Ari Aster’s Criterion Closet Picks: ‘Cure’ is the ‘Greatest Movie Ever Made’

There's an argument to be made that Cure by Kyoshi Kurosawa is the greatest movie ever made...

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: The Criterion Channel

Ari Aster visited the Criterion Collection’s closet to celebrate the release of his new film Beau is Afraid. During his visit, he discussed topics like his best theater experience, who he’s taken inspiration from, and what he thinks could be the greatest movie ever made. Unfortunately, the clip of Aster talking about Cure lasts only five seconds, so there is no context beyond that. However, this seemingly innocent clip does a lot to explain who Aster is as a filmmaker.

Ari Aster says ‘Cure’ is the ‘Greatest Movie Ever Made’

Image: The Criterion Channel

The quote from the video posted on the Criterion Collection Twitter page happens at 2:13. Aster says, “There’s an argument to be made that Cure by Kyoshi Kurosawa is the greatest movie ever made” before moving on to his next closet pick. While this clip is short, and he doesn’t explain why he thinks this is, we can look at the film to see why he made this statement.

Cure is so widely loved because Kurosawa doesn’t attempt to explain what it is about. Instead, he lifts the veil just enough for us to get a taste before snapping it away. This fits how Aster handles his films and why he has a similar following.

What is ‘Cure’ by Kyoshi Kurosawa?

Image: Daiei Studios and twins Japan

Cure is an award-winning film written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa in 1997.

The film stars the following actors:

  • Masato Hagiwar: Kunio Mamiya
  • Koji Yakusho: Kenichi Takabe
  • Tsuyoshi Ujiki: Makota Skuma

Here is the official IMDB synopsis of Cure:

  • A frustrated detective deals with the case of several gruesome murders committed by people who have no recollection of what they’ve done.

It is currently not rated and has a run time of 1h 51m. However, the US DVD version of Cure leaves out several graphic scenes, essential parts of the narration, and a very graphic ending, so it is recommended that you find the uncut theatrical version if you want to get the whole experience.

Korean director Bong Joon Ho, Memories of Murder (20023), The Host (2006), and Snowpiercer (2013), says Cure is one of his top ten favorite films of all tie.

Related: Beau Is Afraid: Age Rating Guide

Additional Ari Aster Criterion Closet Picks

Image: The Criterion Channel

Aster made many picks during his visit to the Criterion Closet, and here are four of his picks for you to watch:

Three Fantastic Journeys of Karel Zeman: We can see that Aster was influenced by Zeman’s work as an animated sequence in Beau is Afraid nods to Invention for Destruction.

Mr. Klein by Joseph Losey: Aster believes this is one of the greatest Holocaust films and gets as close to Kafka and his primary theme as possible, a nightmare of persecution.

The New World by Terrence Malick: Aster had no words to explain his pick of this movie other than it was a transcendent experience, which is not a word he uses loosely.

Secret Sunshine by Lee Chang-Dong: According to Aster, this film is special and strange, confusing him after his first watch. Specifically, a scene in the middle of the film where the protagonist visits her son’s abductor in prison made is the scene that left a mark on Aster forever.

- This article was updated on April 21st, 2023

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.