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Christopher Nolan's Top Ten Films for Criterion: Lang, Welles, Malick Make the Cut [Video]

by Maggie Lange
January 30, 2013 6:57 PM
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"Bad Timing" | 1980 | Dir. Nicolas Roeg
This Roeg clip displays the mind-bending twister "Bad Timing," starring Theresa Russell and Art Garfunkel. Nolan says: "Nic Roeg’s films are known for their structural innovation, but it’s great to be able to see them in a form that also shows off their photographic excellence."

"Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" | 1983 | Nagisa Oshima
Nolan credits the film, with a brilliant soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto, as one of the few that could "capture David Bowie’s charisma."  Along with the Thin White Duke, Nolan acknowledges Tom Conti as "a sympathetic guide for the audience’s emotions."

"For All Mankind" | 1989 | Dir. Al Reinert
Nolan calls this documentary about NASA's Apollo missions "an incredible document of man’s greatest endeavor."  This clip shows the carefully shot dramatic arc of these expeditions - the movie includes 80 minutes of real NASA footage, interviews from astronauts and recordings, and magical views of earth from space.

"Koyaanisqatsi" | 1982 | Godfrey Reggio
Also known as "Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance," this movie features compositions of Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke.  Nolan writes: "An incredible document of how man’s greatest endeavors have unsettling consequences. Art, not propaganda, emotional, not didactic; it doesn’t tell you what to think—it tells you what to think about."

"The Complete Mr. Arkadin" | 1955 | Dir. Orson Welles
Trailers from Hell called this "nobody's favorite Orson Welles," and they don't necessarily need to retract their statement.  Nolan writes: "No one could make much of a case for Welles’ abortive movie overall, but the heartbreaking glimpses of the great man’s genius preserved here are the most compelling argument for the value of Criterion’s dedication to cinema."  See this clip of the Georgian toast.

"Greed" | 1924 | Erich von Stroheim
Nolan justifies including this film even though it is not actually in the Criterion Collection: "'Greed,' Von Stroheim’s lost work of absolute genius. Which is not available on Criterion. Yet. Here’s hoping." The clip below shows the last three minutes of the film.


  • serpico | January 30, 2013 8:08 PMReply

    Good. Maybe Nolan can teach his fanboys that movies existed before 1999 and Fincher's "Fight Club".

  • coldhandz | February 4, 2013 1:15 PM

    I just want to "like" Serpico's comment. Why no "like button?

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