First and foremost, for ' Aguirre, Wrath of God', a gripping and electrifying study of ambition, hubris and obsession descending into madness.
I've watched most of his films since seeing this, and the ongoing revelation of a unique perspective on the human condition repeatedly draws me to his work
She made the cut- pun most definitely intended- for one film. Not The Hurt Locker ( which deserved its' plaudits ), or Zero Dark Thirty, which I haven't seen. Near Dark is the one, and I regard it as the best and most original vampire film of the 80s. Spare, taut and grisly, the cast portray the story perfectly and the soundtrack is outstanding; I'll watch it any time it's on.
Like the image, there's a sense of humour pervading all his films which just grabs me. Whether it's the gleeful stomach-turning final scene of Pink Flamingos or murdering suburban housewives for wearing the wrong shoes, you can tell he's enjoying himself.
The closest thing to Philip K. Dick making films, his dissections of reality, sexuality, identity and biology are inescapably interesting.
Stalker. The most poetic of films; perfectly paced, every frame a visual feast, and a profound meditation on the interplay between the creative and rational aspects of consciousness.
I love the Seven Samurai, my favourite film. It has everything: honour, integrity, trust, love, regret, and the best rainsoaked battle scene in cinema.
I first read 'The Incal' series he did with Jean 'Moebius' Giraud ( RIP ). Much later I saw El Topo, a psychedelic Buddhist Western, and I knew he had a vision, but not of the world as we see it.
You know why; he puts dreams and nightmares on the screen, and leaves us to make whatever sense we can from them.
I think I saw Mimic first, closely followed by Cronos- another original and strangely moving take on the vampire film. I've watched everything since then.
The Thing gave me nightmares back then, and still makes me shudder. Now I also appreciate the fine ensemble acting, pacing and refusal to cop out with a happy ending.