1. Faces, John Cassavetes, 1968
. The highpoint of of Cassavetes' career (and quite possibly American cinema), and for me, the greatest independent movie ever made. Shot largely in Cassavetes' own house, with his own money, it's one of the most complex, profound and emotionally harrowing experiences the movies have to offer.

2. Sátántangó, Bela Tarr, 1994. The single greatest experience I've ever had in a cinema. As well as a scathing allegory of the troubled state of post-Communist Hungary, it works as a purely visceral, cinematic experience. Worth every one of its 445 minutes.

3. Yi Yi (A One and a Two), Edward Yang, 2000
. At once intimate and vast, this epic of human experience covers the whole gamut from the wonder and curiousity of childhood to the confusion of adolescent romance to the comrpomises and regrets of middle-age... Plus more relevant to Irish life than most Irish movies.

4. Harmony Korine, 1974 -
....Okay, he's not a film, but everything this guy touches turns to gold. Even his interviews are genius. Who else could go on David Letterman and talk about riding unicycles and the aesthetics of bacon? Plus, his two features, Gummo and Julien Donkey Boy are two of the most exciting and innovative works of the '90s.

5. L'Argent (Money), Robert Bresson, 1983
. Bresson was one of the world's most formally rigorous and morally engaged filmmakers ever to grace the planet, and this is his final and most accomplished work. "An account of how evil spreads", according to the man himself, and it gets more relevant by the day.


Previously published in Start Magazine, Winter 2003.

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