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Sight & Sound -- how would you vote?

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kongs_speech
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Sight & Sound -- how would you vote?

#1

Post by kongs_speech »

Rather than just choosing my personal top 10, I've opted to go for a combination of preference and historical significance. If they had asked me to vote (but why would they?), this is what I'd have selected.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse)
Daisies (1967, Vera Chytilova)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Michel Gondry)
The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
Histoire(s) du cinema (1998, Jean-Luc Godard)
L'avventura (1960, Michelangelo Antonioni)
Modern Times (1936, Charles Chaplin)
Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese)
Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975, Pier Paolo Pasolini)

Those are my picks -- what about you? :thumbsup:
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#2

Post by Silga »

My ballot would look something like this:

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder, 1950)
12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957)
The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946)
L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)
Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)
Fargo (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 1996)
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#3

Post by blocho »

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#4

Post by kongs_speech »

blocho wrote: July 23rd, 2022, 1:18 am I'm sticking to my guns.

viewtopic.php?p=669130&hilit=academy#p669130
:lol:
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#5

Post by Teproc »

I like to think of it as an exercise in restrictions, so if I'm trying to be somewhat representative of cinema as a whole, I'm choosing to have no repeats of a decade, country or genre/format, which means it's quite different to what my actual top 10 would be (but much more diverse):

One Week (1920s/USA/Short)
M (1930s/Germany/Thriller)
Brief Encounter (1940s/UK/Romance)
Rashômon (1950s/Japan/Period)
Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo / The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1960s/Italy/Western)
Stalker (1970s/USSR/Sci-Fi)
Fanny och Alexander / Fanny and Alexander (1980s/Sweden/Drama)
Le dîner de cons / The Dinner Game (1990s/France/Comedy)
Wo hu cang long / Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000s/Taïwan/Action)
Taxi (2010s/Iran/Arthouse)

Taxi also acting as a honorary documentary there. Saddens me that there's no musical or horror or animation and that two continents go entirely unrepresented, but it's tough to make it all work as well as I would want it to. I could definitely shift a bunch of things around in there. No female filmmaker either, which is not great, though adding that variable would make it really tough, as most of my favourite films by female filmmakers are recent, but from countries which I'm kinda locked into using for earlier decades.
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#6

Post by OldAle1 »

There are so many ways to think of this. I like Teproc's idea of self-limiting - it's necessary in any case - and what I decided to do was to start by eliminating all of the biggest countries and directors. I think Rosenbaum said something on one of his submissions to the effect that nobody needs to be told about the greatness of Ford or Chaplin or Renoir anymore; similarly I'd say that the USA, France, Japan, the UK, Italy, Germany, etc, are established well enough that even their second and third tier directors get plenty of love. So my picks come from Brazil, (former) Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Egypt, Iran, Norway, Mali, Mexico, South Korea and Canada. Not the MOST obscure countries but certainly none of them in the very tip-top-tier, and likewise while some of these directors are pretty well known I don't believe any are in the TSP top 250 directors ('m not gonna bother double checking now). And I tried to pick themes and ideas that vary somewhat as well, though of course with only 10 films I can't have everything. No animation for example - but then I think nearly all the animated films that I've found to be great so far come from the first three of the big countries I listed. All of them are films I really love though, with most in my top 100 or so (though none are in my top 10, another limitation I decided to use). And all of them have been seen within the past decade, some for the first time (one just a few days ago actually).

Limite (Mario Peixoto, 1931)
Krakatit (Otakar Vávra, 1948)
Flicka och Hyacinter (Hasse Eckman, 1950)
Doa al karawan (Henry Barakat, 1959)
Khaneh siah ast (Forugh Farrokhzad, 1963)
Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins, 1974)
Yeelen (Souleymane Cissé, 1987)
Ángel de fuego (Dana Rotberg, 1992)
Go-yang-i-leul boo-tak-hae (Jae-eun Jeong, 2001)
Laurence Anyways (Xavier Dolan, 2012)
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#7

Post by cinewest »

@Teproc @OldAle1,

I like both of your approaches to this impossible exercise. I think I read somewhere that S & S were considering going to 50 submissions, which would still be pretty difficult. I had trouble getting down to a top 70 for my 60th birthday, and think I had around 5 ties for my 25 film submission to TSPDT in the poll held last year.

I've did something similar as Teproc when I chose my All Time NBA basketball team (one player per decade), and also like Ale's idea a lot. Why not shine a light on those places and people who deserve more attention, film wise?
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#8

Post by St. Gloede »

Thanks, Kong! Really interesting to take a closer look at how each of us would approach setting up our S&S ballot, and what considerations you would take into account that alters it from your regular top 10.

I agree with Teproc's sentiment of diversity/representation of films throughout cinema history is a core part of the extended list as a whole, as it certainly serves as one of the key springboards to explore cinema further. However, I think this diversity should mainly come from the various tastes and interests of the voters rather than being a part of the strategy of the individual voters. I.e. the "experimental mafia" pushing experimental films, etc. I prefer this more organic approach to actively strategising in diversity.

That said, it became instantly clear that I "had to" limit films from France, as my final list could easily have ended up with a French super-majority rather than a plurality. I also chose to restrict myself to one film per director. These two restrictions I placed on myself did on the flip side of things limit the decades represented.

