Impossible not to take it serious when you're tagged. But equally impossible to limit the top movies to ten. I wrote down ten films at random & then, during my shift, realised they wouldn't do. Had to make geographical distinctions. Ten European. Ten American. Ten Eastern. Ten Antipodean ... but that's forty ... & what about Mexico? Iran? Egypt? Mongolia? ... where to put them? It's vertigo inducing. Anyway. Here's the ten I wrote down yesterday, & afterwards, some of the omissions:
The Night of Counting the Years
The Travelling Players
The Third Man
Days of Heaven
The Man Who Wasn't There
Nothing here by Jim Jarmusch ... Dead Man? Down by Law? Broken Flowers ... Dog Day Afternoon is not here. Nor Midnight Cowboy. Double Indemnity. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The Grifters. Rumblefish. Nothing by David Lynch ... Blue Velvet? Mulholland Drive? The Elephant Man? No Scorcese either. Only one Western. One (latter day) Noir.
It's the same when you look at the Europeans: Pasolini? Visconti? Melville? Godard? Bresson? Bergman? Where is Herzog, Fassbinder, Wim Wenders? What about Nosferatu? The Russians? Remember Burnt by the Sun? Solaris? Stalker? And the Brits, where are the Brits? David Lean. Ealing Studios. Where is Stanley Kubrick?
And now I remember The Ten Commandments & Three Colours: Blue, White, Red by Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. Ashes & Diamonds by Andrzej Wajda. A Czech film called Closely Watched Trains. Shoah, the Holocaust documentary. A French film about the trial of Adolf Eichmann.
The great early films of Zhang Yimou. Yellow Earth, Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, To Live ... Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood For Love. Dersu Uzala.
Japan, India, Africa ... it's endless ... I can't go on, I'll go on.
If I were thinking about Antipodean films I'd list ... Breaker Morant; Picnic at Hanging Rock; The Quiet Earth; Vigil; Utu; Sweetie; The Tale of Ruby Rose; The Year my Voice Broke; Mad Max; Illustrious Energy ...