A couple weeks ago there was a lot of talk thanks to the release of the first wave of Sight & Sound’s once-a-decade poll of the “greatest films of all time.” The critics poll saw Vertigo unseat Citizen Kane as the “top film of all time,” and much talk was generated about the list overall. (For the record, voting involved “over 1,000 critics, programmers, academics, distributors, writers and other cinephiles, and receiving 846 top-ten lists from correspondents in 73 countries, citing 2,045 different films.”)
Now the full list of 250 “greatest films of all time is out.” I’m not running this list to further provoke the discussion that cropped up when the dual top ten lineups went online not long ago. This time, we’ve also got a lot of data about what films were nominated by what people, and there are some fun and interesting choices here and there. Scrutinizing the lists submitted by individuals we start to get an idea of who tried to play with the system, and who nominated films as pure provocation.
(Actually “pure provocation” might be assumptive, but I think there are several nomination lineups that are both honest representations of individual tastes and things meant to provoke.)
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Avatar is one of the best movies of all time. The King of Comedy is one of the best movies of all time. Paths of Glory is one of the best movies of all time. The Red Shoes is one of the best movies of all time. Dazed and Confused is one of the best movies of all time. Each of these surprising, or not-so-surprising statements comes from one of the following filmmakers: Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Mann. Each took place in Sight and Sound‘s filmmaker poll of the best films of all time, the results of which were revealed earlier this week.
Over 350 directors in total were polled and Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story ended up taking the top spot. That doesn’t mean it was everyone’s individual pick; just an average of the votes. In the latest issue of the magazine, which is on sale now, you can read every filmmaker’s full list of choices. Lists from five of the biggest names participants have been posted online. After the jump, read the all time best films ever according to Tarantino, Scorsese, Allen, Coppola and Mann.
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What is the greatest film of all time? Orson Welles‘ directorial debut Citizen Kane has often been given the honor, but a new iteration of a poll considered to be one of cinema’s most significant has overturned Kane‘s rule.
When Alfred Hitchcock‘s Vertigo opened in 1958, it met with a middling reception and many negative reviews. In 1968 Robin Wood’s book Hitchcock’s Films was part of the process of critical re-evaluation of the movie, calling it his “masterpiece to date.” In 1973 Vertigo was one of five movies owned by Hitchcock that the director took out of circulation. Vertigo was away from screens for ten years, and in that time interest in the film grew exponentially. When it was finally re-released in ’83, Vertigo was hailed as a classic and an important film.
Once a decade, the British magazine Sight and Sound conducts a poll of critics and filmmakers to generate lists of the ten best films ever made. In 1982, Vertigo hit the critics’ list at #7. In 1992 it had climbed to #4, and in 2002 it was second only to Citizen Kane.
Now, with the release of the 2012 poll, Vertigo has toppled Kane to be voted by critics as the best film ever made. Read More »