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TIFF List: Essential 100 Films

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 13, 2010 at 6:48AM

The Toronto International Film Festival posts "The Essential 100," a list of must-see films that merges two lists (one determined by TIFF curators, another by TIFF stakeholders). There are many obvious choices, from The Godfather, Casablanca and Gone With The Wind to Chinatown, as well as such arcane entries as the controversial Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom from director Pier Paolo Pasolini.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Toronto International Film Festival posts "The Essential 100," a list of must-see films that merges two lists (one determined by TIFF curators, another by TIFF stakeholders). There are many obvious choices, from The Godfather, Casablanca and Gone With The Wind to Chinatown, as well as such arcane entries as the controversial Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom from director Pier Paolo Pasolini.

More recent films include: Slumdog Millionaire, Pan's Labrynth, In The Mood For Love, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Amelie.

The top five are as follows:

1. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer)

2. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
3. L'Avventura (Michaelangelo Antonioni)

4. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)

5. Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)

As a critic and grad of NYU's department of cinema studies, one would hope that I would have seen all of these "essential" films. Alas, I have missed the following nine, which I will made a point of viewing ASAP:

1. Panther Panchali (Satyajit Ray)
2. La Jetee (Chris Marker)
3. Through the Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami)
4. Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
5. Chronique d'un Ete (Morin and Rouch)
6. La Noir de (Ousmane Sembene)
7. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky)
8. A Nos Amours (Maurice Pialat)
9. Oldboy (Park Chan-Wook)

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Lists, Toronto, Classics, Foreign


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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.