Paul Schrader


Voted for

Pickpocket1959Robert Bresson
Tokyo Story1953Yasujirō Ozu
Persona1966Ingmar Bergman
La Règle du jeu1939Jean Renoir
The Conformist1970Bernardo Bertolucci
Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock
The Wild Bunch1969Sam Peckinpah
Metropolis1927Fritz Lang
The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola
The Lady Eve1941Preston Sturges


I find the decennial S&S list an invigorating critical exercise. It forces one to reevaluate films and their personal importance. The fact that there are exponentially more films to choose from complicates the task but I see no reason to expand the list. Ten is a convenient number. Boundaries focus the mind. I have a few ground rules: no film is eligible for 25 years after release, there should be one silent film and one comedy, experimental and art installation films are a separate category. What I enjoy most is the mutating nature of the lists. What makes way for the new films? How does one balance a film's impact on the history of cinema with its unique importance to you? Should The Wild Bunch supplant The Searchers? Rules of the Game give way to The Conformist? Does Kane hold up? Which Godard? Why does Hud grow in my esteem? Why did I come late to Persona? Is this the year for Performance and In The Mood for Love? For years I promoted Vertigo but was that a measure of its undervaluation or true merit?