filmmakers’ favorite films
Independent Lens
Filmmakers’ Favorite Films
(last updated 5/15/07)
3 Women, by Robert Altman
, by Federico Fellini
1900, by Bernardo Bertolucci
28 Up, by Michael Apted
1900, by Bernardo Bertolucci
2001: A Space Odyssey, by Stanley Kubrick
About Schmidt, by Alexander Payne
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, by Terry Gilliam
Aguirre, Wrath of God, by Werner Herzog
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, by Martin Scorsese
Amadeus, by Milos Forman
An American Love Story, by Jennifer Fox
An American Family, by Alan and Susan Raymond
American Movie, by Chris Smith
And Now my Love, by Claude Lelouch
À Propos de Nice, by Jean Vigo
The Apu Trilogy, by Satyajit Ray
Babe, by Chris Noonan
Baraka, by Ron Fricke
Beauty and the Beast, by Jean Cocteau


Beauty Knows No Pain, by Elliott Erwitt
Belle de Jour, by Luis Buñuel
Best Years of Our Lives, by William Wyler
The Bicycle Thief, by Vittorio De Sica
Billy Elliot, by Stephen Daldry
The Black Stallion, by Carroll Ballard
Blade Runner, by Ridley Scott
Blood of the Condor, by Jorge Sanjinés
Blood of a Poet, by Jean Cocteau
Blue Velvet, by David Lynch
Bob Roberts, by Tim Robbins
The Body Beautiful, by Ngozi Onwurah
Book of Days, by Meredith Monk
Bowling for Columbine, by Michael Moore
Brazil, by Terry Gilliam
Brokeback Mountain, by Ang Lee
Burden of Dreams, by Les Blank
Carnival of Souls, by Herk Harvey
Casablanca, by Michael Curtiz
Chan Is Missing, by Wayne Wang
Children of Heaven, by Majid Majidi
Chinatown, by Roman Polanski
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, by Ken Hughes
Chronicle of a Summer, by Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch
Citizen Kane, by Orson Welles
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, by Steven Spielberg
Color Adjustment, by Marlon Riggs
The Conformist, Bernardo Bertolucci
Control Room, by Jehane Noujaim
Cries & Whispers, by Ingmar Bergman
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, by Ang Lee
The Corporation, by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott
Days of Heaven, by Terrence Malick
Demon Lover Diary, by Joel DeMott
DIG!, by Ondi Timoner
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, by Luis Buñuel
Dog Day Afternoon, by Sidney Lumet
Dogville, by Lars von Trier
Don’t Look Back, by D.A. Pennebaker


Dr. Strangelove, by Stanley Kubrick
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by Michel Gondry
Europa, Europa, by Agnieszka Holland
Eye of the Needle, by Richard Marquand
Eyes on the Prize, by Henry Hampton
Fahrenheit 9/11, by Michael Moore
Family Life, by Ken Loach
Fanny and Alexander, by Ingmar Bergman
First Person Plural, by Deann Borshay Liem
Fog of War, by Errol Morris
Four Little Girls, by Spike Lee
Frankie & Johnny, by Garry Marshall
Gimme Shelter, by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
The Gleaners and I, by Agnes Varda
The Godfather, by Francis Ford Coppola
Godfather II, by Francis Ford Coppola
Gods and Monsters, by Bill Condon
Goodfellas, by Martin Scorsese
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, by Sergio Leone
The Graduate, by Mike Nichols
Grease, by Randal Kleiser
Grey Gardens, by Ellen Hovde, Albert and David Maysles, and Muffie Meyer
Gummo, by Harmony Korine
Haiti Untitled, by Jorgen Leth
Harlan County, USA, by Barbara Kopple
Harold and Maude, by Hal Ashby
The Henry Miller Odyssey, by Robert Snyder
High Noon, by Fred Zinnemann
Hiroshima Mon Amour by Alain Resnais
Hospital, by Frederick Wiseman
Hôtel Terminus, by Marcel Ophüls
The Ice Storm, by Ang Lee
The Idiots, by Lars von Trier
Il Postino, by Michael Radford
In the Mood for Love, by Kar Wai Wong
The Ipcress File, by Sidney J. Furie
Irma Vep, by Olivier Assayas
It’s a Wonderful Life, by Frank Capra
Ju Dou, by Zhang Yimou
Judgment at Nuremburg, by Stanley Kramer
Kess, by Kenneth Loach
Killer of Sheep, by Charles Burnett
Klute, by Alan J. Pakula
La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini
La Femme Infidèle, by Claude Chabrol
La Jetée, by Chris Marker
La Vie Sur Terre (Life on Earth), by Abderrahmane Sissako
The Last Waltz, by Martin Scorsese
The Last Wave, by Peter Weir
The Last Laugh, by F.W. Murnau
The Last Picture Show, by Peter Bogdanovich
Lawrence of Arabia, by David Lean
Life is Beautiful, by Roberto Benigni
Local Hero, by Bill Forsyth
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by Peter Jackson
Los Balseros, by Carlos Bosch and Josep Maria Domenech
Lumumba, by Raoul Peck


