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IONCINEPHILE: Matt Boyd’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. Matt Boyd (A Rubberband Is an Unlikely Instrument), provided us with his all time top ten film list (dated: February 2013).

Beau Travail poster

Beau Travail – Claire Denis (1999)
“I’m terrible with remembering story lines, plot points, even song lyrics…usually its scenes, images, tones, sounds, melody and mood that stick with me. Films that play more like dreams. This film is a masterpiece of that kind of filmmaking, and so a masterpiece in my mind. And, the final credit sequence! Rhythm of the Night and Denis Lavant! It has to be the best dance scene in film history. It’s in such contrast to the rest of the film and yet somehow the perfect ending.”

Contempt Jean Luc Godard Poster

Contempt – Jean Luc Godard (1963)
“Seeing Breathless was the tipping point for me deciding to pursue filmmaking, but the one I always go back to is Contempt. It’s a perfect mix of formalism with a nice touch of deconstruction.”

Days of Heaven – Terence Malick (1978)
“I’m such a devotee of the whole Malick oeuvre. Thin Red Line is the best war film in my mind, Tree of Life arguably a masterpiece, but it all started with Days. Linda Manz’s narration is so good, and I’ve always loved the factory sequence with Richard Gere.”

Distant – Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2002)
“Ceylon is one of my favorite filmmakers and this film is definitely at the top of my list of the last decade or more. Disconnectedness, isolation and melancholy made so sublimely, and I’m always surprised by how funny it is. It also made me want to immediately get on a plane to Turkey.”

L’Avventura / The Passenger – Michelangelo Antonioni (1960 // 1975)
“Again, another very difficult one to pick. This exercise should have been directors not films! I love both of these films, but if I had to pick it would probably be The Passenger. L‘Avventura was very soon after Breathless for me, and solidified my desire to make films…it was kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m not sure I can really pinpoint the exact draw to either of these films, but I definitely go back to The Passenger often.”

Manhattan – Woody Allen (1979)
“Not sure I need to say much here…The perfect ode to NYC. It always makes me want to go back in time, even if it’s an illusion of what was.

Nostalgia – Andrei Tarkovsky (1983)
“This is a tough one as its hard to pick any one film from Tarkovsky. Andrei Rublev, Stalker and The Mirror rank so high on my list, but Nostalgia is always the one I go back to most. The slow motion sequence on the farm with the dog and girl is permanently etched on my brain.”

Satantango – Bela Tarr (1994)
“Personal tastes aside, I think Satantango should be required viewing for anyone claiming or aspiring to be a filmmaker. By far the most immersive cinematic experience I’ve ever had. Upon leaving the theater that day, I vowed to see it at least once a year / whenever available on the big screen. It’s been a couple years now, when is it back in NY?”

Stroszek – Werner Herzog (1977)
“The best musical scenes in cinema alongside Five Easy Pieces! The auction sequence and the shot of the trailer pulling away, leaving Bruno in that solitary landscape with the dog! And, the final scene with the chicken and the truck!”

Vernon, Florida - Errol Morris PosterVernon, Florida – Errol Morris (1981)
“This is maybe one of the first documentaries I saw where I realized they don’t have to look, feel and read like films from your school library. The mix of ordinarily rich character/subjects and the way in which its told really inspired me to think this is something I could actually do.”

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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