Peter Greenaway


Voted for

Last Year at Marienbad1961Alain Resnais
1963Federico Fellini
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
The Seventh Seal1957Ingmar Bergman
Ivan the Terrible1945Sergei M. Eisenstein
Throne of Blood1957Akira Kurosawa
À bout de souffle1960Jean-Luc Godard
Blade Runner1982Ridley Scott
Gladiator2000Ridley Scott
Jules et Jim1962François Truffaut


Last Year at Marienbad

1961 France, Italy

The most “abstract" of all films that I know - contemplating memory which is all we have to steer by.

1963 Italy, France

Easily the best film about the joys and desperations of film-making.

Citizen Kane

1941 USA

This used to be the best film of all time - extraordinary for its persistent non-stop cinematic inventiveness - still holds up.

The Seventh Seal

1957 Sweden

The ideal film for the getting of wisdom for any young person setting out to discover himself or herself - history, myth, superstition, and the lottery and gamble of annihilating Death which will never leave us alone.

Ivan the Terrible

1945 USSR

Joyous, grand, heroic film-making.

Throne of Blood

1957 Japan

Exotic beyond compare.

À bout de souffle

1960 France

Extraordinary breath of fresh air that launched - tens of thousands - thousands of thousands - of film imaginations - suddenly made cinema available for anyone with a mind to make some - certainly mine.

Blade Runner

1982 USA, Hong Kong

Legitimised cinema sci-fi.


2000 USA, United Kingdom

A stereotypical public Hollywood box-office film that probably satisfied cinematic expectations more than most others - a successful very satisfying revenge movie that indeed seemed morally valid - though entirely fictional, but what does that matter?

Jules et Jim

1962 France

Great fun, joy and sorrow and great impossible longings, beautifully self-reflective and important for me - cinema is only cinema after all.

Further remarks

Here are my ‘best” 10 films - a dubious and very subjective ambition as you readily admit - undoubtedly for me mainly relevant to my intense film-going years when films were really significant on my agenda, when these films set the pace of my interests, told me that cinema was valid as an art form, that I should take a keen interest, and legitised any attempt to try and make a contribution - so it's mainly Nouvelle Vague and the Italian cinema of the seventies and eighties. These are the films that for me set up the standards and created the measuring bar.

All these movies have downsides but I am not going to itemise them here. Nonetheless they set me off exploring. And since you are hoping to establish the best film ever - then it’s LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD - a film that nowhere disappoints.

And this sort of crazy list-making made me think of the best literature ever and the best paintings ever to make me think if the same qualificating characteristics still apply. And I think they might.