Chlotrudis logo
Chlotrudis banner
news & events
short film festival
our favorite films
become a member
about us

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing

Sheila McCarthy is Polly Vandersma in Patricia Rozema's I'VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING, the Chlotrudis Society's #1 pick for theBest Movies about Art!

Last updated: January 2, 2006
Copyright 2006 Michael R. Colford.
All rights reserved

Chlotrudis Society Picks:
100 Best Films About the Arts!

As 2005 drew to a close, the members of the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film turned our minds to this year's list of Best Films. Past years have seen lists of Chlotrudis favorite international and horror films. For 2005, we would try something a little different. This year's Top 100 focuses on films about the arts. It is subdivided into five inidivual Top 20's: Best movies about movies; best movies about music; best movies about literature/writing; best movies about art; best movies about theatre/dance. To create this list, members were asked to come up with their Top 10 films in each category. After receiving all of the lists, numerical values were assigned to each of the rankings, and each movie was given a point total. The number of lists a movie appears on is also a factor. A total of 307 films were represented on the individual lists. Films spanning 8 decades of cinema made the cut, with the earliest to appear being 42ND STREET, in the Movies about Theatre/Dance category. Surprisingly, the most recent film to show up on the list was CAPOTE, coming in at a strong #3 on the Best films about literature/writing list. One other 2005 film is represented; Miranda July's ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, which came in at #9 on the Best films about art list. So print this list out and take it to your local video store (or to your Netflix queue) and you've got a bunch of great films about the arts to watch!

We hope you enjoy our list of the 100 Best Films About the Arts.

Top 20 Movies about Movies

01 Ed Wood Tim Burton USA 1994
02 8 1/2 Federico Fellini Italy/France 1963
03 Sunset Blvd. Billy Wilder USA 1950
04 Singin' in the Rain Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly USA 1952
05 Good Bye Dragon Inn Tsai Ming Liang Taiwan 2003
06 After Life Hirokazu Koreeda Japan 1998
07 Gods and Monsters Bill Condon UK/USA 1998
08 Boogie Nights Paul Thomas Anderson USA 1997
09 Bad Education Pedro Almodóvar Spain 2004
10 Mullholland Dr. David Lynch France/USA 1957
11 The Player Robert Altman USA 1992
12 Sullivan's Travels Preston Sturges USA 1941
13 sex, lies and videotape Steven Soderbergh USA 1989
14 Adaptation Spike Jonze USA 2002
15 American Movie Chris Smith USA 1999
16 Ararat Atom Egoyan Canada/France 2002
17 Living in Oblivion Tom DiCillo USA 1995
18 Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Robert Aldrich USA 1962
19 State and Main David Mamet France/USA 2000
20 Double Dare Amanda Micheli USA 2004

Top 20 Movies About Music

01 Nashville Robert Altman USA 1975
02 The Piano Teacher Michael Haneke France/Austria 2001
03 This is Spinal Tap Rob Reiner USA 1984
04 Hedwig and the Angry Inch John Cameron Mitchell USA 2001
05 The Sound of Music Robert Wise USA 1965
06 Velvet Goldmine Todd Haynes UK/USA 1998
07 A Mighty Wind Christopher Guest USA 2003
08 The Saddest Music in the World Guy Maddin Canada 2003
09 High Fidelity Stephen Frears UK/USA 2000
10 Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story Todd Haynes USA 1987
11 The Buena Vista Social Club Wim Wenders Germany/USA/UK/
12 Some Like It Hot Billy Wilder USA 1959
13 24 Hour Party People Michael Winterbottom UK/France/Netherlands 2002
14 Impromptu James Lapine UK/France 1991
15 Amadaeus Milos Forman USA 1984
16 Almost Famous Cameron Crowe USA 2000
17 DiG! Ondi Timoner USA 2004
18 Sid and Nancy Alex Cox UK/USA 1986
19 Grace of My Heart Allison Anders USA 1996
20 Lili Marleen Rainer Werner Fassbinder West Germany 1981

