to grapple with the mysteries of existing in any given moment in relation to another person or simply to the world that surrounds one,” a world that is, in contrast, “almost overwhelmingly vivid and sensuous.”3

It’s our primal and problematic relationship to the world in this sense that each of these filmmakers focus on in different ways: not the world before the Word (in the sense of Stan Brakhage’s “untutored eye”) so much as a world beneath the Word, a subterranean field of sensations that is always available to us but which we can rarely share or articulate in social or verbal terms.

Trying to express this cinematically pushes each filmmaker to experiment with different ways of refreshing and estranging our perceptions. Although each has worked with HD video, they have all in different ways rejected the festishisation of resolution and clarity that is de rigeur in discourse around new film technology – whether through the use of hand-made lens filters (Rashidi), obsolete formats such as VHS or Pixelvision (Higgins) or the projection and re-filming of imagery (Kavanagh and Le Cain). It’s a principle of distortion that foregrounds the unreliable, hallucinatory nature of perception and memory, as well as reflecting on the nature of cinema itself.

It’s important to note here that the group’s cinephilia also sets them apart from most Irish filmmakers. One need only look at the dedications that appear at the beginning of most of Rashidi’s films – among them Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Claude Rousseau, Maya Deren, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Theodoros Angelopoulos and Alain Resnais. But rather than resulting in a Tarantino-like referentiality, this voracious appetite for and knowledge of film history seems to have instilled a commitment to a personal, image-centred cinema in which, to quote Raul Ruiz, “it is the type of image produced that determines the narrative, not the reverse.”4

As Rashidi put it in an interview:

These films are about images and the progression of images. When there’s sound or music, they’re about the interaction of sound and image. Cinema itself is always the subject, experimenting with its forms. Not necessarily pushing its limits, because I believe the limits of cinema have already been reached by Structuralist filmmakers like Sharits, or by Garrel’s early films, for instance. You can’t go beyond that. But if a filmmaker’s experiments are true to his or her perception and personality, the medium’s possibilities are constantly renewed.5

Beyond these common strategies, there is much that is idiosyncratic to each filmmaker’s “perceptions and personalities,” and we can begin to consider that, only a little facetiously, by assigning each his own broad caricature: the Exile, the Solipsist, the Hermit and the Vagabond.

The Exile

Rashidi’s prolific filmography can be separated into three key strands:

Minimal narratives in which there are at least the bare-bones continuity of character and place: introverted and alienated characters, nearly always silent, in spaces infused with unease and mystery. More self-reflexive and amorphous “image-scapes” drawing on a seemingly vast archive of personal imagery in a way that foregrounds the haunting, memorialising capacities of moving images. Short films which have generally served as the “breeding ground” for Rashidi’s experimentations: a series of 40 preceding his feature film work from 2000 to 2010, and, since beginning to use DSLR technology in 2011, the Homo Sapiens Project series, of which there are a jaw-dropping 180 editions to date. Rashidi’s position as an immigrant and exile from Iran is a decisive undercurrent in his work, most recognizably in earlier films such as Reminiscences of Yearning (2011), consisting of old footage shot with friends in Iran (and dedicated not to a beloved auteur but “to all the friends and our memory between 1998 – 2004”) and Only Human (2009), which weaves together the alienated lives of an ensemble of immigrants in Dublin, and still stands as one of the few cinematic explorations of immigrant experience in Ireland. Hades on Limbo (2011) serves as a unique take on this disconnect: filmed in Iran by friends, it was in fact directed by Rashidi in Ireland over Skype – a first in film history perhaps? Although, of course, there are always sources “deeper than the plot indicates”, these notions of estrangement from one’s own territory, an emotional experience of exile or even banishment, seem like particularly fitting metaphors for the kind of existential disquiet Rashidi is drawn to.

Rashidi’s knack for coaxing subtle but intense performances out of non-actors, as well as an apparently innate eye for finding otherworldly compositions in the Irish landscape, seemed like it could have set him on track to be Ireland’s very first bonafide “high art” auteur, in the mould of Russia’s Alexander Sokurov or Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerathesakul. However, a combination of Ireland’s inhospitable funding structures and Rashidi’s own inclinations seem to have kept him burrowing away in a more underground, no-to-micro-budget environment. Le Cain may have been a crucial influence in this respect, both because of his polyvalent cinephilic tastes and more unambiguous rejection of narrative arthouse forms in his own practice. Their collaboration and friendship, beginning in 2011, seems to have pushed Rashidi, on the one hand, past the Bressonian austerity of his first features (usually shot in black and white in realist contexts, with a strict absence of music and camera movement) towards a more lurid and phantasmagoric visual sensibility that draws liberally from the atmospheres of horror and “B” cinema – and, on the other hand, towards a more intimate engagement with the tropes and practices of experimental cinema (flicker effects, found footage, abstraction). This shift in aesthetic orientation can be summed up by Rashidi’s statement after a screening in 2013 that “it has become clear that we want to make films like Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, not like Tarkovsky or Bresson.”6

It reaches its strongest expression in There is No Escape…, a film explicitly dedicated to Jean Rollin and containing excerpts of several of the French cult director’s musical scores.

Rashidi’s embrace of the DSLR camera – which began with his first Arts Council funded work, He (2012) – is obviously an instrumental factor in this progression. Although he was already beginning to experiment with it in his previous work, the move to DSLR enabled a more extensive exploration of vintage and hand-altered lenses and filtration, with a particular view towards selectively softening and distorting areas of the frame. The DSLR’s capacities for image manipulation have allowed him to essentially grade his images in-camera before he shoots, committing to increasingly bold visual choices from the outset and doing little or no work on the image in post production. Rashidi’s prodigious output, unparalleled in Irish cinema, naturally invites skepticism about what quality or consistency could really be maintained at such a pace. His technical mastery is one strong point in defense of this output, since it’s clearly the “practice” facilitated by his allegedly daily filmmaking practice which has allowed him to develop such a personalized and sophisticated technical approach.

The Solipsist

A key to appreciating Maximilian Le Cain’s work – which spans from highly fragmented and rhythmic “cut-up” films to pieces of pure abstraction and digital noise, and occasionally crosses over into gallery-based installation and performance – is his adolescent aspirations to be the Irish Tarkovsky. Growing up on Cork’s Beara peninsula, Le Cain made films throughout his teens inspired by the lofty pronouncements of the Russian master, among others. His first unsuccessful attempt at a feature narrative would eventually be adapted into the short, Kingdom of Shadows (2004), juxtaposing the re-filmed VHS images (removed from their original narrative and aural context) against a Maxim Gorky text on the Lumière brothers’ first screening in Paris. Kingdom itself was then abandoned and the footage was recomposed again as part of Now Then (1997-2008), a distillation of much of Le Cain’s film work since ’97.

Le Cain repeated this process of reinterpreting “failed” narrative projects twice more: on the Rohmer-inspired feature, One Long Breath (2005), and the RTÉ/Cork Film Centre-funded short, Point of Departure (2008). In each case, what began as a scripted narrative, a “movie” in the everyday sense, became a distorted and scrambled labyrinth of sound and imagery, as if someone was haunted by a movie but couldn’t quite remember the details or how exactly it unfolded, or perhaps was in the process of forgetting it as the film progressed. Patterns of decay and disintegration predominate, and in Le Cain’s own words, he thinks of himself as “making films that are tearing themselves apart as they’re coming together. I don’t try to make complete fully finished projects. I see them as ruins.”7

In the cases of One Long Breath and Point of Departure, it could be seen as a formal expression of what the films were conceptually concerned with to begin with: respectively, a premature sense of ageing and loss amongst a group of urban twenty somethings, and the subjective experience of an institutionalised woman with Alzheimer (played by the late stage actress Anna Manahan).

They are the last of Le Cain projects that were not consciously made with a ruinous end in mind: later works such as Private Report (2009) employ actors, dialogue, and genre elements in a fractured collage that was never intended to be anything but. The results can sometimes feel impenetrable, an impression not always helped by Le Cain’s persona: when curator Sarah Iremonger teased that one of his pieces was “the most solipsistic, depressing, navel-gazing piece of work I’ve seen in my entire life”, Le Cain reportedly took it as a compliment.8

But the key, insofar as there is one, is probably not to think of “penetrating” the works at all, but rather exploring their surfaces. Le Cain has expressed a concern with “limits, failures and overwhelming sensations”,9 and the Spanish artist Esperanza Collado described his work as “an aesthetics of interruption” in which spaces “stutter”10 – in other words, works that are about the breakdown or impossibility of communication rather than being communicative failures in themselves. If all of the EFS filmmakers problematise the social and the perceptual, Le Cain takes this the furthest, to the point that there is rarely a sense of the world beyond the internal and subjective, beyond the oneiric and haunting visions, memories and hallucinations of the mind.

While this applies to most of Le Cain’s filmography, it’s harder to summarize the various stylistic modes it takes across his ninety or so films of various length to date. Though often meticulously composed, Le Cain lacks Rashidi’s technical virtuosity, often favouring flat, restrained and low-contrast imagery. It’s in the editing room that he has been the most innovative, exploring myriad forms of superimposition, crosscutting and, most characteristically, complex flicker effects involving patterns of images each only a few frames in length. The flicker (something Rashidi has since borrowed in his own work) has a long history in experimental cinema, though much more so in film-based work than in video. In the context of Le Cain and Rashidi, it seems to be an invocation of or tribute to celluloid’s essential qualities, not without a tinge of melancholy. This could also be said for his use of found footage, another recurring device. In two of his strongest pieces, The Mongolian Barbecue (2009) and Areas of Sympathy (2013), images from B horror titles, Black Magic Rites (1973, Renato Poiselli) and The Invisible Ray (1936, Lambert Hillyer) respectively, are used as part of oppressive atmospheres that the films’ bodies seem helplessly caught up in.

