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This is no way a ‘Greatest Films’ list, but a list of films that have impacted me and helped me grow into the person I am today. To me, these are my favourite films. Some were just timely watches in my life when I was subconsciously searching for something – they gave me answers. Some helped me become a better filmmaker by helping me understand the craft. Some were just pure joy – they made me smile, laugh and be entertained. I often ask myself which category of film wins over the other – the thought-provoking film, the crafty one or the entertainer?

Although I enjoy large-scale cinematic pieces, what connects with me the most is when a story is more personal, when it has a hidden soft voice that’s trying to talk to you.  And that’s generally where the director or a writer hides his thoughts, his feelings and that’s where I’ve mostly found ideas that have lingered in my head and stories that made me look into my own life and choices in general. One thing is for sure: even if I wasn’t a filmmaker, films would be where I’ve learnt the most about love, relationships, people and what it means to just be alive. l’m sure I’ve missed out on many great names, but here are some I could recall (in alphabetical order).

A Separation (2011)

Director: Asghar Farhadi

A Woman Under The Influence

Director: John Cassavetes

Ace In The Hole (1951)

Director: Billy Wilder

After Life (1998)

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

All About Eve (1950)

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

All Is Lost (2013)

Director: J. C. Chandor

Annie Hall (1977)

Director: Woody Allen

Casino (1995)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Close-Up (1990)

Director: Abbas Kiarostami

Dial M For Murder (1954)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Down By Law

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

Director: Michel Gondry

Garden State (2004)

Director: Zach Braff

Hannah And Her Sisters (1986)

Director: Woody Allen

Harold And Maude (1971)

Director: Hal Ashby

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)

Director: Mansoor Khan

Like Father Like Son (2013)

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

M (1931)

Director: Fritz Lang

Mr. India (1987)

Director: Shekhar Kapur

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Director: Miloš Forman

Paper Moon (1973)

Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Raging Bull (1980)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Rushmore (1998)

Director: Wes Anderson

Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

Director: Edgar Wright

Sullivan’s Travels (1941)

Director: Preston Sturges

The Act Of Killing (2012) and its companion piece The Look Of Silence (2o14)

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer

The Apartment (1960)

Director: Billy Wilder

The Graduate (1967)

Director: Mike Nicholls

The Lady Killers (1955)

Directors: Alexander Mackendrick

The Savages (2007)

Director: Tamara Jenkins

Tootsie (1982)

Director: Sydney Pollack

Also Read: Sriram Raghavan on the 30 Films He Wants Everyone To See

Filmmaker Shakun Batra Picks 32 Movies He Wants Everyone To See, Film Companion

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