Film critic, New Statesman
|Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
|McCabe & Mrs. Miller
|The Palm Beach Story
|Djibril Diop Mambéty
My list is 60 per cent unchanged from a decade ago. At the time of the last poll, I hadn't yet seen Christian Marclay's never-ending cine-collage The Clock. When it returned to London in 2018, I spent some of the most blissful hours of my cinema-going life (24 of them, spread across six visits) tangled up in its loop. It got in my head; I can still hear it tick-tocking. I also like the idea of these lists memorialising personal changes and experiences, some of them beyond our control. That's how Jeanne Dielman found its way into my top ten. I knew it to be a masterpiece, but I happened to see it at the cinema in January 2020 on a day that brought a footling personal crisis for me which was about to be dwarfed a million times over by a global one. (I notice only now that Akerman's film is one of five – The Clock, Groundhog Day, Safe and Touki Bouki are the others – to deal with repetitive or looping patterns of behaviour, or a quest to escape them.) Finally, I omitted Hitchcock from my 2012 list. Simply too many to choose from. Forcing myself to boil him down to one, I find it is Rear Window that continues to give me the deepest joy, as well as the creeps.