If the works themselves have a generally solipsistic slant, it’s important to note that there’s nothing self-obsessed or anti-social about Le Cain’s actual practice as a filmmaker, which has been marked by an expanding array of intense collaborations: with Rashidi on a series of feature diptyches (Persistencies of Sadness & Still Days [2012] and Weird Weird Movie Kids Do Not Watch the Movie [2013]); with Esperanza Collado on the art/film project Operation Rewrite; with the Cork performance and sound artist Vicky Langan (they have produced a series of nine shorts together as well as several live events); and an Arts Council-funded expanded cinema event, Gorging Limpet, with the sound artist Karen Power. This is on top of the multiple personalities already collaborating inside Le Cain himself: inspired by the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, he has been making films under at least two other pseudonyms, Soltan Karl and Humphrey Esterhaze, since 2010. And we haven’t even mentioned the filmmaker’s already impressive history as a critic (for various magazines including Senses of Cinema, and as editor of and contributor to the Cork Film Centre’s online film journal Experimental Conversations) and programmer (for the Black Sun music/film series with Langan and, more recently, the Triskel Art Centre’s quarterly film series Phantoscope)….

The Hermit

Dean Kavanagh, the youngest of the group, gave powerful performances in several of Rashidi’s shorts and features before developing his own filmmaking practice. His early shorts seem to struggle to define themselves beyond the palpable influence of Rashidi’s already developed style – but Kavanagh has begun to come into his own with his first two features, the no-budget History of Water (2012) and crowd funded A Harbour Town (2013), and his five-part online series, Late Hours of the Night (2013-2014). Still living with family in his hometown of Greystones, Co. Wicklow, the 24 year old is the only of the four for whom notions of rootedness and domesticity are pivotal, with a particular affinity for the atmospheric movements of the Irish landscape and climate. Kavanagh invests his rural, seaside locales with a sense of teeming, brooding energy that contrasts with the still and stagnant gestures of his actors (a cast comprised of family members and close friends). In some ways the most traditional of the four (relatively!), Kavanagh’s work is more linear and more conventionally slick and “cinematic” in its treatment, shooting with prime lenses on DSLR cameras and sticking to a generally consistent continuity of character and place. Although generally free of dialogue and dramatic interaction, his performers’ everyday actions and stares are imbued with all kinds of intense foreboding, and the synopses the director has penned for his work suggest a narrative mind at work, however oblique. His logline for A History of Water prepares us for the tale of “a young man [who] films his family to better understand them” and “as a result … becomes destroyed by them.”11

Kavanagh is also the EFS member most redolent of the Irish First Wave cinema, especially landmark films such as Pigs (1984, Cathal Black) and Traveller (1981, Joe Comerford), which share his penchant for densely sensuous, oppressive and distinctly Irish environments, whether urban or rural. Le Cain’s comment that even Kavanagh’s urban images are “steeped in rural gloom” could apply as well to Black and Comerford.12

These are spaces that always seem to feel heavier than the characters inhabiting them; if Rashidi (and even more so Le Cain) can’t escape the terrors of the mind, it’s the terrors of space and time that seem to be most unnerving to Kavanagh, and instrumental in pushing his characters towards retreat and isolation. Part of this heaviness seems to be a sense of the memory and history permeating spaces, another point of affinity with Black and Comerford, where that weight takes on a more explicitly socio-political character. For Kavanagh, it’s more mythic and more mysterious: the weight of ghosts, old photos, film history… Might this have something to do with all four filmmaker’s passion for European horror cinema, in which a sense of the haunting weight of history is so central?

The Vagabond

Michael Higgins is the odd man out: probably the most autonomous of the four filmmakers, restlessly eclectic in his choice of subject and with an outward looking sensibility that seems strikingly free of the kind of existential angst cultivated by his colleagues. He’s also the only one who has not directly collaborated with, or played an on-screen role for, the other filmmakers. His work is divided between two main strands: minimalist feature-length videos and celluloid-based experiments of various lengths. The features (most notably his “road movie” trilogy: Roadside Picnic [2010], You Have Been Killed [2011] and Birds on a Wire [2011]) tend to consist of long static master shots – think early Jim Jarmusch with a less overt sense of humour or hipster cool – while the film-based work is in a much more materialist vein, foregrounding the texture and fragility of the medium itself (scratches, decomposition, etc).

In both cases, a sense of nomadism and the use of (seemingly) found material is central. The “road movie” films each follow a different duo of characters on foreign travels – two Irish friends in Iceland (one played by Higgins), two filmmakers in Poland, and in the stand-out conclusion to the trilogy, two Polish women on a tourist route through the west of Ireland. The latter takes austere observations of what Higgins describes as “the forgotten moments of the everyday that underpin touristic adventure”13 and assembles them into a surprisingly rich and evocative whole: Birds on a Wire taps so acutely into the damp grey grimness of a rain-swept west coast holiday that you can almost feel the wet on your skin. Whereas the “Road Movie” trilogy feels “found” in the sense of assembling seemingly documentary moments from real journeys, Higgins’ celluloid-based feature The Poorhouse Revisited (2011) is so in a more literal sense, recomposing discarded, rotting 16mm rushes from Frank Stapleton’s 1996 Famine-themed short, The Poorhouse, which Higgins discovered on a derelict site on Dublin’s Ringsend peninsula (itself the setting for another of Higgins’ video features, Concrete Walls [2011]).

Higgins’ latest and most accomplished video, Smolt (2013) is his first to find a medium-specific materiality equivalent to his work with celluloid – shot on a range of formats including the Red camera and mobile phones, the film was then transferred to VHS, projected and re-filmed – as well as being an intriguingly fictionalized expansion of his fascination with the ready-made. Originally produced as an RTÉ/Filmbase-funded short film with a script about two working-class boys in Dublin’s inner city, Higgins (echoing Le Cain’s ruinous process) expanded the project into a feature-length collage, combining master-shot scenes from the short alongside pre-production and research material including footage shot on phones by the young actors, audio interviews, excerpts from letters, and Youtube videos. Combined with the degraded VHS aesthetic, the result gives the impression of a strange bootleg tape of artefacts from another time and place. The film’s wordiness sets it apart from most EFS work – the thick Dublin accents of the film’s three child stars narrate and banter throughout – but the idiosyncrasy and, to non-Irish ears, incomprehensibility of much of their speech makes it function on a musical level as much as a textual one and serves to signify a world that is as insular and “subterranean” as those of Rashidi, Le Cain or Kavanagh – and even more defiantly so. Though the film is reminiscent of Harmony Korine’s Gummo (1997) almost to the point of homage, Higgins lacks Korine’s fetish for the grotesque and kitschy and exhibits a more even-keeled respect for his subjects. In the Irish context, it’s a refreshingly personal and unpatronising take on a milieu that has, post-Dardenne brothers, become grist to a festival mill idolising handheld, aestheticised grit.

Conclusion

The films of the Experimental Film Society’s four Irish and Irish-based members have screened regularly in gallery and micro-cinema spaces around Ireland over the past few years. In 2013, they were also showcased in the inaugural IndieCork festival and as part of IFI International and Experimental Film Club’s recently launched touring program on the history of Irish experimental film, Absences and (Im)Possibilities. This small-scale but consistent pattern of exhibitions, coupled with growing support from the Arts Council (Rashidi and Le Cain have both received awards several times now), suggests that the group is beginning to carve out a respectable niche for themselves. However, this support has largely come from Ireland’s visual arts scene. Within Irish film culture, they remain largely unknown, even if their focus on feature length projects implies that the cinema rather than the gallery would be the natural home for much of their output. They have also received little critical attention, online or in print, from either camp.

The filmmakers’ own networks of support and partnership seem to be inexhaustible, however. Rashidi, Le Cain and Kavanagh have just completed a collaborative “science fiction” feature, Forbidden Symmetries (2014), as well as recently, under the moniker Cinema Cyanide, branching out into music: they have released four experimental albums online in the past year.

A collective statement by the trio on the relationship between the two mediums can serve as an apt summary of their shared aesthetic points of departure:

People’s expectations of what music can be are far more advanced than what they are prepared to accept from moving image works. Music is allowed to function through an abstract emotional progression, using the power of elements such as mood and rhythm, approaching themes in a lyrical way, treating narrative obliquely or allusively, often very personally. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but it is accepted that music can do this. With cinema, on the other hand, people expect hard narrative fact, the rules are far more literal: somehow audiences approach the moving image with a literalness that is very primitive compared to the way music is enjoyed. So we determined early on to make films and videos with the sort of creative prerogatives that musicians can take for granted.14

Of course, with the possible exception of purely abstract experimental work, film is inextricably involved in representation in a way that music is not, and it’s worth considering whether this aesthetic direction is ultimately limited by its rejection of social or political contingencies and a distrust of verbal expression. Indeed, though the filmmakers seem to aspire to an asocial universality or singularity, it should be noted that they often explore a kind of isolated, alienated subjectivity that is distinctly male in its brooding, voyeuristic tenor.

Still, the films do represent perspectives and experiences that are rarely given space in our culture: what Le Cain has called “intensely private experiences of perception that perhaps cinema alone has the tools to communicate adequately”.15

On that point, we could borrow a metaphor from filmmakers Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni and their recent film, In Search of Uiq (2013): “In our universe, we are tuned to the frequency that corresponds to the reality of capitalism … An infinite number of parallel realities coexist with us in the same room, although we cannot tune into them.” At their best, Rashidi, Le Cain, Kavanagh and Higgins have found ways to tune into some of those other frequencies, and invited us to join them.

