This year, quite to my excitement, I was asked to participate in Sight and Sound magazine’s once-per-decade poll of film critics to determine “The Ten Greatest Films of All Time.” (Previous decades’ results can be found here).
Making lists of this sort is always somewhat arbitrary. I added to the arbitrariness by saying only one film per director. In any case, six months from now the list I would make might well be quite different. Also, when I make a list like this, I inevitably forget and leave something out; there are always omissions that I later regret. Nonetheless, here is the list that I sent in this week:
- Vertigo (Hitchcock)
- Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi)
- The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis)
- Rules of the Game (Renoir)
- Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Godard)
- Ordet (Dreyer)
- Red Desert (Antonioni)
- Golden Eighties (Akerman)
- Imitation of Life (Sirk)
- Mouchette (Bresson)
Notes: Fassbinder is my all-time favorite director, but I couldn’t decide on a particular single film. Probably I should have included Berlin Alexanderplatz, but since it is a long TV miniseries, I am not sure that it would count. — I also hesitated over which Bresson film to include; I could see voting instead for A Man Escaped or Au Hazard Balthasar or The Devil Probably or L’argent.– I also regret the non-inclusion of a few runner-ups (runners-up?): Andrei Rublev (or maybe Stalker), Playtime, Celine and Julie Go Boating, India Song, The Devil is a Woman, Shock Corridor, Beau Travail, Daisies, WR:Mysteries of the Organism, Three Crowns of the Sailor, Teorema.