Mark Sinker

Writer; editor

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Communion

1989

Philippe Mora

Eraserhead

1976

David Lynch

Lady from Shanghai, The

1947

Orson Welles

Long Goodbye, The

1973

Robert Altman

Maborosi

1995

Koreeda Hirokazu

Messenger: the Story of Joan of Arc, The

1999

Luc Besson

Pirates of the Caribbean III: At World's End

2007

Gore Verbinski

Police Story

1985

Jackie Chan

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End

1980

Steve Robert

Thing, The

1982

John Carpenter

Comments

There are films that matter historically. There are films that mark what all the world agrees is greatness. And there are films that do something you hadn’t seen before, that catch at you and divert you and teach you something you didn’t know: a performance, a move, a feel, a sound, a view, a device. It might be small (it may not). Perhaps it eats through expectation at an odd angle, in a film you anticipated nothing from. Glenn Anders, giggly, perverse and sweaty in Shanghai. The vast, grindingly gorgeous whole-cloth mythology in Pirates III, with the franchise figurines chirruping like ghosts in front of it. Milla Jovovich’s breakneck teenage martyrdom in Messenger, and why the hard-bitten French army is captivated by it. In Rawlinson, the treacle-black surreal concentrate of the history of British comic writing and performance. Walken cracking up in Communion, jerkily hallucinating a silly-weird story of alien abduction that his family prefers to the notion of his being badly mad (as in fact do we). The anti-noir daylight ambience of modern evil in The Long Goodbye, and the innocent, incorruptible drift of Elliott Gould’s honesty, his near-passive soft-shoe refusal. Sometimes other people get it (Police Story, Maborosi); sometimes everyone does (Eraserhead, The Thing).

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