I don’t feel the need to justify my choices; you probably have some of these films in your list, anyway. But feel free to disagree with my choices. I would be listening (or I should say, reading). Here’s my list (for now).
10. THE WHITE BALLOON (Screenwriter: Abbas Kiarostami / Director: Jafar Panahi / 1995)
A persistent 7-year old girl must retrieve her money in order to buy the traditional goldfish before the start of the Iranian New Year, presented in real time.
9. MAYNILA SA MGA KUKO NG LIWANAG (Screenwriter: Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr. / Director: Lino Brocka / 1975)
A young man from a far-flung village must survive the savage city in order to find his girlfriend.
8. VERTIGO (Screenwriters: Alec Coppel & Samuel Taylor / Director: Alfred Hitchcock / 1958)
A retired detective must overcome his fear in order to uncover the truth behind the mysterious behavior of a college buddy’s wife.
7. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (Screenwriter and Director: Wong Kar Wai / 2000)
A man and a woman who discover that their spouses are lovers must fight their growing attraction for each other to avoid the sins of their unfaithful spouses.
6. CHILDREN OF HEAVEN (Screenwriter and Director: Majid Majidi / 1997)
A boy who lost his younger sister’s only pair of shoes must share his own pair of shoes sans discovery by their parents.
5. DAY FOR NIGHT (Screenwriter and Director: Francois Truffaut / 1973)
A beleaguered film director must contend with his problematic cast and crew while carrying on with the artful deception of moviemaking to finish his film.
4. THE STORY OF QIU JU (Screenwriters: Yuan Bin Chen & Heng Liu/ Director: Zhang Yimou / 1992)
A pregnant peasant woman goes to great lengths to seek justice for her husband only to realize in the end that her victory has made her an instrument of injustice.
3. RASHOMON (Screenwriters: Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto / Director: Akira Kurosawa / 1950)
A priest, a woodcutter and a commoner try to reconcile the radically different versions of an event involving a samurai’s murder and the rape of his wife as recounted by the raped wife, the suspected perpetrator (a bandit), a witness (the woodcutter) and the murdered samurai (through a medium).
2. CINEMA PARADISO (Screenwriter and Director: Giuseppe Tornatore/1989)
A successful film director who journeys home to attend his mentor’s funeral must confront the consequences of his lifelong passion for cinema and failed youthful romance.
1. TOKYO STORY (Screenwriter and Director: Yasujiro Ozu / 1953)
An elderly couple who visits their grown children in the city must face their children’s indifference as the couple becomes a burden to their children’s busy lives.
Images from IMDb