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Anil Rao

The Top 50 Films of all time! Watch these to learn about the power of image!

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Conducted every 10 years, the British Film Institutes Sight & Sound magazine asks many of the leading commentators around the world on cinema, to name their top ten films. Whilst this always brings about an enormous debate about what is the best in the same way pixel peepers obsess over what is the best camera, I wanted to focus on what we can learn as image makers from these films.

Cinema is first and foremost an emotive medium based around what we see, and what is absolutely aghast to me is how little is learned from how you can compose and construct an image to matter and stir the soul, something new filmmakers don't seem to ever grasp or ever want to understand. Whilst every picture tells a story, telling a story moving pictures is an art, a science and has a deep philosophy and psychology behind it. The German's and the Russians gave us the language of cinema, the language that is still vital and important today, however the image placed next to an image is only as powerful as what the image itself is saying to begin with.

In watching the films on this list, you will be enlightened and gain an important education and thus after that, will see how you shoot your own films and images with a vast improvement. An improvement that happens because your mind has been open to new points of view and something you will never learn from a book or a school.

Enjoy them, as they are amazing, and even if they are not to all tastes, you will be bettered for doing so. :)

[b] The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time[/b]









Wednesday, 1 August 2012





[b]846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors have voted – and the 50-year reign of Kane is over. Our critics’ poll has a new number one.[/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/vertigo-1958-012-madeleine-bouquet_590.jpg[/img]

[b] Introduction[/b]

[b]Ian Christie rings in the changes in our biggest-ever poll.[/b]
And the loser is – Citizen Kane. After 50 years at the top of the Sight & Sound poll, Orson Welles’s debut film has been convincingly ousted by Alfred Hitchcock’s 45th feature Vertigo – and by a whopping 34 votes, compared with the mere five that separated them a decade ago. So what does it mean? Given that Kane actually clocked over three times as many votes this year as it did last time, it hasn’t exactly been snubbed by the vastly larger number of voters taking part in this new poll, which has spread its net far wider than any of its six predecessors.
But it does mean that Hitchcock, who only entered the top ten in 1982 (two years after his death), has risen steadily in esteem over the course of 30 years, with Vertigo climbing from seventh place, to fourth in 1992, second in 2002 and now first, to make him [i]the[/i] Old Master. Welles, uniquely, had two films (The Magnificent Ambersons as well as Kane) in the list in 1972 and 1982, but now Ambersons has slipped to 81st place in the top 100.
So does 2012 – the first poll to be conducted since the internet became almost certainly the main channel of communication about films – mark a revolution in taste, such as happened in 1962? Back then a brand-new film, Antonioni’s L’avventura, vaulted into second place. If there was going to be an equivalent today, it might have been Malick’s The Tree of Life, which only polled one vote less than the last title in the top 100. In fact the highest film from the new century is Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love, just 12 years old, now sharing joint 24th slot with Dreyer’s venerable Ordet…

[i]Ian Christie’s full essay on changing fashions on our new poll is published in the September 2012 issue of Sight & Sound, available from 3 August on UK newsstands and as a digital edition from 7 August. [url="http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/polls-surveys/greatest-films-all-time-2012"]See Nick James’s poll coverage introduction[/url] for details of our methodology. Texts below are quotations from our poll entries and magazine coverage of the top ten. Links are to the BFI[/i][i]’s Explore Film section. [/i][i]The full, interactive poll of 846 critics’ top-ten lists will be available online from 15 August, and the Directors’ poll (of 358 entries) a week later.[/i]

[b] THE TOP 50[/b]


[b] 1. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b9caca4"]Vertigo[/url][/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/vertigo-1958-007-00m-ro9-scottie-madeleine-embrace-in-front-of-waves_590.jpg[/img]
[i]Alfred Hitchcock, 1958[/i] (191 votes)
Hitchcock’s supreme and most mysterious piece (as cinema and as an emblem of the art). Paranoia and obsession have never looked better—[i]Marco Müller[/i]
After half a century of monopolising the top spot, Citizen Kane was beginning to look smugly inviolable. Call it Schadenfreude, but let’s rejoice that this now conventional and ritualised symbol of ‘the greatest’ has finally been taken down a peg. The accession of Vertigo is hardly in the nature of a coup d’état. Tying for 11th place in 1972, Hitchcock’s masterpiece steadily inched up the poll over the next three decades, and by 2002 was clearly the heir apparent. Still, even ardent Wellesians should feel gratified at the modest revolution – if only for the proof that film canons (and the versions of history they legitimate) are not completely fossilised.
There may be no larger significance in the bare fact that a couple of films made in California 17 years apart have traded numerical rankings on a whimsically impressionistic list. Yet the human urge to interpret chance phenomena will not be denied, and Vertigo is a crafty, duplicitous machine for spinning meaning…—[i]Peter Matthews[/i][i]’ opening to his new essay on Vertigo in our September issue[/i]

