General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait
Possibly the most surreal documentary ever filmed. The restored print propels this into a realm of “reality” that’s nearly hallucinogenic. What a snappy dresser! A must for any accordion enthusiast.
The Last Wave
Death, bones, secret underground caverns . . . apocalypse. What more could anyone possibly want?
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
A masterpiece of art direction and set design. No other film in history has ever quite captured the essential dry rot of the 1970s’ fourth-rate Mediterranean beach world. Having spent sixteen summers in areas near, but not quite in, low-rent Med tourist towns, it was a thrill ride straight back to childhood.
The Naked Kiss
Fuller at his atavistic best. No way out. No redemption. Possibly the best opening sequence in film history.
This contains some of the most luminescent black-and-white cinematography ever seen. Fagin, as portrayed by Alec Guinness, will have you squirming with repulsion, yet unable to take your eyes off his balding pate.
Best film Napoléon ever—courtesy of Bilbo Baggins, no less. Connery as Agamemnon isn’t bad either.
I saw this when I was maybe twelve years old. The father’s suicide, the dead guy in the tree—images that bothered me for decades. Chop that meat.
Ian Holm seems to get into all the good movies (even, like, Alien). What’s with that? Never has dystopia looked so appealing. Count me in.
Burden of Dreams
All the goofy nature footage is worth sitting through for the ten seconds of pure hate that is Kinski’s freakout.
Lord of the Flies
Something’s to be said for the Bicameral Mind. Kill the Pig and the Gods will commune through the head on the pole. I think I’m getting Lasik—just in case the veneer shatters.
Rian Johnson’s Top 10
We asked director Rian Johnson, whose “high school noir” Brick was one of the most acclaimed films of 2006, what his favorite Criterion releases were. Johnson said: “I'm a huge Criterion fan. My first exposure to many of my favorite films came…
Alec Baldwin’s Top 10
Actor Alec Baldwin’s film credits include Beetlejuice, Miami Blues, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Cooler (for which he was nominated for an Oscar), and The Departed. He has also won two Emmys for his role as Jack Donaghy on NBC’s…
Leanne Shapton’s Top 10
An artist, art director, illustrator, and publisher based in New York City, Leanne Shapton designed the covers of the Criterion releases Kicking and Screaming and Cría cuervos . . . , and is the author of Was She Pretty?