Friday, December 22, 2006

My top 140 (or so) films

Maybe it's just the something about season that enourages nostalgia and sentimentality verging on the maudlin, but I spent a sheepish couple of hours the other day listing my all-time favourite films, insofar as my creaking memory allows.
So, just for the record, here they are, in chronological order (no apologies, no justifications, no explanations):

(* = Top 6 )
Nosferatu (FW Murnau) (1922)
The Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein) (1925)
*Metropolis (Fritz Lang) (1927)
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz) (1942)
2001, A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick) (1968)
Kes (Ken Loach) (1969)
A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick) (1971)
Aguirre, Wrath of God (Werner Herzog) (1972)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman) (1975)
Star Wars (George Lucas) (1977)
Eraserhead (David Lynch) (1977)
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola) (1979)
The Tin Drum (Volker Schlondorff) (1979)
The Elephant Man (David Lynch) (1980)
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa) (1980)
Gregory's Girl (Bill Forsyth) (1981)
Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix) (1981)
Fitzcarraldo (Werner Hertzog) (1982)
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Stephen Spielberg) (1982)
Pink Floyd The Wall (Alan Parker) (1982)
Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio) (1982)
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott) (1982)
Gandhi (Richard Attenborough) (1982)
Educating Rita (Louis Gilbert) (1983)
Nineteen Eighty-Four (Michael Radford) (1984)
A Passage to India (David Lean) (1984)
The Company of Wolves (Neil Jordan) (1984)
Yellow Earth (Kaige Chen) (1984)
Birdy (Alan Parker) (1985)
* My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears) (1985)
Room With A View (James Ivory) (1985)
Kiss of the Spider Woman (Hector Babenco) (1985)
Ran (Akira Kurosawa) (1985)
Brazil (Terry Gilliam) (1985)
Jean de Florette (Claude Berri) (1986)
Manon des Sources (Claude Berri) (1986)
Mona Lisa (Neil Jordan) (1986)
The Mission (Roland Jofe) (1986)
The Name of the Rose (Jean-Jacques Annaud) (1986)
Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders) (1987)
Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (Stephen Frears) (1987)
Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson) (1987)
How to Get Ahead in Advertising (Bruce Robinson) (1987)
Maurice (James Ivory) (1987)
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (Jack Clayton) (1987)
Dangerous Liaisons (Stephen Frears) (1988)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Philip Kaufman) (1988)
* Jesus of Montreal (Denys Arcand) (1989)
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Peter Greenaway) (1989)
My Left Foot (Jim Sheridan) (1989)
She-Devil (Susan Seidelman) (1989)
* Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton) (1990)
The Handmaid's Take (Volker Schlondorff) (1990)
Life us Sweet (Mike Leigh) (1990)
Wild at Heart (David Lynch) (1990)
Awakenings (Penny Marshal) (1990)
The Commitments (Alan Parker) (1991)
My Own Private Idaho (Gus van Sant) (1991)
Kafka (Stephen Soderbergh) (1991)
The Adjuster (Atom Egoyen) (1991)
Raise the Red Lantern (Yimou Zhang) (1991)
The Crying Game (Neil Jordan) (1992)
Peter's Friends (Kenneth Brannagh) (1992)
Orlando (Sally Potter) (1992)
Howards End (James Ivory) (1992)
Schindler's List (Stephen Spielberg) (1993)
Three Colours, Blue (Krysztov Kieslowski) (1993)
Farewell My Concubine (Kaige Chen) (1993)
Naked (Mike Leigh) (1993)
The Buddha of Suburbia (Roger Mitchell) (1993)
The Snapper (Stephen Frears) (1993)
The Piano (Jane Campion) (1993)
The Remains of the Day (James Ivory) (1993)
In the Name of the Father (Jim Sheridan) (1993)
Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliot) (1994)
Three Colours, Red (Krysztov Kieslowski) (1994)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alfonso Cuaron) (1994)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell) (1994)
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino) (1994)
Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee) (1995)
The English Patient (Anthony Minghella) (1996)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle) (1996)
Fire (Deepa Mehta) (1996)
The Van (Stephen Frears) (1996)
A Life Less Ordinary (Danny Boyle) (1997)
Smilla's Sense of Snow (Bille August) (1997)
Oscar and Lucinda (Gillian Armstrong) (1997)
Wilde (Brian Gilbert) (1997)
Shakespeare In Love (John Madden) (1998)
Elizabeth (Shekhar Kapur) (1998)
Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer) (1998)
Earth (Deepa Mehta) (1998)
American Beauty (Sam Mendes) (1999)
The Matrix (Andy & Larry Wachowski) (1999)
Titus (Jule Taymor) (1999)
Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze) (1999)
* Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier) (2000)
Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry) (2000)
Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky) (2000)
X-Men (Bryan Singer) (2000)
A Beautiful Mind (Ron Howard) (2001)
K-PAX (Iain Softley) (2001)
Iris (Richard Eyre) (2001)
Shrek (Andrew Adamson) (2001)
Winged Migration (Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud) (2001)
The Shipping News (Lasse Hallstrom) (2001)
* Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson) (2001-3)
Bend It Like Beckham (Gurinder Chadha) (2002)
Hero (Yimou Zhang) (2002)
The Hours (Stephen Daldry) (2002)
Whale Rider (Niki Caro) (2002)
Bollywood Hollywood (Deepa Mehta) (2002)
City of God (Fernando Meirelles) (2002)
Spider (David Kronenberg) (2002)
Adaptation (Spike Jonze) (2002)
Spiderman (Sam Raimi) (2002)
The Fast Runner: Atanarjuat (Zacharias Kunuk) (2002)
Possession (Neil LaBute) (2002)
Ararat (Atom Egoyen) (2002)
Big Fish (Tim Burton) (2003)
Lost In Translation (Sofia Coppola) (2003)
Girl with a Pearl Earring (Peter Webber) (2003)
Mystic River (Clint Eastwood) (2003)
21 Grams (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) (2003)
The Incredibles (Brad Bird) (2004)
The House of Flying Daggers (Yimou Zhang) (2004)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry) (2004)
Crash (Paul Haggis) (2004)
The Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles) (2004)
Stage Beauty (Richard Eyre) (2004)
Bride and Prejudice (Gurinder Chadha) (2004)
Water (Deepa Mehta) (2005)
Sin City (Frank Miller) (2005)
Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright) (2005)
The Constant Gardener (Fernando Meirelles) (2005)
Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee) (2005)
Bon Cop Bad Cop (Eric Canuel) (2006)
Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro) (2006)
A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater) (2006)
Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron) (2006)
The Queen (Stephen Frears) (2006)
Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris) (2006)
The History Boys (Nicholas Hytner) (2006)
Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre) (2006)
Last King of Scotland (Kevin MacDonald) (2006)

What? No "Citizen Kane" or "The Godfather"? Distinct paucity of Hollywood action blockbusters. Clear 1980's British bias? Like I say, no apologies, no justifications, no explanations. I am not a student of film, just a consumer. And I am a product of my age and my upbringing. And no, films are not necessarily getting better, it's just that, like most people, I remember more recent ones better.
The exercise did make me realize what a lot of good films I have seen in my time, though.

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