From Rossellini to Cocteau: Tilda Swinton names her 11 favourite films of all time
“Art is good for my soul precisely because it reminds me that we have souls in the first place.”—Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton, the Oscar-winning and critically acclaimed actress, has named her favourite 11 films of all time.
Swinton, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 2007 film Michael Clayton, has managed to successfully combine her love for independent cinema with Hollywood blockbusters throughout her illustrious career.
Having started her career by working with Derek Jarman in a string of experimental films, Swinton’s love for performance art and willingness to express her creative vision through her own unique style has seen the actor work with the likes of Luca Guadagnino, Spike Jonze, Jim Jarmusch, Wes Anderson, The Coen Brothers and more esteemed filmmakers.
Now, while sitting down with the British Film Institute to discuss some of the cinematic projects to have inspired her art, Swinton has picked out 11 of her favourite films. “Ozu’s beautiful wee silent masterpiece about childhood, brotherhood and learning about how to negotiate fathers and learn the rules of the game,” Swinton said while introducing 1932 film I was Born, but… as her first pick.
Adding Journey to Italy next, Swinton added: “One of the most elliptical and mesmerising films I know,” Swinton said of the Rossellini film. “George Sanders and Ingrid Bergman caught in a landscape of alienation—from each other, from southern Italy: a study in inarticulacy, loneliness and longing, built on a radiant belief in miracles.”
Swinton also includes a trio of Bill Douglas films released during the 1970s. “The masterpiece that is Bill Douglas’ autobiographical trilogy – a proper Scottish cultural treasure,” the actor said. “I once heard that Scots politicians took it abroad with them as their diplomatic gift. If that’s not true, it’s certainly an idea.”
See the full list, below.
Tilda Swinton’s 11 favourite films of all time:
I was Born, but… – Ozu Yasujiro, 1932
Journey to Italy – Roberto Rossellini, 1954
La Belle et la Bête – Jean Cocteau, 1946
M – Fritz Lang, 1931
Medea – Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1970
My Childhood – Bill Douglas, 1973
My Ain Folk – Bill Douglas, 1974
My Way Home – Bill Douglas, 1979
Stranger by the Lake – Alain Guiraudie, 2013
Tokyo Story – Ozu Yasujiro, 1953
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010
“Possibly Ozu’s most famous work,” Swinton said of Tokyo Story. “Magisterial. The final journey of elderly parents to each of their grown children in turn.
“The heartbreak of generational disconnection and the inescapable tenderness of familial bonds, the comfort of human ritual and the inevitable turn of the Great Wheel. Profoundly moving.”