In the spring of 2009, we polled film critics, our audiences, Festival goers and longtime TIFF supporters, asking which films they considered essential cinema. At the same time, TIFF’s expert programmers debated the same question. The result: Two lists. Similar yet different. By marrying both lists, the Essential 100 was born.
The Essential 100 films span time and space. From the Lumière Brothers 1902 L'Arrivee d'un Train (film #34), which sent terrified audience members running to avoid being run down, to Jaws (#79), which spoiled ocean swims for a generation. From the comic brilliance of a young Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby (#61), to the horrific gore of the young Cronenberg's Videodrome (#89). The list encompasses stories from far away, like Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (#6) and Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali (#7), as well as experimentation close to home, with Canadian Michael Snow's Wavelength (#73).