Cinéma Vérité

Though Debra Granik doesn’t rank the films that inspire and influence her, she does keep a log of favorites she admires 
for specific reasons. “The list is dynamic, changing over time,” she says, “depending on what seems to press hardest on 
my psyche as I grope for small fragments of understanding.” Here, Granik explains her current favorites:

Il Posto” (dir. Ermanno Olmi, 1961). “Examines in detail 
a young person’s entry into the life of wage labor and the culture of corporate workplaces.”

“Human Resources” (dir. Laurent Cantet, 1999). “Life inside a factory is explored in a way that gives front-and-center attention to the experience of work and workplace politics, providing a model and a challenge I cannot easily find in 
my own film culture.”

“Stroszek” (dir. Werner Herzog, 1977). “It employs risk-taking expressionism, live locations and real procedures.”

“The Best Years of Our Lives” (dir. William Wyler, 1946). 
“Tells the truth about aspects of American life and includes 
a real-life injured veteran.”

“Salesman” (dir. Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, 1968). “Offers intimate access to and exquisite portraiture of everyday life.”

“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” (dir. Tony Richardson, 1962). “Determined British neorealist 
filmmakers in that era took on subjects that probe deeply 
into class, life circumstances and coming of age.”

“The Class” (dir. Laurent Cantet, 2008). “Depicts the lives 
of teachers and teens in a contemporary public school, scraping for hope and finding it in small, believable places. 
It’s a completely different approach from American 
storytelling techniques and tropes.”

“The Killing of a Chinese Bookie” (dir. John Cassavetes, 1976). “Scrappy, small-scale filmmaking techniques allowed Cassavetes and the production to crawl inside the underbelly 
of places and atmospheres.”

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