Robert Redford and his wife Sibylle Szaggars at the Cannes screening of All Is Lost (AP)
Vertigo becomes 'greatest film' in poll
How many of the 15 films above have you seen? Be honest. Five would not be a bad score. I've been a film writer and journalist for eight years now and I've only seen seven of them. A straw poll of the people at the nearby desks revealed several folks who haven't seen a single one.
Unfamiliar as they are, these are the greatest films of all time according to a prestigious poll of top film critics. More than 800 film experts took part in the latest BFI Sight And Sound Poll which has been carried out every 10 years since 1952.
The headline is that Vertigo, Hitchcock's 1958 thriller, has knocked off Citizen Kane which has held top spot in every poll since 1962.
But I'd like to talk about the fact that this brain trust of experts suppose that the last time a movie cracked the top 20 of all time was 1968. Goodfellas, The Godfather and Raging Bull are all newer titles that come to mind that could have connected the list a little bit to real audiences. I'd have Toy Story (1997) in my list when I think about game-changing film achievements.
I applaud the international spread of films. And I also appreciate that it takes time to grasp a film's impact in a historical sense. I just find it very negative to suppose that film has failed to progress in recent decades.
This is a poll reacting to previous polls rather than the material itself. It's exactly the kind of list that distances film critics from audiences. It saddens me to see a 'defininitive' collection from critics that, really, is just exalting the same old classics, change of #1 or not...