Imitation of Life (1959) – Douglas Sirk (Sight & Sound Critic Poll Series)

Top 100 position – Joint 93rd Short Plot Summary: Aspiring actress Lora Meredith meets Annie Johnson a homeless black woman at Coney Island and soon they share a tiny apartment. Each woman has an intolerable daughter, though Annie’s little girl Sarah Jane, is by far the worse. Neurotic and obnoxious, Sarah Jane doesn’t like being…

Madame de… (1953) Max Ophüls (Sight & Sound Critic Poll Series)

Top 100 position – Joint 93rd Short Plot Summary: In France of the late 19th century, the wife of a wealthy general, the Countess Louise, sells the earrings her husband gave her on their wedding day to pay off debts; she claims to have lost them. Her husband quickly learns of the deceit, which is…

Badlands (1973) – Terrence Malick

Short Plot Summary: Based on the Starkweather-Fugate killing spree of the 1958, in which a fifteen-year-old girl and her twenty-five-year-old boyfriend slaughtered her entire family and several others in the Dakota badlands.

The Big Sleep (1947) – Howard Hawks (a guest post from Niall McArdle)

Synopsis:  Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by millionaire General Sternwood to investigate a case of blackmail involving pornographic photos of his  daughter, Carmen. Sternwood is really trying to find out what happened to his friend Sean Regan, the former IRA man and bootlegger. Soon the bodies pile up, and Marlowe has to…

Blade Runner – 1982 (Guest Post from Niall McArdle)

Synopsis: In a rainy, polluted Los Angeles in 2019, genetic engineers for the Tyrell Corporation have created replicants – superhuman androids that are used as slave labour in outer space, and who have a built-in lifespan of only four years. Renegade replicants are hunted and killed by police officers known as “Blade Runners”. When a…

The Shining (1980) – Stanley Kubrick

Short Plot Summary: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

The Battle Of Algiers (1966) – Gillo Pontecorvo

Short Plot Summary: The Battle of Algiers is a 1966 war film based on occurrences during the Algerian War against The French Government in North Africa, the most prominent being the titular Battle of Algiers. It was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.

Trouble In Paradise (Short View) – Ernst Lubitsch

“Trouble In Paradise” is a film that on its surface is entertaining, stylish and very humorous, but from my very first viewing I could tell it was so much more than just this. It is a wonderful piece of filmmaking.

Cleo From 5 to 7 (Short View) – Agnès Varda

“Cleo From 5 to 7” is truly one of the most beautifully shot films I have ever seen. Its composition of imagery is way ahead of its time and its story is not only heart-braking but is as tense as any drama you will ever see.

HOLY MOTORS – Directed by Leos Carax

Directed by Leos Carax, Holy Motors tells the story of a mysterious man Monsieur Oscar (Denis Lavant) as he spends his day travelling around Paris in a stretched limo. The limo and its driver Celine (Edith Scob) take Oscar to designated locations within the city. Each location beholds a unique situation that Oscar must act…

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – F.W Murnau

Short Plot Summary: A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife. As someone who is a big fan of silent cinema, I could not recommend F.W Murnaus’s “Sunrise” enough. Currently standing at no.5 on Sight and Sound‘s best films of…

Jean-Juc Godard – Breathless

It seems ironic, but if there was any film that did leave me breathless when viewing it for the first time, then it was Jean-Juc Godard’s 1960 film, Breathless.

Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón

Short Plot Summary: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

MANHATTAN – Woody Allen

Short Plot Summary: A divorced New Yorker currently dating a high-schooler brings himself to look for love in the mistress of his best friend instead.