ten favorite films

In an interview from 1972 with the film historian Leonid Kozlov, Andrei Tarkovsky listed his ten favorite films.

I remember that wet, grey day in April 1972 very well. We were sitting by an open window and talking about various things when the conversation turned to Otar Ioseliani’s film Once Upon a Time There Lived a Singing Blackbird.

“It’s a good film,” said Tarkovsky and immediately added, drawing out his words, “though it’s, well, a little bit too… too…” He fell silent with the sentence half finished, his eyes screwed up. After a moment of intense reflection, he bit his fingernails and continued decisively, “No! No, it’s a very good film!”

It was at this point that I asked Tarkovsky if he would compile a list of his favorite ten or so 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. Next he made a list of films and put them carefully in a numbered order. The list, it seemed, was ready, but suddenly and unexpectedly Tarkovsky added another title – City Lights.

— Leonid Kozlov

Ordet by Carl Theodor Dreyer (1954) was #6 in the first draft.

1. Diary of a Country Priest by Robert Bresson (1951)

2. Winter Light by Ingmar Bergman (1962)

3. Nazarin by Luis Buñuel (1959)

4. Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman (1957)

5. City Lights by Charlie Chaplin (1931)

6. Ugetsu by Kenji Mizoguchi (1953)

7. Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa (1954)

8. Persona by Ingmar Bergman (1966)

9. Mouchette by Robert Bresson (1967)

10. Woman in the Dunes by Hiroshi Teshigahara (1964)