My biggest consideration was however that, giving the very limited selection of votes available, that each film I voted for would have a realistic rather than idealistic chance of making a difference to the final results.

It is also worth noting one thing that may easily be forgotten by iCheckMovies users, namely that the list is really only 3 top 100s (Critics, Filmmakers and Combined) rather than the massive 807 film list were more familiar with. This list is simply a fan compilation of the ballots showing the films with 3+ votes. Knowing how this version is used does make including films with the hope of them making the top 800 (likely 1,000+ next time if we still go by 3+ votes) tempting as well - but remember the 3 top 100s are the real lists and the ones that casual observers will see.

Finally, I want the list to be as honest and representative of my taste as possible, i.e. beyond these two limitations and one main consideration in place, they should be as close to what my real top 10 would look like as possible.

Luckily, I don't have a fixed top 10, but more of a top 5 followed by a relative 30-40 film-tie, makings, making the list easier to navigate-

My choices:

Battleship Potemkin (1925, Sergei Eisenstein)
Children of Paradise (1945, Marcel Carné)
Last Year at Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais)
The Exterminating Angel (1962, Luis Buñuel)
Le mépris (1963, Jean-Luc Godard)
Le bonheur (1965, Agnès Varda)
Heroic Purgatory (1970, Yoshishige Yoshida)
The Ascent (1977, Larisa Shepitko)
Ran (1985, Akira Kurosawa)
Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters (2006, Guy Maddin)

Thoughts on the choices:

Of the above Battleship Potemkin (#16), Ran (#267) and The Ascent (#508) were the "weakest" and the touch-and-go films and were in part included to diversify the list. Getting a silent era film on the list was a particular concern. The other two options for me were Metropolis (#55) and Sunrise (#6) and none of them are French, making it hard to argue against them - especially as the most likely candidate in their place was Diary of a Country Priest. While I really wanted a Bresson film to be part of the list, either with this or L'argent, the last-minute decision was to reduce the French presence further.

The lack of Asian representation was also why I ended up going with Ran, it would also be odd not to include Kurosawa, and Ran is my favourite film of his, which got the numbers up to 2 Asian films (both from Japan), and the fact that I would only have 1 film made by a woman otherwise made the case quite easy for The Ascent.

The 4 films that were guaranteed inclusion were Last Year at Marienbad (#99), Le bonheur (#763), Children of Paradise (#92) and Brand Upon the Brain (not listed). In the case of Marienbad and Paradise my votes would hopefully help them either stay on the top 100 or climb further. In the case of Le bonheur I'm hoping for the increased focus on Varda will help this (and Cleo) climb higher than ever before. I don't think Le bonheur will make the final list, but finishing in the top 250 of the fan edit would have greater implications. Brand Upon the Brain is not currently on the list, and somehow, nor is any Maddin, but with the extended voting poll he should be able to get a few films reaching 3 votes at the very least - and as such it is not really a longshot - though I could be wrong.

The only clear longshot I ended up including is Heroic Purgatory (Not listed), as getting one Yoshida on the extended list almost feels like a moral necessity. Eros + Massacre may have a slightly better shot, and I did consider adding it in its stead, but Heroic Purgatory is my clear favourite and is frankly more accessible. Heroic Purgatory was also included as I realized Asia would get far lower representation than expected.

The Exterminating Angel (#190) ended up being the only film from Latin America (though still North America), and is one of the easier inclusions as I rewatched it recently and even climbed in my estimation, becoming my favourite Buñuel. This is also very lucky as it would otherwise have been Belle de jour or The Phantom of Liberty representing his filmography, and both are, of course, French ...

Speaking of French films and directors, as most of you know, my favourite director is Godard. I have 5 of his films in the above-mentioned 40-way tie, which I would trim down to one, because even if it would be fun to do an all-JLG toplist, there are 16 films in the extended list (and 4 in the top 100). Breathless is obviously the top choice on the list, but as I have always found it middling by JLG standards, I would vote for the only film with a real shot at overtaking it: Contempt (#27). The other alternative would have been to vote for Prenom Carmen, which is not currently on the list at all, but has a strong niche following, I would however have been worried about wasting that vote. (The other Godard options would be Alphaville, Pierrot le fou and Hélas pour moi).

I was trying to find a film from the 2010s or 2020s to include but while there are masterpieces, and I have 4 in my top hundred, none felt quite strong enough to compete to be on the list, the only film I considered being A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.

Of the above Battleship Potemkin is the only one with a remotely realistic top 10 chance, and my votes would have no say on the stand-off between Vertigo and Citizen Kane, nor the (minuscule) possibility of Tokyo Story or 2001 overtaking them, but I'd be ok with that.

Purposefully excluded:

The only film more or less guaranteed to make my top 10 under normal circumstances to not make the cut here would be The Parallel Street, which I tend to include in my top 5, and while it has slowly garnered a strong forum presence I don't think it has any plausibility what so ever of making even a super-extended S&S fan-edit.