This essay is an expansion of programme notes written for the New Irish Underground Film retrospective, which took place at Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn in November, 2013: www.spectacletheater.com/new-irish-underground-film/

For more information on the filmmakers please visit:

www.experimentalfilmsociety.com

www.rouzbehrashidi.com

www.maximilianlecain.com

www.deankavanagh.com

www.mgmh.me

http://www.experimentalfilmsociety.com/p/about.html [↩]

Le Cain, Maximilian. 2002. “In Dreams: A Review of Mulholland Drive” in Senses of Cinema #19: http://sensesofcinema.com/2002/19/mulholland_dreams/ [↩]

Le Cain. 2010. “Rouzbeh Rashidi’s Bipedality” in Experimental Conversations #6: http://www.experimentalconversations.com/articles/532/rouzbeh-rashidis-bipedality/ [↩]

Ruiz, Raul. 1995. Poetics of Cinema (Dis Voir, 6) [↩]

Le Cain. 2011. “Rouzbeh Rashidi in Conversation” in Experimental Conversations #8: http://www.experimentalconversations.com/articles/969/experimental-film-society-rouzbeh-rashidi-in-conv/ [↩]

Quoted by Le Cain on his “Close Watch” blog: http://lecain.blogspot.com/2013_04_01_archive.html [↩]

In conversation with the author. [↩]

Quoted by Tina Darb O’Sullivan, “A Philosophy of Art Inspired by an Oyster” in the Irish Examiner, July 18, 2013: http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/news/a-philosophy-of-art-inspired-by-an-oyster-237163.html [↩]

Le Cain, artist’s statement: http://maximilianlecain.com/ [↩]

Esperanza Collado, “Maximilian Le Cain: Beyond the Cretinous World of Images,” program notes for Available Light exhibition at Basement Project Space, Cork, 2010: http://esperanzacollado.org/R.html [↩]

Synopsis provided by the filmmaker. [↩]

Le Cain. 2012. “Dean Kavanagh: The Memory of Water” in Experimental Conversations #9: http://www.experimentalconversations.com/articles/1039/dean-kavanagh-the-memory-of-water/ [↩]

Filmmaker’s synopsis: http://aroadmovietrilogy.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/hello-world/#more-1 [↩]

Gianluco Pulsoni, “Cinema Cyanide – an Experimental Sound Project from Ireland” in Celluloid Beatz: http://www.celluloidbeatz.com/interviews/cinema-cyanide/ [↩]

Le Cain. 2010. “Rouzbeh Rashidi’s Bipedality” in Experimental Conversations #6: http://www.experimentalconversations.com/articles/532/rouzbeh-rashidis-bipedality/ [↩]

09 April 2014

Luma-Art in Film returns


Luma-Art in Film’ returns to the DUCTAC today, April 9th and runs to April 15th, this time as part of Gulf Film Festival. Rouzbeh Rashidi’s “HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind” will play throughout the exhibition’s run. More info HERE

02 April 2014

A HARBOUR TOWN Irish Premiere @ PHANTOSCOPE


Triskel Christchurch: Thursday, April 10th, 6.15pm.

104 mins – Ireland 2013 – Dir: Dean Kavanagh / Starring: Leon Kavanagh, John Curran and Rouzbeh Rashidi

Phantoscope, the Triskel Christchurch experimental film screening series, is delighted to welcome one of Ireland’s most visionary filmmakers, Dean Kavanagh, to introduce his latest feature, A Harbour Town. This journey into the dark visions of a small coastal town might be made of memories of the inhabitants or memories created by the place itself. It blurs the boundaries between banal details of daily life and the weirdness of our unconscious, often tactile perception of them. Kavanagh’s almost wordless films are deeply immersive experiences, heavy on unsettling atmosphere and powerful visual detail. For Jit Phokaew of Limitless Cinema, “Kavanagh is an impressionist filmmaker… [he] can use a camera like a paintbrush. There are very few filmmakers that I know who can do this”.

The short film Maritime, also directed by Dean Kavanagh, will also be screened.

“A Harbour Town” was a crowdfunded feature film, co-produced by Experimental Film Society & Easter Film Group.

TICKETS HERE

23 March 2014

HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind at the Chester Beatty Library


Experimental Film Society in association with Chester Beatty Library presents the screening of experimental feature film HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind by Rouzbeh Rashidi on Sunday 6th April 2pm in Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2. The filmmaker will be at present to introduce the film and do a Q&A afterwards.

“HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind is a new feature film by one of Ireland’s most radical and acclaimed experimental filmmakers, Rouzbeh Rashidi. It follows the visions and travails of a tormented loner who appears hounded by a mysterious pursuer. Creating an intensely hypnotic audio-visual dream realm that is as uncannily beautiful as it is unsettling, Rashidi summons and sustains the atmosphere of dread of a horror film, but without the expected narrative trappings. HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.”

More info HERE & HERE

17 March 2014

New Voices in Irish Experimental Cinema

Donal Foreman‘s extensive article, “New Voices in Irish Experimental Cinema” has just been published in “Estudios Irlandeses“.

“…it is safe to say that the work of Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain, Dean Kavanagh and Michael Higgins represent an important new direction in Irish cinema.”

Read HERE

14 March 2014

Experimental Film Society @ Picture Show, New York


A programme of short films of Experimental Film Society will be screening at the Picture Show, New York on Friday April 18th 7:30pm, 226 Green St. Greenpoint, NY, 11222 USA. 

1_Incubus (2013) By Atoosa Pour Hosseini / Ireland & Switzerland / 1:30mins (Guest Artist)
2_W.E (2013) By Bahar Samadi / France / 5mins 
3_Homo Sapiens Project (168) (2013) By Rouzbeh Rashidi / Ireland / 1min 
4_Partizan (2012) By Kamyar Kordestani / Iran / 6:30mins 
5_Ashes to Ashes (2012) By Hamid Shams Javi / Iran / 6:30mins 
6_South West of the Lizard (2012) By Jason Marsh / UK / 8mins 
7_First Transmission (2014) By Dean Kavanagh / Ireland / 6mins 
8_In Advance (2011) By Maximilian Le cain / Ireland / 6min 
9_The Illuminating Gas (2012) By Esperanza Collado / Spain / 7:30mins 
10_Funnel Web Family (2013) By Michael Higgins / Ireland / 14mins

  • Total Running Time : 61 minutes 
  • Programmed by Michael Higgins and Rouzbeh Rashidi
"I learnt the existence of EFS in 2009 having stumbled upon a film screening at a small venue in Dublin City, Ireland. This screening included one EFS film (Kavanagh’s POOR EDWARD) and this utterly refreshing experience paved a path for me to experimental cinema where I’ve been ever since and with no plans to leave. Thanks to venues such as The Picture Show and the opportunity to show such a program I hope others may also embark on such a journey." - Michael Higgins

More info HERE

04 March 2014

HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind in DUBAI



HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind will play at The Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC) as part of Luma – Art in Film Programme:

DUCTAC’s Gallery of Light will play host to a broad selection of art films and films made by artists this March and April. The ‘Luma – Art In Film’ exhibition will feature artistically and historically important films from the 1900s to the present day. The films will be playing continuously in the gallery throughout the exhibition’s run, and the programme features groundbreaking work from the likes of Man Ray, Fritz Lang, Hans Richter, Jan Svankmajer, Georges MélièsLuis Bunuel and more alongside Iranian film-maker Rouzbeh Rashidi’s 2013 piece ‘HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind’. The exhibition will run from March 14th – 25th and then from April 9th – 15th to complement The Gulf Film Festival at DUCTAC.


More info HERE & HERE

Full Film Listing:

- Isidore Isou 'Traité de Bave et d'Eternité' (1951) 1 hour 52 mins
- Jan Lenica 'Labirynt' (1962) 14 mins 14 secs
- Jan Svankmajer 'Death Of Stalinism In Bohemia' (1990) 2 mins 9 secs
- Lutz Mommartz '400m IFF' (1969) 13 mins 35 secs
- Noriaki Yuasa 'Daikaiju Gamera' (1965) 1 hour 18 mins
- Fritz Lang 'M' (1931) 1 hour 50 secs
- Rouzbeh Rashidi 'HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind' (2013) 2 hours
- Marios Lefteriotis 'Requiem For Humanity' (1970) 11 mins 50 secs
- Sergei Paradjanov 'The Colour of Pomegranates' (1968) 1 hour 12 mins
- Alexander Korda 'Rembrandt' (1936) 1 hour 24 mins
- René Clair & Francis Picabia 'Entr’acte' (1924) 20 mins
- Fernand Léger & Dudley Murphy 'Le Ballet Mecanique' (1924) 14 mins
- Robert Wiene 'Das Kabinett des Doktor Kaligari' (1919) 1 hour 11 mins
- Hans Richter 'Filmstudie' (1926) 3 mins 30 secs
- Maya Deren 'At Land' (1944) 14 mins 44 secs
- Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali 'Un Chien Andalou' (1929) 16 mins 25 secs
- Georges Méliès 'Le Voyage Dans la Lun' (1902) 11 mins 48 secs
- Hans Richter 'Rhythmus 21' (1921) 2 mins 10 secs
- Hans Richter & Viking Eggeling 'La Symphonie Diagonale' (1921) 7 mins
- Man Ray 'Le Retour à la Raison' (1923) 2 mins 10 secs
- Man Ray 'Emak Bakia' (1926) 17 mins
- Hans Richter 'Vormittagsspuk' (1928) 6 mins 23 secs

28 February 2014

A Double Bill of New Underground Film at the London Horse Hospital



A Double Bill of New Underground Film at the London Horse Hospital


Experimental Film Society (Dublin) in association with Drifting Clouds Cinema Group (London) presents a double bill of new underground film by actor-auteur James Devereaux and experimental filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi at The Horse Hospital, London on 31st May 2014. The filmmakers will be at present to introduce the films and do a Q&A afterwards.


6.30 PM, 73mins, 2014, UK
Trailer HERE

Shot in black and white, Noirish Project is a bleak, absurd, melancholy slice of neo-realism masquerading as film noir. The film follows Jimmy and Billy, a couple of lowlifes, as they try to reclaim some lost pearls. Noirish Project is an elliptical, poetic film, made in response to a boredom with prevailing film aesthetics, it seeks to open a new chapter in British cinema."


HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind
8.00 PM, 120mins, 2013, Ireland/UK/Iran/Oman
Trailer HERE

HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind is a new feature film by one of Ireland’s most radical and acclaimed experimental filmmakers, Rouzbeh Rashidi. It follows the visions and travails of a tormented loner who appears hounded by a mysterious pursuer. Creating an intensely hypnotic audio-visual dream realm that is as uncannily beautiful as it is unsettling, Rashidi summons and sustains the atmosphere of dread of a horror film, but without the expected narrative trappings. HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind was supported by The Arts Council of Ireland. 



