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Sight & Sound 2022 Poll - Predictions

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St. Gloede
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#161

Post by St. Gloede »

True, though the super-majority of users here are non-English speakers, which if anything makes things more curious.
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cinewest
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#162

Post by cinewest »

St. Gloede wrote: August 1st, 2022, 10:36 am True, though the super-majority of users here are non-English speakers, which if anything makes things more curious.
My guess has to do with age and cultural difference ie. Fellini would probably appeal less to younger Americans, Northern Europeans and Asians than older Southern or even Eastern Europeans and Latin Americans.

Going back to your surprise about the popularity of Taxi Driver among "younger voters," that didn't surprise me at all, given that Scorsese seems to be the young'ns highest discrepancy with "older voters," though that is somewhat surprising given that Scorsese is really a filmmaker for my generation, which isn't young at all.

And this touches on another thing I have complained about in the past: The shear lack of weight given to any filmmaker who has come along since the Scorsese generation. Yeah, there's the "Lynch mob," the PTA mob, and perhaps some distant support for filmmakers like Haneke and Von Trier who have each made more than a handful of truly distinctive standout features in the past 30+ years. Who can be counted on to champion the contemporary greats if not for the "younger voters?"
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#163

Post by RenaultR »

I don't think Welles, Wilder, and Hitchcock are going anywhere, but I do wonder about the fate of some of the other classical Hollywood auteurs heavily favored by some of the more orthodox auteurists. I'm thinking of directors like Ford, Hawks, and even Sirk. Even Jean Renoir seems to be more of academic interest than anything else these days, but La Règle du Jeu still seems safe to me. Super niche arthouse fare from after 1970 was also very much in vogue ten years ago with cinephiles. Think of the prominent placement of films like Jeanne Dielman, Satantango, Close Up, and even Beau Travail and Touki Bouki. I'm sure some of those films will stick around, although I don't hear Close Up discussed to quite the degree it was in the early 2010s. Dreyer and Bresson may be less popular than Kubrick and Fellini, but they're still essentially part of the dinosaur shortlist.

One older title I could see breaking into the Top 50 is Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day. Is Holy Motors *really* top 100 of all time material? (scratches his head)
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#164

Post by cinewest »

RenaultR wrote: August 3rd, 2022, 10:57 am I don't think Welles, Wilder, and Hitchcock are going anywhere, but I do wonder about the fate of some of the other classical Hollywood auteurs heavily favored by some of the more orthodox auteurists. I'm thinking of directors like Ford, Hawks, and even Sirk. Even Jean Renoir seems to be more of academic interest than anything else these days, but La Règle du Jeu still seems safe to me. Super niche arthouse fare from after 1970 was also very much in vogue ten years ago with cinephiles. Think of the prominent placement of films like Jeanne Dielman, Satantango, Close Up, and even Beau Travail and Touki Bouki. I'm sure some of those films will stick around, although I don't hear Close Up discussed to quite the degree it was in the early 2010s. Dreyer and Bresson may be less popular than Kubrick and Fellini, but they're still essentially part of the dinosaur shortlist.

One older title I could see breaking into the Top 50 is Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day. Is Holy Motors *really* top 100 of all time material? (scratches his head)
Personally, I hope to see a result that covers outstanding cinema from the beginning until the present day, and yeah, Holy Motors* should be in the top 100, along with various other films / filmmakers that have arrived since the 1970's, which is roughly 50 years ago.

Every film in 1952 list actually had Bicycle Thieves as its #1, and that was made in 1948.
The 1962 list had l'Aventura as its #2, and that was made in 1960.
The 1972 list had 3 films from the 1960's in the top 10
It wasn't until the 1982, with 4 from the 50's that the list began to backtrack.
And it wasn't until 2002 that films from the late 60's and early 70's cracked the top 10, though in 2012, backtracking seemed more in vogue, once again, with a whopping 3 silents making the top 10, which hadn't happened since that first list in 1952.