[b] 2. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a7a801b"]Citizen Kane[/url][/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/citizen-kane-1941-001-00o-czj-susan-great-hall-jigsaw_590.jpg[/img]
[i]Orson Welles, 1941[/i] (157 votes)
Kane and Vertigo don’t top the chart by divine right. But those two films are just still the best at doing what great cinema ought to do: extending the everyday into the visionary—[i]Nigel Andrews[/i]
In the last decade I’ve watched this first feature many times, and each time, it reveals new treasures. Clearly, no single film is the greatest ever made. But if there were one, for me Kane would now be the strongest contender, bar none—[i]Geoff Andrew[/i]
All celluloid life is present in Citizen Kane; seeing it for the first or umpteenth time remains a revelation—[i]Trevor Johnston[/i]

[b] 3. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b8908e4"]Tokyo Story[/url][/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/tokyo-story-1953-001-00m-utg-noriko-shukishi-facing-sky_590.jpg[/img]
[i]Ozu Yasujiro, 1953[/i] (107 votes)
Ozu used to liken himself to a “tofu-maker”, in reference to the way his films – at least the post-war ones – were all variations on a small number of themes. So why is it Tokyo Story that is acclaimed by most as his masterpiece? DVD releases have made available such prewar films as I Was Born, But…, and yet the Ozu vote has not been split, and Tokyo Story has actually climbed two places since 2002. It may simply be that in Tokyo Story this most Japanese tofu-maker refined his art to the point of perfection, and crafted a truly universal film about family, time and loss—[i]James Bell[/i]

[b] 4. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b41d658"]La Règle du jeu[/url][/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/regle-du-jeu-la-1939-002-00n-lcs-chaos-in-kitchen_590.jpg[/img]
[i]Jean Renoir, 1939[/i] (100 votes)
Only Renoir has managed to express on film the most elevated notion of naturalism, examining this world from a perspective that is dark, cruel but objective, before going on to achieve the serenity of the work of his old age. With him, one has no qualms about using superlatives: La Règle du jeu is quite simply the greatest French film by the greatest of French directors—[i]Olivier Père[/i]

[b] 5. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b7568ee%27"]Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans[/url][/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/sunrise-1927-001-husband-wife-boat-in-reeds-00m-lfc_590.jpg[/img]
[i]FW Murnau, 1927[/i] (93 votes)
When F.W. Murnau left Germany for America in 1926, did cinema foresee what was coming? Did it sense that change was around the corner – that now was the time to fill up on fantasy, delirium and spectacle before talking actors wrenched the artform closer to reality? Many things make this film more than just a morality tale about temptation and lust, a fable about a young husband so crazy with desire for a city girl that he contemplates drowning his wife, an elemental but sweet story of a husband and wife rediscovering their love for each other. Sunrise was an example – perhaps never again repeated on the same scale – of unfettered imagination and the clout of the studio system working together rather than at cross purposes—[i]Isabel Stevens[/i]

[b] 6. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b9450a5"]2001: A Space Odyssey[/url][/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/2001-a-space-odyssey-1968-002-00m-rnw-astronaut-adrift_590.jpg[/img]
[i]Stanley Kubrick, 1968[/i] (90 votes)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a stand-along monument, a great visionary leap, unsurpassed in its vision of man and the universe. It was a statement that came at a time which now looks something like the peak of humanity’s technological optimism—[i]Roger Ebert[/i]

