Kent Jones

Critic; filmmaker


Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Fanny and Alexander


Ingmar Bergman

Magnificent Ambersons, The


Orson Welles

Musketeers of Pig Alley, The


D.W. Griffith



Alfred Hitchcock



Robert Bresson

Puppetmaster, The


Hsiao-hsien Hou

Raging Bull


Martin Scorsese

Rio Bravo


Howard Hawks



Claude Lanzmann



Michael Snow


In the furious effort to whittle lists like this down to ten, one becomes immediately aware of what is not there. In my case, the most painful omissions are: Sunrise, The Shop Around the Corner, Paisà, Journey to Italy, The River (Renoir), The Searchers, Nicht versöhnt, 2001, Belle de jour, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Histoire(s) du cinéma. Consider the above ‘official’ list as a momentary freeze-frame of one side of an endlessly spinning coin with these alternates on the flipside – along with the collected works of Brakhage, Cassavetes, Conner, Frampton, Frank, Ozu, Powell with and without Pressburger from The Edge of the World through The Small Back Room, Val Lewton from Cat People through Bedlam, the best of the Freed Unit from 1944 to 1955 (ie the best Minnelli and Donen/Kelly titles), the best of pre-code Warner Brothers, about four or five other Hawks films and ten or 11 other Hitchcocks. That’s still leaving out a lot. So, why choose the ‘official’ chronologically ordered ten? It’s certainly not because of any certitude in the matter of ranking. Maybe it’s because they seem to me to contain so much – the summation of so much before and after them, the urges and predilections and wild surges happening around them.

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