* The case for Holy Motors is very clear to me. Not only is Leos Carax one of the more interesting filmmakers that has pushed the art form since the 1970's, but Holy Motors is in one sense a homage to movies that works on many levels at once. Every "job" Denis Levant takes in the film is not only a role in a different kind of movie, but a role that we might play in our own lives. Every skit in the film is a brilliant, unique take on cinematic stories and visual art forms that we are familiar with, but at the same time full of contemporary, surreal twists and commentaries, or juxtapositions that border on genius. More than anything, i saw the "film characters" as symbolic of the different "parts we play" (metaphorically), at times during the course of each and every day.
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#165

Post by Lakigigar »

erde wrote: July 31st, 2022, 4:29 pm Since S&S top 10 is such a big cultural institution by now, I'm curious about all the different social motivations - beside naming most remarkable or favourite films - that might be going on behind the ballots, such as
- politics ("I want to take this opportunity to support women / the working class / Ukraine etc.")
- promotion ("I want people to hear about this director who is such a great guy and gets too little recognition today.")
- identity performance ("I want / don't want to come across as a person who appreciates these types of films and auteurs.")
- plain bragging ("I want people to see that I've flown around the world and known the right people, so that I have been able to see these extremely hard-to-access films.")

Some might think that I'm cynical, but I feel that these kinds of "secondary" motivations might be quite relevant (even "primary") for some voters in this kind of influential platform, and they might influence the results somewhat. On the other hand, I think that aspects like these are always a part of culture, so you there's no avoiding them altogether. I feel that it's worth it to try to be aware of them nonetheless, especially when making one's own lists. :)
If that would happen, films like The Searchers would probably drop a lot, yet it's currently top 10. Citizen Kane likely in that case would lose its first position. I hope the conflict wouldn't affect Russian films, imagine "Man with a Movie Camera" being affected by Russophobia while it technically could be seen as more Ukrainian than Russian, or films like Come and See being affected (and than one clearly hasn't seen that film...)

If i were a critic though, politics and promotion certainly could be a reason for some of stuff in my ballots (especially promotion relative to the established consensus already), and politics literally form you, so they're inevitably going to affect the ballot, however i would judge based on the politics or storyline in a film, and not on identities outside of film. Perhaps scandals of a certain director can affect it, consciously or unconsciously but nationality really shouldn't. I mean, what has Tarkovsky to do for example with Russia invading Ukraine? If anything, it's likely he would be against the invasion if he were still alive.

Identity performance (or group thinking or herding) also definitely always plays a role, because we're humans and for critics, the amount of group pressure is even higher, as you are a part of a big elitarian club. If a simple, mundane forum like this already experience that kinda (or other internet forums, even non-film or critic related*), yeah expect that to be multiplied by 10 to 100 in critics circles, but it will affect some people more than others. Some certainly won't really care about that, others will. It's part of the reason why we are seeing almost the exact same top 10 decade after decade because after a while the status of a thing becomes a myth if it's being overly positively criticized.

I'm not sure how good the critics are internationally distributed, but it feels even today, the USA is overrepresented in these kind of lists and that there is an overrepresentation of films from western liberal, capitalist democracies with little appeal to working class people in these nations, lots of them being stiff and serious. We're still a long way off from diversity, i mean also diversity in genre, diversity outside of just black-and-white, diversity in gender, diversity in sexual orientation, diversity in age / era of production (and age of critics), diversity in background of those critics.

*And tbf there's even pressure from like family or so, because i'm not able to talk against my family or friends about every film i enjoy or they might think i'm weirdo. So it's definitely not exclusively to critics, i think generally this forum is open minded (generally) but it is something that cannot be avoided, nowhere. Enjoyers of film, especially to this extent, in general are likely to be more open-minded in life, i think.
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#166

Post by RenaultR »

Well if western working class people are indifferent to Bresson, Dreyer, and Antonioni, I think that's less the fault of the films being "stiff and serious" than that of politicians and those in power in these countries working overtime to keep the masses dumb and ignorant. The irony is these filmmakers are probably loved more in the Global South than they are by "poor whites" in the west.
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#167

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I dunno, I'm poor and white and I love those guys. :shrug: L'avventura is my favorite film.
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#168

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kongs_speech wrote: August 10th, 2022, 4:49 pm I dunno, I'm poor and white and I love those guys. :shrug: L'avventura is my favorite film.
You've also grown up in a western country, surrounded by western cultural examples your whole life though; I'd imagine it would be significantly different for some theoretical S&S poll participant who grew up in, say, South Africa, speaking Zulu. Or really, for anybody who grew up without the weight of all that S&S/TSPDT cinema in their lives - younger people even in America or France or Japan might well have really radically different ideas of what great cinema today is, or great cinema of the past.

