(Editor’s note: Sight & Sound magazine recently published the newest edition of their esteemed poll of the “greatest films of all time” and we thought it will be interesting to ask our own writers about which ten films they consider as the greatest. Personal favorites? Most Influential? There is no criterion for their choices. First up, we have our former writer R.M. Crossin‘s top 10 movies.)
These are ten of my favorite films. (R.M. Crossin)
1. Pulp Fiction (1994, dir. Quentin Tarantino, USA). There’s nothing I can say about this film that you haven’t already read. It is endlessly quotable and has only improved with age.
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, dir. Stanley Kubrick, UK/USA). Ambitious filmmaking of the highest order.
3. Taxi Driver (1976, dir. Martin Scorsese, USA). Scorsese’s portrait of a post-Vietnam antihero is a snapshot of loneliness in New York City’s urban jungle.
4. City Lights (1931, dir. Charlie Chaplin, USA). Chaplin does it all (writes, directs, and stars) in this mostly-silent film and pulls off physical humor as well as tear-jerking dramatic scenes with equal skill. Timeless.
5. The 400 Blows (1959, dir. Francois Truffaut, France). Truffaut’s debut kick-started the French New Wave and introduced audiences to his onscreen alter ego Antoine Doinel. I love the ambiguity of the final scene.
6. Chinatown (1974, dir. Roman Polanski, USA). Deliciously cynical modern take on film noir. Jack Nicholson shines as a “nosy” private eye.
7. Blade Runner (1982, dir. Ridley Scott, USA). The special effects still amaze 30 years later. A sci-fi movie that isn’t afraid to get contemplative and existential between the action sequences.
8. In the Mood for Love (2000, dir. Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong) I could have easily picked Chungking Express instead. Both films are gorgeous to look at and deal with unrequited love—one of my favorite themes. But In the Mood for Love, a subtle but emotionally devastating film, has made a deeper impression.
9. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, dir. Irvin Kershner, USA). The second installment of the trilogy is much darker and more adult in tone than its predecessor. It was a huge part of my childhood.
10. Mulholland Drive (2001, dir. David Lynch, USA). It was a toss-up between this and Blue Velvet but I give the edge to Mulholland Drive for all the discussions it has provoked. I still don’t know exactly what is going on in this film but it’s fun to try to figure out. “Silencio”.