Russian Ark: Montage has always been a characteristic of Russian Cinema. Alexander Sokurov discards exactly that in this breathtaking film that takes us through the history and heritage of Russia in the past few hundred years- All in a single, continuous, unedited shot!. Makes us think how difficult it would have been to assemble the whole crew and sets. The film serves as an example of how long shots can be composed well by proper direction.

Salo: 120 Days Of The Sodom: Banned in many countries world over, Pasolini’s final venture is one of the most “indigestible” ever made. Call it a satire on capitalism or a commentary on misuse of power, the film is shocking and depressing by all means. The film never intentionally portrays graphic images even though the content is definitely not for the weak-hearted. A film that redrew the boundaries of rights-and-wrongs of cinema.

The Man With A Movie Camera: Though overshadowed by his Russian contemporaries Eisenstein and Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov managed to come up with this gem about a man shooting whatever he comes across in Moscow with his camera. Serves as a showcase of all the editing and camera techniques available in the nascent stages of cinema. Offbeat and way ahead of its times while the others were busy making films endorsing communism.

Un Chien Andalou: Kings of surrealism Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali co-script this less than a quarter hour long film that may be hailed as the most influential French film ever made. Carefully assembled sequences that do not have any solid meaning and plethora of shocking images pave the way for hundreds of surreal films that were to come from filmmakers around the world and from Buñuel himself.

Wild Strawberries: An old professor retrospects his life, its disappointments and his mistakes while he is on his way to receive an honorary degree. Bergman’s masterful direction utilizes the monochrome with such perfection, that the film has become a staple for any film student. Fraught with images that last for a lifetime, this is one film that may change the way you look at life.

Special mention must be made to Jafer Panahi’s Ayneh and Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez’s Blair Witch Project for redefining the lines between reality and fiction, the former in its typical Iranian fashion and the latter in the American camp style. Let’s hope more such movies come up in the future and explore this medium to the fullest possible extent.

“Photography is truth. The cinema is truth 24 times per second.”Jean Luc Godard

It is doubtless that the power of cinema, the youngest of all arts, is not exploited to the fullest. Though many masters of the medium continuously strive to provide a whole new look and feel to the seventh art, it still has a lot of unexplored content. I present here, ten of the very many films that had successfully utilized the power of cinematic expression and redefined cinema in their respective periods.

2001: A Space Odyssey: “Open the pod bay doors, HAL”– A line that has been etched in cinema history. Stanley Kubrick’s magnum opus provides a new interpretation to the classic man versus machine theme. Co-scripted with Arthur C. Clarke, the film’s amazing use of sound and time line has class written all over. With HAL’s cold yet human voice and the stunning “dawn of man” opening sequence, the film is definitely in the top ten movies ever made.

Apocalypse Now: Adapted from Joseph Conrad’s novella “Heart Of Darkness”, this Coppola classic is not only the journey of a disturbed man into the bowels of a war-torn nation but also into the darkness of his own mind. Classic portrayal of effects of war and the discovery of evil within oneself. The graded natural lighting throughout the film coupled with the short-but-chilling performance of Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz is the best combination you can ask for.

Jurassic Park: Special Effects – The latest boon given to cinema. Though used now to tasteless extents, the movie that made it big and neat is this Steven Spielberg fantasy. Oozing with the “Magic of the big screen”, it is just scintillating to see the big creatures roam about and live in the big screen. Spielberg’s unquenchable thirst for science fiction succeeds big time when his ideas meet the tools.

Koyaanisqatsi: Godfrey Reggio’s tradition-defying “movie” is a seemingly unconnected set of images powered by great music (Philip Glass). But there is definitely more to it than meets the eye. Unlimited number of plausible interpretations make this a brand new movie no matter how many times you watch it. This gem in interactive cinema requires the viewer to think and draw conclusions- a very rare thing indeed.

Rashomon: Perhaps the most influential Asian film, Kurosawa’s Rashomon was the prime reason for the inclusion of a best foreign film category in the Oscars. Endlessly imitated for its breakthrough screenplay and simplicity, the film has been remade and plagiarized many times over. Thoroughly exploiting the features of cinematic medium, Rashomon remains an object of amazement for filmmakers and film buffs around the world.