James Devereaux is a stage and screen actor. He is also the founder of Drifting Clouds Cinema Group and the author of The Great Acting Blog, a daily blog focussing the technical and ethical aspects of being an actor. 

Rouzbeh Rashidi is an Iranian independent filmmaker. He has been making films since 2000, working completely apart from any mainstream conceptions of filmmaking. He strives to escape the stereotypes of conventional storytelling and instead roots his cinematic style in a poetic interaction of image and sound. He generally eschews scriptwriting, seeing the process of making moving images as exploration rather than illustration. His work is also deeply engaged with film history.

Rashidi & Devereaux have been collaborating since 2010 as 'Rashidi-Devereaux Cinema', making six feature films together as well as a number of shorts as part of Rashidi's ongoing 'Homo Sapiens Project' film series. 


More info:

12 February 2014

HE (2012) is now available to watch online as Streaming Rental

Two Screenings in Berlin in March


HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind will play at the Ausland, Berlin on 27th March 2014. There will be a Q&A afterwards. AUSLAND (Territory for experimental music, performance and art) Lychener Str. 60 10437 Berlin.

More info HERE & HERE

The collaborative feature film, Forbidden Symmetries, by Dean Kavanagh, Maximilian Le Cain & Rouzbeh Rashidi will play at West Germany, Berlin on 28th March 2013. West Germany Skalitzer Straße 133 10999 Berlin.

More info HERE & HERE

HSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind in Thammasat University Thailand


Two experimental films will be screened at Thammasat University Thailand, Ta Prachan Campus, on Sunday, February 23, 2014. These two films are a part of the film program FILMVIRUS DOUBLE BILL, in which Wiwat “Filmsick” Lertwiwatwongsa invited his cinephile friends to choose favorite films to screen.

HSP: THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM THE TERRORS OF THE MIND (2013, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Ireland, 120min) will be screened at 12.30hrs.

BIRTH OF THE SEANÉMA (2004, Sasithorn Ariyavicha, Thailand, 70min, black and white, silent) will be screened at 14.45hrs.

The details in Thai of the whole film program can be found HERE. More infoHERE & HERE

07 February 2014

Interview for Celluloid Beatz


Dean Kavanagh, Maximilian Le Cain and Rouzbeh Rashidi were interviewed by Gianluca Pulsoni for Celluloid Beatz Magazine. They talked about their sound project “Cinema Cyanide“, Experimental Film Society, collaborations and the latest collaborative feature length film “Forbidden Symmetries“. Read the interview HERE

30 January 2014

Mutual Admiration Society Complete!


Mutual Admiration Society (2014) is the new upcoming collaborative feature film by Rouzbeh Rashidi and James Devereaux. Mutual Admiration Society is an abstract experimental crime movie and the sixth feature length film by Rashidi and Devereaux. More info HERE

The film is now entirely complete. Trailer HERE

17 January 2014

Forbidden Symmetries Complete!


The collaborative experimental science-fiction no-budget feature film Forbidden Symmetries (2014) by Dean Kavanagh, Maximilian Le Cain and Rouzbeh Rashidi is now entirely completed and locked. 

Synopsis: Three witnesses to the invasion. Three accounts. Are they observing the same thing? Were there any warning signs? And, after all they’ve seen and heard, are they even competent to offer a reliable report? The purpose of this film is to demonstrate that an effort to construct functions known not to exist may on occasion produce interesting frauds.

More info HERE

14 January 2014

Experimental Film Society @ Limerick Avant-Garde Cinema as part of The Royal Picture Show


Four short films by Jason Marsh, Bahar Samadi, Kamyar Kordestani and Hamid Shams Javi of Experimental Film Society will participate in Limerick Avant-Garde Cinema as part of The Royal Picture Show:

"During Limerick’s tenure as City of Culture we present The Royal Picture Show: four weekends of eclectic screenings of contemporary and classic movies. The screenings will include a wide variety of films that have not been shown in Limerick before, including exciting new work from Irish filmmakers and the best of international indie cinema, as well as showcasing local short film talent. Catering to all cinematic tastes, the screenings will take place in 69, O'Connell Street and will bring cinema back to the city of Limerick. With long term plans to reopen Limerick's historic Royal Cinema, the screenings offer audiences a chance to see great films in the city of Limerick."

Sunday 16th February 02:00pm
69, O'Connell Street, Limerick


More info HERE & HERE & HERE

1_Lilymeat (2013) By Jason Marsh / 9mins / U.K
2_W.E (2013) By Bahar Samadi / 5mins / France (Premiere)
3_Punishment (2013) By Kamyar Kordestani / 25mins / Iran (Premiere)
4_The Hell With it (2013) By Hamid Shams Javi / 29mins / Iran (Premiere)

Also short films by Carla Burns, Robin Parmar, Sarah Lundy and Peter Delaney from Limerick Avant-Garde Cinema.

This programme of EFS is curated by Rouzbeh Rashidi.

05 January 2014

Forbidden Symmetries (2014) – Coming Soon!


“The purpose of this film is to demonstrate that an effort to construct functions known not to exist may on occasion produce interesting frauds!”

Forbidden Symmetries (2014) by Dean Kavanagh, Maximilian Le Cain and Rouzbeh Rashidi is coming soon! Trailer HERE

18 December 2013

12 Favourite Filmmakers



I asked members of EFS, some of its friends, associates, critics, programmers, and filmmakers to send in lists of their twelve favourite filmmakers for publication on the EFS website. The criteria were simple: to list the filmmakers who had the most impact on your life and art. 

Contributors all found the task hard, even almost impossible, but in the end they all submitted a list of more or less twelve names. I personally am a huge fan of such lists and make them all the time. They are fun, revealing and, I believe, something we're all curious about. Obviously, they are subject to change as we grow and develop, and the love/hate relationship we inevitably have with them (so much has to be left out!) is amusing and challenging. I was very surprised with the results and hope you enjoy reading them.

Rouzbeh Rashidi - December 2013


Lists by Jonathan Rosenbaum, Adrian Martin, Nicole Brenez, Fergus Daly, Brad Stevens, Monte Hellman, Guy Maddin, Peter Tscherkassky, Eve Heller, Claudio Caldini, Bill Mousoulis, Claudia Siefen, Brecht Andersch, Maximilian Le Cain, Girish Shambu, Joe McElhaney, John MacKay, Michael Koresky, Parviz Jahed, Saul Levine, Phil Solomon, Sara Freeman, Lionel Soukaz, David Del Valle, Tim Lucas, Toshi Fujiwara, Pip Chodorov, Steve Elworth, Michael Guillen, Cristina Álvarez López, Stoffel Debuysere, Patrick Friel, David Hudson, Richard Porton, Zach Campbell, David Sterritt, Raymond Bellour, Bruno Bozzetto, Stéphane du Mesnildot and Kōji Yamamura among others:


"The List Is Assembled In the Order of Incoming"

Experimental Film Society Members 




The only possible way to approach making a list of a dozen favourite directors, with so many dozens equally deserving to be on the same list, is to narrow it down to the ones that inspire me most at this point in my life, the live sources of energy. A sort of self-portrait through cinema. Didn’t quite make it to 12, but 13 isn’t too bad considering.

In alphabetical order:

  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Carmelo Bene
  • Marguerite Duras
  • Philippe Garrel (specifically, the ‘70s and ‘80s films)
  • Jeff Keen
  • Jean Rollin
  • Werner Schroeter
  • Paul Sharits
  • Josef von Sternberg
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Luchino Visconti
  • Frans Zwartjes
  • Andrzej Zulawski

Three brief notes:

Silent cinema is here also, always important to me and increasingly so, breathing through the work of at least half of these filmmakers, those who carry its trace forward.

I have made the decision not to include films by such collaborators and comrades as Esperanza Collado, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Dean Kavanagh and Michael Higgins. The feverish immediacy of the inspiration I get from seeing their splendid works appear is of a different order to that which the more distant figures on the list provide. However, I will mention that Rouzbeh’sHSP: There Is No Escape From The Terrors Of The Mind is a cinematic talisman for me, a film that expresses a vision of cinema than I share in a way that is far more powerful and eloquent than anything I have ever been able to achieve. 

And, although it is a work of commingled authorship, mention must also be made of the cut-up film Ghosts at Number 9, which is a crucial point of reference for me these days.
..........





  • Michael Snow
  • Iván Zulueta
  • Lettrisme 
  • Paul Sharits
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • A. Robbe-Grillet
  • David Lynch
  • W. S. Burroughs / Anthony Balch
  • R. W. Fassbinder
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Hollis Frampton
  • Maximilian Le Cain
..........




  • Sergio Leone
  • Frans Zwartjes
  • Joseph Cornell
  • Charles Dekeukeleire
  • Stephen Dwoskin
  • Standish Lawder
  • Rouzbeh Rashidi
..........




  • Andrei Tarkovsky 
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini 
  • Stan Brakhage 
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Aleksandr Sokurov 
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Akira Kurosawa 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Tsai Ming-Liang 
  • Rouzbeh Rashidi + Maximilian Le Cain + Michael Higgins
..........




  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • George A. Romero
  • Brian De Palma
  • Dario Argento
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Luis Buñuel
  • Dariush Mehrjui + Masoud Kimiai
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • David Lynch
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Takeshi Kitano
..........




  • Stan Brakhage 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • David Cronenberg 
  • Alejendro Jodorowsky 
  • Dean Kavanagh 
  • Krzysztof Kieslowski 
  • Harmony Korine 
  • Maximilian Le Cain 
  • David Lynch 
  • Sergei Parajanov 
  • Rouzbeh Rashidi 
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
..........




  • Francois Truffaut 
  • Stan Brakhage 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Brian De Palma 
  • Dario Argento 
  • Kaneto Shindo 
  • Kinji Fukasaku 
  • Hiroshi Teshigahara 
  • Takashi Miike 
  • Tatsumi Kumashiro
..........




