Karsten Meinich

Critic / editor

Voted for

The Passion of Joan of Arc1927Carl Th. Dreyer
Cléo from 5 to 71962Agnès Varda
Persona1966Ingmar Bergman
Barry Lyndon1975Stanley Kubrick
Annie Hall1977Woody Allen
Blow Out1981Brian De Palma
Close-up1989Abbas Kiarostami
Jurassic Park1992Steven Spielberg
Heat1995Michael Mann
La Vie d'Adèle Chapitres 1 et 22013Abdel Kechiche


It has been a great honour, contributing my vote of 10 films to Sight & Sound's poll of "Greatest Films of All Time" in 2022. I prefer to watch films on the big screen in a dark room, but was born in 1982, so I am part of a generation that grew up with the internet and a wide range of home video options. So film history have been accessible in my time, and I am deeply grateful for it. Cinema is a source of continuous discovery to me, so making the tough choices of naming only 10 films – carving their titles into stone, so to speak, at least until 2032 – does not come easy. What about this one? What about that one? It has been too long since I saw those, are they still great? And what about the films I've yet to see? This week, for example, I discovered Kurosawa's "High and Low" (1963) for the first time, and it was magnificent – a great film. In 2021, "Petite maman" by Céline Sciamma, my favorite new film of that year – achingly beautiful and wise – a great film. And rewatching Lumière shorts can still make me dizzy with awe, seeing through their eyes how the door into a whole new art form is opened. Great films.

The selection of this 2022 canon of the greatest films of all time, is a collaborative effort of the whole body of voters selected by Sight & Sound, and by that I realized it is not the responsibility of "one". So I took that weight off of my shoulders, and chose 10 personal favorite films – great films – that I can stop my day and watch at any given moment, and that I love without hesitation. Films that offer discovery, even long after I saw them for the first time. Films that reflect the pain, joy and mysteries of human existence. Films that question these reflections, and offer stories and characters and images to share an experience of life – one that I myself might never have access to otherwise.