Steve Gravestock

Senior programmer, Toronto International Film Festival; Contributing editor, Cinema Scope

Canada

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Bringing Up Baby

1938

Howard Hawks

Calendar

1993

Atom Egoyan

Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz, The

1955

Luis Buñuel

High Tide

1987

Gillian Armstrong

Lacombe, Lucien

1974

Louis Malle

Muhammad Ali: The Greatest

1975

William Klein

Nashville

1975

Robert Altman

Passion of Joan of Arc

1927

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Phantom of the Paradise, The

1974

Brian De Palma

Videodrome

1983

David Cronenberg

Comments

I just went with what meant most to me personally, because, ultimately, that’s all you have anyway – and I’m pretty sure that’s what most people do in the end. Nashville is the most audacious American movie from the most adventurous period in American cinema and a great, prescient meditation on the decline of political discourse in the US. Passion is the greatest silent film ever made, one of the most stunning technical achievements in movie history – and Falconetti’s performance is probably the greatest like ever. Bringing Up Baby is the best screwball comedy and the best movie from the second greatest period in American cinema. Lacombe, Lucien is one of the bravest films ever made, and one of the most moral. Gillian Armstrong’s High Tide is probably the finest movie about parenthood and features Judy Davis in the second greatest performance in film history. Phantom of the Paradise presents capitalism as devil worship – how could I not include it? Videodrome, like Phantom, argues that paranoia is the only sane response to the current epoch, which is kind of an impossible position to disagree with. The Criminal Life of Archibaldo De La Cruz is the funniest dissection of faith ever made, from possibly the medium’s greatest artist. Calendar is, for me, the best, wittiest film by one of the world’s most intelligent filmmakers. Muhammad Ali: The Greatest is the best film about the politics of sports.

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