  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Robert Bresson 
  • David Lynch 
  • Theodoros Angelopoulos 
  • Bela Tarr 
  • Aki Kaurismaki 
  • Philippe Garrell 
  • Ken Loach 
  • Hal Hartley 
  • Christopher Honore 
  • Atom Egoyan 
  • Yorgos Lanthimos
..........




  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Federico Fellini
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Charles Chaplin
  • François Truffaut
  • Fritz Lang
  • Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Orson Welles
  • Jacques Tati
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Dziga Vertov
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski
..........




Bahar Samadi
  • Bruce Conner
  • Joseph Cornell
  • Adrian Brunel
  • Ken Jacobs
  • Peter Gidal
  • Martin Arnold
  • Maurice Lemaitre
  • Jonathan Mcintosh
  • Béla Tarr
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Theodoros Angelopoulos
  • Federico Fellini
  • Miguel Gomes
..........




Rouzbeh Rashidi
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Yasujirō Ozu
  • Robert Bresson
  • Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Luchino Visconti
  • Aleksandr Sokurov
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Maximilian Le Cain
  • Maya Deren + Sergio Leone
  • (Hammer Film Productions + Universal Horror)


Friends, Associates, Critics, Programmers, and Filmmakers





  • Aki Kaurismaki
  • Jim Jarmusch
  • Hal Hartley
  • Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Jean Renoir
  • Krzysztof Kieslowski
  • Mike Leigh
  • Marcel Carne
  • David Mamet
  • Albert Serra
  • Hong Sang Soo
..........




  • Todd Browning
  • Claire Denis 
  • Jean Epstein 
  • Jean Eustache 
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Buster Keaton 
  • Sergio Leone 
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini 
  • Robert Rossen 
  • Martin Scorsese 
  • Miike Takashi 
  • Jacques Tourneur
..........




  • Robert Bresson
  • Abbas Kiarostami 
  • Sergio Leone 
  • Yasujirō Ozu 
  • Theo Angelopoulos 
  • Andrei Tarkovsky 
  • Stanley Kubrick 
  • Akira Kurosawa 
  • Luis Bunuel 
  • Andrzej Wajda 
  • Sohrab Shahid Saless 
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski
..........




  • Carmelo Bene 
  • Chris Marker 
  • Dziga Vertov 
  • Frederick Wiseman 
  • João César Monteiro 
  • Kurosawa Akira 
  • Mizoguchi Kenji 
  • Orson Welles 
  • Peter Tscherkassky 
  • Peter Watkins 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi
..........




  • Chantal Akerman 
  • James Benning 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Nuri Bilge Ceylan 
  • Claude Chabrol 
  • Philippe Grandrieux 
  • Aki Kaurismäki 
  • Abbas Kiarostami 
  • Krzysztof Kieślowski 
  • Andrei Tarkovsky 
  • Béla Tarr 
  • Agnès Varda
..........




  • Frans Zwartjes 
  • Harry Smith 
  • Jess Franco 
  • Jean Rollin 
  • Jeff Keen 
  • Kenneth Anger 
  • Mauricio Kagel 
  • Yevgeny Yufit 
  • John Waters 
  • Danny Plotnick 
  • John Ford 
  • Kurt Kren
  • Martha Colburn
..........




  • Andrei Tarkovsky 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Michelangelo Antonioni 
  • Bela Tarr 
  • Yasujiro Ozu 
  • RW Fassbinder 
  • Aki Kaurismaki 
  • Luis Bunuel 
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini 
  • John Casavettes 
  • Abbas Kiarostami
..........




  • Kaneto Shindô
  • Claire Denis
  • Brakhage + Mekas
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Aleksandr Sokurov
  • Jan Švankmajer
  • Sohrab Shahid Saless + Abbas Kiarostami
  • Theodoros Angelopoulos
  • Philippe Garrel 
  • Yasujirō Ozu
..........




  • Kōji Wakamatsu
  • Hisayasu Satō
  • Seijun Suzuki
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Peter Greenaway
  • Shūji Terayama
  • Yoshishige Yoshida
  • Dario Argento
  • Takashi Miike
  • Josef von Sternberg 
  • Andrzej Żuławski
..........




  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Coen brothers
  • Michael Haneke
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Francis Ford Coppola
  • Sergio Leone
  • Mike Leigh 
  • David Fincher
  • Asghar Farhadi
  • Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Jacques Audiard
..........




  • Ben Rivers 
  • Jim Jarmusch 
  • Sam Peckinpah 
  • Wayne Wang 
  • John Waters 
  • Harmony Korine 
  • Abbas Kiarostami 
  • Aki Kaurismäki
  • John waters 
  • Pat Collins 
  • John Cassavetes 
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
..........




  • Tossapol Boonsinsukh 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Lav Diaz 
  • Marguerite Duras 
  • Derek Jarman 
  • Fred Kelemen 
  • Jun Ichikawa 
  • Jacques Rivette 
  • Eric Rohmer 
  • Werner Schroeter 
  • Teeranit Siangsanoh 
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul
..........




  • Robert Bresson
  • Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Yasujirô Ozu
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Jean-Luc Godard (late stuff especially)
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Chantal Akerman
  • Jean Marie Straub & Daniele Huillet
  • Isidore Isou & Guy Debord
  • Johan van der Keuken
  • James Benning
  • Philippe Garrel
  • Jonas Mekas
..........




  • Akira Kurosawa 
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Hal Hartley
  • Federico Fellini
  • Mike Leigh
  • Woody Allen 
  • Seijun Suzuki
  • Dario Argento
  • Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Wim Wenders
  • Kevin Smith
  • Sam Fuller
..........





I'll limit myself to directors who haven't been cited yet:

(A Bakers Dozen +1)
  • Hal Ashby
  • Leos Carax
  • Zeki Demirkubuz
  • Elia Kazan
  • Henry King
  • Albert Lewin
  • Sidney Lumet
  • Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Vincente Minnelli
  • Manoel de Oliveira
  • Maurice Pialat
  • Jean-Daniel Pollet
  • Richard Quine
  • Raúl Ruiz
Without my self-imposed limit, I would have had to include Godard, Beckett, Hitchcock, Malick, Hong Sang-Soo, Bresson, Akerman, Bene, Bergman, Cassavetes, Epstein, Kiarostami, Straub/Huillet, Rivette, Karel Reisz, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tarr, Sokurov, Ford, Welles, Tony Richardson, Paradjanov, Wilder, Donen, Tarkovsky, Doillon, Huston, Erin Dignam, Abraham Polonsky, Powell & Pressburger, Werner Schroeter, Robert Mulligan, Pelechian, Brakhage, Woody Allen.
..........




  • Abbas Kiarostami
  • Jean Vigo
  • Jean Cocteau
  • Jonas Mekas
  • Bela Tarr
  • Chris Marker
  • Man Ray 
  • Sergio Leone
  • Robert Bresson
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
..........




  • Chantal Akerman
  • Boris Barnet
  • Carmelo Bene
  • John Cassavetes
  • Brian De Palma
  • Stephen Dwoskin
  • Philippe Garrel
  • Fritz Lang
  • Ernst Lubitsch
  • Peter Tscherkassky
..........




  • Raoul Walsh
  • Henry King
  • John Ford
  • Henry Hathaway
  • Howard Hawks
  • Leo McCarey
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Vincente Minnelli
  • Blake Edwards
  • Henry Jaglom
  • Klaus Lemke
  • Martin Scorsese
..........





(in rough order of impact)
  • Roberto Rossellini 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini 
  • Frank Borzage 
  • Chantal Akerman 
  • Jean Renoir 
  • John Cassavetes 
  • Philippe Garrel 
  • Luis Bunuel 
  • Michelangelo Antonioni 
  • Yasujiro Ozu
..........




  • Josef von Sternberg 
  • R.W. Fassbinder 
  • David Lean 
  • Stephen and Timothy Quay 
  • Marguerite Duras 
  • Agnès Varda 
  • Federico Fellini 
  • Chantal Akerman 
  • Woody Allen 
  • Werner Herzog
As we are all imited to make it 10 here are a few close to my brains, heart and stomach: John Waters, Kitano Takeshi, Orson Welles, Pedro Almodóvar, Kira Muratova. - For me they all have in common that they are able to create a special "look", a certain "baroque" feeling in pictures, emotions and not necessarily when it comes to story-telling.

..........






Hesam Amiri
  • Miklós Jancsó 
  • Werner Schroeter
  • Chris Marker
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Shunji Iwai
  • Marco Ferreri
  • Micheal Snow
  • Alexander Sokurov
  • Robert Bresson
  • Kon Ichikawa
..........




  • Jean Renoir 
  • Max Ophuls 
  • Ozu Yasujiro 
  • Mizoguchi Kenji 
  • Naruse Mikio 
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien 
  • Abel Ferrara 
  • Monte Hellman 
  • Vincente Minnelli
  • Michael Cimino 
  • Elaine May
  • Jacques Rivette
..........




Jonathan Rosenbaum

In alphabetical order:
  • Bresson 
  • Chaplin
  • Dreyer
  • Godard
  • Hawks
  • Hitchcock
  • Kiarostami
  • Lang
  • Ozu
  • Stroheim
  • Tati
  • Welles
..........





In no particular order:
  • Luis Bunuel 
  • Nicholas Ray 
  • Hou Hsiao-Hsien 
  • M.A. (initials alone should suffice here) 
  • Abel Ferrera 
  • Chris Marker 
  • R.W. Fassbinder 
  • Claire Denis 
  • Yoshishige Yoshida 
  • Stanley Kubrick 
  • David Cronenberg (in particular, '79-'88) 
  • Nicholas Roeg
..........




Favorite Twelve Filmmakers:
I put my very best friends out of the list, but that’s unfair : Philippe Grandrieux, FJ Ossang, Lionel Soukaz.
  • Masao Adachi
  • Stan Brakhage & Jonas Mekas
  • Ken Brown et Pierre Clémenti
  • Jean Epstein
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Ange Leccia
  • Ulrike Meinhof & Holger Meins
  • Jocelyne Saab
  • Rui Simoes
  • Anthony Stern & Peter Whitehead
  • José Val del Omar
  • René Vautier
..........




