Glenn Kenny

Glenn Kenny

Chief film critic, MSN Movies; Proprietor of the blog “Some Came Running”
US
Voted in the critics poll

Voted for:

Anatomy of a Murder 1959 Otto Preminger
Belle de Jour 1967 Luis Buñuel
Boudu Saved from Drowning 1932 Jean Renoir
Celine and Julie Go Boating 1974 Jacques Rivette
Citizen Kane 1941 Orson Welles
Dr Mabuse, The Gambler 1922 Fritz Lang
Psycho 1960 Alfred Hitchcock
Searchers, The 1956 John Ford
Singin' in the Rain 1951 Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly
Stalker 1979 Andrei Tarkovsky

Comments

It’s true, the task is not an easy one. I arrived at this particular list – one out of perhaps dozens of other entirely different ones – by splitting the difference between honouring convention and saying to hell with it. As it happens, the four films on the list which might conceivably be seen as ‘consensus’ picks —Citizen Kane, Psycho, Singin’ in the Rain, The Searchers — are also ones close to my heart, or at least the formation of my sensibility. The other six came to me after a lot of internal debate over whether I was being different for the sake of being different or whether these were not in fact truly great films that, when the time comes for these sorts of surveys, do not get the proper recognition for being the imaginatively prodigious, paradigm-shifting, galvanic works that I believe they in fact are. Of course I regret that my list cannot be longer, because surely Sansho Dayu, The General (not to mention Sherlock Jr.), The Last Temptation of Christ and a lot more ought to have a place, and the more I think about the films and filmmakers I am leaving off (Yang! Naruse! And, yep, Godard; what am I thinking?) the more I can twist a long knife inside my guts and brain. Despite all that, this is a list that satisfies me. If anybody asks me “What IS cinema,”, I can show them any one of these pictures and say “This is.”