Supernal Dreams: Films of Cinefantastique score high on the Cahiers du Cinema Top 100 list

Cahiers du Cinema has published its list of the 100 greatest films, and we finally get one of these rankings that actually makes some kind of sense!
Obviously, all of these lists must be taken with a grain of salt, beginning with the now obligatory number one spot always going to Citizen Kane, although many people (including myself) would argue Kane is NOT Orson Welles best film.
However, Cahiers number two choice proves to be much more adventuresome, as Charles Laughton’s poetic thriller The Night of the Hunter rarely turns up on lists of this kind.
In fact, given the totally absurd choices and omissions on display in the lists offered up by such dubious chroniclers of film taste as The American Film Institute, Entertainment Weekly and Empire Magazine, the Cahiers list offers a refreshing counter-balance from those organizations choices which are usually biased towards commercial success. Actually, it’s hard to blame them, since their audiences have probably never heard of directors like Robert Bresson or Kenji Mizoguchi, much less seen any of their films, but given that fact, their lists should be called “The 100 best commercial films,” not the “best movies of all time.”
From the Cahiers list of 100, here are the ten films with a background in the “Cinefantastique.” While you can disagree about certain key films that didn’t make the list – such as James Whale’s The Bride of Frankenstein – I’d have to say overall it’s an extremely well-balanced selection, and there is little doubt the films listed below are all worthy of being called “great movies.”
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1. M (Fritz Lang)
2. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
3. Nosferatu the Vampire (F. W. Murnau)
4. Ugetsu Monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi)
5. Freaks (Tod Browning)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
7. La Jetée (Chris Marker)
8. Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau)
9. King Kong (Ernst Shoedsack & Merian C. Cooper)
10. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch)
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The entire list of 100 films can be viewed at the Cahiers du Cinema website here: http://www.cahiersducinema.com/article1337.html

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