This is racism. A top 20 list so completely biased, as if all films were made in English or French. That's racism, the non-consideration of the works and deeds of others. I am no fan of inclusion for inclusion's sake. A list of the greatest painters would be biased in favor of the West, but not a list of greatest print makers, for example, or sculptures.
Then there is time. Count the films between 1941 and 1952. Seriously the best film made in my life time is... "This is Spinal Tap?" Not happening here. Again, this is beyond artistic judgement and taste, and goes to bias. Clearly the list maker loves noir and films of the 1940's. Fine, adore many of them. But no, that decade long period does not tower over film making so much that it deserves such patent over-representation.
Not one film from China's recent explosion of creativity? Farewell My Concubine is better than half his top 20, and that is arguably not the greatest contemporary film from China. No films by Ray? Not one film by a woman film maker? Not one experimental film? Not one Japanese film, from the sprawling epic of The Human Condition to Oe's claustrophobic minatures? Not one film from the Indie wave? While noir's are packed in cheek by jowl. That's beyond judgement, and falls into a clear a pervasive bias which excludes anything not done by Western Europeans or their proximate descendants. Where are the silent films. Not one in the top 20? Lack of proper film education.
Not one film from Latin America? I can't believe that. But at least he's an equal opportunity bigot
The list is even defective on its own terms: it admits the flaws in Vertigo's plot. But that goes against what Best actually means: best. One doesn't need to compromise in the top 20.
Again, racism and bias seem to crawl all over art's criticism these days. The Independent's art's editor should be summarily fired for running such patently biased uneducated drivel. Yes making a top 100 list is impossible, because beyond a certain point, greatness just is. Monet or Watteu? Impossible to tell. But this list does not reach the basic level of good faith civil discourse, and harkens back to a time when people of darker complexion need not knock at the gates of the temple of art.
As a list of favorite films, no one could argue with it, there's nothing wrong with a critic living in a particularly favored place. But that requires an honesty which Anthony Qunn does not have, which the Independent clearly caters to, and to which the editors there turn a blind eye to the obvious personal and artistic sins of their powerful film critic.
The British National Party might run this list as "the 20 whitest films ever made."
How far we have to go, it is to weep.