Kurosawa's films have been something that I was glad of seeing many in the cinema when the NFT in Britain sponsored a season allowing me to see them on a large screen rather than TV adding to their impact. The films I've seen include The Hidden Fortress, Seven Samurai, Kagemusha and Ran.
From Kubrick's films the final choice I think was relatively straightforward as 2001 is a film I've seen many times and there are very few of his others that have quite the same impact on me.
Other choices are based on a mixture of factors like most people when it comes to favourites rather than best, so some are as much about when and where they were seen as the actual qualities of the film itself.
- 2001 A Space Odyssey
- Touch of Evil - I think this is actually my favourite of Orson Welles' films above even Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons and Othello.
- Vertigo - I didn't feel honour bound to include a Hitchcock film, but it stands up well enough on its own to make it into the list.
- Aliens - Well it may seem to be a SF movie, but in many ways it is really a war film. Whatever it is, its done right. Strong performances from Sigourney Weaver and Lance Hendriksen
- The Piano - One of the few films that I'd want to see on a reasonably frequent basis and one of the less 'boys movies' out of my list.
- A Night at the Opera - it was hard to choose a Marx Brothers film as all of them have their moments, but few hold up in their entirety. I really did want to include them as they have given me a lot of entertainment over the years.
- Beau Travail - this is one film that really needs to be seen on a large screen to get the full effect from it. It makes it way into the list partly because of the look of it, partly as it is an interesting approach to taking a story from another medium into cinema.
- Bride of Frankenstein - I've always been a fan of horror films and this is one of the best ever made. James Whale gets good performances from his lead actors even if some of the minor parts are pure ham.
- Dracula - one of the best Hammer films made with both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.