Godin & Barquin’s Cinephile’s Choice: Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time//
10. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Sight & Sound’s greatest film remains in our top ten as it is undoubtedly one of Hitchcock’s most impressive pieces. On a technical level, it’s a damn masterpiece, sporting extremely graceful camerawork, a wildly¬†psychedelic¬†dream sequence, and a¬†very different approach to sex than the voyeuristic Rear Window. Through some standout performances from Novak and Stewart, as well as¬†Bernard Herrmann’s powerful score, Hitchcock’s dark tale presents a barrage of intense emotions that many have hoped to recreate.
9. Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
One of cinema’s great what-ifs is the directorial career of Charles Laughton. If The Night of the Hunter was any indication of things to come, the world lost a gifted visual stylist, not afraid to infuse the classical Hollywood style with heaping doses of abstract asides and expressionistic flair. With James Agee, he wrote a script chock full of uncanny Americana and fire-and-brimstone preachin’. The end result gave both Lilian Gish and Robert Mitchum memorable roles as the personification of good and evil, respectively. A singularly American expressionist fairy tale.
8. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
For all his strengths, Ingmar Bergman could be a very dour filmmaker. But Fanny and Alexander, a family drama/period piece tinged with the supernatural, is livened up by moments of exhilarating happiness and joy. But it wouldn’t be Bergman without angst, sadness and fear. With children at its centre, it’s no wonder that the film runs on raw emotional power. It’s a modern fairy tale, and Bergman’s best overall work.
7. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
Not content with making only one beautifully shot allegorical science-fiction epic, Andrei Tarkovsky takes another journey into man’s fractured psyche with Stalker. The titular character acts as a guide through the Zone, a patch of land where the laws of physics don’t apply. The destination: a house with the power to grant wishes. Stalker is the ultimate journey to the centre of the mind, an existential masterpiece in a career full of them.
6. The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)
One might find it hard to discover a war film that’s so overwhelming anti-war as Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line. Rather than focus on nothing but violence, Malick’s gorgeous film is almost unsettling in how serene it appears at times. Frame after frame, it shows a true appreciation for life and everything that surrounds us, through what can only be described as pure visual poetry that Terrence Malick and John Toll weave together¬†seamlessly.