There’s a general rule of cinema: “Citizen Kane” is the greatest film ever. Every critic list, every film professor will shout this from on high. But, much like when “November Rain” finally ousted “Thriller” as the greatest video of all time, someone has done the bold deed. They knocked “Kane” off his perch.
Every 10 years Sight & Sound magazine, a respected industry rag out of Britain, polls a bunch of critics, academics and the like and creates a Top 50 list. And, every decade for 50 years “Citizen Kane” sat atop the list with the heft of Orson Wells and a burned up sled. No more.
So, I’ll challenge it here as well. What’s really interesting about the Top 10 is how much I dislike so many of the films on it. I love “Vertigo” but, after that… I’m not a big “Citizen Kane” fan. I detest “8 1/2” (I wrote a paper about my dislike for it and my film professor gave me and F and wrote “either you failed to grasp it, or I failed to teach you. Either way, this is an F. Change your opinion”). I have little love for either “2001” or “The Searchers.”
So, out of the new Top 10, I’ve seen five and liked one. And I like arty films and classics. Seriously, “Bicycle Thieves” isn’t in the Top 10 (it was 33)? What the hell? “Godfather” doesn’t crack the Top 20 (21)? I want to respect this list for the sole reason that it doesn’t lead off with “Kane” but then it completely screws up the rest of the list.
So, I’m taking a page from Anthony’s book and putting up a poll. What’s the BEST FILM EVER? I’ve put down seven that I think should be in consideration (either from my viewpoint or as “standards”). What say you, dear reader?