Posted by: kfugrip | August 22, 2007


I’ve spoken quite a few times about Paul Schraders article about developing a film canon, titled Canon Fodder. I thought it was important to post the list of films he would have discussed at length had he actually written the book, here on my blog.

I’ve placed the ratings beside each of the films I have seen and made the films I would like to see this year in bold. I’ve seen a little over half of these, which isn’t bad considering I had seen only a handful before I started going to graduate school (which was seven years ago… jeez!). Though I’m currently watching Blow Up, by Antonioni, I have Tokyo Story, by Ozu, at home and I plan on watching it next.

1. The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)***
2. Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujiro Ozu)
3. City Lights (1931, Charles Chaplin)****
4. Pickpocket (1959, Robert Bresson)****
5. Metropolis (1927, Fritz Lang)
6. Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)*****
7. Orphée (1950, Jean Cocteau)
8. Masculin-Feminin (1966, Jean-Luc Godard)
9. Persona (1966, Ingmar Bergman)*****
10. Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)****
11. Sunrise (1927, F.W. Murnau)
12. The Searchers (1956, John Ford)****
13. The Lady Eve (1941, Preston Sturges)****
14. The Conformist (1970, Bernardo Bertolucci)
15. 8 ½ (1963, Federico Fellini)*****
16. The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)*****
17. In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai)*****
18. The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)*****
19. Performance (1970, Donald Cammell/Nicholas Roeg)*****
20. La Notte (1961, Michelangelo Antonioni)

21. Mother and Son (1997, Alexander Sokurov)
22. The Leopard (1963, Luchino Visconti)
23. The Dead (1987, John Huston)
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)*****
25. Last Year at Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais)
26. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
27. Jules and Jim (1961, Francois Truffaut)***
28. The Wild Bunch (1969, Sam Peckinpah)****
29. All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse)*****
30. The Life of Oharu (1952, Kenji Mizoguchi)
31. High and Low (1963, Akira Kurosawa)****
32. Sweet Smell of Success (1957, Alexander Mackendrick)****
33. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Bunuel)***
34. An American in Paris (1951, Vincente Minnelli)
35. The Battle of Algiers (1966, Gillo Pontecorvo)****
36. Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)*****
37. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
38. Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch)****
39. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989, Woody Allen)
40. The Big Lebowski (1998, Joel Coen)*****
41. The Red Shoes (1948, Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger)****
42. Singin’ in the Rain (1952, Stanley Donen)****
43. Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski)****
44. The Crowd (1928, King Vidor)
45. Sunset Boulevard (1950, Billy Wilder)****
46. Talk to Her (2002, Pedro Almodovar)
47. Shanghai Express (1932, Josef von Sternberg)
48. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948, Max Ophuls)
49. Once Upon a Time in the West (1969, Sergio Leone)****
50. Salvatore Giuliano (1962, Francesco Rosi)
51. Nostalghia (1983, Andrei Tarkovsky)
52. Seven Men from Now (1956, Budd Boetticher)
53. Claire’s Knee (1970, Eric Rohmer)***
54. Earth (1930, Alexander Dovzhenko)
55. Gun Crazy (1949, Joseph H. Lewis)
56. Out of the Past (1947, Jacques Tourneur)
57. Children of Paradise (1945, Marcel Carne)
58. The Naked Spur (1953, Anthony Mann)
59. A Place in the Sun (1951, George Stevens)**
60. The General (1927, Buster Keaton)

Rather than launch into an argument of why he chose those specific films, and why he decided to do something so arbitrary (which he recognizes) as to limit the selection to one movie by a particular director, I will instead say that it’s an excellent place for me to start watching “classic” films. That’s what the lists are for right? To unlock the doors of artistic, influential, and important cinema.

Does anyone see this list and say “you’ve got to see that!”? If so then comment and let me know which ones you think I would like.



  1. […] was Tokyo Story, by Yashiro Ozu, one of the movies mentioned on Paul Schrader’s article that I have written about a few times. Considered a masterpiece, and one of the ten […]

  2. […] and unless it picks up I don’t feel like it is a masterpiece. Considering the film is on the aforementioned Paul Schrader’s Film Canon list, I expected the film to be as revolutionary and influential […]

  3. […] to me why I should like this movie and why Paul Schrader included it in his article about the proposed film canon. Please. Help me understand. I feel like I have post-modernist leanings and that I should love […]

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