Sunday, June 12, 2011

Johnnie To's Top 10 Criterion Films (from

Johnnie To’s Top 10

Johnnie To’s Top 10

Prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To has directed more than forty films, including Election, Exiled, and Mad Detective. His latest, Vengeance, is currently in some North American theaters, from IFC Films. (Source:

Seven Samurai #1 Seven SamuraiAkira Kurosawa

1. The opening scene, with the horses, is one of the best ever. It always mesmerizes me.

High and Low #2 High and LowAkira Kurosawa

2. It has a great setup, great characters, and a great theme. Kurosawa’s vision raised the film to another level.

Straw Dogs #3 Straw DogsSam Peckinpah

3. Sam Peckinpah and Dustin Hoffman at their best. The rape scene is horrific and haunting.

Harakiri #4 HarakiriMasaki Kobayashi

4. The first view of the sword sent chills through my spine.

Le Samouraï #5 Le SamouraïJean-Pierre Melville

5. This film gave birth to the cool hit man archetype.

Le cercle rouge #6 Le cercle rougeJean-Pierre Melville

6. It contains a Buddhist concept that is echoed in some of my own works. Here we see three heroes caught in a unique situation where their friendship matters more than anything else.

In the Mood for Love #7 In the Mood for LoveWong Kar-wai

7. It’s a film with great flavors. I wish it would just play on and on.

Brazil #8 BrazilTerry Gilliam

8. An abstract and strange world. A view of what we all may become one day.

The Last Emperor #9 The Last EmperorBernardo Bertolucci

9. It’s almost surreal to see Chinese costume drama performed with English dialogue!

Yojimbo #10 YojimboAkira Kurosawa

10. A film that combines the sitcom and the samurai film.

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