Gaspar Noé, the Argentinian filmmaker currently based in Paris, France, has detailed five iconic cinematic pictures that have helped shape his creative vision.

While Noé is still riding the wave of success following the release of his psychological horror Climax last year—a picture which claimed the prestigious Art Cinema Award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival—the director has been subtly building a deeply impressive cinematic style since the mid-1980s.

While honing his skills through a series of short and medium films, Noé has directed five feature films since the release of his debut, I Stand Alone, back in 1998. Although his career in film has only really gained international recognition in recent years, Noé’s approach to filmmaking has been heavily respected in a critical sense for quite some time—many referencing and drawing similarities from his technical style and methods in the same breath as Jean-Luc Godard.

While comparisons have been made about Noé’s stylistic approach, the filmmaker himself has never been shy to reference the creatives that have inspired him to reach this point. When discussing Stanely Kubrick’s pioneering sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey, Noé told the BFI: “This is the film I’ve seen more than any other in my life—40 times or more. My life altered when I discovered it when I was about seven in Buenos Aires. It was my first hallucinogenic experience, my great artistic turning point and also the moment when my mother finally explained what a foetus was and how I came into the world.

He added: “Without this film, I would never have become a director.”

Below, combining lists from Rotten Tomatoes and The BFI, see a full list of films Noé has referenced as an influence on his career.

Gaspar Noé’s 13 favourite films of all time:

  • The Mother and the Whore – Jean Eustache, 1973.
  • Un Chien Andalou – Luis Buñuel, 1929.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick, 1968.
  • Day of Wrath – Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1943.
  • Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome – Kenneth Anger, 1954.
  • Amour – Michael Haneke, 2012
  • Angst – Gerald Kargl,1983.
  • Eraserhead – David Lynch, 1976
  • I am Cuba – Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964.
  • King Kong – Merian C. Cooper/Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933.
  • Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom – Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975
  • Scorpio Rising – Kenneth Anger, 1964
  • Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese, 1976.

When discussing David Lynch’s experimental horror film Eraserhead, Noé added: “This film is the second reason why I wanted to learn how to make films. For me, it’s the film that best reproduces the language of dreams and nightmares. Apparently Kubrick once said that he regretted not having directed it himself.”

On Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Noé said: “If there’s a cinematic hero I dream of being, it’s Travis Bickle. This film fills me with joy at De Niro’s charisma and Scorsese’s amphetaminic staging. He’s the kindest and most cinephilic film director I’ve ever had the luck of meeting. With Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver, this is the film that seems to best represent the dirty New York of the ’60s and ’70s as the centre of the world in which I partly grew up.”

[MORE] – Martin Scorsese’s hand-drawn storyboards for ‘Taxi Driver’

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