I already mentioned Diary of a Country Priest being changed for Battleship Potemkin earlier, that was a very hard choice - though the very final film to get the axe as the list had to go down to 10 was Fassbinder's Chinese Roulette, by far his best and a unique concept, but with 6 Fassbinders already included, and with Chinese Roulette being a clear underdog unlikely to strike up a consensus amongst Fassbinder fans eager to rise his profile, it seemed to close to a risky choice.

Another film I almost included and tend to have on my top 10 is Eden and After (1970), one of the most beautifully shot films ever made, though being a longshot, not to mention French, and also similar to Last Year at Marienbad in certain respects (Alain Robbe-Grillet is the writer of Marienbad, and the film has many of the traits that would be felt in his later films), I decided against it.

Two other likely candidates for the top 10 that just would not get the votes would be Film Portrait (1970) and The Elegant Life of Mr. Everyman (1963). The former would have been the only US and documentary inclusion, which made it very, very tempting, but it would never get the votes, nor would Mr Everyman - and shockingly no Okamoto has made the list. This did make me consider voting for Sword of Doom, but I do not love it quite enough for it to get that kind of push.

I also really want to include an example from Rohmer's Comedies & Proverb cycle, but as I can not vote for the cycle on its own, and the parts are slightly weaker than the whole, along with being, well, French, I decided to leave The Aviator's Wife and The Green Ray off the list, though both were very tempting.
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#9

Post by cinewest »

@St. Gloede,

Your discussion of all you wish you had included spotlights my own difficulty with naming a top 10 (the best I could do is a top 30 or 40 without feeling like I am doing a disservice to a number of my favorite filmmakers or films.

As you and others have done, I suppose developing some kind strategy that eliminates films for me would be one way of going about it, but there would always be counter arguments to whatever strategy I chose (ie. not voting for a more popular film because it will likely gain votes from others would likely hurt where it wound up on the list, while voting for a film not likely to receive (m)any votes might just earn it a singular mention, which is not much more than no mention at all. Something similar would occur, if I tried to spread my votes among different kinds of films or nationalities).

Seems like you would be happiest if you could just include French and Japanese films mostly from the 60's, though you tried to control that :-)
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#10

Post by OldAle1 »

St. Gloede wrote: July 25th, 2022, 12:23 pm
My biggest consideration was however that, giving the very limited selection of votes available, that each film I voted for would have a realistic rather than idealistic chance of making a difference to the final results.

Brand Upon the Brain is not currently on the list, and somehow, nor is any Maddin, but with the extended voting poll he should be able to get a few films reaching 3 votes at the very least - and as such it is not really a longshot - though I could be wrong.

The only clear longshots I ended up including is Heroic Purgatory (Not listed), as getting one Yoshida on the extended list almost feels like a moral necessity. Eros + Massacre may have a slightly better shot, and I did consider adding it in its stead, but Heroic Purgatory is my clear favourite and is frankly more accessible. Heroic Purgatory was also included as I realized Asia would get far lower representation than expected.
Here is where you and I really differed in our approaches - and it's interesting to see such a difference, as I believe we are two of the more canon-friendly regulars on this forum. I didn't even look at the actual list (or lists) before making my choices, and only looked actually after you posted yours with your extensive comments. I suppose my own approach can be summed up by suggesting that I'm really much more interested in canon-expansion and to some extent canon-change, rather than reinforcement. You have some of that as well with your Yoshida and Maddin choices, but your list on the whole is much more conservative. It's possible that were I actually a voter, I'd take an approach a bit closer to yours; likely, actually, to some extent. A film like Ángel de fuego, a totally obscure work from a still totally obscure director who has gained absolutely zero traction in the larger critical world would seem to be a futile gesture for example, so I would be likely to skip it. But you never know - films often do take quite a long time to become "canonized" and they will only ever have a chance of getting there if a few folks press hard in promoting them. We've seen in our years here and on IMDb directors like Rivette, Robbe-Grillet and Mekas for example gain significantly more traction, and I can remember a time when Tarkovsky was barely known at all. Of course the massive expansion of the internet and the accumulation of lists of all kinds, and wider availability of key works in good quality video transfers has more to do with it than anything - but you have to start from somewhere.

Taking a deeper dive into my choices I find that three are already on S&S

Khaneh siah ast
Edvard Munch
Yeelen


all in the 200s-300s, so reasonably likely to stay on the list this year. One film I would have guessed might have been on the list, but isn't

Limite

This of course was restored fairly recently - I believe since the last S&S poll - and it's a film that has gained in it's critical rep over the years/decades, so I could well imagine it showing up this year - it's certainly a strong contender in any case.

There are three that I can at least imagine making the list - two are older films with some decent critical reputation but perhaps just not quite enough "fame" yet, and the third a newer film from a young director who's had quite a run in his early career - if not this film, then perhaps one of his other features I think is a possibility

Flicka och Hyacinter
Doa al karawan
Laurence Anyways


but I certainly wouldn't bet on any of them making it - I just see it as at least possible.

