Thanks to all who’ve made this a very popular list, in spite of glitches causing dozens of fans to suddenly disappear :(
A big welcome to the land of cinematic wonders!
I’ve aimed for a rounded overview to include not only personal favourites but popular hits and international award winners, animé landmarks, avant- garde films, the New Wave, erotic “pink films” and the great classics that are still the glory of world cinema.
Much of silent cinema before the 1930s has been lost, its Benshi narrators displaced but good finally to have the landmark film Souls on the Road on Mubi. In the 20s directors were able to learn their trade through prolific practice, aware of and encorporating developments in both the Soviet Union and the West… and then, what a wealth of wonders! Older masters: the unequalled aesthetic refinement of Mizoguchi, the charm of Shimizu, the quiet observational wisdom of Ozu, the tragically curtailed promise of Yamanaka, the balanced restraint of Naruse, the muscular humanism of Kurosawa… Then, a new generation from the late 50s, in full swing in the sexually freer 60s: the idealism of Kobayashi, the political bite of Oshima, the earthy subversion of Imamura, the cool of Suzuki and Masumura. the avant-garde Terayama.. So many to explore: Yoshida, Ichikawa Kon, Teshigahara, Shinoda, Wakamatsu, Kumai, the documentaries of Ogawa and Hara, the stop motion master Kawamoto, the blood soaked Fukasaku.. the rise of animé, with the international success of Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki’s beautiful flights of fancy, the spiky Tsukamoto, the popular appeal of Kitano, the prolific shocker Miike.. up to the present with Koreeda, Naomi Kawase, Sono, Kurosawa Kiyoshi… oh and i almost went without mentioning Samurai and Godzilla.