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UK poll picks 'Vertigo' as greatest film ever
British Film Institute selects Alfred Hitchcock classic over "Citizen Kane", ending 50-year run for Orson Welles film.
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2012 21:44
Vertigo starring James Stewart and Kim Novak beat Citizen Kane by 34 votes

Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo has replaced Orson Welles' Citizen Kane as the top spot in an influential list of the 10 greatest movies ever, ending the 50-year-long run for Welles.

The British Film Institute's Sight and Sound magazine polls a selected panel once every decade.

This year's poll saw Citizen Kane pushed to second place, making way for Hitchcock's 1958 psychological drama starring James Stewart and Kim Novak.

The list also includes a new addition: Dziga Vertov's documentary, Man With a Movie Camera, coming in at eighth place.

Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story ranked third, followed by Jean Renoir's Rules of the Game, FW Murnau's Sunrise, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and John Ford's The Searchers

Carl Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc ranks ninth followed by Federico Fellini's 8 1/2.

Vertigo, the film Hitchcock regarded as his most personal, sees the director tackle obsessional love, one of his recurring themes.

Michael Hogan, Huffington Post entertainment editor, speaking to Al Jazeera from New York, said the 1958 Hitchcock thriller had been making a steady rise in popularity among critics since the mid-1980s.

The film, said Hogan, was "not particularly well-received when it came out. Some people thought it was Hitchcock off his game", but in the last three decades, critics have begun to take a second look at the San Francisco Bay Area-based film.

Critics, said Hogan, "have a bias towards things that are different unusual", a quality the film, called "devilishly far-fetched" by The New York Times seems to possess.

An adaptation of the French novel, "The Living and The Dead", Vertigo opens with police officer Scotty Ferguson, played by Stewart, retiring after his vertigo inadvertently leads to the death of a colleague.

The film is famous for a camera trick Hitchcock invented to represent Scotty's vertigo: a simultaneous zoom-in and pull-back of the camera that creates a disorientating depth of field.

The panel of 846 distributors, critics and academics voted for 2,045 films overall. The committee was asked to interpret "greatest" however it saw fit.

Commenting on the pre-dominance of films that are at least four decades old on the list, Hogan told Al Jazeera that though 1993's Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, and Terrence Mallick's Tree of Life, released in 2011, were named as possible contenders, the lack of more contemporary films on the list may in fact just be a case of there being "less concensus on recent films".

Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Mike Leigh were among the participants in the poll.

The full results are published in Sight and Sound's September issue.

 

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Source:
Al Jazeera And Agencies
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