A Top 100 Films of All-Time List

This is the hypothetical Sight & Sound Top Ten list I came up with a couple of weeks ago, ranked in no particular order:
1. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
2. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994)
3. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (FW Murnau, 1927)
4. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
5. Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
6. Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
7. La Commune (Paris 1871) (Peter Watkins, 2000)
8. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1948)
9. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)
10. The Red Shoes (Powell & Pressburger, 1948)

I think it’s a nicely balanced list, but limiting to only ten films inevitably leaves a lot of gaps (no Hitchcock!, no Ozu!) and as such what it leaves out is almost as (if not more) interesting than what it includes.  With inclusiveness as the goal, my annual Labor Day Top Films of All-Time lists have gotten ridiculously long over the years (see last year’s Top 1000, for example), but I think I need to find some kind of middle ground between ten and infinity and also something that acknowledges the inherent instability and incompleteness of all such lists (they can’t ever end, they can’t ever be finished, there’s no way for them to ever be “right”).  So, for this year’s Top Films of All-Time list, I’m applying the Vishnevetsky Method, outlined in this article on the creation of Ignatiy Vishnevetsky’s Sight & Sound Top Ten ballot.  It’s essentially just creating a large list and then applying a random number generator to whittle a smaller list out of it.  I started with a list of 825 movies I think could plausibly carry the label of “Top 100 Film” and randomly selected 100 of them to form this year’s list.  These are the results in the order they were generated, with no editing or juggling.

1. Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)

2. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas, 2008)

3. Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)

4. The Tales of Hoffman (Powell & Pressburger, 1951)

5. High Sierra (Raoul Walsh, 1941)

6. Gojira (Ishiro Honda, 1954)

7. Hero (Zhang Yimou, 2002)

8. Kill Bill Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004)

9. A Farewell to Arms (Frank Borzage, 1932)

10. The Leopard (Luchino Visconti, 1963)

11. A Canterbury Tale (Powell & Pressburger, 1944)

12. Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964)

13. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

14. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent, 1974)

15. What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (Woody Allen, 1966)

16. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Ackerman, 1975)

17. Seventh Heaven (Frank Borzage, 1927)

18. Thieves’ Highway (Jules Dassin, 1949)

19. Twentieth Century (Howard Hawks, 1934)

20. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (Eric Rohmer, 1987)

21. Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch, 1991)

22. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)

23. He Walked By Night (Alfred Werker & Anthony Mann, 1948)

24. A Day in the Country (Jean Renoir, 1936)

25. King Kong (Cooper & Schoedsack, 1933)

26. Police Story (Jackie Chan, 1985)

27. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Johnnie To, 2011)

28. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)

29. Masculin féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)

30. The Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

31. The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli, 1953)

32. Bonjour tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958)

33. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

34. The Tall T (Budd Boetticher, 1957)

35. Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1951)

36. The Long Goodbye (Robert Altman, 1973)

37. Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini, 1957)

38. Magnificent Obsession (Douglas Sirk, 1954)

39. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)

40. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)

41. Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954)

42. Thomas Mao (Zhu Wen, 2010)

43. The Clock (Vincente Minnelli, 1945)

44. Climates (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006)

45. The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952)

46. Hatari! (Howard Hawks, 1962)

47. Stella Dallas (King Vidor, 1937)

48. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009)

49. Jason and the Argonauts (Don Chaffey, 1963)

50. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

51. Orphans of the Storm (DW Griffith, 1921)

52. Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller, 1963)

53. LA Story (Mick Jackson, 1991)

54. Curse of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)

55. Exiled (Johnnie To, 2006)

56. Band of Outsiders (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964)

57. Wagon Master (John Ford, 1950)

58. God of Gamblers (Wong Jing, 1989)

59. Flags of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood, 2006)

60. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

61. Going My Way (Leo McCarey, 1944)

62. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988)

63. 35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis, 2008)

64. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

65. Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)

66. Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991)

67. The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz, 1938)

68. The Most Dangerous Game (Pichel & Schoedsack, 1932)

69. It’s Always Fair Weather (Donen & Kelly, 1955)

70. Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)

71. Anchorman (Adam McKay, 2004)

72. Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973)

73. 24 City (Jia Zhangke, 2008)

74. Un chien andalou (Luis Buñuel, 1929)

75. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)

76. Bigger than Life (Nicholas Ray, 1956)

77. The Dawn Patrol (Howard Hawks, 1930)

78. Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945)

79. Dragon Inn (King Hu, 1967)

80. Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin, 1947)

81. Zelig (Woody Allen, 1983)

82. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991)

83. An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951)

84. Airplane! (Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker, 1980)

85. Hell in the Pacific (John Boorman, 1968)

86. Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1958)

87. No Greater Glory (Frank Borzage, 1934)

88. The Big Red One (Samuel Fuller, 1980)

89. Slacker (Richard Linklater, 1991)

90. Under Capricorn (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949)

91. Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939)

92. Charulata (Satyajit Ray, 1964)

93. I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)

94. True Heart Susie (DW Griffith, 1919)

95. Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984)

96. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1979)

97. Oki’s Movie (Hong Sangsoo, 2010)

98. Age of Consent (Michael Powell, 1969)

99. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)

100. Mon oncle d’Amérique (Alain Resnais, 1980)