[b] 7. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b54abdf"]The Searchers[/url][/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/searchers-e1956-001-00o-18t-ethan-burnt-cabin-dress_590.jpg[/img]
[i]John Ford, 1956[/i] (78 votes)
Do the fluctuations in popularity of John Ford’s intimate revenge epic – no appearance in either critics’ or directors’ top tens in 2002, but fifth in the 1992 critics’ poll – reflect the shifts in popularity of the western? It could be a case of this being a western for people who don’t much care for them, but I suspect it’s more to do with John Ford’s stock having risen higher than ever this past decade and the citing of his influence in the unlikeliest of places in recent cinema—[i]Kieron Corless[/i]

[b] 8. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a21d217"]Man with a Movie Camera[/url][/b]

[i]Dziga Vertov, 1929[/i] (68 votes)
Is Dziga Vertov’s cine-city symphony a film whose time has finally come? Ranked only no. 27 in our last critics’ poll, it now displaces Eisenstein’s erstwhile perennial Battleship Potemkin as the Constructivist Soviet silent of choice. Like Eisenstein’s warhorse, it’s an agit-experiment that sees montage as the means to a revolutionary consciousness; but rather than proceeding through fable and illusion, it’s explicitly engaged both with recording the modern urban everyday (which makes it the top documentary in our poll) and with its representation back to its participant-subjects (thus the top meta-movie)—[i]Nick Bradshaw[/i]

[b] 9. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b754db651"]The Passion of Joan of Arc[/url][/b]

[i]Carl Dreyer, 1927[/i] (65 votes)
Joan was and remains an unassailable giant of early cinema, a transcendental film comprising tears, fire and madness that relies on extreme close-ups of the human face. Over the years it has often been a difficult film to see, but even during its lost years Joan has remained embedded in the critical consciousness, thanks to the strength of its early reception, the striking stills that appeared in film books, its presence in Godard’s Vivre sa vie and recently a series of unforgettable live screenings. In 2010 it was designated the most influential film of all time in the Toronto International Film Festival’s ‘Essential 100’ list, where Jonathan Rosenbaum described it as “the pinnacle of silent cinema – and perhaps of the cinema itself”—[i]Jane Giles[/i]

[b] 10. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b25bb2b"]8½[/url][/b]

[i]Federico Fellini, 1963[/i] (64 votes)
Arguably the film that most accurately captures the agonies of creativity and the circus that surrounds filmmaking, equal parts narcissistic, self-deprecating, bitter, nostalgic, warm, critical and funny. Dreams, nightmares, reality and memories coexist within the same time-frame; the viewer sees Guido’s world not as it is, but more ‘realistically’ as he experiences it, inserting the film in a lineage that stretches from the Surrealists to David Lynch
—[i]Mar Diestro Dópido[/i]

[b] 11. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a68bd9d"]Battleship Potemkin[/url][/b]

[i]Sergei Eisenstein, 1925[/i] (63 votes)
[b] 12. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a439bc9"]L’Atalante[/url][/b]

[i]Jean Vigo, 1934[/i] (58 votes)
[b] 13. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6bfd1ebb"]Breathless[/url][/b]

[i]Jean-Luc Godard, 1960[/i] (57 votes)
[b] 14. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b69562aa2"]Apocalypse Now[/url][/b]

[i]Francis Ford Coppola, 1979[/i] (53 votes)
[b] 15. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a498bd1"]Late Spring[/url][/b]

[i]Ozu Yasujiro, 1949[/i] (50 votes)
[b] 16. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a44b82c"]Au hasard Balthazar[/url][/b]

[i]Robert Bresson, 1966[/i] (49 votes)
[b] 17= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b5b6382"]Seven Samurai[/url][/b]

[i]Kurosawa Akira, 1954[/i] (48 votes)
[b] 17= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b2deaa5"]Persona[/url][/b]

[i]Ingmar Bergman, 1966[/i] (48 votes)
[b] 19. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6bb90873"]Mirror[/url][/b]

[i]Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974[/i] (47 votes)

[b] 20. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b6036b6"]Singin’ in the Rain[/url][/b]

[i]Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951[/i] (46 votes)
[b] 21= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a6e45a7"]L’avventura[/url][/b]

[i]Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960[/i] (43 votes)
[b] 21= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b049967"]Le Mépris[/url][/b]

[i]Jean-Luc Godard, 1963[/i] (43 votes)
[b] 21= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6ab4237b"]The Godfather[/url][/b]

