Trevor Johnston

Film Critic (Sight & Sound, Little White Lies, Radio Times, Time Out)

Voted for

Au hasard Balthazar1966Robert Bresson
L'avventura1960Michelangelo Antonioni
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Late Spring1949Yasujirō Ozu
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp1943Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Mulholland Dr.2001David Lynch
The Passion of Joan of Arc1927Carl Th. Dreyer
Skammen1968Ingmar Bergman
2001: A Space Odyssey1968Stanley Kubrick
Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock


Essentially a refinement on my 2012 selections. Some shifts in emphasis bring in different films by the same director, hence Hitchcock's Notorious made way for Vertigo whose uniquely dreamlike visual qualities and seemingly confessional themes edged it ahead, while Late Spring became the Ozu of choice for its potent engulfing sadness even though Tokyo Story will most likely remain a more popular choice. Otherwise, repeated viewings of the 4K UHD blu-ray of 200: A Space Odyssey just tipped the balance in Kubrick's favour, elbowing out Taxi Driver in the process. Otherwise, six titles are retained from 2012 and the reasons that made them great then still apply, while the twenty-first century newcomer is Lynch's Mulholland Dr. for its hallucinogenic intensity and multifarious interpretative possibilities. A modern milestone, which unfortunately meant losing the oldest title from the 2012 crop, Murnau's Sunrise. I genuinely started out with an intention to name five or even ten different titles, but faltered with the realisation that whatever came in had to be better than the film it replaced. It will be fascinating to see if fellow voters take a more courageous – or perhaps reckless? – approach to moving the cinematic canon forward.