  • Elia Kazan 
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • François Truffaut
  • Anatole Litvak 
  • Ernst Lubitsch 
  • Roman Polanski 
  • Sidney Lumet 
  • Stanley Kubrick 
  • Roberto Rossellini 
  • Paweł Pawlikowski 
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Josef von Sternberg
  • Claude Chabrol
..........




  • José Val del Omar 
  • Claudio Caldini 
  • Nathaniel Dorsky 
  • Michael Snow 
  • Anthony McCall
  • Iván Zulueta 
  • Gregory Markopoulos 
  • Stan Brakhage 
  • Guy Sherwin 
  • Takashi Ito 
  • Takahiko Iimura 
  • Peter Kubelka
..........





This list alphabetically sorted:
  • Walerian Borowczyk 
  • Sergei Eisenstein 
  • Peter Greenaway 
  • King Hu 
  • Guy Maddin (and Quentin Tarantino, a difficult draw) 
  • Yasuzo Masumura 
  • Sarkis Parajanian (aka. Sergei Parajanov)
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini 
  • Josef Von Sternberg
  • Erich Von Stroheim 
  • Seijun Suzuki 
  • Jan Svankmajer (and John Cocteau, another difficult draw)
..........




  • Dimitri Kirsanoff
  • Peter Kubelka
  • Hans Richter
  • Carolee Schneemann
  • Marie Menken
  • Andy Warhol
  • George Kuchar
  • Jean Cocteau
  • Jonas Mekas
  • Kenneth Anger
  • Maya Deren
  • Bruce Conner
  • Bruce Baillie
..........



Brecht Andersch
  • Christopher Maclaine
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Orson Welles
  • Robert Bresson
  • Jean-Luc Godard (esp. Breathless thru Week-end)
  • Nicolas Roeg (esp, Performance thru Eureka)
  • John Cassavetes
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Bruce Conner
  • Michelangelo Antonioni 
  • Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Josef von Sternberg
This is today’s list. Filmmakers that rotate in and out given my particular mood or circumstances include (in no particular order): Kubrick, Bertolucci (esp. Before the Revolution thru Luna), Anger, Baillie, Brakhage, Ford, Nicholas Ray, Minnelli, Losey, Fuller, Leone, Lang, Cimino (esp. thru Year of the Dragon), Resnais, Dreyer, Sirk, Hawks, Preminger, Visconti, Scorsese (esp. Mean Streets thru The King of Comedy), Ozu, Lubitsch, Altman, Demy, Bunuel, Peckinpah, Rossellini, Pasolini, Melville, Warhol, Coppola (esp. You’re A Big Boy Now thru One from The Heart),  Akerman, Blake Edwards, Hawks, Walsh, Tarkovsky, Ophuls, Powell, Boorman (esp. Point Blank thru Excalibur) and so many, many more…

..........




  • Luis Buñuel 
  • Věra Chytilová 
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky 
  • Stanley Kubrick 
  • David Lynch 
  • Nagisa Ōshima 
  • Sergei Paradschanow 
  • Harry Smith 
  • Agnès Varda
  • Varda Lars von Trier 
  • Andrzej Żuławski
..........




  • Paul Sharits 
  • Eric Von Stroheim 
  • Herschell Gordon Lewis 
  • Jacques Tourneur 
  • Joseph H. Lewis 
  • Jack Arnold 
  • Buster Keaton 
  • Ernie Gehr 
  • Andy Warhol 
  • Dimitri Kirsanoff 
  • Kurt Kren 
  • Tex Avery
..........




  • Chaplin
  • Ford
  • Lang
  • Mizoguchi
  • Hitchcock
  • Buñuel
  • Cornell
  • Minnelli
  • Resnais
  • Pasolini
  • Warhol
  • Fassbinder 
Self-imposed restrictions: No one after Fassbinder. No one still alive, unless they are over ninety.

.........




  • Kenji Mizoguchi 
  • Charles Burnett
  • Chantal Akerman 
  • Dziga Vertov 
  • Sergei Paradzhanov 
  • Aleksej German 
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer 
  • Chris Marker 
  • Djibril Diop Mambety 
  • Ken Jacobs 
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
  • Forough Farrokhzad
.........





"I want to name only women"
  • Maya Deren 
  • Danièle Huillet 
  • Claire Denis 
  • Chantal Akerman 
  • Marguerite Duras 
  • Agnès Varda 
  • Elaine May 
  • Catherine Breillat 
  • Kira Muratova 
  • Dorothy Arzner 
  • Věra Chytilová 
  • Kelly Reichardt
.........





Albert Alcoz
  • Dziga Vertov 
  • Andrei Tarkovsky 
  • Stan Brakhage 
  • Michael Snow 
  • Andy Warhol 
  • Jonas Mekas 
  • Bruce Conner
  • Iván Zulueta 
  • Craig Baldwin 
  • Ross McElwee 
  • Gary Hill 
  • Leighton Pierce
.........




  • Chantal Akerman
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Robert Bresson
  • Claire Denis 
  • Terence Davies
  • Brian De Palma
  • Victor Erice
  • Abbas Kiarostami
  • Vincente Minnelli
  • Satyajit Ray
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Tsai Ming-liang
.........





Parviz Jahed
  • John Ford 
  • Masaki Kobayashi
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Michael Angelo Antonioni 
  • John Cassavetes 
  • Jean Luc Godard 
  • Bela Taar 
  • Luchino Visconti 
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini 
  • Sohrab Shahid-Saless 
  • Theodoros Angelopoulos 
  • Luis Buñuel
I also can’t ignore great directors such as: Akira Kurosawa Miklós Jancsó, Orson Wells, Franchesco Rosie, Federico Fellini, Coen’s Brothers, Arthur Penn, Fred Zinnemann, Dariush Mehrjui, Abbas Kiarostami, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Bahram Bayzaie Alfred Hitchcock, Terrence Malick, Robert Bresson, Bernardo Bertoluchi, Elia Kazan, Howard Hawks, Sidney Lumet, Stankey Kubrick, Kenji Mizoguchi, Akira Kurosava, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sam Fuller, Francis Ford Coppola, Jim Jarmusch, Lav Diaz, Jacques Rivette and many others.

.........





  • Sergei Eisenstein 
  • Georges Méliès 
  • David Lynch
  • Sohrab Shahid-Saless
  • Federico Fellini
  • Jonas Mekas
  • Marcel Ophüls
  • Theodoros Angelopoulos
  • Abbas Kiarostami
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Michael Haneke
.........





Saul Levine
  • Maya Deren
  • Marie Menken
  • Viking Eggeling
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Buster Keaton
  • Charles Chaplin
  • Carolee Schneemann
  • Len Lye
  • Jack Smith
  • Gregory Markopoulos
  • Andy Warhol
  • Ulrike Ottinger
  • Chick Strand
  • Gunvor Nelson
.........





Some cited for influence, some cited for the pure pleasure of their work, some cited for their overall importance to the art of cinema, some for all the above.

Alphabetical Order:
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Robert Breer
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Frank Capra 
  • John Cassavetes 
  • Jack Chambers 
  • Charles Chaplin 
  • Bruce Conner 
  • Ken Jacobs 
  • Buster Keaton 
  • Yasujiro Ozu 
  • Michael Snow
.........





When I make these types of lists, I enjoy looking at this ridiculously hard task from two perspectives – 1) If aliens invaded earth and wanted to see the best possible examples of cinema, what filmmakers should they watch? And 2) What filmmakers have had the biggest impact on my life? This list is a combination of those perspectives. 

In no particular order:
  • Howard Hawks 
  • D.W. Griffith 
  • Kenji Mizoguchi 
  • Vincente Minnelli 
  • John McTiernan 
  • Dorothy Arzner 
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Roberto Rossellini
  • Douglas Sirk
  • John Ford 
  • Johnnie To
  • George Cukor
I hope the aliens look at these guys and gals, too: Fritz Lang, Michael Snow, John Carpenter, Ida Lupino, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette, Martin Fric, Edgar G. Ulmer, Samuel Fuller, John M. Stahl, Michael Mann, Frank Borzage, Frank Tashlin, Jerry Lewis, Raoul Walsh, Nicholas Ray, Larry Cohen, Georges Melies, Jane Campion, Allan Dwan, Josef Von Sternberg, Yasujiro Ozu, Mikio Naruse, Robert Mulligan, Max Ophuls, and Buster Keaton.

.........





As others have noted, an impossible task. In no particular order:
  • Vsevolod Pudovkin
  • Buster Keaton
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Preston Sturges
  • John Ford
  • Fritz Lang
  • Carol Reed
  • John Huston
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Alain Resnais
  • Ming-liang Tsai
  • Victor Erice
  • Federico Fellini
  • Marcel Carné
  • Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Jean Renoir
  • Ermanno Olmi
I could add, but could not subtract.

.........




  • David Wark Griffith 
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer 
  • Stan Brakhage 
  • José Val del Omar 
  • David Lynch 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Jean Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet 
  • Maurice Lemaître 
  • Alberto Grifi & Gianfranco Baruchello 
  • Jean Svankmajer 
  • Alexander Kluge 
  • Dario Argento 
  • Paolo Gioli
.........





Lionel Soukaz
  • Roberto Rossellini
  • Federico Fellini
  • Jonas Mekas
  • Kenneth Anger
  • Yasujirō Ozu
  • Yves-Marie Mahé
  • Othello Vilgard
  • Franssou Prenant
  • Jacques Kébadian
  • Jean-Pierre Bouyxou
  • COLLECTIF 360 ° ET PLUS
  • David Matarasso 
  • Orson Welles
  • Jean Vigo
.........





  • Orson Welles
  • Lars von Trier
  • Terrence Malick
  • King Vidor
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Howard Hawks
  • Isidore Isou & Guy Debord
  • Morgan Fisher
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Kenneth Anger
  • Werner Herzog
  • Ida Lupino
.........




