Michael Campi

Film festival programming consultant. Retired Pharmacist.

Voted for

Sherlock Jr.1924Buster Keaton
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans1927F.W. Murnau
L'Atalante1934Jean Vigo
The Scarlet Empress1934Josef von Sternberg
ORIZURU OSEN1935Kenji Mizoguchi
Late Spring1949Yasujirō Ozu
Madame de...1953Max Ophuls
Some Came Running1958Vincente Minnelli
Gertrud1964Carl Th. Dreyer


Since the first Sight and Sound poll of the best films ever made, the number and range of new works involving moving images have grown in so many directions, rediscoveries of films from the first half of the twentieth century keep expanding our awareness of what has gone before, reassessment of more than a century of cinema is ongoing while the very means by which we can enjoy and examine all of these riches has developed exponentially in the digital age. In social media posts and other commentaries in recent months, the impossibility of deciding on a definitive top ten films of all time is very apparent. That comes as no surprise. My selection reflects my feelings as of early August 2022 and has changed a little in the last couple of weeks as well. It's a snapshot of what seems to be the ten most important films to me in various ways but undoubtedly will keep evolving sooner than later. Some might think that the large number of black and white pre-widescreen films might reflect living through two and a half years of a pandemic with significant lockdowns, a narrowing view of a bleaker world. I'm happy to have included some wider and more colourful horizons. The concerning, most regrettable aspect is that so many great filmmakers are not represented here. My apologies to them and their genius. Tomorrow and the days after they may return to another top ten or preferably twenty. The masterworks of John Ford, Jean Renoir, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, Howard Hawks, Ernst Lubitsch, Abbas Kiarostami, Edward Yang, Sergei Eisenstein, Bernardo Bertolucci, Charles Chaplin, Patricio Guzmán, Luchino Visconti etc. all deserve a place in any pantheon. A permanent and unique top ten films of all time seems impossible but perhaps this indeed is one of the rules of the game.