The Lists: My Top 10 Films Of All Time
How I voted in Sight & Sound's decennial critics' poll
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6. "The Red Shoes" (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948)
Twice in my life I've discovered Powell and Pressburger's spiralling, ecstatic fantasy of the war between outsized love and unreined artistic impulse – for me, the most electrified of the duo's many dazzling, color-kissed canvases. I was five years old the first time, as an already snowy VHS copy recorded by my parents off late-night TV grew ever scratchier with repeat viewings – I was a Hans Christian Andersen devotee as a kid, and was both perturbed and fascinated by the free-form direction his fairytale chestnut had taken. I hadn't seen it for many years when I took in a superb restoration at the 2009 Edinburgh Film Festival, and the film couldn't have seemed a newer acquaintance: its paintbox palette and swirling score intensified to a degree I'd never seen before in this longtime favorite. Or most other films, for that matter.
Photo Credit: The Criterion Collection