So... let's do this:
The Red Shoes (dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (The Archers), 1948).
"Why do you want to dance?"
"Why do you want to live?"
"Well I don't know exactly why... but I must."
"That's my answer too."
This visual masterpiece is generally my default answer to questions regarding my favourite film of all time (heck it's the backdrop of the blog) so it seems only right to start with it.
The most beautiful of films; pure in emotion and intellect. Its depiction of the artistic process - the obsession for perfection, the desire to shine - is unparalleled in both its universalism (there are composers, directors, designers, dancers) and its intimacy - Victoria Page (Moira Shearer), Julian Craster (Marius Goring), and Boris Lermontov (Anton Wolbrook) are three of the most complete, human, wholly realised characters of all time.
Often when dance is filmed directors only manage to highlight EITHER the wonder of the dancing or the wonder of filmmaking (and sometimes neither). Powell and Pressburger on the other hand, found a way to capture the magic that both ballet and film can wield over their audiences and utilised it in tandem, showing us the wonder of BOTH.
I could go on and on, but nothing I can say will ever be close to capturing how much I love this film, and how much I wish you all to see it. I'll close with one final thought: Anton Walbrook gives one of the great performances captured on film - he, like this film, is a wonder to behold and cherish; magnificent, graceful, powerful, striving for perfection.
It could quite easily be my favourite film.