Yojiro Takita's Best Movies Ever

His movie Departures, about a laid-off cellist who goes to work at a funeral home, was Japan's upset winner this year for best foreign film—in other words, it's the one that ruined your Oscar-pool ballot. Should it have beaten Waltz With Bashir? See for yourself. Departures is finally opening in the U.S. Takita shared his favorite films with us.

A movie that made me want to be a director
Seven Samurai
Akira Kurosawa

A movie that illustrates cinema is truly without borders
The Last Emperor
Bernardo Bertolucci

A movie that best portrays the American dream
John Avildsen

A movie where sanity meets insanity that resonates in Japan
Taxi Driver
Martin Scorsese

An entertaining movie with unmatched cinematography
Down by Law
Jim Jarmusch

A horror movie that shows its director's unbridled wit
Brian de Palma