We’re showing Vertigo this coming Sunday for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s a great film. Perfect Hitchcock – style, intrigue, suspense, Jimmy Stewart and tense music (plus a brilliant poster by graphic designer Saul Bass).
Plus it’s all about mistaken identity (see Mel’s blog post).
We’re also showing it because Vertigo was voted the greatest film of all time in the 2012 BFI critics’ top 250 films poll. This list is something the BFI’s Sight&Sound Magazine get critics to vote on every 10 years. Until now, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane has come out top every time since the poll started in the early sixties.
But this list is not without its critics. Very few of the films in the 250, let alone the top ten, are from the last 40 years. Female film-makers don’t get much of a look-in, and it’s all quite “Anglo” – American and European, with a smattering of Asian films.
So this got us thinking… What are our Greatest Films of All Time (this is how they write it on their website – I’m surprised it’s not trademarked!)? What are your Greatest Films of All Time? You’ll have a chance to vote in our own poll on Sunday, so start sifting through those cinematic memories…
In the meantime, here are my choices, though I could be persuaded/bribed to include other things. They are films I think stand up as Great films, not just my favourites, though I’m no film critic, that’s for sure. Thinking of a top ten was quite easy. Putting them into order very hard!
1. Jaws (Spielberg 1975)
It’s my number 1 because it’s infinitely watchable. The plot’s great, the characters are great, the acting’s great, it’s still terrifying and the tension is expertly managed.
2. Rear Window (Hitchcock 1964)
The way this is all focused on one very claustrophobic location but still manages to include such suspense just shows how good Hitchcock was at cinema. He invented so much of what is now standard. And I like Grace Kelly’s dresses.
3. Oldboy (Park 2003)
As disturbing and violent as it is funny and kooky, I think this is a masterpiece of cinema.
5. The Shining (Kubrick 1980)
Kubrick is legendary in his perfection, and I really appreciate the way this film looks. And it still scares me shitless! Looking forward to seeing it on the big screen very soon.
6. Get Carter (Hodges 1971)
Sooo stylish and so British. Another wonderful soundtrack too.
EDIT 2/11/12 – I meant The Ipcress File (Furie 1965)! Though Get Carter’s good too, of course.
7. A Prophet (Audiard 2009)
This film blew me away the first time I saw it. Very powerful indeed, though I’ve not seen it for a while, so I don’t know if it will stand the test of time.
8. Dead Man’s Shoes (Meadows 2004)
10. There Will Be Blood (Anderson 2007)
Another film that can be watched many times and there’s always more to learn.
I notice that my top ten is very male (there are hardly any women even in the films, apart from Jackie Brown!). It is really serious and quite dark – what does this say about me?! Anyhow, I am pleased that four out of my ten are from the last ten years. It shows I’ve been paying attention.