  • Emile de Antonio
  • James Benning
  • Luis Buñuel
  • Morgan Fisher
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Maurice Lemaitre
  • Arthur Lipsett
  • Rose Lowder
  • Michael Snow
  • Jean-Marie Straub
  • Dziga Vertov
  • Andy Warho
.........





  • Roman Polanski
  • Josph Von Sternberg
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Jean Cocteau
  • Kenneth Anger
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Orson Welles
  • Nicolas Roeg
  • David Lynch
  • Brain De Palma
  • Curtis Harrington
  • Jacques Tourneur


.........





Silvia Szymanski
  • Jack Deveau
  • Wakefield Poole
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Armando Bo
  • Helmut Käutner
  • Raffaele Andreassi (Flashback)
  • John Hayes (Baby Vickie)
  • Isabelle Stever (Gisela)
  • Alex de Renzy (Pretty Peaches)
  • Hans Billian (Josefine Mutzenbacher)
  • Jürgen Enz (Herbstromanze)
  • Rudolf Schündler (Der treue Husar)
.........





Tim Lucas
  • Mario Bava 
  • Luís Buñuel 
  • Roger Corman 
  • Jesús Franco 
  • Georges Franju 
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Krzysztof Kieslowski 
  • Stanley Kubrick 
  • Joseph Losey 
  • Alain Robbe-Grillet 
  • Eric Rohmer 
  • Ken Russell
Note: The list is in alphabetical order and compiled on the basis of "directors whose work I always feel ready to watch." I also felt it necessary to consider totality of achievement; however, in doing so, I was compelled to omit from a list limited to twelve the directors responsible for many of my most beloved individual films: Fellini's TOBY DAMMIT, Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, Antonioni's L'ECLISSE, Godard's CONTEMPT, Zulawski's THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO LOVE, Powell & Pressburger's I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING!, Sturges' UNFAITHFULLY YOURS, Marker's LA JETÉE, etc. - TL

.........





Toshi Fujiwara

Naturally, this sort of list can never be definite, changes all the times according to what you are doing/experiencing in your life--and in my case, according to the movies i am making.

And in fact, one often notices afterwards the influences and inspirations he/she was bearing unconsciously, quite often during the editing; watching the materials and suddenly you realize some moments or some concepts reflects a film that one saw 20 years ago, often never quite understood, but somehow marked in the brain.

The titles indicate the films that i have to be particularly conscience of the influences right now. not necessary the films i like to watch now, but those that are stuck in my mind, either consciously or unconsciously.
  • Andrei Tarkovsky (The Sacrifice)
  • Alexei German (My Friend Ivan Lapshin)
  • Nagisa Oshima (Night and Fog in Japan)
  • Edward Yang (A Brighter Summer Day)
  • John Ford (Cheyenne Autumn)
  • Carl Th. Dreyer (Vampyr)
  • Makoto Sato (Self and Others)
  • Amos Gitai (Lullaby to My Father)
  • Aleksandr Sokurov (Elegy of a Voyage)
  • Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story)
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder (The Marriage of Maria Braun)
  • Frederick Wiseman (Belfast, Maine)
(and I failed to put Robert Altman (probably Quintet), Robert Kramer (Le Maneau), and Maurice Pialat (Van Gogh)

.........




Mónica Savirón
  • Dziga Vertov 
  • Zdiga Revtov 
  • Gdiza Tevrov 
  • Dgiza Tetrov 
  • Idzga Ertvov 
  • Izdga Tervov 
  • Gidza Torvev 
  • Zidga Rotvev 
  • Digza Torvev 
  • Zgida Vretov 
  • Gizda Vervot 
  • Zigda Retvov
Also,  2. Forough Farrokhzad, 3. Víctor Erice, 4. Jonas Mekas, 5. Gunvor Nelson, 6. Aldo Tambellini, 7. Werner Schroeter, 8. Maya Deren, 9. Artavazd Peleshyan, 10. Oskar Fischinger, 11. Stan Brakhage, and 12. Vittorio de Sica.

.........





Marcos Ortega Miranda
  • Carmelo Bene
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Jack Chambers
  • Federico Fellini
  • Hollis Frampton
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • João César Monteiro
  • Leighton Pierce
  • Andrei Tarkovski
  • Dziga Vertov
  • Frans Zwartjes
.........




  • Stanley Kubrick 
  • Michelangelo Antonioni 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau 
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Jean Eustache 
  • Hal Ashby 
  • Gus Van Sant 
  • Todd Haynes 
  • Georges Franju 
  • James Benning 
  • Pere Portabella
.........



(The Illiac Passion. 1964–67. USA. Directed by Gregory Markopoulos. © the Temenos Archive)

Félix García de Villegas
  • Bruce Baillie 
  • James Herbert 
  • Agnes Martin 
  • Stan Brakhage 
  • Andrew Noren 
  • Barbara Rubin 
  • Gregory Markopoulos 
  • Marjorie Keller 
  • JoAnn Elam 
  • José Val del Omar 
  • Rick Patton 
  • Robert Fulton 
Mención especial para David Gatten.

.........



(Film strip of Motion Picture (La Sortie des Ouvriers de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon) 1984, Peter Tscherkassky)


Either it is a cheating “12” or a “12” with a big heart.
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer & Artavazd Peleshyan 
  • Víctor Erice 
  • Iván Zulueta & Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Peter Tscherkassky 
  • Charles Chaplin & Buster Keaton 
  • Jonas Mekas 
  • Stan Brakhage & Maya Deren 
  • Chris Marker 
  • José Celestino Campusano & John Ford 
  • Isidore Isou 
  • Norman Mc Laren & Raoul Servais 
  • Georges Méliès
.........



Pip Chodorov

"Let's not forget who really makes the film" 
•Kodak • Fuji • Agfa • Orwo • Foma • Ilford • Sviema • Adox • Ferrania • Efke • Gasparcolor•

.........



(The Ladies Man (1961) By Jerry Lewis)

  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Abel Ferrara
  • Robert Bresson
  • Jean-Luc Godard (early films)
  • Josef von Sternberg
  • Samuel Fuller
  • Jean Renoir
  • Dušan Makavejev
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Billy Wilder
.........



(La guerre est finie (1966) By Alain Resnais)

  • Jean Renoir
  • John Ford
  • Buster Keaton
  • Max Ophüls
  • Maya Deren
  • Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Agnes Varda
  • Alain Resnais
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Stanley Kubrick
Five living filmmakers under 65: Chantal Akerman, Wong Kar-Wai,  Lewis Klahr, Phil Solomon and Hong Sang-Soo.

.........





Indulging the distinction between "favorite" and "best"—which, for me, revolves around the subjective pleasures of cinephilia—I turn the spotlight of world cinema away from Europe onto Latin America.
  • Lisandro Alonso 
  • Julio Bracho 
  • Emilio Fernández 
  • Roberto Gavaldón 
  • Patricio Guzmán 
  • Miguel Littin 
  • Claudia Llosa 
  • Carlos Reygadas 
  • Arturo Ripstein 
  • Raúl Ruiz 
  • Fernando Solanas 
  • Francisco Vargas
.........



(Der Leone Have Sept Cabeças (1970) By Glauber Rocha)


If I had to save only one movie in the world, it would be “Man with a movie camera” by Dziga Vertov. If I had to choose only one director, it would be Andrei Tarkovsky. I live and make cinema with these 12 directors mainly. After all we never are alone, when we make or live, cinema. Even so the list of those, that give me day be day a fresh breath is much bigger ...

So...

1. Andrei Tarkosky, because without faith in this world or another is impossible to live and create. 
2. Dziga Vertov, because it is essential to enter the matter. 
3. Stan Brakhage, because it is imperative reach the cosmos. 
4. Werner Herzog, because it is necessary be passionate and obsessive to live and make cinema. Or as Herzog says: "Be bold, ignore the fear and be prepared for the unexpected." 
5. Glauber Rocha, because our biggest creative power is our hunger and precariousness. 
6. Artavazd Peleshyan, because learning to "think-cinema" is learning how to edit / to make "montage". And … Dreyer, Bresson, Ozu, Bela Tarr, Sokurov, Kiarostami …

.........




(Pola X (1999) By Leos Carax)

Cristina Álvarez López
  • Chantal Akerman 
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Luis Buñuel 
  • Leos Carax 
  • Brian De Palma 
  • Philippe Garrel 
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Krzysztof Kieslowski 
  • Fritz Lang 
  • Jean-Pierre Melville 
  • Andrei Tarkovsky 
  • Teresa Villaverde
.........



(Close-Up (1990) & Through the Olive Trees (1994) By Abbas Kiarostami)

Stoffel Debuysere
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Charles Chaplin 
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Abbas Kiarostami 
  • Kenji Mizoguchi 
  • Jean Marie Straub & Daniele Huillet 
  • António Reis & Margarida Cordeiro 
  • Jean Renoir 
  • Roberto Rossellini
  • Johan van der Keuken 
  • Dziga Vertov 
  • Jean Vigo
.........




Doctor Chance (1997) By F.J. Ossang

Mónica Delgado
  • Robert Bresson
  • Andrzej Żuławski
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Jonas Mekas
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • F.J. Ossang
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Mario Bava
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Marguerite Duras
  • Yasujirō Ozu
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder
.........



(Marlene Dietrich and Ernst Lubitsch)

Guy Maddin
  • Jean Vigo
  • Luis Buñuel
  • Erich von Stroheim
  • Josef von Sternberg
  • Ernst Lubitsch
  • CB deMille
  • David Lynch
  • Joseph Cornell
  • Standish Lawder
  • Max Ophuls
  • Aleksandr Sokurov
  • Matthias Müller
.........



(Paul Sharits at Greene Naftali)

  • James & John Whitney
  • Len Lye
  • Jordan Belson
  • Paul Sharits
  • Heinz Emigholz
  • Werner Nekes
  • Gregory Markopoulos
  • Lisl Ponger
  • Bruce Mc Clure
  • Jorge Honik
  • Narcisa Hirsch
.........