The other three include the film I mentioned in my first paragraph, and would seem to be far outside of the realm of possible inclusion, at least right now

Krakatit
Ángel de fuego
Go-yang-i-leul boo-tak-hae


So in the "real world" of voting, I might well drop these three and pick three films that are a little "safer". Or not. The list doesn't evolve if safe choices keep being made - but picking the most outré films likely isn't going to move the needle either, unless one is in cahoots with other voters, which I certainly can imagine happening (Line Describing a Cone, anyone?).
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#11

Post by beavis »

I made an ICM account in 2011 and remember vividly the 2012 S&S poll. For the first time I thought/understood what a really big deal that was, and it made me instantly excited about the next poll, so long away. Of course, now it is close by, I am still excited, very much, but I must say the talk about list making in general is wearing on me. I think there has been an article each time In the Sight and Sound magazine this year about who will vote, how people will vote, how people should vote and so on. Here again there is talk about all different possible "strategies" and the supposed reasons behind it. Now I've been making enought lists through polls and other means along with you here in these past ten years to know about all the inherent flaws/problems in list making, most pertinently when talking about canons how there is a self amplifying effect where what is most seen gets on top and therefore gets most seen again by the next generation... and how this effect brings a supposed objective importance to these movies in the sense of bringing a shared history and a common ground to talk from when we are talking movies, but also how some movies that are equally great or potentially even greater are always slipping through the cracks.

But how about just listing "your top 10", the movies that are amazing masterpieces, the most important to you, ánd therefore huge favorites? I think that is what I would do and maybe the less exciting answer for this thread. This is my Top10 (the way I have it listed at MM for the past few years)

1. Sátántangó (1994)
2. Stalker (1979)
3. Rengoku Eroica (1970)
4. La Vie Nouvelle (2002)
5. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
6. Salò o Le 120 Giornate di Sodoma (1975)
7. Apocalypse Now (1979)
8. India Song (1975)
9. Banshun (1949)
10. Trys Dienos (1991)

There is no strategy there, nothing about quota, distributions, limitations, how I want to come across as a movie lover/buff, or how I think I should come across. It is pure and simple my top 10

Now, to play the game a bit or not to come across as a complete party pooper ;) If I would think of the poll in a way that the result should be a cannonical list with optimal representation, a solidified history of a shared movie experience as I suggested above and/or a tool that would take young movie lovers by the hand and teach them all that is available and important to know when it comes to cinematic art... then I think of a poll we had a while back where we were trying to come up with what we as forum thought a canon should look like: Red Planet Films viewtopic.php?p=716197

But my submission for that was of course not a top 10... If I were to limit that approach into a top 10, I would single out those movies that in my mind laid the groundwork of cinematic modernity and sophistication / the pinnacle of what I think is cinematic art. Chronologically that might look something like this:

La passion de Jeanne d'Arc
Menschen am Sonntag
Banshun
Stromboli (Terra di Dio)
Hiroshima mon amour
L'eclisse
Gertrud
Rengoku eroica
Stalker
Sátántangó

Although a lot of arguments could be made for the inclusion/exclusion of many other movies, so personal favoritism plays a lot into this selection aswell, which is why there is actually quite a bit of overlap. I could select more from the 1924 - 1928 period, as that was really a period of great invention and sophistication, and I could stop after Rengoku Eroica (or maybe more to the point after Kaigenrei, as that Yoshida movie is for me the pinaccle of the kind of cinematic sophistication I am on about here) .... so, maybe that gives some interesting insight or angles to think about, it also makes me again quite perfectly happy with my current real top 10 as it stands! :)
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#12

Post by Torgo »

beavis wrote: July 25th, 2022, 4:35 pm There is no strategy there, nothing about quota, distributions, limitations, how I want to come across as a movie lover/buff, or how I think I should come across. It is pure and simple my top 10
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#13

Post by jeroeno »

01.The Fifth Element (1997)
02. Sunshine (2007)
03. Strange Days (1995)
04. Predator (1987)
05. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
06. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
07. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
08. Pulp Fiction (1994)
09. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
10. Starship Troopers (1997)
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#14

Post by St. Gloede »

OldAle1 wrote: July 25th, 2022, 3:43 pm
St. Gloede wrote: July 25th, 2022, 12:23 pm
My biggest consideration was however that, giving the very limited selection of votes available, that each film I voted for would have a realistic rather than idealistic chance of making a difference to the final results.

Brand Upon the Brain is not currently on the list, and somehow, nor is any Maddin, but with the extended voting poll he should be able to get a few films reaching 3 votes at the very least - and as such it is not really a longshot - though I could be wrong.

The only clear longshots I ended up including is Heroic Purgatory (Not listed), as getting one Yoshida on the extended list almost feels like a moral necessity. Eros + Massacre may have a slightly better shot, and I did consider adding it in its stead, but Heroic Purgatory is my clear favourite and is frankly more accessible. Heroic Purgatory was also included as I realized Asia would get far lower representation than expected.
Here is where you and I really differed in our approaches - and it's interesting to see such a difference, as I believe we are two of the more canon-friendly regulars on this forum. I didn't even look at the actual list (or lists) before making my choices, and only looked actually after you posted yours with your extensive comments. I suppose my own approach can be summed up by suggesting that I'm really much more interested in canon-expansion and to some extent canon-change, rather than reinforcement. You have some of that as well with your Yoshida and Maddin choices, but your list on the whole is much more conservative. It's possible that were I actually a voter, I'd take an approach a bit closer to yours; likely, actually, to some extent. A film like Ángel de fuego, a totally obscure work from a still totally obscure director who has gained absolutely zero traction in the larger critical world would seem to be a futile gesture for example, so I would be likely to skip it. But you never know - films often do take quite a long time to become "canonized" and they will only ever have a chance of getting there if a few folks press hard in promoting them. We've seen in our years here and on IMDb directors like Rivette, Robbe-Grillet and Mekas for example gain significantly more traction, and I can remember a time when Tarkovsky was barely known at all. Of course the massive expansion of the internet and the accumulation of lists of all kinds, and wider availability of key works in good quality video transfers has more to do with it than anything - but you have to start from somewhere.

