BFI Greatest Films Meme

Minor controversy in the film nerd world broke out recently when the once-a-decade BFI film poll unseated reigning champion Citizen Kane in favor of Hitchcock’s most personal of films, Vertigo (Kane had held the top spot for 5 polls… 50 years is still a pretty impressive run though). Personally, Vertigo is a middle tier Hitchcock film (lesser Hitch?), as there are at least 5-10 other Hitchcock movies I’d put ahead of that one. But on the other hand, I’d probably opt to rewatch Vertigo over Citizen Kane (though I agree that both movies are pretty darn good!) In any case, all the cool kids are showing off their filmic bona fides by listing out which of the top 50 BFI movies they’ve seen. Sad to say, I’ve probably seen less than I should have, but here’s what I’ve got (typical meme rules apply – bold the film if you’ve seen it):

1. Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock, 1958

2. Citizen Kane, Orson Welles, 1941

3. Tokyo Story, Ozu Yasujiro, 1953

4. La Règle du jeu, Jean Renoir, 1939

5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, FW Murnau, 1927

6. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968

7. The Searchers, John Ford, 1956

8. Man with a Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov, 1929

9. The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Dreyer, 1927

10. 8½, Federico Fellini, 1963

11. Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein, 1925

12. L’Atalante, Jean Vigo, 1934

13. Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard, 1960

14. Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola, 1979

15. Late Spring, Ozu Yasujiro, 1949

16. Au hasard Balthazar, Robert Bresson, 1966

17= Seven Samurai, Kurosawa Akira, 1954

17= Persona, Ingmar Bergman, 1966

19. Mirror, Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974

20. Singin’ in the Rain, Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951

21= L’avventura, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960

21= Le Mépris, Jean-Luc Godard, 1963

21= The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola, 1972

24= Ordet, Carl Dreyer, 1955

24= In the Mood for Love, Wong Kar-Wai, 2000

26= Rashomon, Kurosawa Akira, 1950

26= Andrei Rublev, Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966

28. Mulholland Dr., David Lynch, 2001

29= Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979

29= Shoah, Claude Lanzmann, 1985

31= The Godfather Part II, Francis Ford Coppola, 1974

31= Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese, 1976

33. Bicycle Thieves, Vittoria De Sica, 1948

34. The General, Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926

35= Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927

35= Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock, 1960

35= Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles, Chantal Akerman, 1975

35= Sátántangó, Béla Tarr, 1994

39= The 400 Blows, François Truffaut, 1959

39= La dolce vita, Federico Fellini, 1960

41. Journey to Italy, Roberto Rossellini, 1954

42= Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray, 1955

42= Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder, 1959

42= Gertrud, Carl Dreyer, 1964

42= Pierrot le fou, Jean-Luc Godard, 1965

42= Play Time, Jacques Tati, 1967

42= Close-Up, Abbas Kiarostami, 1990

48= The Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966

48= Histoire(s) du cinéma, Jean-Luc Godard, 1998

50= City Lights, Charlie Chaplin, 1931

50= Ugetsu monogatari, Mizoguchi Kenji, 1953

50= La Jetée, Chris Marker, 1962

By my count, that’s 20 out of 50, not a particularly impressive number, though nothing to be embarrassed about either. Still, there are a few on the list that I really should have seen by now (I’m looking at you, Metropolis! I’m coming for ya!) I think perhaps I’m also due for a French new wave marathon of sorts, as that’s one area of film I’m not particularly familiar with…

2 thoughts on “BFI Greatest Films Meme”

  1. I’ve only seen like nine of those, if that makes you feel better.

    I quite enjoyed Metropolis actually, although I can’t quite remember the whole thing now. I think it’s on Netflix streaming. Or it was. They switch things out.

    Mulholland Dr… at first I hated it, then I was kinda OK with it, but now I’ve decided it’s face punching time for that one again.

  2. It’s just weird that a self-professed Science Fiction nerd like myself wouldn’t have seen one of the crowning achievements of SF cinema. I’ll get to it soon, I’m sure.

    I have to say, depending on my mood, most David Lynch movies drive me to “face punching time”, though sometimes I’m willing to put up with his BS. Mulholland Dr. is no exception. I kinda love the first half of the movie, of course, and sometimes that last half rocks my world, other times, well, face punching.

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