Poto

Art does not seek to describe but to enact. —Charles Olson

Film

101 ESSENTIAL FILMS
Poto takes its name from Jean-Pierre Gorin’s 1978 film Poto and Cabengo, one of his Three Popular Films; the image on our purpose page is a still of JP directing Tout va bien (1972), which is available on a Criterion DVD (with Letter to Jane); and JP has had a large influence on several of us in the Poto community, as artist and mentor. For an introduction to his work, see Erik Ulman’s “Jean-Pierre Gorin” in the Senses of Cinema’s Great Directors series
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I can’t speak for all in the Poto community; but what follows is a personal list of 101 favorite films. Numerous favorites have been sacrificed to this arbitrary number. In some cases I have selected less well-known movies at the expense of more famous ones; and I have tried to balance variety with the natural predominance of particular enthusiasms. Directors were restricted to no more than three films, so that Ford, Godard, Rivette, Rossellini, Straub & Huillet, and a few others didn’t dominate too absolutely. Some omissions reflect ignorance—contemporary cinema is represented by very few items, as I don’t know much of what is probably the best work now being done; but I hope what follows may be of value.
—Erik Ulman

 

  1. Kenneth Anger: Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1966 version)
  2. Michelangelo Antonioni: L’avventura (1960)
  3. Antonioni: L’eclisse (1962)
  4. Ingmar Bergman: The Virgin Spring (1960)
  5. Bergman: The Silence (1963)
  6. Bergman: Persona (1966)
  7. John Boorman: Zardoz (1974)
  8. Stan Brakhage: Dog Star Man (1965)
  9. Robert Bresson: Les dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945)
  10. Bresson: L’argent (1983)
  11. Luis Buñuel: La fièvre monte à El Pao (1959)
  12. Buñuel: El angel exterminador (1962)
  13. Frank Capra: The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
  14. John Cassavetes: A Woman under the Influence (1974)
  15. Charles Chaplin: Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
  16. Jean Cocteau: Orphée (1950)
  17. Edgardo Cozarinsky: La guerre d’un seul homme (1982)
  18. Carl Dreyer: Vampyr (1932)
  19. Dreyer: Ordet (1955)
  20. Dreyer: Gertrud (1964)
  21. Marguerite Duras: Le camion (1978)
  22. Sergei Eisenstein: Ivan the Terrible, Parts 1 and 2 (1943/46)
  23. Jean Eustache: La maman et la putain (1973)
  24. Federico Fellini: 8 ½ (1963)
  25. John Ford: My Darling Clementine (1946)
  26. Ford: The Sun Shines Bright (1954)
  27. Ford: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
  28. Philippe Garrel: Le lit de la vierge (1969)
  29. Garrel: La cicatrice intérieure (1972)
  30. Jean-Luc Godard: 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle (1967)
  31. Godard: Weekend (1967)
  32. Godard: Nouvelle Vague (1990)
  33. Jean-Pierre Gorin: Poto and Cabengo (1978)
  34. D.W. Griffith: Intolerance (1916)
  35. Howard Hawks: His Girl Friday (1940)
  36. Hawks and Christian Nyby: The Thing from Another World (1951)
  37. Monte Hellman: The Shooting (1967)
  38. Alfred Hitchcock: Vertigo (1958)
  39. Hitchcock: The Birds (1963)
  40. Dennis Hopper: Out of the Blue (1980)
  41. Miklós Jancsó: Szerelmem, Elektra (1974)
  42. Akira Kurosawa: The Seven Samurai (1954)
  43. Kurosawa: High and Low (1963)
  44. Fritz Lang: M (1931)
  45. Claude Lanzmann: Shoah (1985)
  46. Charles Laughton: The Night of the Hunter (1955)
  47. Albert Lewin: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)
  48. Joseph Losey: These Are the Damned (1963)
  49. Ernst Lubitsch: Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  50. Christopher Maclaine: The End (1953)
  51. Louis Malle: Black Moon (1975)
  52. Chris Marker: Sans Soleil (1982)
  53. Leo McCarey: Duck Soup (1933)
  54. Kenji Mizoguchi: Ugetsu Monogatari (1953)
  55. Paul Morrissey: Forty Deuce (1982)
  56. F.W. Murnau: Tabu (1931)
  57. Marcel Ophüls: The Memory of Justice (1976)
  58. Max Ophüls: Madame de (1953)
  59. G.W. Pabst: Die Büchse von Pandora (1928)
  60. Pier Paolo Pasolini: Medea (1970)
  61. Pasolini: Salò (1975)
  62. Sam Peckinpah: Straw Dogs (1971)
  63. Arthur Penn: Night Moves (1975)
  64. Michael Powell, etc.: The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
  65. Powell and Emeric Pressburger: I Know Where I’m Going (1945)
  66. Otto Preminger: Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
  67. Carol Reed: The Third Man (1949)
  68. Jean Renoir: Le crime de M. Lange (1936)
  69. Renoir: La règle du jeu (1939)
  70. Renoir: Le déjeuner sur l’herbe (1959)
  71. Alain Resnais: L’année dernière à Marienbad (1961)
  72. Resnais: Muriel (1963)
  73. Leni Riefenstahl: Olympia (1938)
  74. Jacques Rivette: Out 1 and Out 1: Spectre (1971/4)
  75. Rivette: Céline et Julie vont au bateau (1974)
  76. Rivette: Duelle (1976)
  77. Roberto Rossellini: Viaggio in Italia (1954)
  78. Rossellini: La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (1966)
  79. Rossellini: Blaise Pascal (1972)
  80. Raúl Ruiz: On Top of the Whale (1981)
  81. Don Siegel: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  82. Michael Snow: La région centrale (1971)
  83. Josef von Sternberg: The Scarlet Empress (1934)
  84. Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet: Nicht Versöhnt (1965)
  85. Straub and Huillet: Moses und Aron (1975)
  86. Straub: Le genou d’Artemide (2007)
  87. Erich von Stroheim: Greed (1924)
  88. Preston Sturges: The Lady Eve (1941)
  89. Hans-Jürgen Syberberg: Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland (1977)
  90. Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev (1969)
  91. Tarkovsky: Solaris (1972)
  92. Jacques Tati: Playtime (1967)
  93. Jacques Tourneur: I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
  94. Jean Vigo: L’Atalante (1934)
  95. Luchino Visconti: Il gattopardo (1963)
  96. Andy Warhol: Vinyl (1965)
  97. Warhol and Morrissey: The Chelsea Girls (1966)
  98. Orson Welles: Citizen Kane (1941)
  99. Welles: The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
  100. Welles: Touch of Evil (1958)
  101. Wim Wenders: The State of Things (1982)