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Richard Linklater names his 10 favourite arthouse films

Richard Linklater has never compromised on his artistic vision, having directed demanding projects like Boyhood in which Linklater experimented with the concept of time. The appeal of Linklater’s cinema is universal even though his artistic excursions are highly specific, resulting in the creation of extremely popular works like the beloved Before Trilogy which is now treated as a definitive classic.

In an interview, Linklater reflected: “The big difference is that back then, when I had a hit indie film, all the studios asked me ‘what do you want to do next?’ Now they wouldn’t. You have a hit at Sundance and they have a $200 million dollar film for you. They don’t want to make your film. That’s not their business. I didn’t make one of their films until way later. School of Rock was a movie the industry brought to me, and I saw something in it and risked that failure. “

Adding, “I enjoyed it and grew from the experience. If that had been my second or third film I would have been doomed. Some people have a hit and want to do something like that and it’s their destiny. I’d like to say that something is going to happen and it will shift back. Hollywood movies once got really bloated in the late ‘60s, there were big flops, and then Easy Rider made $50 million and the industry changed. They were looking for youth culture, and we got the American cinema of the 1970s.”

Criterion invited Linklater to name some of the favourite arthouse films that have influenced his own artistic journey. While looking back on the cinematic masterpieces that have moved him over the years, Linklater unsurprisingly chose the works of some of his favourite filmmakers of all time – Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson and Ingmar Bergman

Linklater had always displayed a fondness for these films, a fact which has been confirmed by Clark Walker – a Texas resident who responded to a flyer about a Robert Bresson retrospective in 1986. When he dialled up the number on the flyer, it was Linklater who answered. Walker recalled: “We got into a two-hour conversation about Bresson and transcendental film and Paul Schrader and Yasujiro Ozu and Carl Theodor Dreyer.”

Check out some of Richard Linklater’s favourite arthouse films of all time below, including the works of masters such as Yasujirō Ozu as well as the pioneering duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

Richard Linklater names his 10 favourite arthouse films:

  • Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)
  • Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
  • The Flowers of St. Francis (Roberto Rossellini, 1950)
  • Day of Wrath (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1943)
  • Tokyo Story (Yasujirō Ozu, 1953)
  • The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)
  • Unfaithfully Yours (Preston Sturges, 1948)
  • Fanny and Alexander: Television Version (Ingmar Bergman, 1983)
  • Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)
  • I Know Where I’m Going! (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1945)

While discussing Tarkovsky and Bresson, Linklater elaborated: “You could teach a year-long class on not only their films but everything they talk about and their ideas about cinema and what it is. Very different, all three, but very personal. Especially Tarkovsky and Bresson, very much like their films themselves.”

He also noted that the difference between the artistic visions of Bresson and Tarkovsky is a matter of cinematic beauty in itself. Linklater commented: “Bresson’s are very elliptical, aphoristic, just observations about what cinema can do and Tarkovsky [is] flowing, poetic, lengthy, very beautiful, just about life and art and poetry and cinema.”

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