[i]Francis Ford Coppola, 1972[/i] (43 votes)
[b] 24= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b752105a2"]Ordet[/url][/b]

[i]Carl Dreyer, 1955[/i] (42 votes)
[b] 24= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b8485aac9"]In the Mood for Love[/url][/b]

[i]Wong Kar-Wai, 2000[/i] (42 votes)
[b] 26= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b3ec3fe"]Rashomon[/url][/b]

[i]Kurosawa Akira, 1950[/i] (41 votes)
[b] 26= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b7433c1"]Andrei Rublev[/url][/b]

[i]Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966[/i] (41 votes)
[b] 28. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b8379038e"]Mulholland Dr.[/url][/b]

[i]David Lynch, 2001[/i] (40 votes)
[b] 29= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6bf3bbfd"]Stalker[/url][/b]

[i]Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979[/i] (39 votes)
[b] 29= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b76b0507b"]Shoah[/url][/b]

[i]Claude Lanzmann, 1985[/i] (39 votes)

[b] 31= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6ab42667"]The Godfather Part II[/url][/b]

[i]Francis Ford Coppola, 1974[/i] (38 votes)
[b] 31= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b7bc1b8"]Taxi Driver[/url][/b]

[i]Martin Scorsese, 1976[/i] (38 votes)
[b] 33. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6ae61fec"]Bicycle Thieves[/url][/b]

[i]Vittoria De Sica, 1948[/i] (37 votes)
[b] 34. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6aae85f3"]The General[/url][/b]

[i]Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926[/i] (35 votes)
[b] 35= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b0544c6"]Metropolis[/url][/b]

[i]Fritz Lang, 1927[/i] (34 votes)
[b] 35= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b39fc24"]Psycho[/url][/b]

[i]Alfred Hitchcock, 1960[/i] (34 votes)
[b] 35= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b73116007"]Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles[/url][/b]

[i]Chantal Akerman, 1975[/i] (34 votes)
[b] 35= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b7d2993a2"]Sátántangó[/url][/b]

[i]Béla Tarr, 1994[/i] (34 votes)
[b] 39= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b3b75b7"]The 400 Blows[/url][/b]

[i]François Truffaut, 1959[/i] (33 votes)
[b] 39= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a90d39d"]La dolce vita[/url][/b]

[i]Federico Fellini, 1960[/i] (33 votes)

[b] 41. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b9d14d8"]Journey to Italy[/url][/b]

[i]Roberto Rossellini, 1954[/i] (32 votes)
[b] 42= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b2b59cc"]Pather Panchali[/url][/b]

[i]Satyajit Ray, 1955[/i] (31 votes)
[b] 42= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b76e98a5c"]Some Like It Hot[/url][/b]

[i]Billy Wilder, 1959[/i] (31 votes)
[b] 42= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6ab03131"]Gertrud[/url][/b]

[i]Carl Dreyer, 1964[/i] (31 votes)
[b] 42= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b310bc0"]Pierrot le fou[/url][/b]

[i]Jean-Luc Godard, 1965[/i] (31 votes)
[b] 42= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b3291db"]Play Time[/url][/b]

[i]Jacques Tati, 1967[/i] (31 votes)
[b] 42= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b7a39630e"]Close-Up[/url][/b]

[i]Abbas Kiarostami, 1990[/i] (31 votes)
[b] 48= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6f24787d"]The Battle of Algiers[/url][/b]

[i]Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966[/i] (30 votes)
[b] 48= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b8b29dbb3"]Histoire(s) du cinéma[/url][/b]

[i]Jean-Luc Godard, 1998[/i] (30 votes)
[b] 50= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6bbb8e51"]City Lights[/url][/b]

[i]Charlie Chaplin, 1931[/i] (29 votes)
[b] 50= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b94daff"]Ugetsu monogatari[/url][/b]

[i]Mizoguchi Kenji, 1953[/i] (29 votes)
[b] 50= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b7b9372f0"]La Jetée[/url][/b]

[i]Chris Marker, 1962[/i] (29 votes)

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[b]'846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors have voted – and the 50-year reign of Kane is over. Our critics’ poll has a new number one."[/b]

With an average age somewhere over 65 i'm guessing. It's not that these movies arn't all great, but a lot of them are difficult to apreciate once you have seen what's come after. Movies like Citizen Kane and 2001 were extremely innovative, but if you watch them out of context they are really sort of meh(for lack of a better word).

