Ian Penman

Critic; archivist, Museum of Loneliness

UK

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

cercle rouge, Le

1970

Jean-Pierre Melville

Funeral, The

1996

Abel Ferrara

In a Year of 13 Moons

1978

Rainer Werner Fassbinder

It's a Gift

1934

Norman Z McLeod

New Leaf, A

1970

Elaine May

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

1973

Sam Peckinpah

Producers, The

1968

Mel Brooks

Sicilia!

1998

Jean-Marie Straub/Danièle Huillet

Trans Europ Express

1966

Alain Robbe-Grillet

Trash

1970

Andy Warhol

Comments

“The feeling of strangeness that overcomes the actor before the camera… is basically of the same kind as the estrangement felt before one’s own image in the mirror.” – Walter Benjamin List making of this sort is an impossible and fearful task. The only Sight & Sound top tens I ever noticed in previous decades were the little self-portraits in list form, rather the ones striving toward some grand canonical presentation – the half-forgotten polaroid in a drawer rather than the commandment from on high. Small movements or gestures in films – moments of unlikely energy, reflection, emptying or light – can affect you way out of proportion to their supposed ‘importance’. Or, as Manny Farber might have it – the vigour and surprise of “termite art” over the smugness and excess of “white elephant art”.

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top