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Filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky

Tarkovsky’s Ten Favorite Films


As if it were a cinematography author manifesto, Andrei Tarkovsky listed his ten favorite films of all time.

In the past we’ve published Tarkovsky’s advice for future filmmakers. Among these we find a recommendation which states that one should not separate one’s private life from film, as he clearly did in Nostalghia and The Mirror. But, what is it that inspired him to create some of the most disturbing, poetic and personal pieces in the history of film? published a conversation he held with Russian critic Leonid Kozlov, where he shared a list of his favorite films.

When Koslov asked Tarkovsky to name a list with his ten favorite films, he “took my proposition very seriously and for a few minutes sat deep in thought with his head bent over a piece of paper. Then he began to write down a list of directors’ names – Buñuel, Mizoguchi, Bergman, Bresson, Kurosawa, Antonioni, Vigo… One more, Dreyer, followed after a pause.”

This is the final version of the list:

Le Journal d’un curé de champagne (Robert Bresson, 1951)

Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman, 1963)

Nazarin (Luis Buñuel, 1959)

Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

Ugetsu Monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)

Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)

Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967)

Woman of the Dunes (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1964)

His list, which includes three films by Bergman, with whom he had a unique affinity, reflects his taste as a director and as a viewer, but the latter is always subordinate to the first. Kozlov concludes: “The essence of Tarkovsky’s top ten films shows nothing less than his own manifesto for authorial film-making.”

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