Editor in Chief
|My Neighbour Totoro
|Bringing Up Baby
|In the Cut
|Portrait of a Lady on Fire
|Song of the Sea
|E.T. The Extra-terrestrial
|Do the Right Thing
My Neighbour Totoro
As blissful and pure an experience as animated narrative cinema gets. A timeless reassurance about the freedom of child-led play and the importance of a strong connection with nature. A therapeutic tool for all the forms of grief.
Paddington or Paddington 2, I don’t mind which. A triumph of sensitive adaptation, a well-crafted blend of live-action animation, perfect casting, lively action-adventure-comedy with a perfect tonal balance.
Still a gorgeous movie for grown-ups, which for intelligent teens provides a pathway and a gateway into rich storytelling cinema.
What film cameras were made for.
Bringing Up Baby
Since 1938, writers are still struggling to come anywhere close to the glorious banter of this masterpiece.
In the Cut
The female gaze inserts herself into a gritty, messy NYC serial-killer cop procedural, with confusing, lush, erotic results.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Defined by its many gorgeous parts: diegetic sound, the literal gaze, the attention to the art of art, the notion of who gets to record history, the pace of life on an island, gradual romance meeting a hard deadline...
Song of the Sea
Captures entire worlds in its small story of a journey away and home again. The artistry is delicious and so lovingly, deeply created by a team inspired by their own myths and legends, with native language and song and art woven through. Under-appreciated.
E.T. The Extra-terrestrial
Who among us cannot find something new and telling with each rewatch of this story of a single mother in the suburbs who must protect her children at all costs, while allowing them to branch out and explore the universe around them? The greatest family film.
Do the Right Thing
A turning point for cinematic voice.
What a strange thing it is to rank art! What gets to be “the greatest” is supremely objective, as we all know – and extremely systemic, too.
Access (to the tools of the job, to the funding, to audiences), availability, education and exposure, language and regional barriers, in-built assumptions, the patriarchy, capitalism – all of these play into why certain films rise to the top. And yet, somehow, consensus happens, because ultimately (for the most part) great art breaks through.
My ten submissions, like most people’s, reflect a combination of craft factors. I was thinking about underrated genres (animation, comedy, action-adventure), about films that changed things, and that magic sauce: rewatchable likeability. They're all great AND I like them! (There are so many “great” films that leave me cold.) I do not envy your job in pulling all of our submissions together!