Director of Festivals (BFI London Film Festival, BFI Flare)
|The Wizard of Oz
|Imitation of Life
|Don't Look Now
|Daughters of the Dust
|Wong Kar Wai
|Portrait of a Lady on Fire
This list would turn out differently if I did it 100 times. No room today for so many of my favourites, perfect films by their own exacting standards: Safe, Cool Hand Luke, Blade Runner, Spirited Away, Harlan County USA, Hannah and Her Sisters, L'Avventura, Fanny and Alexander, Voyage to Italy, Speed, The Piano, Erin Brocovich, Melancholia, The Thin Blue Line, East of Eden, Silkwood, Brother From Another Planet, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Hidden, Code Unknown, Do the Right Thing, All About My Mother, The Shining, Don’t Look Now, Moonlight, Stop Making Sense, Chocolat, 35 Shots of Rum, White Material, The Club.
A poll of thousands of critics on the ‘Greatest’ films of all time should always throw up 1000 different lists. I am suspicious of consensus. There are films which perfectly achieve their own bold ambitious artistic aims and there are the lenses through which we view them. Personal, political, social and subject to change.
I like very much what previous editor of Sight and Sound, Nick James had to say on the breakdown of traditional ideas of canon and cinephilia: “cinephilia is not a unified belief system, but a series of subjective, overlapping, shifting individual canons held together by advocacy and debate”.
Here is to seeing a some surprises in the Top 100!