Tony Rayns

Tony Rayns

Writer; film critic; programmer
Voted in the critics poll

Voted for:

Birth of the Nation 1973 Klaus Wyborny
chien andalou, Un 1928 Luis Buñuel
Once Upon a Time in the West 1968 Sergio Leone
Scarlet Empress, The 1934 Josef von Sternberg
Scenes from a City Life (Dushi Fengguang) Yuan Muzhi
Spring in a Small Town 1948 Fei Mu
Straits of Love and Hate (Aien Kyo) 1937 Mizoguchi Kenji
Taipei Story 1984 Edward Yang
Textism Hirabayashi Isamu
Touch of Evil 1958 Orson Welles


Not much change from 2002, so I’m obviously set in my ways. What the list reveals is an admiration for films that push an idea about cinema to its apparent limit, and do so with elegance and wit. The only recent film on the list, Hirabayashi’s brilliant Textism (2003), stands for a vein of iconoclastic avant gardism that stretches from Robert Florey to Kenneth Anger and Hollis Frampton.