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David Robert Mitchell’s Top 15 Films of All Time

Retro IONCINEMA.com

David Robert Mitchell’s Top 15 Films of All Time

Have you ever wondered what are the films that inspire the next generation of visionary filmmakers? As part of our monthly IONCINEPHILE profile (read here), we ask the filmmaker the incredibly arduous task of identifying their top ten list of favorite films. This month we get not ten, but 15 and styled in a countdown manner from David Robert Mitchell, the filmmaker behind The Myth of the American Sleepover.

Have you ever wondered what are the films that inspire the next generation of visionary filmmakers? As part of our monthly IONCINEPHILE profile (read here), we ask the filmmaker the incredibly arduous task of identifying their top ten list of favorite films. This month we get not ten, but 15 and styled in a countdown manner from David Robert Mitchell, the filmmaker behind The Myth of the American Sleepover. This is what he said about the task at hand. 

“My Top Fifteen Favorite Movies at the Moment (7/10/2011). Breaking this down to 10 movies sucks. It’s impossible. I’m cheating and including 15. This list is still missing so many things that are important to me and the order is a jumbled mess. Oh well. Here’s my top 15 at this moment in time. Tomorrow it might be a bit different. My number 32 film might just be my number 5.”

15. L’Eclisse – Michelangelo Antonioni (1962)
“Monica Vitti has one of the most beautiful faces in movies. It’s impossible to look away. Antonioni carries you along on a dream – sometimes a sad and lonely one. At least Monica is with us on the alien and empty streets of suburban rome. This film makes we want to take a black & white, midnight stroll.”

14. Stray Dog – Akira Kurosawa (1949)
“Toshirô Mifune is a cop trying to find the person who stole his gun – a man on a murder spree. when the rain pours, you feel it. The showgirls laying around in the backstage summer heat – their sweat is palpable. There’s something so visceral about the weather in the film. Amazing performances and a simple but deep story that thrills.”

13. Love Finds Andy Hardy – George B. Seitz (1938)
“Mickey Rooney is a “1930’s Michael J. Fox” long before Fox amazed me (and everyone else) traveling through time – making the girls swoon. Rooney and his family-cast are quintessential American symbols. Not necessarily real but representative of something we all feel, imagine or long for at some point in our ‘American’ lives. Funny stuff too. and… this film (one of 16) is graced by Ann Rutherford, Judy Garland, and Lana Turner. you can’t beat that.”

12. Island of Terror – Terence Fisher (1967)
“Trapped on an island. atomic tentacled creatures crawl along after you – eating bones. Peter Cushing! Carol Gray. This movie is fun and exciting and scared me for a number of years as a kid.”

11. Abbott and Costello Films – (1940’s-50’s)
“Funny as hell. Universal’s famous monsters chasing one of cinema’s greatest comedy duos. You should watch every one of their films if you can.”

10. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Blake Edwards (1961)
“Audrey Hepburn, a guitar and moon river. Cat. cat! God, this movie breaks my heart.”

9. The Crowd – King Vidor (1928)
“We all end up wearing a sandwich board sometime during our life. King Vidor’s simple, melancholy and life-assuring silent film masterpiece means a lot to me. Why isn’t this on dvd/blu-ray domestically? Seriously!”

8. La Dolce Vita – Federico Fellini (1960)
“Fantastic and mysterious. a sea creature is dead in the sand. A young girl is saying something important to us. We’re too busy and lost to hear her.”

7. The Shining – Stanley Kubrick (1980)
“Family horror has never been so entertaining. This film is burned into the back of my eyes.”

6. Claire’s Knee – Éric Rohmer (1970)
“Amazing conversation intermixed with lust and art-house point-of-view. This film is inspirational. I heart Rohmer.”

5. It’s a Wonderful Life – Frank Capra (1946)
“One of the few movies that makes me cry without fail. When young mary whispers into young george’s bad ear, “George Bailey, i’ll love you ’til the day i die”, I get weepy. Such a great film.”

4. Manhattan – Woody Allen (1979)
“A perfect time capsule of a romantic and make-believe New York. Looks like a 1940’s studio film with 70’s fashion. So damn funny. So heartbreaking. “Not everybody gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people”. Yup… pretty to think so.”

3. Blue Velvet – David Lynch (1986)
“”So, I guess it means that there is trouble until the robins come.” This film changes you. Great films do. There’s so much sadness and mystery in the shadows of lumberton. It whispers secrets to those who listen. I listen.”

2. Love on the Run – François Truffaut (1979)
“A man (Jean-Pierre Léaud as Antoine Doinel) watches another man tear apart a woman’s photo and leave it behind. Doinel reassembles the picture and falls in love with the image of a beautiful young woman. Watching this as a kid on late night television, I identified with Doinel in a way that I can’t explain. As an adult, I continue to connect with his character and Truffaut’s beautiful, funny and personal collection of stories. There are better Doinel films in the series, but I always come back to this one.”

1. Rear Window – Alfred Hitchcock (1954)
“Repeat viewings on VHS started it. Watching with my dad on weekends in his apartment. Looking out the window and wondering if there might be someone murdering someone in one of the buildings across the way. Layered and beautiful use of point-of-view. Jimmy Stewart as the charming peeping tom. Grace Kelly deserves better, but wants him nevertheless. An odd sadness mixed
with sexual chemistry. Romance intermingled with danger. One in the same. I watch it every couple months. My favorite. oh… Miss Torso too.”

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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