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Bong Joon-ho Checks Into Criterion Collection, Lists 10 Favorite Films (VIDEO)

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! July 10, 2014 at 3:08PM

"Snowpiercer" director Bong Joon-ho's brainy bunch of ten favorite Criterion Collections titles runs the gamut from the canonical to the obscure to the cultish.
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Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho

"Snowpiercer" director Bong Joon-ho's brainy bunch of Criterion Collection faves, below, runs the gamut from the canonical to the obscure to the cultish. Who knew the director of a gruesomely violent dystopian sci-fi allegory about the 99% had a soft spot for Mike Leigh? "Rushmore"? 

In any case, here are Bong's top ten favorite Criterion films, with his commentary. It's more of a Blu-ray wish list:

1. "The 400 Blows" (Dir. Francois Truffaut) The most beautiful feature film debut in the history of cinema. I’m extremely curious about the abundant special features on the Blu-ray. I wish to explore every single one.

2. "Fanny and Alexander" (Dir. Ingmar Bergman) The most beautiful ending to a feature film career in the history of cinema. And the most beautiful DVD box set in the history of mankind. I’m keen to find out who the designer of the box set was.

3. "The Ballad of Narayama" (Dir. Keisuke Kinoshita) I would like to compare the film to "The Ballad of Narayama" by Shohei Imamura and "Goryeojang" by Kim Ki-young. I wish to fully experience and appreciate Keisuke Kinoshita’s bold colors through Blu-ray.

4. "Things to Come" (Dir. William Cameron Menzies) I’m anxious to find out if I will be as thoroughly excited by the film as I was by H. G. Wells’s science fiction novels when I read them as a youth.

5. "Lola Montes" (Dir. Max Ophüls) It's Max Ophüls!

6. "Nashville" (Dir. Robert Altman) There have been many “tapestry films,” including Altman’s own Short Cuts and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. But I believe Nashville will always be the best in the class.

7. "Life Is Sweet" (Dir. Mike Leigh) The actors/characters in Mike Leigh’s films are always shockingly vivid and alive.

8. "The Man Who Fell to Earth" (Dir. Nicolas Roeg) Nicolas Roeg’s films never cease to be fresh and youthful.

9. "Rushmore" (Dir. Wes Anderson) Wes Anderson’s films are delightfully strange and endearing.

10. "Being John Malkovich" (Dir. Spike Jonze) A few days ago, I had a chance to meet Spike Jonze, and we talked briefly. The meeting left me with a strong impulse to go inside his head and explore the corners of his mind.

Also, below, watch as Bong peruses the Criterion closet and cherry-picks more favorites. One of TOH!'s favorite films of the year so far, "Snowpiercer" is now in theaters and hits VOD tomorrow, Friday July 11, via RADiUS-TWC.

This article is related to: Video, Criterion, Joon-ho Bong, Snowpiercer, Janus


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.