At the same time, if you look at the individual lists for 2012, you see a lot of sameness regardless of race/gender/national origin/age. A few weeks ago I went through and looked at about 25 lists, some of them random ones from names I wasn't familiar with, and some from people whose work I knew. The two most outré lists I found were from Guy Maddin - he actually had 2 21st century films on his list and I think he was the only person I looked at who did, and 5 of his 10 came from the late 20s-early 30s (which is no surprise if you know his work) - and Quentin Tarantino, who had lots of schlocky stuff on his list, with half from the 70s. And their lists, while not close to wholly "canonical", both had several films that ended up making the main list. I'm sure there are more unique lists out there but I didn't happen to come across them. I guess what this all indicates to me is that the people S&S was polling weren't likely to be people with tastes like Onderhond's - they might have tried for significantly more diversity in terms of where their respondents come from and what they look like, but taste-wise they're still filling up the poll with people that love Citizen Kane. And I wonder whether that will change any with this current poll - whether we'll get more really out-there, weird or experimental stuff on the one hand, or more mainstream genre stuff (whether from Hollywood or elsewhere) on the other. Or whether it will still have very much the same look, with of course some movement and a few drop-offs and add-ons, as in the past.
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#169

Post by RenaultR »

Outside of Welles, Hitchcock, and perhaps Billy Wilder, classical Hollywood cinema seems to be falling out of favor with younger generations, Hawks and Ford especially. I'm sure you could add names like Lubitsch, as well. Even Rules of the Game is expected to drop quite a bit in the next poll. I don't think this is strictly a question of younger viewers "not liking old movies", because people of all ages who "know cinema" are able to appreciate Hitchcock along with films like Citizen Kane and The Apartment. It's the classicism of films like The Searchers and Rules of the Game that doesn't seem to resonate as much today. Even the greatness of something like Passion of Joan of Arc is still pretty self-explanatory today by comparison.
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#170

Post by St. Gloede »

I think one think that will be interesting come October/November is the extent to which our classic Hollywood and classic film decline predictions come true. There's always a chance for The Rules of the Game and The Searchers stay put, or at least stay in the top 10. Theoretically they could even rise.
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#171

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I feel The Searchers is more likely to drop than Rules of the Game, since the latter film still has a small but very vocal support base that will go to the mat for it. I encounter a lot of Ford fans who don't even consider The Searchers to be their favorite of his. The Renoir film remains a keystone work for European sound cinema. 'Rules' may not be the 'sexiest' film in the canon, but it's indispensable to just about any historiography of 'auteur cinema', whereas The Searchers sort of just developed into the stand-in film for orthodox auteurism. As great as The Searchers is, it's there largely to represent a certain "school of thought" on 'cinema as art' I think.

Saying that, every shot in The Searchers is just so beautifully composed that I struggle to see how so many "don't get what the big deal is". Also, the film by no means endorses Ethan Edwards' racism. The final shot in the film is quite telling on this note.
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#172

Post by cinewest »

Here are some cool recent links about the poll:

https://www.critic.de/special/podcast-t ... 2022-4562/

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#173

Post by yllow »

Agreed about Searchers likely dropping and agree it’s a shame
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#174

Post by cinewest »

yllow wrote: September 26th, 2022, 1:59 am Agreed about Searchers likely dropping and agree it’s a shame
It's not a top 10 film to me. I do think that Ford deserves to have at least one in the top 100, but I'm not sure this is the one.
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#175

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I feel like A Brighter Summer Day is a strong candidate to break into the top 50. The Searchers and Rules of the Game seem to be the designated "What's the big deal" entries at the top of the canon. The other top ten films all seem to have 'hooks' making it easy to understand their inclusion, even when they're not among someone's personal favorites.
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#176

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I don't think that either is going to drop, they are very strongly established in canon even if a loud minority -me included, specially for The searchers- claim they shouldn't be.
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