Dudley Andrew

Professor emeritus of Comparative Literature and Film Studies, Yale University

Voted for

A City of Sadness1989Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Sansho the Bailiff1954Kenji Mizoguchi
L'Atalante1934Jean Vigo
La Règle du jeu1939Jean Renoir
Jules et Jim1962François Truffaut
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Yi Yi1999Edward Yang
Shi jie2004Jia Zhangke
Once upon a Time in Anatolia2011Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman


Sansho the Bailiff

1954 Japan

Ugetsu may be the more attractive and favoured of the two masterpieces Mizoguchi made one after the other, but Sansho is morally deeper, a genuine tragedy echoing across the ages yet tied to its post-war moment.


1934 France

Each restoration brings out additional details and poetic resonances in a film that even when mutilated carried an irrepressible imaginative élan.

La Règle du jeu

1939 France

No comment needed for the most complex and scintillating French film of all.

Jules et Jim

1962 France

Its mores have dated, as has its romanticism, but it remains the most continually inventive work of a filmmaker for whom freshness meant everything.

Citizen Kane

1941 USA

I prefer The Magnificent Ambersons, Touch of Evil andm above all, Chimes at Midnight, yet none is so stupendously organised as is Citizen Kane. It continues to carry the viewer along into its ever-darkening view of personal and national ambition.

Yi Yi

1999 Taiwan, Japan

Had I seen A Brighter Summer Day on the big screen, it likely would have been my choice, but Yi Yi's even-handedness comes off so satisfyingly across a huge screen because of its exceptional visual and narrative balance. Yang remains underrated.

Further remarks

A maddening exercise this has proved, but one with some value nevertheless. I have aimed to pass down the films that I hope will place high on the cumulative list, plus a few others I want to bring more recognition to. I assume Hitchcock and Bresson will do well without the approbation I would certainly supply. And I'm sorry not to be able to signal my admiration for Lubitsch, Buñuel, Becke, and especially Rossellini. Internalising the politics of the canon, I have played here a self-defeating game that is at once personal and social. But the exercise was, as they say, profitable.