Now that my series of still and trailers from film masterpieces is well under way I thought it might be a good time to have a word about the thoughts behind this new feature. One of my regular correspondents wrote and actually challenged - in a good natured way - my choices, saying they were "predictable" and "unimaginative". Well, what can I say to that except I plead guilty on both counts. The films I have picked are films that I consider the greatest achievements of the cinema, true works of art in every respect. I'm not picking films that I think are Good or even films I think are Great - I'm picking twenty-five films which are to me the creme de la creme of films. Now in answer to my friend's challenge I will say that to a film fan of my generation there will not be too many surprises in my choices. It really doesn't need me to point to these films as Masterpieces because time and the opinions of many fans, critics and film-makers have recognised them as such. I am sure that everybody's list would be different and that is fine. Nobody's evaluation of the worth of a film is the final one and everybody has the right to make their own list. But it is worth remembering that when polls of the greatest films of all time are held there is probably a very good reason why CITIZEN KANE usually comes somewhere near the top. I do not consider myself to be a critic, I am at best a reviewer, an enthusiast, a fan. I enjoy exploring all types of films from the sort of films I've picked for this list down to the modest b-movies, exploitation films. I like talking about films, I listen to what other people say and the films they think are worth seeing. One of the films on my list, Jean Vigo's L'ATALANTE, I only saw for the first time about two weeks ago - a film director friend sat me down and showed it to me - I will forever be grateful as I would probably never have gotten around to it on my own. Likewise a review of the Russian film THE CRANES ARE FLYING on the excellent website FILMS DESERVING OF GREATER RECOGNITION has made me eager to see that film because of the enthusiasm of the person writing about it. I know there are people out there who only really care about the latest blockbuster that Hollywood throws at them and that is fine - they probably have no interest in exploring the classics of the past. That is up to them - but for me I want to enjoy both.