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WHAT ! No Lawrence Of Arabia !!! Sir David Lean and Freddie Young's master piece!
I'm not impresssed with this top 50 at all , it would be in the top 2 for me!
Yes I love Vertigo it's an amazing film, the film is beautifully shot one of Hitchcock's best

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The last, the 50th film on the list, is Chris Markers [i]La Jetée. [/i]It was also made exactly 50 years ago.

Coincidences: Chris Marker died last sunday, 29th of July 2012. He was also born on the 29th of July, 1921.

The film was the inspiration for Terry Gilliams [i]Twelve Monkeys[/i]. Coincidences and paradoxes of time.

The first Chris Marker film [i]I[/i] saw was [i]Sans Soleil[/i]. Coincidences and paradoxes of time. Long before that I had seen [i]Vertigo[/i] on tv, but never understood the film. What Scottie in [i]Vertigo[/i] tries to stop, reverse, loop and freeze is time. Marker marks this derisively open metaphor - more a repeating emotional theme - in the slow chase through San Francisco. The turns Scotties car has to make to follow the object of his desire: spirals downwards. The image, her car, always drifts out of vision. The form and the content became inseparable, the perfect film! It's there in the open: You can't stop the flow we all follow down. If you try, you cause suffering and tragedy.

The analysis crushed my cineastic naivité.

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[quote name='HurtinMinorKey' timestamp='1343933737' post='14867']
It's not that these movies arn't all great, but a lot of them are difficult to apreciate once you have seen what's come after. Movies like Citizen Kane and 2001 were extremely innovative, but if you watch them out of context they are really sort of meh(for lack of a better word).
[/quote]

Agreed. It's more like a "Best Films Of All Time At Their Time" list.

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Whilst the point of this post was to address image construction and what we can learn from them, and not launch into the obvious tit for tat, I have to wholeheartedy disagree with the 'hard to appreciate with what's come after' or 'best of all time at their time'. What better films are you referring to and by what sentiment are you evaluating them under. These films were made by artisans who did not rely upon magic bullet or any other app or plug in or cgi, to achieve such greatness, that's what makes them so evocative for me. Without the digital tools of today or such easy editing applications to pick and choose from what magnitude could be reached by most people, very little. These films shine because they pushed boundaries, boundaries whether it was at the time of their making or not, wipe the floor of most films being outputed today. I liken them to having to work it all out and still make it work, amaze and awe, whereas today everyone can use a calculator and have the work done for them! Guess I'm just old school :)

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Ok so the directors polled amassed to this top 10 :)

[b] The 2012 Sight & Sound Directors’ Top Ten[/b]









Thursday, 2 August 2012
[b]The 10 Greatest Films of All Time, as chosen by 358 directors including Woody Allen, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Quentin Tarantino, the Dardenne brothers, Terence Davies, Guillermo del Toro, Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assayas, Michael Mann, Guy Maddin, Francis Ford Coppola, Mike Leigh, Aki Kaurismäki…[/b]

[img]http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/image/tokyo-story-1953-002-00o-2tn-two-woman-sitting_590.jpg[/img]

[b] 1. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b8908e4"]Tokyo Story[/url][/b]

[i]Ozu Yasujirô, 1953[/i] (48 votes; pictured above)
Subtle and sensitive, Tokyo Story lets the viewer experience the tensions and demands that modern life makes on people – here family members—[i]Adoor Gopalakrishnan[/i]

[b] 2. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b9450a5"]2001: A Space Odyssey[/url][/b]

[i]Stanley Kubrick, 1968[/i] (42 votes)
This is the film I’ve seen more than any other in my life. 40 times or more. My life altered when I discovered it when I was about 7 in Buenos Aires. It was my first hallucinogenic experience, my great artistic turning-point and also the moment when my mother finally explained what a foetus was and how I came into the world. Without this film I would never have become a director—[i]Gaspar Noé[/i]

[b] 3. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6a7a801b"]Citizen Kane[/url][/b]

[i]Orson Welles, 1941[/i] (41 votes)
Welles’s feat of imagination in Citizen Kane remains dazzling and inspiring. Cinema aspiring to great art, political import – and delivered with unabashed showmanship. The fervour of the work is as excited and electric as ever. The thriller plot never disappoints—[i]Kenneth Branagh[/i]