Ma Vie En Rose, by Alain Berliner
The Magnificent Seven, by John Sturges
A Man Escaped, by Robert Bresson
Manhattan, by Woody Allen
Memento, by Christopher Nolan
Midnight Cowboy, by John Schlesinger
Missing, by Costa-Gavras
Monsoon Wedding, by Mira Nair
Monterey Pop, by D.A. Pennebaker
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
My Architect, by Nathaniel Kahn
My Brilliant Career, by Gillian Armstrong
My Life As A Dog, by Lasse Hallström
My Own Private Idaho, by Gus Van Sant
Nanook of the North, by Robert J. Flaherty
Napoleon Dynamite, by Jared Hess
The Natural, by Barry Levinson
The New World, by Terrence Malick
Night and Fog, by Alain Resnais
Nights of Cabiria, by Federico Fellini
Nobody’s Business, by Alan Berliner
North by Northwest, by Alfred Hitchcock
O Lucky Man!, by Lindsay Anderson
On the Waterfront, by Elia Kazan
Once Upon a Time in the West, by Sergio Leone
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Milos Forman
Out of Africa, by Sydney Pollack
Out of the Past, by Jacques Tourneur
The Parallax View, by Alan J. Pakula
The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson
The Passion of Joan of Arc, by Carl Theodor Dreyer
The Passion of Maria Elena, by Mercedes Moncada Rodriguez
Pather Panchali, by Satyajit Ray
Paths of Glory, by Stanley Kubrick
Pet Cemetery, by Mary Lambert
Piñero, by Leon Ichaso
Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco, by Hector Babenco
Polyester, by John Waters
Pumping Iron, by George Butler and Robert Fiore
Raging Bull, by Martin Scorsese
Raiders of the Lost Ark, by Steven Spielberg
Raising Arizona, by Joel and Ethan Coen
Rashomon, by Akira Kurosawa
Red Beard, by Akira Kurosawa
The Red Violin, by François Girard
Reds, by Warren Beatty
Roger and Me, by Michael Moore
Romeo and Juliet, by Franco Zeffirelli
Rosemary’s Baby, by Roman Polanski
A Room with a View, by James Ivory
Rosetta, by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Rules of the Game, by Jean Renoir
Rushmore, by Wes Anderson


Salesman, by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
Save the Green Planet, by Jun-hwan Jeong
Secrets & Lies, by Mike Leigh
Seven Samurai, by Akira Kurosawa
Seventeen, by Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines
Shadow of a Doubt, by Alfred Hitchcock
Shape of the Moon, by Leonard Retel Helmrich
Shawshank Redemption, by Frank Darabont
Sherman’s March, by Ross McElwee
The Shining, by Stanley Kubrick
The Silence, by Ingmar Bergman
Singin’ in the Rain, by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
Solyaris, by Andrei Tarkovsky
Spartacus, by Stanley Kubrick
Spellbound, by Jeff Blitz
The Staircase, by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade
Stand By Me, by Rob Reiner
Star Wars, by George Lucas, by Chris Hegedus and Jehane Noujaim
Stealing Beauty, by Bernardo Bertolucci
Super Size Me, by Morgan Spurlock
Talk to Her, by Pedro Almódovar
Tender Mercies, by Bruce Beresford
The Thin Blue Line, by Errol Morris
The Third Man, by Carol Reed
This Is Spinal Tap, by Rob Reiner
The Times of Harvey Milk, by Rob Epstein
To Be and To Have, by Nicolas Philibert
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Robert Mulligan
Tokyo-Ga, by Wim Wenders
Tom Jones, by Tony Richardson
Tongues Untied, by Marlon Riggs
Truly Madly Deeply, by Anthony Minghella
Turtles Can Fly, by Bahman Ghobadi


Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood
Vernon, Florida, by Errol Morris
Viridiana, by Luis Buñuel
Vivre Sa Vie, by Jean-Luc Godard
Waking Life, by Richard Linklater
We All Loved Each Other Very Much, by Ettore Scola
West Side Story, by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
What the #$*! Do We Know!?, by William Arntz, Betsy Chasse and Mark Vicente
What Dreams May Come, by Vincent Ward
When Harry Met Sally, by Rob Reiner
When We Were Kings, by Leon Gast
Wild Strawberries, by Ingmar Bergman
Wings of Desire, by Wim Wenders
A Woman Under the Influence, by John Cassavetes
The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Rienfenstahl, by Ray Müller

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