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IONCINEPHILE: Eleanor Burke & Ron Eyal’s Top Ten Films of All Time List

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. Eleanor Burke & Ron Eyal (Stranger Things) provided us with a combined/all time top ten film list (dated: April 2013).

Les Quatres cents Coups Blows (400 Blows) – Francois Truffaut (1959)
“I saw this when I was at secondary school (high school) and there was something in it that really spoke to me. It’s the film that made me want to be a director.” (EB)

“Truffaut was getting out there onto the streets of Paris with the camera and capturing life. I love the playful scene with Antoine turning upside-down on the Rotor, and that final breathtaking tracking shot as Antoine runs down to the sea.” (RE)

Le Notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria) – Federico Fellini (1957)

“There are so many spellbinding moments in this film: Most of all, Giulietta Masina looking out at us through the lens, smiling through her tears at the end.”

Paths of Glory – Stanley Kubrick (1957)
“The winding tracking shots in the trenches, the execution sequence that kicks you in the stomach, and the haunting song forced from a young German girl (“the latest acquisition from the enemy”). We are glued to the screen as the war-weary soldiers join in, humming along to the tune.”

Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners and I) - Agnes Varda

Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners and I) – Agnes Varda (2000)

“Agnes Varda’s films have a distinctive and irresistible voice. We love the way her mind works. Her films are so poetic and playful.”

Kes – Ken Loach (1969)
“The performances in Kes are riveting and the film feels extraordinarily truthful. There’s also the wonderful, playful moment where the bullying PE teacher, played by Brian Glover, pretends to be Bobby Charlton and takes over the boys football match.”

The Apartment – Billy Wilder (1960)
“The Apartment is such a bittersweet film. On one hand it’s funny and charming, and on the other it’s a dark depiction of isolation. From among the faceless, disconnected crowd of modern office workers, one accountant discovers how to be a mensch and make a human connection.”

The Wizard of Oz – Victor Fleming (1939)
“If I only had one choice this would have to be my desert island film, if only because I enjoy it every time I watch it even though I have seen it a ridiculous number of times. I know it more or less off by heart.” (EB)

A Woman Under the Influence – John Cassavetes (1974)
“Gena Rowlands’s raw performance at the heart of this film is one-of-a-kind. We love collaborating with our actors and giving them space to find moments that surprise us. Discovering the films of Cassavetes helped us realize what can be achieved when the actors’ work is prioritized in the filmmaking process.”

Pickpocket – Robert Bresson (1959)
“Spare and precise, the visual storytelling is mesmerizing, especially the way the shots of hands piece together the delicate artistry of the pickpocket. I think about this film every time I’m on a crowded subway train!” (RE)

# 10. Spot: We’re leaving this one blank out of respect for the other films that we both wanted on the list. I’m sure everyone who puts together their list feels this way, but it was tough getting down to ten choices. In the end, each film we chose was a joint pick –– we both had to have strong feelings about it –– and some of the films secretly represent many other choices too. This was the only way we could trick ourselves into settling on them.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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