Movies About Literature/Writing

01 American Splendor Sheri Springer Berman/ Robert Pulcini USA 2003
02 Swimming Pool François Ozon France/UK 2003
03 Capote Bennett Miller USA 2005
04 2046 Wong Kar Wai China/France/Germany/ Hong Kong 2004
05 The Princess Bride Rob Reiner USA 1987
06 Before Night Falls Julian Schnabel USA 2000
07 An Angel at My Table Jane Campion UK/Australia/New Zealand 1990
08 The Royal Tenenbaums Wes Anderson USA 2001
09 Wonder Boys Curtis Hanson UK/Germany/USA/Japan 2000
10 Naked Lunch David Cronenberg Canada/UK/Japan 1991
11 Henry Fool Hal Hartley USA 1997
12 Reconstruction Christoffer Boe Denmark 2003
13 The Shining Stanley Kubrick USA/UK 1980
14 The Third Man Carol Reed UK 1949
15 La Dolce Vita Federico Fellini Italy/France 1960
16 Prick Up Your Ears Stephen Frears UK 1987
17 The Hours Stephen Daldry USA 2002
18 Gothic Ken Russell UK 1986
19 Breakfast at Tiffany's Blake Edwards USA 1961
20 Wilde Brian Gilbert UK/Germany/Japan 1997

Movies About Art

01 I've Heard the Mermaids Singing Patricia Rozema Canada 1987
02 Pollack Ed Harris USA 2000
03 In the Realms of the Unreal Jessica Wu USA 2004
04 An American in Paris Vincente Minnelli USA 1951
05 Frida Julie Taymor USA/Canada/Mexico 2002
06 I Shot Andy Warhol Mary Harron UK/USA 1996
07 High Art Lisa Cholodenko Canada/USA 1998
08 Basquiat Julian Schnabel USA 1996
09 Me and You and Everyone We Know Miranda July USA 2005
10 Ghost World Terry Zwigoff


11 Crumb Terry Zwigoff USA 1994
12 Vincent & Theo Robert Altman Netherlands/UK/France 1996
13 Chasing Amy Robert Smith USA 1997
14 Love is the Devil John Maybury UK/France/Japan 1998
15 Blow-Up Michelangelo Antonioni
UK/Italy 1966
16 Camille Claudel Bruno Nuytten France 1988
17 Russian Ark Aleksandr Sokurov
Russia/Germany 2002
18 My Left Foot Jim Sheridan Ireland/UK 1989
19 Bagdad Café Percy Adlon West Germany/USA 1987
20 Laura Otto Preminger USA 1944

Movies About Theatre/Dance

01 All About Eve Joseph L. Mankiewicz USA 1950
02 All That Jazz Bob Fosse USA 1979
03 Waiting for Guffman Christopher Guest USA 1996
04 Topsy-Turvy Mike Leigh UK 1999
05 Vanya on 42nd Street Louis Malle USA/UK 1994
06 Cradle Will Rock Tim Robbins USA 1999
07 Shall We Dance? Masayuji Suo Japan 1996
08 Shakespeare in Love John Madden


09 OT: Our Town Scott Hamilton Kennedy USA 2002
10 Noises Off Peter Bogdanovich USA 1992
11 The Producers Mel Brooks USA 1968
12 Cabaret Bob Fosse USA 1972
13 The Red Shoes Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger
UK 1948
14 Withnail & I Bruce Robinson UK 1987
15 Being Julia István Szabó
Canada/USA/Hungary/ UK 2004
16 Mephisto István Szabó WestGermany/Hungary/ Austria 1981
17 Jésus de Montréal Denys Arcand Canada/France 1989
18 42nd Street Lloyd Bacon USA 1933
19 The Dresser Peter Yates UK 1983
20 Stage Beauty Richard Eyre UK/Germany/USA 2004