The Five Greatest Films of All Time

Since 1952, Sight and Sound, the British film journal, has been conducting a decennial poll to determine the greatest films of all time. The list, compiled from the opinions of over 1,600 critics from around the world, has become a respected barometer of critical consensus. The 2022 list shocked the film world with its boldest and most diverse list yet. Chantal Akerman’s formalist masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles edged out both Hitchcock’s perverse thriller Vertigo and Orson Welles’s audacious debut Citizen Kane, a film that won the top spot in the poll for a half-century. Relatively recent movies like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Claire Denis’s Beau Travail, and Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love climbed into the top 10 alongside time-honored classics like Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story and Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera.<br />

This course will explore the top five films from the 2022 poll, including Wong Kar-wai’s tour de force, Orson Welles’s mainstay, and Akerman’s magnificent epic of experimental cinema. Taken as a whole, these diverse masterpieces show the range and power of film, the most important and influential art form of the 20th century. Students in this course will learn about the history, production, and artistry of each film and come away understanding why these movies are considered the greatest of all time.

Jonathan Crow
Artist; Filmmaker


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Online, instructor-led
Feb 13 - Mar 19, 2024
Stanford Continuing Studies