07 September 2013

September 2013 // a Top 100

The best hundred films ever made... for now.

A Top 100 that favours longevity, nostalgia and the strength of repeat viewings to judge a film is always destined to be conservative. That's no bad thing, of course, but as the years go by, you tend to find less time for films you've already seen, so the odds are always against new favourites.

Therein, perhaps, lies the appeal. The pretence of prestige - a personal canon - with an air of impermeability, is what makes the new discoveries all the more exciting.

Below is the list I'm submitting as part of the Filmspotting forum's annual ballot. I'm happy with it - happy, that is, with the fact it comes with limitations. The first 48 films were guaranteed - they're the lucky few to which I give top marks.

After that, things get tricky. Without time to revisit every contender, you aim for a balance between gut instinct and the notes you wrote at the time. There are nine titles included here on the strength of one viewing: casting a glance, Comrades, Days of Hope, DeseretRR; and ArchipelagoDead Ringers, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and Land and Freedom - the last four of these survived an overhaul of the list I submitted two years ago.

Filmspotting ballots are tiered; the higher up a list, the more points a film receives. To counter accusations of self-seriousness (these things are meant to be fun!) and to allow for greater fluidity (all these films are excellent!), I've alphabetised each tier.

See also: Yearly Top Tens


1
                                        10/10
French Connection, The

1971

Friedkin 
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------

to
5
Chinatown 1974 Polanski
North by Northwest 1959 Hitchcock
Rear Window 1954 Hitchcock
Singin’ in the Rain 1952 Donen/Kelly
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------
6
to
10
I Don't Want to Sleep Alone 2006 Tsai
Psycho 1960 Hitchcock
Robinson in Ruins 2010 Keiller
Rope 1948 Hitchcock
Vertigo 1958 Hitchcock
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------
11
to
20
Apocalypse Now 1979 Coppola
Blue Velvet 1986 Lynch
Children of Men 2006 Cuarón
Die Hard 1988 McTiernan
Fly, The 1986 Cronenberg
Godfather Part II, The 1974 Coppola
New World, The 2005 Malick
Police, Adjective 2009 Porumboiu
Southern Comfort 1981 Hill
Videodrome 1983 Cronenberg
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------
21
to
30
Conversation, The 1974 Coppola
Double Indemnity 1944 Wilder
Eternal Sunshine . . . 2004 Gondry
Home Alone 1990 Columbus
Kes 1969 Loach
Satan's Tango 1994 Tarr
Take It Or Leave It 1981 Robinson
Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The 1974 Hooper
Werckmeister Harmonies 2000 Tarr
Zodiac 2007 Fincher
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------
31
to
40
Alien 1979 Scott
Birds, The 1963 Hitchcock
Citizen Kane 1941 Welles
Don't Look Now 1973 Roeg
Eraserhead 1977 Lynch
Godfather, The 1972 Coppola
Jurassic Park 1993 Spielberg
Songs From the Second Floor 2000 Andersson
West Side Story 1961 Wise/Robbins
You, the Living 2007 Andersson
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------
41
to
60



Blackmail 1929 Hitchcock
Bride of Frankenstein 1935 Whale
Days of Heaven 1978 Malick
Festen 1998 Vinterberg
Frankenstein 1931 Whale
Ghostbusters 1984 Reitman
Ghostbusters II 1989 Reitman
Wicker Man, The 1973 Hardy
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - -  -  -  - -  -  -  -  -  -
                                         9/10
Damnation

1988

Tarr
Days of Hope 1975 Loach
Fargo 1996 Coen/Coen
Heat 1995 Mann
Insider, The 1999 Mann
King of Comedy, The 1983 Scorsese
London 1994 Keiller
Prestige, The 2006 Nolan
Robinson in Space 1997 Keiller
Syndromes and a Century 2006 Weerasethakul
True Confessions 1981 Grosbard
Wind That Shakes the Barley, The 2006 Loach
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------
61
to
80
Adventures of Robin Hood, The 1938 Keighley/Curtiz
Assassination of Jesse James . . . 2007 Dominik
Badlands 1973 Malick
Casablanca 1942 Curtiz
Deer Hunter, The 1978 Cimino
Deseret 1995 Benning
Gladiator 2000 Scott
In the Mood for Love 2000 Wong
Jaws 1975 Spielberg
LA Confidential 1997 Hanson
Last Year in Marienbad 1961 Resnais
Laura 1944 Preminger
Lawrence of Arabia 1962 Lean
M 1931 Lang
Price of Coal 1: Meet the People 1977 Loach
Proof of Life 2000 Hackford
Riff-Raff 1991 Loach
Seven 1995 Fincher
Third Man, The 1949 Reed
Warriors, The 1979 Hill
--------- ----------------------------------------------- ----------- ------------------
81
to 
100
All the President’s Men 1976 Pakula
Archipelago 2010 Hogg
casting a glance 2007 Benning
Circus, The 1928 Chaplin
Comrades 1986 Douglas
Dead Ringers 1988 Cronenberg
Death of Mr. Lazarescu, The 2005 Puiu
Elena 2011 Zvyagintsev
Irreversible 2002 Noé
Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949 Hamer
King Kong 1933 Cooper/Schoedsack
Land and Freedom 1995 Loach
Modern Times 1936 Chaplin
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horrors 1922 Murnau
Paris, Texas 1984 Wenders
Rebecca 1940 Hitchcock
RR 2007 Benning
Terminator, The 1984 Cameron
Thin Red Line, The 1998 Malick
Unknown, The 1927 Browning