[b] 4. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b25bb2b"]8½[/url][/b]

[i]Federico Fellini, 1963[/i] (40 votes)
8½ is a film I saw three times in a row in the cinema. This is chaos at its most elegant and intoxicating. You can’t take your eyes off the screen, even if you don’t know where it’s heading. A testament to the power of cinema: you don’t quite understand it but you give yourself up to let it take you wherever—[i]Pen-Ek Ratanaruang[/i]
A true classic has to be both intimate and universal. To speak about cinema through cinema requires a voice unwavering in its passion and purity. 8½ speaks as much about life as it does about art – and it makes certain to connect both. A portrait of the teller and his craft – a lustful, sweaty, gluttonous poem to cinema—[i]Guillermo del Toro[/i]

[b] 5. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b7bc1b8"]Taxi Driver[/url][/b]

[i]Martin Scorsese, 1976[/i] (34 votes)
A film so vivid, hypnotic and corrosive that it feels forever seared onto your eyeballs, Taxi Driver turns a city, a time and a state of mind into a waking nightmare that’s somehow both horribly real and utterly dreamlike—[i]Edgar Wright[/i]

[b] 6. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b69562aa2"]Apocalypse Now[/url][/b]

[i]Francis Ford Coppola, 1979[/i] (33 votes)
Coppola evoked the high-voltage, dark identity quest, journeying into overload; the wildness and nihilism – all captured in operatic and concrete narrative, with the highest degree of difficulty. A masterpiece—[i]Michael Mann[/i]

[b] 7= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6ab4237b"]The Godfather[/url][/b]

[i]Francis Ford Coppola, 1972[/i] (31 votes)
A classic, but I never tire of it. The screenplay is just so watertight, and Michael’s journey is one of the best protagonist arcs ever created—[i]Justin Kurzel[/i]

[b] 7= [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6b9caca4"]Vertigo[/url][/b]

[i]Alfred Hitchcock, 1958[/i] (31 votes)
[These are the scenes or aspects I usually think about in the movies I have thought about most often…] In Vertigo, after he’s worked so hard to remake her and finally she emerges: hair dyed platinum, grey suit, misty lens. It’s her!—[i]Miranda July[/i]

[b] 9. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6bb90873"]Mirror[/url][/b]

[i]Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974[/i] (30 votes)
I must have been around 13 when I first watched Mirror. This time I realised that there are films that are not even meant to be ‘understood’. It’s the poetry of cinema in its purest form, on a very delicate verge of being pretentious – which makes its genius even more striking—[i]Alexei Popogrebsky[/i]

[b] 10. [url="http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6ae61fec"]Bicycle Thieves[/url][/b]

[i]Vittorio De Sica, 1949[/i] (29 votes)
My absolute favourite, the most humanistic and political film in history—[i]Roy Andersson[/i]

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[quote name='Anil Rao' timestamp='1343967683' post='14900']
I have to wholeheartedy disagree with the 'hard to appreciate with what's come after' or 'best of all time at their time'.
[/quote]

The true treasures are recognized by few, but there is no point in evangelizing. I do like Tarantino also, for example, but I never understood, why today [i]Once Upon A Time In America[/i] by Sergio Leone is considered outmoded. The unfolding of a gigantic plot - 3 hours 49 minutes -, with lots of epic subplots, was made compact and even thrilling by the montage (which following Eisenstein doesn't mean cutting together a linear storyline, but [i]composing[/i] wide arcs of thoughts, emotions and abstract ideas out of contradictory elements). The telephone rings, but which, when and for whom? This technique was clearly covered in [i]Kill Bill[/i]. And of course Leone knew [i]Citizen Kane[/i] and adopted the narration technique. Orson Welles felt like a renaissance artist, and non-chronologic narrations had become [i]hip[/i] in the renaissance.

When today the kids load another ten thousand songs on their iPhones, unaware that most of them are digitally spiced up copies of classic pop songs whose garage band names sound outmoded to them, they prove the saying that everywhere there are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants ...

