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Monday, 1 December 2008

Auteur Dreary?

News that the world's most French, most prestigious, and most pretentious film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema, has neglected to list a single "British" film in its top 100 has put the British critics and pundits into apoplexies of Blimp-like consternation. What?!!! No Powell and Pressburger? No Lean? No Reed? How dare they? In fact, there are several British auteurs in the list - Hitchcock and Laughton make the top ten; Chaplin is also there. Given that the magazine's perspective is on director, not nation of production, this should limit the insult. Still, Carol Reed's The Third Man is, frankly, one of the greatest films, and should be there. So too, I think, should Black Narcissus. Still, it is good to see "Kane" still at number one, 67 years on. Given how Welles died thinking himself a failure, that's a moving tribute.
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