Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Top Ten

Every ten years, Sight & Sound, a British film magazine polls critics and film historians and comes up with a list of the ten best movies of all time. The big news from this decade's poll is that Vertigo has upset perennial winner Citizen Kane to move into the top spot.  Too, Man With a Movie Camera has knocked Potemkin off  the list.

Interesting....Okay, let's start with the obvious point.  Beyond a certain level of quality, we're really dealing with preferences here.  Still, it's fun and I need a break from Mitt Romney, mass shootings, rumors of war, and my own, ongoing financial problems.  So, let's start with the Sight & Sound list.

1. Vertigo (1958) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
2. Citizen Kane  (1941)  directed by Orson Welles
3.  Tokyo Story  (1953)  directed by Yasujiro Ozu
4.  La Regle du jeu (1939) directed by Jean Renoir, and for those who prefer the English translation, Rules of the Game
5.  Sunrise: A Story of Two Humans  (1927)  directed by F.W. Murnau
6.  2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)  directed by Stanley Kubrick
7.  The Searchers  (1956)  directed by John Ford
8.  Man With a Movie Camera  (1929)  directed by Dziga Vertov
9.  The Passion of Joan of Arc  (1927)  directed by Carl Theodore Dryer
10.  8 1/2  (1963)  directed by Federico Fellini

And now for my top ten.

1.  Sunrise: A Story of Two Humans
2. The Searchers
3.  Pandora's Box  (1929)  directed by G. W. Pabst
4.  Rules of the Game
5.  2001: A Space Odyssey
6.   Titticut Follies  (1967)  directed by Frederick Wiseman
7.  Red River  (1948)  directed by Howard Hawks
8.  Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler  (1922)  directed by Fritz Lang
9.  Pather Panchali  (1955)  directed by Satyijat Ray
10  Casablanca  (1942)  directed by Michael Curtiz

First of all, I set a rule for myself; Only one movie per director.  If not, Fort Apache and They Were Expendable both directed by John Ford could have made the list.  Also, Nosferatu by Murnau, Barry Lyndon and A Clockwork Orange by Kubrick, Grand Illusion by Renoir, and Metropolis and M by Lang could have all made the list.  Too, these are all about preferences, and mine might be different on another day.  Citizen Kane and Veritgo both belong on a top ten, that is if a top ten had twenty or more entries.  Although, I have to confess, I prefer Hitchcock's Notorious to Vertigo.  And then there are Modern Times, City Lights, and The Circus all by Chaplin.  In Titticut Follies, I had one documentary on the list, but why not Grass or Nanook of the North.  And a few shorts like D.W. Griffith's A Corner In Wheat.  And why doesn't Casablanca make these lists?  Snob factor I suspect, and I'm not exactly snobbish.  And a final confession, with the exception of Tokyo Story, I've seen every movie on the Sight & Sound list and I don't have a problem with any of the films.  They're all great movies and anyone would be foolish not to get the DVD and take a look.

One last thing.  I am a huge movie buff.  I know a lot of other movie buffs.  Most of us are under employed, perpetually broke with too much time on our hands.  A few years ago, some of us decided that we were going to start great movie list blogs.  The idea was that we could go on line and check each others tastes.  To put it mildly, most of us got bored with the chore after awhile and let it slide.  My list is still on line at  Who knows.  If I start getting visits, I might go back and add some more movies.

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