Guy Westwell

Guy Westwell

Senior lecturer, Film Studies, Queen Mary University of London
Voted in the critics poll

Voted for:

Apocalypse Now 1979 Francis Ford Coppola
Battle of Algiers, The 1966 Gillo Pontecorvo
Divine Intervention 2002 Elia Suleiman
Hidden 2004 Michael Haneke
Lone Star 1995 John Sayles
Man with a Movie Camera 1929 Dziga Vertov
Règle du jeu, La 1939 Jean Renoir
Singin' in the Rain 1951 Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly
Spirit of the Beehive, The 1973 Víctor Erice
Tout va Bien 1972 Jean-Luc Godard/Jean-Pierre Gorin


To be truly great a film must seek to change the world for the better. For me this is more important than technical or aesthetic innovation and authorial cleverness. Most critics accept this to be true and that is why they don’t vote for the most obvious candidate for greatest film ever made, D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. However, I feel that a film’s political commitment is rarely emphasised enough and for this reason my list is unapologetically left-wing.