The esteemed BFI / Sight & Sound magazine poll opened up the voting more than ever this decade and polled 846 critics, programmers, academics, and distributors for their “Critics Poll” half of “The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time” (held every decade since 1952). I was very honoured to be asked and tore my hair out for weeks trying to work out how to approach it.
The editor of Sight & Sound wrote: “As for what we mean by ‘Greatest’, we leave that open to your interpretation. You might choose the ten films you feel are most important to film history, or the ten that represent the aesthetic pinnacles of achievement, or indeed the ten films that have had the biggest impact on your own view of cinema.” – I went with the latter.
(In alphabetical order). This was unbearably difficult. I chose the films that sprang to mind first. So happy that they exist and give me goosebumps. Thinking about what’s not on this list is too much to bear – ack – nothing from the last 38 years. I’m sending it in before it drives me mad.
ANDREI RUBLEV (Andrei Tarkovsky)
AU HASARD BALTHAZAR (Robert Bresson)
LA BELLE ET LA BETE (Jean Cocteau)
A CANTERBURY TALE (Powell & Pressburger)
EARLY SUMMER (Ozu Yasujiro)
EDVARD MUNCH (Peter Watkins)
ORDET (Carl Th. Dreyer)
THE STORY OF THE LAST CHRYSANTHEMUMS (Mizoguchi Kenji)
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Stanley Kubrick)
– Nick Wrigley, England, April 2012
I love VERTIGO very much. Glad it didn’t need a push!