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IONCINEPHILE of the Month: Andrew Droz Palermo’s Top Ten 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, we ask the filmmaker the incredibly arduous task of identifying their top ten favorite films of all time. Currently filming his debut narrative feature One & Two, Andrew Droz Palermo (read here) took some time out to unveil the films that make up that list as of August 2014. Andrew’s Rich Hill gets released theatrically (Aug.1st) via The Orchard. Here are his top ten in his own words.:

Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola (1979)
What can I possibly add that hasn’t already been said? It’s a masterpiece.

Come and See - Elem Klimov

Come and See – Elem Klimov (1985)
Eerie. Heartbreaking. Surreal. Just amazing control of tone. Dying for Kino Lorber to release a Blu-ray.

George Washington – David Gordon Green (2000)
Rich Hill” gets compared to this film pretty often. I definitely take that as a compliment. I hope it’s because they both reflect the rural adolescent experience so well. I’m actually in North Carolina directing a film right now, which is where “George Washington” was shot. It’s pretty surprising how similar it feels and looks to the Missouri of my youth so it’s no wonder we get the comparison.

Kes – Ken Loach (1969)
I cried my eyes out at the end. It probably personally speaks to a lot of people, but it really felt like my childhood. It’s a tough film, but Loach manages to keep it light at times with directorial flourishes he sprinkles in – like the overlay of the score during their soccer match.

Koyaanisqatsi – Godfrey Reggio (1983)
Seems cliche now in the era of time-lapse everything, but this film does it best. It’s one thing to shoot time lapse, which everyone can do now, but it’s another to utilize it to create something truly, deeply spiritual.

The Night of the Hunter – Charles Laughton (1955)
Robert Mitchum is unreal. I was talking to an actor about this performance the other day, in fact. By all estimation, we should hate him – he’s trying to murder cute little kids, afterall. But, he’s just having so much fun, and is irrepressibly magnetic. And the film has some of the most beautiful black and white photography, I love all the photomontage work.

No Country for Old Men – Coen Bros. (2007) 3325
I seem to revisit this every few months. I’ve seen it more than any other film over the last few years. Can’t believe the economy of its scenes and effortlessness of all the players.

RoboCop - Paul Verhoeven

RoboCop – Paul Verhoeven (1987)
Loved it as a kid. Love it more now. So funny. Wished I could live in its grimy, trashy TV, advertising laden world for a few days.

The Son (Le Fils) – Dardennes Bros. (2002) 146
I look forward to all of their films, but this is still my favorite. So tense, beautiful, and human. I watched this a lot a few years ago. The first viewing is a shocker if you can go in without prior knowledge, which I was fortunate to do.

The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick (2011)
I love Malick’s films, but they aren’t for everyone. I had a cabbie tell me last month how much he and his wife hated it. I can sympathize, but I had a pretty emotional, deep reaction to this one. I was writing “One & Two,” with my best friend in Portland, Maine went it came out. So his partner and I took a trip to Boston to see it, and I think we all felt changed afterward. It’s not perfect, but it soars.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric 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. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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