Every ten years the British Film Institute (BFI) ask film critics to select what they believe to be the ten greatest films of all time – the results of this survey are then published in Sight And Sound (the BFI magazine).
Between 1962 and 2002 Citizen Kane held the number one spot, in 2012 Hitchcock’s Vertigo pushed Citizen Kane into second place. I’ve heard a few reasons why this might have happened after so many years – for a start the BFI have widened the range of people who they asked to participate and now include film directors and academics as well as film critics. Another reason suggested is that, partly due to the last point, the films have been nominated on an emotional response to the work than a more technical reading.
I have never really understood why Citizen Kane has been regarded so highly for so long. Yes, there is a huge amount of fancy camera work, but much of it had already been pioneered during the silent era. The story of one man’s drive to achieve greatness, leading to hubris and the realisation that in the end status means nothing if simple pleasures and happiness are sacrificed, is hardly revelatory. It is still too high up the list in my opinion. So thank goodness that a truly great film has taken the number one spot after all these years – obsession, murder, deception, dream/nightmare, fear, loss, longing and illusion – there is so much more to get your teeth into!
So – Which films would you pick as your top ten?
How many from the list have you seen and how many would you like to see?
And are there any films missing which should be on the list, and ones that definitely should not?
Have a look – agree, disagree, debate. All two hundered and fifty films are listed Here:- The Greatest Films Poll 2012
If you want to see this year’s top ten broken down in various ways or want to have a look at any previous top ten, try here:- The Top Ten
Or for another BFI page including comments from around the Web (they do like spreading it about a bit, don’t they!), try here:- More on the Poll