Taking a deeper dive into my choices I find that three are already on S&S

Khaneh siah ast
Edvard Munch
Yeelen


all in the 200s-300s, so reasonably likely to stay on the list this year. One film I would have guessed might have been on the list, but isn't

Limite

This of course was restored fairly recently - I believe since the last S&S poll - and it's a film that has gained in it's critical rep over the years/decades, so I could well imagine it showing up this year - it's certainly a strong contender in any case.

There are three that I can at least imagine making the list - two are older films with some decent critical reputation but perhaps just not quite enough "fame" yet, and the third a newer film from a young director who's had quite a run in his early career - if not this film, then perhaps one of his other features I think is a possibility

Flicka och Hyacinter
Doa al karawan
Laurence Anyways


but I certainly wouldn't bet on any of them making it - I just see it as at least possible.

The other three include the film I mentioned in my first paragraph, and would seem to be far outside of the realm of possible inclusion, at least right now

Krakatit
Ángel de fuego
Go-yang-i-leul boo-tak-hae


So in the "real world" of voting, I might well drop these three and pick three films that are a little "safer". Or not. The list doesn't evolve if safe choices keep being made - but picking the most outré films likely isn't going to move the needle either, unless one is in cahoots with other voters, which I certainly can imagine happening (Line Describing a Cone, anyone?).
Yes, interesting difference in perspectives.

I think that in the specific case of S&S, which above all is a canon exercise of, it is not really "about us", in the sense that the majority of people who to one extent or another will care about the results are quite unlikely to actively explore the extended list, or even the full top 100.

While this is mainly based on perceptions and assumptions we will likely be talking about film buffs and more causual film viewers who will be influenced in terms of what 1-5 French films from the 60s they will ever see in their life, perhaps 10 for the more interested. Alternatively, it could be the 1-5 films they'll watch from the 60s, period.

As such (though based on my presumptions) I would say even getting something like #102 Touki Bouki, #108 O thiasos and many (most of the films bubbling just outside of the top 100 would be canon expanding as they would be placing films that people have likely never heard of, from countries they have possibly never seen a film from, in front of them.

In that spirit I also don't have a rock the boat attitude as lists of this kind will ensure that future generations will actually take the time to watch The Rules of the Game, Sunrise, etc. films that aren't really in the public consciousness anymore beyond lists of this kind. While I only would have votes for 3 of the current films on the top 100 myself, I don't think that what is currently in the canon can be taken for granted.

That said, I could see myself playing into a similar your approach as well, especially if I voted with the aim of having an effect on TSPDT (which takes individual ballots into account) rather than just S&S, and use this as a way to shout out key films to more niche circles, either just to get these niches (and people here) to see them, or to slowly, over time, get them solidified into the canon, which I think Heroic Purgatory, Brand Upon the Brain and even more likely, your choice, Limite, could be one day. (Limite will quite likely make the list this year IMO, I think your reasoning is very good there).
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#15

Post by St. Gloede »

cinewest wrote: July 25th, 2022, 2:52 pm Seems like you would be happiest if you could just include French and Japanese films mostly from the 60's, though you tried to control that :-)
Not a bad assessment. :D
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#16

Post by prodigalgodson »

I think I'd go with something like...

1. Vertigo (1958)
2. Floating Clouds (1955)
3. Andrei Rublev (1966)
4. West of the Tracks (2003)
5. The Big Lebowski (1998)
6. Horse Money (2014)
7. Inca Light (1972)
8. India Song (1975)
9. L'avventura (1960)
10. Die Nibelungen (1924)

Which could easily make for a top 10 too, but I gave priority to including a good spectrum of stuff here.
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#17

Post by Fergenaprido »

à la beavis, I would probably just submit my own Top Ten, with the caveat of limiting it to feature-length films (i.e no shorts or mini-series even if I've rated them higher).

1. Amélie (2001 France, Jeunet)
2. C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005 Canada, Vallée)
3. Finding Nemo (2003 USA, Stanton)
4. Brokeback Mountain (2005 USA, Lee)
5. The Sound of Music (1965 USA, Wise)
6. Fargo (1996 USA, Coen)
7. The Shawshank Redemption (1993 USA, Darabont)
8. Schindler's List (1993 USA, Spielberg)
9. The Matrix (1999 USA, Wachowski)
10. Inception (2010 USA, Nolan)

That being said, I've only seen #7, 8, and 10 once, so I'm less certain about their place in my top ten.