Sonatine (1993) By Takeshi Kitano

  • Shinya Tsukamoto
  • Masao Adachi
  • Andrej Żuławski
  • Kōji Wakamatsu
  • Chris Marker
  • Nagisa Oshima
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Kōji Wakamatsu
  • Shinji Aoyama
  • Takeshi Kitano
  • David Lynch
  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Masaki Kobayashi
.........




Journey to Italy (1954) By Roberto Rossellini

Patrick Friel

This is a first-to-pop-into-my-head list, and should not be considered definitive. All are certainly favorites, though. At any given moment, there are perhaps another 50 or so filmmakers who could have been chosen. The only constant would likely be Ford.

Alphabetical:
  • Frank Borzage 
  • Robert Breer 
  • Kyle Canterbury 
  • Joseph Cornell 
  • Andre de Toth 
  • John Ford 
  • Georges Méliès 
  • Oscar Micheaux 
  • Vincente Minnelli 
  • Roberto Rossellini 
  • Edgar G. Ulmer 
  • Jean Vigo
.........





Mauro Pereira
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Luis Buñuel 
  • Andrei Tarkovsky 
  • Jean Vigo 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Yasujiro Ozu 
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer Friedrich 
  • Wilhelm Murnau 
  • Fritz Lang 
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • François Truffaut
... Sergei Parajanov, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Erich von Stroheim and Jacques Tati ...

.........



The Promised Land (1975) Andrzej Wajda

  • Anger, Kenneth 
  • Antonioni, Michelangelo 
  • Egoyan, Atom 
  • Godard, Jean Luc
  • Greenaway, Peter 
  • Kiarostami, Abbas 
  • Lean, David 
  • Marker, Chris 
  • Russell, Ken 
  • Tarkovsky, Andrei 
  • Truffaut, François 
  • Wajda, Andrzej
.........




Mon Oncle (1958) Jacques Tati

David Hudson

Too many shut-outs, but in alphabetical order:
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • David Cronenberg
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Todd Haynes
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Fritz Lang
  • Chris Marker
  • F.W. Murnau
  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Christian Petzold
  • Jacques Tati
.........




Investigation of a citizen above suspicion (1970) By Elio Petri

Richard Porton
  • Luis Bunuel
  • Jean Vigo
  • Dusan Makavejev
  • Chris Marker
  • Howard Hawks
  • Elio Petri
  • Francesco Rosi
  • Ousmane Sembene
  • Michael Powell
  • Jacques Rivette
  • Jean Eustache
  • Max Ophüls
.........



Trouble Every Day (2001) By Claire Denis
Zach Campbell

(alphabetically)
  • Charles Burnett 
  • Claire Denis 
  • John Ford 
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Joris Ivens 
  • Abbas Kiarostami 
  • Christopher Maclaine 
  • Elaine May 
  • Leo McCarey 
  • Yasujiro Ozu 
  • Paul Sharits 
  • Jose Val del Omar
Sad omissions were of course as painful as they were inevitable. But this will suffice. It isn't so much my flimsy attempt at “best” or even “favorites” but a representation of a dozen who, I can attest, all have changed the way I experience the world and other cinema in lasting ways, different ways, and (I can hope) good ways. Its Americanist & Eurocentric slant, in particular, is entirely a function of my own implicit biases, personal viewing history, and knowledge base and shouldn't be passed over as neutral when we perform such conscious, canon-building exercises. But such is the good company it will keep – as list – that the function of discovering new territory remains intact for browsing cinephiles and other curious people.

.........



2046 (2004) Kar Wai Wong
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Martin Scorsese 
  • Jean-Pierre Melville 
  • Sergio Leone 
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
  • Michelangelo Antonioni 
  • Stanley Kubrick 
  • Wong Kar Wai 
  • Quentin Tarantino 
  • Jim Jarmusch 
  • David Lynch 
  • Koji Wakamatsu

But I'd have to think about Vigo, Vertov, Bresson, Tarr, Lang, Tarkovsky, Renoir, as well.

.........



Kuroneko (1968) Kaneto Shindo

Oliver Laxe
  • Andrei Tarkovski
  • Robert Bresson
  • John Cassavettes
  • David Lynch
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • Michelangelo Antonioni
  • Artavazd Peleshyan
  • Kaneto Shindo
  • Yasujirō Ozu
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Maurice Pialat
  • Jacques Tati
.........



Behind This Soft Eclipse (2004) Eve Heller

Peter Tscherkassky
  • Woody Allen
  • Robert Altman
  • James Benning
  • Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Maya Deren
  • Howard Hawks
  • Eve Heller
  • Peter Kubelka
  • Sergio Leone
  • Georges Méliès
  • Pat O'Neill
  • Jacques Tati
  • Billy Wilder
.........



American Falls (2000 –2012 ) By Phil Solomon


My hat's first off to Jean Vigo for cinematically seducing me into making films, soon followed by an ever expanding host of other inspirational sources, including:
  • Peggy Ahwesh
  • Santiago Alvarez
  • Sadie Benning
  • Bruce Conner
  • Jack Chambers
  • Forough Farrokhzad
  • Robert Frank
  • Ken Jacobs
  • Peter Kubelka
  • Michael Snow
  • Phil Solomon
  • Aldo Tambellini
  • Peter Tscherkassky
.........




Lifeboat (1944) Alfred Hitchcock 

David Sterritt
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • John Cassavetes
  • Stan Brakhage
  • Yasujiro Ozu 
  • Michael Snow
  • Carl Th. Dreyer 
  • Agnes Varda 
  • Douglas Sirk
  • Frederick Wiseman 
  • F.W. Murnau 
  • Glauber Rocha
.........





Chris O'Neill

I have found this list difficult to compile because I can often acknowledge key films, rather than necessarily a whole body of work, as making an impact on me as a film maker, enthusiast and programmer. Therefore, there are filmmakers omitted from this list because I was trying to think concisely about bodies of work that initially and continue to influence me. Here, in no particular order, is my list:
  • Brian De Palma 
  • Nicolas Roeg 
  • RW Fassbinder 
  • William Friedkin 
  • Tony Scott 
  • Paul Morrissey 
  • Paul Verhoeven 
  • Larry Cohen 
  • Anthony Balch and William Burroughs 
  • David Cronenberg 
  • Lynne Ramsey 
  • Martin Scorsese
.........





Raymond Bellour
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Fritz Lang
  • Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Chris Marker
  • Alain Resnais
  • Michael Snow
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Ritwik Ghatak
  • Jean Renoir
  • Roberto Rossellini
  • Leighton Pierce
.........




La belle noiseuse (1991) By Jacques Rivette

Donal Foreman

The greatest omissions here are the authors of Notes on the Cinematographer, Sculpting in Time, and That bowling alley on the tiber. But their influence on me is so fundamental that they are probably hidden between the lines of this selection anyway...
  • John Cassavetes
  • Claire Denis
  • Philippe Garrel
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • Robert Kramer
  • Terrence Malick
  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Jacques Rivette
  • Raul Ruiz
  • Shūji Terayama
  • Wong Kar-wai
.........




Three Times (2005) By Hsiao-hsien Hou

Vahid Mortazavi

Note: From multiple possible choices, I made some restrictions to myself: the first four are great filmmakers of Freedom, the second four are great filmmakers of Precision, and the last four, great filmmakers of Poetry.
  • Jean Vigo 
  • Jean Renoir 
  • John Cassavetes 
  • Maurice Pialat 
  • Fritz Lang 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer 
  • Jaques Tati 
  • John Ford 
  • Hou Hsiao-Hsien 
  • Mikio Naruse 
  • Jean luc Godard
.........





Salem Kapsaski
  • John Waters 
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
  • Carmelo Bene 
  • John Cassavetes 
  • George Kuchar 
  • Jesus Franco 
  • Jack Smith 
  • Andrzej Żuławski 
  • Pier Paolo Passolini 
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky 
  • Jean Cocteau 
  • Nikos Nikolaidis
.........




  • Robert Bresson 
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer 
  • Ingmar Bergman 
  • Andreï Tarkovski 
  • Michelangelo Antonioni 
  • Kenji Mizoguchi 
  • Roberto Rossellini 
  • Satyajit Ray 
  • Yasujiro Ozu 
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Howard Hawks
.........




  • CHARLIE CHAPLIN 
  • FEDERICO FELLINI 
  • STANLEY KUBRICK 
  • JACQUES TATI 
  • WOODY ALLEN 
  • BILLY WILDER 
  • JOHN LASSETER 
  • WALT DISNEY 
  • JOEL & ETHAN COEN 
  • ALFRED HITCHCOCK
.........




Stéphane du Mesnildot
  • Sono Sion 
  • Andrezj Zulawski 
  • Shuji Terayama 
  • Koji Wakamatsu 
  • Mario Bava 
  • Abel Ferrara 
  • Alfred Hitchcock 
  • Claude Chabrol 
  • Jess Franco 
  • Brian De Palma 
  • Dario Argento 
  • Kiyoshi Kurosawa
.........




  • Federico Fellini 
  • Hou Hsiao Hsien 
  • Jacques Tati 
  • Karel Zeman 
  • Luis Buñuel 
  • Priit Pärn 
  • Rainer Werner Fassbinder 
  • Robert Bresson 
  • Seijun Suzuki 
  • Yasujirō Ozu
  • Yuri B. Norstein 
  • Vitali Kanevsky
.........





Peter Rist
  • Abbas Kiarostami 
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien 
  • Claire Denis 
  • Jean-Luc Godard 
  • Jafar Panahi 
  • Johnnie To 
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul 
  • Terence Malick 
  • Lucrecia Martel 
  • Alexander Sokurov
  • Jia Zhangke 
  • Abderrahmane Sissako
  • Michael Snow
Hitchcock, Tarkovsky, Rhitwik Gatak, King Hu, Eisenstein, Renoir, Shimizu Hiroshi, Keaton, Murnau, Lubitsch, Antonioni, Brakhage, Mizoguchi, Ozu.

.........