Freitag, 2. Dezember 2022

Sight & Sound: The Greatest Films of All Time

This year, a dream of mine came true: I was invited to participate in the 2022 edition of Sight & Sound's decennial poll to determine "the greatest films of all time." I joined 1,638 other critics, programmers, curators, archivists, and academics in agonising over which ten films should make our final submission ballots – and in coming up with a personal list that felt lopsided and incomplete the moment I hit "send." But such is the nature of this exercise, and I thoroughly hope I get to do it all again in 2032.

You can find the aggregated top 100 here. I was pleased to discover that five of the entries feature quotes from myself, most notably the one for Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. But do read through the entire list, as it's a wonderful collection of excellent recommendations; and the newly crowned number one, Chantal Akerman's 1975 experimental drama Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (which I have unfortunately not seen yet), might just be the most exciting top pick in the poll's 70-year history yet.

My own personal top ten, including my comments on it, will be available on the BFI website in due course, and I will link it here as soon as it appears. To tide people over until then, here's my list without any elaborations, ranked in order of the films' release.

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
  • Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
  • Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
  • Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972)
  • The Big Lebowski (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 1998)
  • Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
  • Wolff von Amerongen: Did He Commit Bankruptcy Offences? (Gerhard Benedikt Friedl, 2004)

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