Anne Gjelsvik

Professor in film studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Norway

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Apocalypse Now

1979

Francis Ford Coppola

Best Years of Our Lives, The

1946

William Wyler

Brief Encounter

1945

David Lean

City Lights

1931

Charles Chaplin

Godfather: Part I, The

1972

Francis Ford Coppola

Once Upon a Time in the West

1968

Sergio Leone

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Règle du jeu, La

1939

Jean Renoir

Spirit of the Beehive, The

1973

Víctor Erice

Wild Strawberries

1957

Ingmar Bergman

Comments

A list without Werner Herzog, Alfred Hitchcock, Terrence Malick and Wim Wenders – all among my favourite directors – and without any female directors; how is this even possible? Having to select only ten movies was harder than I imagined. However, aside from a somewhat melodramatic touch. I think the list does credit to the diversity that describes great filmmaking: the wonder of love, the terror of war, remembering what it’s like to be a child, learning what it means to become old, the coldness of loneliness or, how unfulfilled love can be meaningful. My list spans the grandiose and the intimate, the realistic and the allegorical. Some films are remembered for the imagery, others for their stories or their characters – all of them for teaching me about life. I learned to love the movies through Hollywood. This – and the fact that I am Scandinavian – has made my choices less international than I would have wished. (No Russians, no films from Asia.) But leaving out Bergman and Dreyer would have been impossible.

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