The BFI has just published its new list of The Best Films Ever, voted for every ten years by critics, programmers, academics and distributors. For the first time in 50 years, Citizen Kane is not top of the list. That accolade now belongs to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
I’ll let you browse the list yourself, but what I found interesting is that in the top 10, the most recent film is from 1968 (Kubrick’s 2001), and I wonder what this might say to us about film-making in the last 50 years. Has the blockbuster taken over to such an extent that film-making as an art form is no longer recognised? Do we expect different things from our film-makers now? Is it a matter of finance? Or distribution?
I don’t know the answers, but I do know these things:
I would have voted for Out Of The Past (1947), which doesn’t feature in the top 50 at all but is glorious film noir with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas, Battleship Potemkin (1925) which finished in the 11th spot, and The Godfather (1972 – joint 21st).
My list of ‘Films I Need To See’ has suddenly got huge – of the top 50, I’ve seen 15. Shame on me.
Greatest Films Ever – how would you vote?