The Ten Best Auteur Films

1 WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Mel Stuart (1971)

This is my all-time favourite film, directed by an underrated genius. It has a magical appeal because it is all about freedom and the unwillingness to take on the trappings of being a grown-up. At the same time, it is a classic story of the loss of innocence, and of betrayal, with a hopeful conclusion.

2 BRAZIL
Terry Gilliam (1985)

As a lifelong Python fan, Terry Gilliam is a hero of mine. His willingness to take chances, as shown in films like Brazil, gives any creative person a giant shot of courage.

3 THE SHINING
Stanley Kubrick (1980)

Kubrick's classic horror film, about the mental breakdown of a man snowbound with his wife and child in a mountain hotel, is breathtaking in its scope and beauty, while never losing sight of the simple task of scaring us to death.

4 BARTON FINK
the Coen brothers (1991)

Of all the brilliant Coen brothers movies, this is somehow the one in which they are most unafraid to saturate us with metaphor. The mixing of the literal and metaphoric descent into hell of a celebrated young New York playwright, who flies to meet his destiny in Hollywood, makes the story so much more than it would otherwise be. Even the wallpaper paste oozes with the sleaziness and hellish heat of Hollywood.

5 AMERICAN BEAUTY
Sam Mendes (1999)

Beautifully conceived by Sam Mendes, this is serious, but also funny. It shows a certain fearlessness from the start, by telling us in the opening voiceover that within a year the narrator will be dead.

6 REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
Darren Aronofsky (2000)

A full-on visual assault. Every moment is punctuated by a frightening burst of visual energy, and the film has a distinctly out-of-control feeling all the way through.

7 THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE CHICKEN
Mark Lewis (2000)

This documentary, about chicken and its role in our lives, is - like all films from this brilliant but little-seen Australian documentarian (who only makes animal films) - about something much bigger than chicken. It is a testament to Lewis's genius that you never stop for a moment to think: "I'm crying about a chicken."

8 LOLITA
Stanley Kubrick (1962)

This is the kind of movie that grabs us at every level. We are so deeply in it that, as we are simultaneously falling in love with both Lolita and Quilty, we feel Humbert's guilt as our own, looking over our shoulder as they check in at the motel.

9 PIECES OF APRIL
Peter Hedges (2003)

This has the simplest storyline - April cooks Thanksgiving dinner for her family - but we are on a complex and exhausting emotional rollercoaster. Despite the shoestring budget, the director gave this movie an inner life.

10 SALESMAN
Albert and David Maysles (1969)

This classic about a group of Bible salesmen in the Midwest is about as pure as documentary can get. No extraneous Maysles in the shot, no narration, no hand-holding. The brothers perfected the art of not interfering in the reality they were chronicling.

Andrew Jarecki is the director of 'Capturing the Friedmans', on release now

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine