8. Andrei Rublev
One of the most ambitious films made by Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky is a set of episodes in relation to the life of the 15th century Russian painter, Andrei Rublev. The painter is not always the protagonist of the episodes: sometimes he is just a mere witness.
The thematic thread that holds the chapters together is the relationship between art and society. Tarkovsky believed that this relationship involved sacrifice and this is what we constantly see in the film. The vulnerability of certain characters and of Rublev himself is deeply touching in relation to the cruelty to the society to which they relate.
9. Cyrano de Bergerac
Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s and Jean-Claude Carrière’s adaptation of the classic play by Edmond Rostand is one of the most awarded French film in history. In this film, we follow the tragic Cyrano de Bergerac as he becomes friends with the lover of Roxane, with whom he is also in love.
The character of Cyrano grants him lots of enemies, but he never yields to the theme, and gives the most moving speech in the history of cinema and theater. The tragedy is in the importance that Cyrano gives to honor as he tries to fight the love he feels for Roxane, and the respect he has for his friendship with her lover.
10. La Notte
Released in 1961, the winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, “La Notte” is one of the most acclaimed films of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. It displays a day and a night in the life of Giovanni Pontano (Marcello Mastroianni) and Lidia (Jeanne Moreau), who vagabond through a decadent world while their relationship itself reflects this decadence.
There are very powerful moments in the film, which is deeply pessimistic in how the characters meditate in the nature of love which they conclude is not meant to last. The melancholy of the pureness of the love of the past is constant in the film, which reminds the viewer of the consequences of time and humanity.
11. City Lights
The most acclaimed film from Charlie Chaplin, and on the list of the favorite films of filmmakers as varied as Michael Haneke and Slavoj Žižek. The film displays the characteristic character of Charlie Chaplin a poor man who falls in love with a blind girl.
The unlimited kindness that Charlie shows the girl, and the way in which their relationship develops, is one of the greatest portraits of innocence in relation to a cruel world in the history of cinema. The film has one of the most iconic moments in film history in the ending and conclusion of the relationship.
The universally praised film by directed by Michael Curtiz, and one that was a project developed by the film industry in its golden age, is one of the most moving pieces of cinema that has ever been made.
In the film, we see a man, who appears to have lost faith in the possibility of changing the world, face an old lover who continues to fight by the side of another man. As the film unfolds, the true feelings of Rick are brought to light as he decides to help his former lover, and his will to fight is restored along with his kindness.
13. Tokyo Story
Another masterpiece by Japanese master Yasujirō Ozu, this time involving the relationship between many characters of the same family who are transformed by the passing of time.
The films shows how as time passes, the places people used to have in the lives of other start to disappear as they struggle to find a place in a world that is no longer what they knew. These changes involve death, compression and solitude, which Ozu delivers in his simple yet moving style in one of the greatest masterpieces of world cinema.
14. Bicycle Thieves
One of the most iconic films in Italian neorealism, made by Vittorio De Sica.
The film displays the struggles that an unemployed man faces with his young son by his side. They have sacrificed the little money they had in a bicycle in order for the man to be able to work, but when the bicycle is stolen, they start a journey in which their hope is shattered bit by bit. The image that the kid has of his father is broken as they are unable to recover the bicycle, and desperation fills him and his actions.