I checked out the S&S site, and found this quote about the 2012 poll:
As a qualification of what ‘greatest’ means, our invitation letter stated, “We leave that open to your interpretation. You might choose the ten films you feel are most important to film history, or the ten that represent the aesthetic pinnacles of achievement, or indeed the ten films that have had the biggest impact on your own view of cinema.”
So while those may be my favourite films of all time (or the ten I've rated the highest), I don't know if I would consider them the greatest. I kind of feel that for a film to be truly great I need to have seen it at least twice, but I don't rewatch a lot of films (I plan to do more of that next year). I don't think I'd bother trying to figure out which films would have the best chance of making the list, nor of promoting films that need exposure, but rather a list of 10 films that I adore that I think are worthy of being considered among the greatest in the world, and perhaps trying to enforce a modicum of diversity beyond my seeming preferences for English and French films from Canada, the US, and France.

All of my top ten above received less than 10 votes each (the list at the top of the icm page doesn't line up with the placements below it, so I'm not sure how many each one had exactly), and half of them don't appear at all.

So, all things considered, I think this would be my ballot (alphabeticallly):

Amélie (2001 France, Jeunet)
C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005 Canada, Vallée)
Come and See (1985 USSR, Klimov)
Fargo (1996 USA, Coen)
Rafiki (2018 Kenya, Kahiu)
Seven Samurai (19554 Japan, Kurosawa)
The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012 Belgium, van Groeningen)
The Matrix (1999 USA, Wachowski)
The Sound of Music (1965 USA, Wise)
The Way He Looks (2014 Brazil, Ribeiro)

I've seen all of those films at least twice, except for Come and See (which haunts me to this day and I plan to rewatch as soon as I get my own place with a nice big tv screen), and Rafiki & Seven Samurai (which replaced Jurassic Park, as I felt my ballot didn't need 3 American blockbusters from the 1990s). Ask me again in 3 months and this list might be different. Ask me again in 3 years and I hope it will be different.

P.S. Thanks for the Red Planet Films shoutout, beavis.
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#18

Post by cinewest »

St. Gloede wrote: July 25th, 2022, 5:57 pm
cinewest wrote: July 25th, 2022, 2:52 pm Seems like you would be happiest if you could just include French and Japanese films mostly from the 60's, though you tried to control that :-)
Not a bad assessment. :D
When I did this exercise a few years ago, I mostly picked great films by my favorite filmmakers, but all of them are pretty well-known. Then, I made a second list after eliminating these 15 iconic filmmakers (Chaplin, Bunuel, Welles, Bergman, Kurosawa, Fellini, Antonioni, Kubrick, Tarkovsky, Malick, Kieslowski, Kiarostami, Wong Kar Wai, Haneke, and Von Trier altogether), and chose favorite films apart from them, but that list would probably change some today. At the time, I also wrote a 10 page explanation about what I eliminated, what I chose. and why.
Last edited by cinewest on July 26th, 2022, 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#19

Post by maxwelldeux »

This is fun and an interesting read - I'll play along.

I appreciated the discussion of "favorite" vs. "best" and all the variants therein. I have a hard time arguing against any of my top 7 on any variant of the list, so for my list, I just included all of those in order. To round out the top 10, I looked through the rest of my 10/10 films (<30 10/10 films out of 738 on my 8+/10 favorites list) and chose three films that rounded out my taste and perspective with a lens towards difference from my top seven. So, in order...

1. 12 Angry Men (1957)
2. Brief Encounter (1945)
3. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
4. American Beauty (1999)
5. Patton (1970)
6. Life is Beautiful (1997)
7. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
8. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
9. 9/11 (2002)
10. Hara-Kiri (1962)
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#20

Post by Onderhond »

I fully agree with beavis on this one. I'd just go for my personal favorites, that's what the greatest cinema is for me:

01/ Avalon
02/ Enter the Void
03/ Honey PuPu
04/ Ghost in the Shell 2
05/ Dolls
06/ Tokyo.sora
07/ Dead Leaves
08/ Umfeld
09/ Tetsuo: The Iron Man
10/ Reconstruction

If they want a more objective "greatest/most important", they should ask scholars.
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#21

Post by Teproc »

Well, S&S kind of is that. They're not specifically asking academics (though archivists are basically that), but they are asking "experts". Also, I'll note that I never mentioned "best" or "most important" myself, just wanted some diversity, and also I kinda had fun trying to do that puzzle. If I were to do my "raw" top 10, it would be this:

Pulp Fiction
Tonari no Totoro / My Neighbor Totoro
Mononoke-hime / Princess Mononoke
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi / Spirited Away
Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo / The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Fargo
Vertigo
Tengoku to jigoku / High and Low
The Matrix

Only three countries and 5 decades, which is why I followed the train of thought that I did.
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#22

Post by St. Gloede »

If I ignored all considerations my list would probably look like this, so just 4 films traded out, but as mentioned the films after my top 5-6 are essentially tied so there is almost an arbitrary nature to those final spots.

