Time magazine, under the discerning eye of critic Stephanie Zacharek, has revealed an extraordinary list of the finest movies spanning ten decades. This cinematic journey traces the evolution of film from the 1920s to the 2010s, taking us on an awe-inspiring ride that commences with the iconic “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920) and culminates with the modern masterpiece “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019). However, amidst this illustrious collection, only one Indian gem, director Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali” (1955), managed to secure a spot.
The Magnificent Tale of Pather Panchali
“Pather Panchali” is a cinematic adaptation of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s 1929 Bengali novel, marking Ray’s stellar directorial debut. This poignant masterpiece has earned its place in numerous esteemed lists of the greatest movies of all time. Serving as the first installment of Ray’s Apu trilogy, which also includes “Aparajito” and “Apur Sansar,” the film weaves a captivating narrative.
A Paradigm Shift in Indian Cinema
“Pather Panchali” was not just a film but a cultural revolution in Indian cinema. Garnering international attention, it played a pivotal role in the emergence of parallel cinema. Recognized as the Best Feature Film at the 3rd National Film Awards, the movie also made its mark at Cannes, competing for the prestigious Palme d’Or. In 2005, Time magazine itself acknowledged its brilliance by including it in their list of the 100 best movies of all time. More recently, “Pather Panchali” stood as the sole Indian film on Sight & Sound magazine’s revered compilation of the finest films ever made and received the coveted title of the best Indian film by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).
The Curatorial Process Behind the List
In her contemplative article about her selection, Time’s Zacharak sheds light on how she meticulously handpicked these 100 films. With over five decades of expertise in the field, she sought out movies that intertwined impeccable craftsmanship with a profound spirit. These cinematic treasures often boasted exceptional performances and resonated with her on a profound level.
A Chronological Journey Through Timeless Cinema
Zacharak’s list doesn’t assign rankings; instead, it forms a captivating timeline of the finest cinematic creations of all time. From timeless classics like “Bicycle Thieves” and “Breathless” to unforgettable epics like “Gone with the Wind” and “Seven Samurai,” her list encompasses a diverse array of cinematic brilliance. Blockbuster hits like “ET the Extra-Terrestrial” and “The Empire Strikes Back” find their deserving place alongside masterpieces like Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love” and “Chungking Express.” Contemporary gems such as Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” round off this illustrious collection.
A Tribute to Timeless Art
As the curtain draws on this cinematic odyssey, Time magazine’s list pays homage to the art of filmmaking, celebrating the unique stories, emotions, and craftsmanship that have touched hearts and captivated minds for generations. These movies, etched into the annals of history, continue to inspire and enthrall audiences worldwide, ensuring their everlasting legacy in the world of cinema.
In conclusion, Time’s unveiling of the greatest movies of the past decades serves as a reminder of the enduring power of film to transcend time and cultural boundaries. It reaffirms the timeless magic that weaves through the celluloid tapestry, enriching our lives and leaving an indelible mark on the human experience.