Scott Foundas

Critic; associate director of programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center

US

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Celine and Julie Go Boating

1974

Jacques Rivette

Citizen Kane

1941

Orson Welles

Diary of a Country Priest

1951

Robert Bresson

Godfather: Part II, The

1974

Francis Ford Coppola

In a Lonely Place

1950

Nicholas Ray

Night of the Living Dead, The

1968

George A Romero

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Pierrot le Fou

1965

Jean-Luc Godard

Shop Around the Corner, The

1940

Ernst Lubitsch

Wind Will Carry Us, The

1999

Abbas Kiarostami

Comments

A fool’s errand, as others have noted. Even as I submit this list (electronically), my jacket pockets are stuffed with scraps of hotel notepaper with dozens of other possible titles scribbled on them, not least Andrei Rublev, A Brighter Summer Day, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Lost, Lost, Lost and Syndromes and a Century. What do these and the other titles above have in common? Nothing except that they opened my own mind – and many others’ – to new possibilities in cinema, and continue to do so each time I revisit them. No matter what the word ‘cinema’ connotes by the next edition of this poll, I feel sure they will remain with us, forever in the firmament.

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