Children of Paradise (1945, Marcel Carné)
Last Year at Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais)
The Exterminating Angel (1962, Luis Buñuel)
The Parallel Street (1962, Ferdinand Khittl)
Le bonheur (1965, Agnès Varda)
Eden and After (1970, Alain Robbe-Grillet)
Heroic Purgatory (1970, Yoshishige Yoshida)
Chinese Roulette (1976, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
Prénom Carmen (1983, Jean-Luc Godard)
Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters (2006, Guy Maddin)
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#23

Post by Good_Will_Harding »

Well, my first instinct would be just to list off my personal top ten and see how that fares.
Current top 10
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Fantasia (1940)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Gojira (1954)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
But then it's time to consider what my initial list might be lacking - while it isn't starved for older/"classic" cinema, it's admittedly heavy on English-language works, despite one (or two, depending on if you count the anime) non-American film dubbed into English. And no silent films either. So I've cobbled together a second list comprised entirely of films from countries that didn't make it onto my first list, so I can better see where any blindspots might be.
International Runner Up's
Close-Up (1990)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
El Norte (1983)
M (1931)
Pather Panchali (1955)
Soy Cuba (1964)
Stalker (1979)
The Housemaid (1960)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
Of course there's the question of high ranking, previously established classics, whose merit even the most cynical film buffs would be foolish to dismiss. Ten for this section as well.
Class acts
Citizen Kane (1941)
City Lights (1931)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
The Rules of the Game (1939)
The Searchers (1956)
Tokyo Story (1953)
Vertigo (1958)
Now for the finalized ballot. Everyone here has made some good points about trying to avoid obvious picks and prop up lesser known works, which I do appreciate a lot. However, for my own list, I think I'm better off not overthinking it and just going with what feels right. So I used my personal top ten as a template, but switched the ordering around to reflect what I feel is "greatest" material, and also swapped out a few films with ones from the second and third lists, to help give it more of a worldwide scope.
Final "submission"
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2. Fantasia (1940)
3. Citizen Kane (1941)
4. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
5. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
6. Gojira (1954)
7. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
8. Stalker (1979)
9. Close-Up (1990)
10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Ehh, still not perfect to my eyes, but then again, no mere list of ten films is going to perfectly encompass the entirety of film history across the globe.
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#24

Post by matthewscott8 »

I can't find a compelling reason to depart from my top 10 favourites, though thinking about this gave me an opportunity to rejig that group:

Le soulier de satin / The Satin Slipper (1985 - Manoel de Oliveira)
Limite (1931 - Mario Peixoto)
Les enfants du paradis / Children of Paradise (1945 - Marcel Carné)
Les Maîtres du temps / Time Masters (1982 - René Laloux)
Fanny och Alexander / Fanny and Alexander (1983 - Ingmar Bergman) TV Version
The Tree of Life (2011 - Terrence Malick)
Panique au village / A Town Called Panic (2009 - Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar)
The Last Picture Show (1971 - Peter Bogdanovich)
Il deserto dei tartari / The Desert of the Tartars (1976 - Valerio Zurlini)
Odd Man Out (1947 - Carol Reed)
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#25

Post by viktor-vaudevillain »

I once made a "Top 10 of evah"-list on LB, in case Sight and Sound would suddenly call me up. Here is a link: https://letterboxd.com/virtualviktor/li ... 0-of-evah/

It was 2 years ago, and I could easily still go with that list, but I'd probably change it a bit. The result is below.

I do also consider my favorites to be the greatest films of all time. I don't distinguish much.
When making such a list I am pushing for some eclecticism and diversity. Something old, something new. Something Asian, something European.

From my previous list I changed Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1998), Cœur fidèle (Jean Epstein, 1923) and A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, 1991) to the last three on this list:

Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
Mirror (Andrey Tarkovsky, 1975)
All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)
Reality's Invisble (Robert E. Fulton, 1972)
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-Liang, 2003)
God’s Comedy (João César Monteiro, 1995)
Le diable, probablement (Robert Bresson, 1977)
Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Harun Farocki, 1989)
Ich war zuhause, aber (Angela Schanelec, 2019)
Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915)

... yet, it is still a bummer not to have anything Japanese represented, no The Brown Bunny, or anything by Carl Th. Dreyer, Pedro Costa, Chantal Akerman, Hong Sang-Soo, Abbas Kiarostami, Josef von Sternberg, Jacques Tourneur, Straub/Huillet and Mani Kaul etc etc etc ...
Last edited by viktor-vaudevillain on August 21st, 2022, 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#26

Post by gromit82 »

When is this year's Sight & Sound poll expected to be released?
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#27

Post by St. Gloede »

November issue, likely released sometime around the 7th of October.
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#28

Post by kongs_speech »

St. Gloede wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:43 pm November issue, likely released sometime around the 7th of October.
I've got 57 films to go in the critics' poll top 250. Gonna give it my best shot to get 100% before the new poll.
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#29

Post by OldAle1 »

kongs_speech wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:47 pm
St. Gloede wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:43 pm November issue, likely released sometime around the 7th of October.
I've got 57 films to go in the critics' poll top 250. Gonna give it my best shot to get 100% before the new poll.
I have 3. A 15 1/2 hour German miniseries, a 9 hour Chinese documentary, and 3 1/2 hours of Andy Warhol. I can't even begin to imagine the universe in which I would watch all of those within the next 6 weeks, particularly the last of the three.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#30

Post by kongs_speech »

