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Film

Lynne Ramsay named her 50 favourite films of all time

One of the most acclaimed filmmaking talents in the landscape of contemporary cinema, Lynne Ramsay has made invaluable contributions to film history. Through modern masterpieces such as Ratcatcher and We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ramsay has weaved together her own unique cinematic frameworks within which she creates magic.

Born in Glasgow, Ramsay received a formal education in art and photography and was incredibly influenced by the pioneering short films of legendary filmmaker Maya Deren. When she came across the incredible gem that is Meshes of the Afternoon, Ramsay made up her mind to apply to film school and try to be a director.

Starting out with short films herself, Ramsay ended up winning an award at Cannes for her graduation project which was titled Small Deaths. Going on to direct more shorts which won even more accolades, it was evident that Ramsay was an artistic force to be reckoned with and many were eagerly awaiting for her to make features.

Ramsay’s debut feature – Ratcatcher – is now regarded as one of the greatest coming-of-age films ever made. Through her cinema, she explores fundamental questions about the human condition and touches upon universal topics such as mortality and grief. Relying on unique sound design and brilliant visual narratives, Ramsay’s films offer revelatory truths.

While talking about some of the unforgettable gems she selected, Ramsay singled out Elem Klimov’s unforgettable war film Come and See which is truly one of its kind. “The most harrowing and truthful film I’ve seen about war,” Ramsay declared. “Much plagiarised by filmmakers in the know. Brace yourself.”

She also talked about how Robert Bresson’s cinema has inspired her, especially in the way that sound design pushes the boundaries of narrative potential. One of my favourite filmmakers, the use of sound in A Man Escaped is quite amazing,” the filmmaker added. “Mouchette is so moving. The scene where she rolls down the river bank…”

Check out a list of the cinematic masterpieces that influenced Lynne Ramsay below.

Lynne Ramsay’s 50 favourite films:

  • Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
  • La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)
  • The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 1960)
  • Come and See (Elem Klimov, 1985)
  • Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (David Lynch, 1992)
  • Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)
  • The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
  • Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
  • Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, 1969)
  • Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975)
  • Vagabond (Agnès Varda, 1985)
  • Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973)
  • Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945)
  • All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)
  • Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
  • Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
  • Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
  • The Servant (Joseph Losey, 1963)
  • Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971)
  • Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
  • Scum (Alan Clarke, 1979)
  • if… (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
  • My Childhood (Bill Douglas, 1972)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
  • Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)
  • Knife in the Water (Roman Polanski, 1962)
  • Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1968)
  • Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967)
  • A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)
  • Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller, 1963)
  • The Naked Kiss (Samuel Fuller, 1964)
  • The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971)
  • Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
  • Seven Beauties (Lina Wertmüller, 1975)
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962)
  • Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957)
  • Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)
  • Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
  • Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960)
  • Peeping Tom (Michael Powell, 1960)
  • Point Blank (John Boorman, 1967)
  • Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
  • An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujirō Ozu, 1962)
  • Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962)
  • Kes (Ken Loach, 1969)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)
  • Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967)
  • My Ain Folk (Bill Douglas, 1973)

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