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[quote name='Anil Rao' timestamp='1343967683' post='14900']
These films were made by artisans who did not rely upon magic bullet or any other app or plug in or cgi, to achieve such greatness, that's what makes them so evocative for me. Without the digital tools of today or such easy editing applications to pick and choose from what magnitude could be reached by most people, very little.
[/quote]

I definitely agree and acknowledge the tremendous achievements of these films. But that's exactly why I say this list is really more of a "Greatest Films At Their Time", or maybe "Greatest Accomplishments in [i]Filmmaking[/i] Of All Time" list.

It isn't intended for the viewer of a film to think about how difficult or innovative it was for the filmmakers, or how easy it is for everyone to do now. The viewer should be immersed in the film and in what is going on in the story. So in judging the true greatest films of all time, I think all the considerations of how difficult or innovative they were should go out the window. But that's just how I see it.

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[quote name='sfrancis928' timestamp='1344121589' post='14960']
[color=#ff0000]It isn't intended[/color] for the viewer of a film [color=#ff0000]to think[/color] about how difficult or innovative it was for the filmmakers, or how easy it is for everyone to do now. The viewer should [color=#0000ff]be[/color] immersed in the film and in what is going on in the story. So in judging the true greatest films of all time, I think all the considerations of how difficult or innovative they were should go out the window. But that's just how I see it.
[/quote]

Warner has an intro tune that is known with the lyrics [i]the fundamental things apply as time goes by[/i].
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnBbcnPNEus[/media]

If you don't live with history awareness, you are drawn with the maelstrom of mainstream. The "times" are not a-changing, only fashions and appearances ever change. Surfaces. Without any active exploring of the signs of the past (on which the present is based) you are a prisoner of time, only able to let yourself be overwhelmed by the newest hype, which is not, absolutely not, the last word on the subject, only the latest, and never wiser, smarter or more charitable than what was done before.

Everyone can benefit by opening his mind for the meanings behind the things, by stopping to be impressed by mere surfaces. You can immerse yourself in a good novel, and then it can even be an old one like [i]Moby Dick[/i], one which has no superficial connection to your everyday routine. You will see films with more patience and open-mindedness, and you will suddenly realize that all films are dealing with the mysteries of time, that all films always happen [i]now[/i], even if they are 76 years old like [i]Modern Times[/i] (just try to imagine a satire about the absurdness of our current societies of this power and inventiveness - is there anything comparable? And do the tragicomic events not make you laugh and touch you still?).

The lyrics above are from the film [i]Casablanca[/i] from 1942. It is easy to reject it for it's unmodernness. It isn't [i]Hangover[/i]. Then you don't imagine the turmoil that people were in then and what this film meant to them. But: If you [i]try[/i] to imagine, your reward will be great. The film was - inflation-adjusted - one of the most successful of all times, it dealt with problems (in the background) the people then were confronted with. Mark just one film of the last years that accomplished this!

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I'm not saying we shouldn't acknowledge movies like Citizen Kane as some of the greatest achievements in filmmaking history. I'm just saying that as time goes on, we improve based on what we've learned from history's examples. We're just better at making films these days, and that comes from both technology and what we've learned from historic films like Kane.

I'm all for a list that celebrates historically great films. It's just that the bar naturally rises over time, and that's a good thing. Maybe it'll top off someday, kinda like novel writing. But we are still learning the secrets of the craft, and the technology continues to improve, so we haven't reached that point yet.

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[quote name='sfrancis928' timestamp='1344212214' post='15010']
... as time goes on, we improve based on what we've learned from history's examples. We're just better at making films these days, and that comes from both technology and what we've learned from historic films like Kane.[/quote]

If we were better at making films today, we had better films today. Can you name a better film than [i]Vertigo[/i]?

[quote name='sfrancis928' timestamp='1344212214' post='15010'][...]
It's just that the bar naturally rises over time...[/quote]

... and limbo dancing becomes easier.

[quote name='sfrancis928' timestamp='1344212214' post='15010'][...]
... and the technology continues to improve ...
[/quote]

The narrational techniques have been improved by sound and color, everything since then is just improving the quality. The digital effects are of course way better than Hitchcocks awful rear projection, but since you want to believe, you believe. The colors in Vertigo are better than anything the highest paid colorist could do today, although they had to be done on-set.

I ask you to name a modern film that tops [i]Vertigo[/i]. This could help this discussion.
http://vimeo.com/17631561

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