OldAle1 wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:52 pm
kongs_speech wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:47 pm
St. Gloede wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:43 pm November issue, likely released sometime around the 7th of October.
I've got 57 films to go in the critics' poll top 250. Gonna give it my best shot to get 100% before the new poll.
I have 3. A 15 1/2 hour German miniseries, a 9 hour Chinese documentary, and 3 1/2 hours of Andy Warhol. I can't even begin to imagine the universe in which I would watch all of those within the next 6 weeks, particularly the last of the three.
I haven't done any of those three yet, but I did Satantango this week and now it's one of my favorite films.
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#31

Post by matthewscott8 »

OldAle1 wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:52 pm
kongs_speech wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:47 pm
St. Gloede wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:43 pm November issue, likely released sometime around the 7th of October.
I've got 57 films to go in the critics' poll top 250. Gonna give it my best shot to get 100% before the new poll.
I have 3. A 15 1/2 hour German miniseries, a 9 hour Chinese documentary, and 3 1/2 hours of Andy Warhol. I can't even begin to imagine the universe in which I would watch all of those within the next 6 weeks, particularly the last of the three.
In September the Barbican is showing some Warhol films, wondering if I should go see or if it's time I'll not get back:

https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/20 ... screentalk
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#32

Post by OldAle1 »

matthewscott8 wrote: August 20th, 2022, 10:01 pm
OldAle1 wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:52 pm
kongs_speech wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:47 pm

I've got 57 films to go in the critics' poll top 250. Gonna give it my best shot to get 100% before the new poll.
I have 3. A 15 1/2 hour German miniseries, a 9 hour Chinese documentary, and 3 1/2 hours of Andy Warhol. I can't even begin to imagine the universe in which I would watch all of those within the next 6 weeks, particularly the last of the three.
In September the Barbican is showing some Warhol films, wondering if I should go see or if it's time I'll not get back:

https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/20 ... screentalk
Well, it's shorts, so that's something :o - the only one of the three Warhol films I've seen (at least, that I can remember - may have seen a couple back in the early 90s and just never recorded them) that I gave a positive rating to was Blow Job, the only short. And two of those three look to be very scarce, only 2 checks apiece; or it's possible that nobody's bothered with them because they're not official :lol: I mean, for myself I will watch Chelsea Girls some day simply because it's been on my personal mental list of legendary films for 30 or more years, but I don't look forward to it, or to anything else with his name on it. Even so I'd probably go to a short program of short films just for the hell of it, for something I'd not likely get a chance to see again.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#33

Post by Torgo »

kongs_speech wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:47 pm
St. Gloede wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:43 pm November issue, likely released sometime around the 7th of October.
I've got 57 films to go in the critics' poll top 250. Gonna give it my best shot to get 100% before the new poll.
Phew, but why? I personally would relax. That sounds like a somehow arbitrary goal - no need to rush it with some of the best films of all time if you don't really want to ..
:sweat:

But to each their own.
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#34

Post by beavis »

32/807 to go for me, and those include a whopping 8 (!!!) John Ford movies, also some longer works like Empire, Le chagrin et la pitié, Historias extraordinarias, Ryan's Daughter, but length is not something I fear of itself. Biggest shame on me is that I still haven't seen Xala and Ceddo yet... but on top of my watchlist for this list, at the moment, are Hunger, L'albero degli zoccoli and Pred dozhdot, those I hope to see at least before the new list is here. Fingers Crossed for the John Ford deluge thinning out a bit... ;)
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#35

Post by kongs_speech »

Torgo wrote: August 20th, 2022, 11:02 pm
kongs_speech wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:47 pm
St. Gloede wrote: August 20th, 2022, 4:43 pm November issue, likely released sometime around the 7th of October.
I've got 57 films to go in the critics' poll top 250. Gonna give it my best shot to get 100% before the new poll.
Phew, but why? I personally would relax. That sounds like a somehow arbitrary goal - no need to rush it with some of the best films of all time if you don't really want to ..
:sweat:

But to each their own.
I've been having a blast with it. Going through the classics is much more fulfilling than watching a lot of mediocre shlock. I'm not joylessly marathoning these S&S films. I just watch one a day, maybe two.
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#36

Post by Dolwphin »

Top 10 Films of All-Time

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas, 2000)
Au hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
L' année dernière à Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961)
La région centrale (Michael Snow, 1971)
Leviathan (Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2012)
No quarto da Vanda (Pedro Costa, 2000)
Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994)
Suna no Onna (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1964)
Un homme qui dort (Bernard Queysanne, 1974)
Zerkalo (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975)

Ten Honorable Mentions

Bakushû (Yasujiro Ozu, 1951)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)
Nostos: Il ritorno (Franco Piavoli, 1989)
Shichinin no samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985)
Shura (Toshio Matsumoto, 1971)
Soy Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964)
The Flicker (Tony Conrad, 1965)
The Hart of London (Jack Chambers, 1970)
Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)

(I learned to count from QT and Scorsese)
Last edited by Dolwphin on August 22nd, 2022, 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#37

Post by Torgo »

Dolwphin wrote: August 21st, 2022, 7:13 am Leviathan (Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2000)
*2012

Proof of work from me.
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#38

Post by Dolwphin »

Torgo wrote: August 21st, 2022, 6:39 pm
Dolwphin wrote: August 21st, 2022, 7:13 am Leviathan (Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2000)
*2012

Proof of work from me.
Oops. :facepalm:
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