Jim Sinclair

Executive and artistic director, Pacific Cinémathèque, Vancouver

Canada

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

2001: A Space Odyssey

1968

Stanley Kubrick

Citizen Kane

1941

Orson Welles

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Red Shoes, The

1948

Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger

Règle du jeu, La

1939

Jean Renoir

Russian Ark

2002

Aleksandr Sokurov

Searchers, The

1956

John Ford

Tokyo Story

1953

Ozu Yasujirô

Tree of Life, The

2010

Terrence Malick

Vertigo

1958

Alfred Hitchcock

Comments

At the end of the day, I had to apply the weeping-in-my-chair test: all of these sublime films are uncommonly endowed with moments – of audacity, of emotional potency, of perfection – that make me weep with awe and sheer joy at their exhilarating artistry and power. And (the ultimate test) in each case that lachrymose aesthetic force can be reliably counted on to get stronger with every repeated viewing. Which isn’t to say that Battleship Potemkin, The Magnificent Ambersons or 8½ – or Bergman, Scorsese or, gosh, Wong or Apichatpong – were easily excluded. Nor am I at all certain that including Malick’s so far, so gobsmacking Tree of Life isn’t entirely premature. (I have to confess to loving Tree’s ‘merciful dinosaur’ scene, but it remains to be determined whether it has anything like the staying power of Kane’s Mr Bernstein recollecting that young woman in a white dress on the Jersey ferry.)

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