It’s a tricky business choosing a top ten. Lists by their nature are subjective and, frankly, arbitrary; even so, you need some sort of guiding principle to help you choose between one thing and another. Should you simply go with the ten films you’d happily watch again and again? Your favourite films across a range of genres? Should you try to include something with a performance you love, even if the film itself is not that good?
Somehow you have to take all of these things into account and come up with a selection that you’re happy with. You’ll never get it spot on and any list can only ever be provisional: your tastes change, you see new movies you like, you have to make impulsive choices between this movie and that.
So this is my top ten today, but may not be tomorrow. As far as possible, I’ve tried to include a variety of films that I enjoy and admire. It’s been hard not to fill the list completely with noir and Hitchcock, but anyone who knows me won’t be surprised by that. I’m also very conscious that there are no foreign language movies, which is a shameful omission. I considered a few but just couldn’t quite justify their selection.
So here it is – my top ten:
- Night of the hunter
- Oh brother, where art thou?
- The big sleep
- Blow up
- Out of the past
- It’s a wonderful world
In time, I’m going to write short reviews explaining each choice and why I like it so much. Please do comment on my list or, even better, post yours below or send your list to me. I’ll happily put it up and write a comment or two beneath…