Lee Marshall

Critic, Screen International

Voted for

L'Atalante1934Jean Vigo
Badlands1973Terrence Malick
Beau travail1998Claire Denis
La ciénaga2001Lucrecia Martel
Cléo from 5 to 71962Agnès Varda
His Girl Friday1939Howard Hawks
Innocence2004Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles1975Chantal Akerman
The Night of the Hunter1955Charles Laughton
Wild Strawberries1957Ingmar Bergman


As soon as I set my ten down, I think of others. Plus I can never decide if picking the greatest ten films of all time is the same as picking my ten favourite films. Last time I was shocked to realise, when the poll came out, that all my choices were by male directors. This time, I’ve included five women’s films I love. Call it positive discrimination, call it taking the time to consider how wonderful they are.

Do all these films have something in common? I think so. Like all the greatest movies, they slip the moorings that tie them to Reality Wharf and drift into another world. Even that most ‘realist’ of films, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman does this… by making mundanity strange and unsettling.