A couple of months ago I accidentally stumbled upon a site that has become one of my favorite filmmaking sites since; Le CineMa Club. Le CineMa Club is your movie theater, online, and dedicated to short films. Every week they screen one short film, often from a director that has moved into feature since then, and the week after it changes. You can see what you’ve missed but you can’t watch the past screenings so, like a real movie theater, you better show up at least once a week for a dose of curated storytelling.
It’s a way to cut through the noise and discover stories you might never have found otherwise. And what I love the most is that the curation is not predictable, the shorts are not obviously brilliant, I actually haven’t fallen in love with any of the shorts I’ve watched so far, but it has opened up my horizon and is a breath of fresh air from Vimeo Staff Pick.
In parallel of playing the role of an online movie theater, Le CineMa Club has a section where it shares the 5 favorite movies of a series of filmmakers along with a short explanation as to why they picked those films. (A fantasy for cinephiles)
The Five Films in Wes Anderson‘s Cinematheque
- The Tenant, Roman Polanski, 1976
I’m not sure which language it’s best to watch this in. Adjani speaks French. Shelley Winters and Melvyn Douglas are American. Polanski is Polish, but I expect he can play the part in any tongue. One my favorites, one of this master’s best.
- Night Train, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1959
Another Polish. Part of series of films newly restored with participation of Film Foundation/Scorsese. Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz who also made other great films: Mother Joan of the Angels and Pharaoh (a spectacular Egyptian story shot partly in Uzbekistan).
- Wild Boys on the Road, William A. Wellman, 1933
Three Pre-Code masterpieces by three great directors: William Wellman, Mervyn LeRoy and Clarence Brown. It took 30 years for movies to get this wild again.
- Three on a Match, Mervyn LeRoy, 1932
- Sadie McKee, Clarence Brown, 1934
The Five Films in Lynn Ramsay’s Cinematheque
- Come and See, Elem Klimov, 1985
The most harrowing and truthful film I’ve seen about war. Much plagiarised by filmmakers in the know. Brace yourself.
- A Man Escaped / Mouchette, Robert Bresson, 1956/1967
One of my favourite filmmakers, the use of sound in A Man escapedis quite amazing. Mouchette is so moving. The scene where she rolls down the river bank…
- Midnight Cowboy, John Schlesinger, 1969
Man sells his ass in NYC and makes unlikely friendship. A beautiful film about two losers trying to make ends meet.
- A Woman Under the Influence, John Cassavetes, 1974
A study of a woman’s madness and joy misinterpreted. Funny, sad, and brilliantly acted.
- The Virgin Spring / Persona, Ingmar Bergman, 1960/1966
I love all of his work, these are my favourites.
The Five Films in Bong Joon-Ho’s Cinematheque
- La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini, 1960
- Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller, 2015
- Frank, Lenny Abrahamson, 2014
- Laura, Otto Preminger, 1944
- Force of Evil, Abraham Polonsky, 1948
The Five Films in Isabelle Huppert’s Cinematheque
- The Grapes of Wrath, John Ford, 1940
Recently discovered at the movie theater Christine 21 in Paris.
- The Son of Joseph, Eugène Green, 2016
Eugène Green’s latest film… The first for me.
- The Butcher, Claude Chabrol, 1971
One of my favorite films by Claude Chabrol.
- Turkish Delight, Paul Verhoeven, 1973
The very first Paul Verhoeven film I saw, and one of the firsts he directed.
- Wanda, Barbara Loden, 1970
The first and only film made by Barbara Loden, a shooting star…
The Five Films in David Lowery‘s Cinematheque
- Orlando, Sally Potter, 1992
This adaptation of one of my favorite novels is hilarious, sweeping, exuberant and nearly perfect, because Sally Potter uses her cinema the same way Woolf used words: playfully, swoon-worthily, sharp as a tack.
- The Brown Bunny, Vincent Gallo, 2003
Male ego, profoundly self-flagellated! This is such a work of in-spite-of-its-self-ness that it achieves an untowards level of sincerity.
- Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray, 1955
The restoration of this film came along right when I needed to be reminded of the difference between simplicity and minimalism. This one (and its follow-ups) are as simple as can be and as full to bursting as a movie can get.
- Personal Shopper, Olivier Assayas, 2016
I saw this movie in Cincinnati right before I began shooting a new film, which was a terrible thing — because I couldn’t get it out of my head and found myself spending too much time thinking about it and not on the work I had at hand. It’s a real mystery of a movie, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite figure it out. Nor would I want to. If my new movie suffers, I’ll hold Olivier Assays partially accountable for making something so wonderful.
- Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013
I think about this film all the time. It has a real nice shape to it. The final shot is a terrifying portent, but for some reason I find it oddly hopeful. It’s a useful jumping-off point when I’m thinking about what I want people to get out of my own movies.
Here is the growing list of filmmakers and actors whose 5 films you can discover over at le CineMa Club:
Sean Price Williams, David Lowery, Trey Edward Shults, Robert Pattinson, Bong Joon-Ho, Lynne Ramsay, James Gray, Janicza Bravo, Rebecca Zlotowski, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, Robert Eggers, Dustin Guy Defa, Isabelle Huppert, Léa Seydoux, Chiara Mastroianni, Sigrid Bouaziz, Sebastián Silva, Christophe Honoré, David Raboy, Christopher Abbott, Josh Mond, Ted Fendt, Clément Cogitore, Louis Garrel, Justine Triet, Virgil Vernier, Yann Gonzalez, Wes Anderson, Joachim Trier, Paris, Pierre Rissient, Monte Hellman, Bertrand Bonello, Benh Zeitlin, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Yorgos Lanthimos, Alex Ross Perry, Simon Cahn, Richard Misek, Olympia Le-Tan, Antonio Campos, Brady Corbet, Darius Khondji