Autumn Tale (1998)

“You really fooled me. I was ready for anything but this. You see, in a way, I’m relieved: Something was fishy, but I couldn’t figure it out. But I’m disappointed, too. Very much so. I was already more than interested in you. I don’t want to shock you, but I wanted to love you, and…

Il Gattopardo (1963)

“We were the leopards, the lions, those who take our place will be jackals and sheep, and the whole lot of us – leopards, lions, jackals and sheep – will continue to think ourselves the salt of the earth.” ‘Il Gattopardo’ (translated as ‘The Leopard’), directed by Luchino Visconti in 1963, is an adaptation of…

Mamma Roma (1962)

“How you end up is your own fault.” ‘Mamma Roma’, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1962, tells the story of an ex-prostitute (who the film is named after), played by Anna Magnani, and her son. Mamma Roma tries to find work for her son in Rome but after finding out what she used to…

The Way (2010)

“Brain cancer. Surgery left a terrible scar. I wear this yarmulke to cover it up. They didn’t get it all… you know, the cancer. Said it’ll probably come back. Who knows about these kind of things? Only God… Anyway, they say that miracles happen out here on the Camino de Santiago.” ‘The Way’, directed by…

Sanjuro (1962)

“You’re too sharp. That’s your trouble. You’re like a drawn sword. Sharp, naked without a sheath. You cut well. But good swords are kept in their sheaths.” ‘Sanjuro’, directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1962, is a spiritual sequel to the director’s 1961 movie ‘Yojimbo’. Toshiro Mifune plays a charismatic ronin who comes to the aid…

Alice (1988)

“Alice thought to herself: Now you will see a film made for children, perhaps. But, I nearly forgot, you must close your eyes, otherwise you won’t see anything.” ‘Alice’, directed by Jan Švankmajer in 1988, is a Czech adaptation of Lewis Carrol’s novel. It loosely takes scenes from the book and uses Švankmajer’s characteristic stop-frame…

House (1977)

“She eats unmarried young girls. It is the only time she can wear her wedding gown.” ‘House’, directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi in 1977, is a Japanese horror-comedy-musical-teen movie that rivals ‘The Wicker Man’ for its genre bending, ‘Funeral Parade of Roses’ for its manipulation of  visual conventions and ‘Donkey Skin’ for its sheer, unabashed oneiric…

Harry, He’s Here to Help (2000)

“You have to overreact.” ‘Harry, He’s Here to Help’, directed by Dominik Moll in 2000, is a French psychological thriller. The title character, played by Sergi López, runs into an old school acquaintance, Michel, played by Laurent Lucas, and his family. Michel is traveling to his house in the country which he is doing up…

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

“There are countless ingredients that make up the human body and mind, like all the components that make up me as an individual with my own personality. Sure I have a face and voice to distinguish myself from others, but my thoughts and memories are unique only to me, and I carry a sense of…

The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)

“You know as well as I that from the point of view of your home, from the perspective of your own country, your father is dead. This cannot be entirely remedied. That death throws a certain shadow on his existence here.” ‘The Hourglass Sanatorium’, directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has in 1973, is a Polish fantasy…

Short Cuts (1993)

“I hate L.A. All they do is snort coke and talk.” ‘Short Cuts’, directed by Robert Altman in 1993, is a comedy drama formed from nine interlacing short stories. It’s set in modern day Los Angeles and Altman focuses our attention on the grotesque nature of the inhabitants, the tragedies that befall normal people and…

Wild Strawberries (1957)

“If I have been feeling worried or sad during the day, I have a habit of recalling scenes from childhood to calm me. So it was this evening.” ‘Wild Strawberries’, written and directed by Ingmar Bergman in 1957, feels like a film ahead of its time – for example: I struggled to place a date…