Which Sight & Sound all-time top 10 list is the best?

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so what you will about boring canons, a lot of these movies are just fucking miracles to me.

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

wtf Searchers, explain yourself!

-- I know, right?, Wednesday, August 6, 2008 4:58 PM (32 minutes ago)

I know, right?, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think one problem with Mizoguchi is that he isn't nearly as "Western" as Kurosawa; his late career movies especially lack clear-cut moralities and are more ambivalent and open-ended than most Western movies of the era. This isn't to say that Kurosawa is any worse than Mizoguchi, though (I love them both), just that Mizoguchi probably isn't as easy to digest in the West.

Tuomas, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

David Thomson's beef with Kurosawa rests on this premise.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

Anurag's list has a certain integrity until Jerry Maguire shows up!

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

In retrospect, I should've also included, as a poll option, Paul Schrader, if only as a joke. But that article ended up being the furor that never happened, in the end.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

But you look at the lists from "non-Western" critics and you're more likely to see, if anything, an even more pronounced taste for Western movie values.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

when will films from Iran/China/HK/Taiwan show up on S&S lists? Never, that's when.

Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

Schrader reminds me: no Bresson on any of these lists.

(the mizoguchi/ozu vs kurosawa thing always struck me as a bit of a western "orientalist" bias)

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

xps are directed at you btw Soto

I know, right?, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

C'mon – Kiarostami will show up soon.


Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

In the category of "small victories," Close-Up managed something like four votes.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

I bet something like Flowers of Shanghai will show up next time. maybe not top ten though.

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 17:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

Wong Kar Wai is in the process of dismantling any chance he once had of showing up on these lists isn't he.

I know, right?, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 18:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

Flowers of Shanghai's best chance was surely in '02, right? It had all the "greatest masterwork of the 1990s" hype still running fairly hot at that point. I rarely see much chatter about it these days.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, you're probably right.

I like to check on the Senses of Cinema list once in a while, though I wish they made it longer than 10.

1. Vertigo(Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane(Orson Welles, 1941)
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey(Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
4. 8½(Federico Fellini, 1963)
5. La Règle du jeu(Jean Renoir, 1939)
6. Tokyo Story(Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
7. Sunrise(F. W. Murnau, 1927)
8. Au Hasard, Balthazar(Robert Bresson, 1966)
9. Taxi Driver(Martin Scorsese, 1976)
10. La Passion de Jeanne D'Arc(Carl Dreyer, 1928

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

i am a bigger french new wave fan than most, but i am totally stunned by the lack of any godard or 400 blows, or resnais.

I am going with 72, for the silents and the inclusion of Persona. (even though i still would rather not have any fellini on a top ten list)

t0dd swiss, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

I really have to hope that Bresson will escape the Buñuel/Mizoguchi trap, and that enough consensus will settle on Balthazar, but my guess is not ... too many others will go for Pickpocket or A Man Escaped instead.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

The only thing keeping me from wholly endorsing 1962 and that then-two-years-old movie landing at #2 is the presence of two Eisensteins (even if one, Ivan, is by far my favorite of his).

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Apparently in 1962 nobody laughed at the movies.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm sort of surprised Resnais didn't managed to crack the top 10 in '62, then.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

L'avventura seems to be the only movie to crack the top ten relatively soon after it's release.

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

'92, bcz it has Vigo, Ray & Dreyer on it, and no Coppola, 8-1/2 or Singin'.

otm plus no avventurzzzzzzzzz....

tipsy mothra, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 21:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

i love L'avventura but i'd rank The Passenger over it.

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think I am voting '92 too for no Felini although I wish Singing in the Rain was.

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm as upset as anyone that Ugetsu has been phased out of the top 10 out of the past few decades since it is, to my tastes, far greater than anything Kurosawa has done; perhaps my favorite film as of now. Yet aside from that "Western" / non-Western thing, I read an interesting article somewhere describing Mizoguchi's works & aesthetic as being more classically feminine or concerned with the feminine, as opposed to the obsession-with-the-masculine that Kurosawa exhibited, that has resonated with (mostly male) film critics.

I wonder how different these lists would be if you *weren't* able to see your peers' rankings, and all voting would remain unpublished & anonymous....

Here is the "combined list" of the critics AND directors' rankings, the Top 50 - it is really cool to check out the entire shebang here, since I find it to be the most important/comprehensive list of world cinema on the net so far that doesn't seem all arbitrary (like that 1001 Films website thing) - and yes, I'd have to like to join this let's-watch club (but they started it in 2002, and as you can see from the last page of the board, they're still goin' at it!)


Rank Title Director Year

1 Citizen Kane Welles 1941
2 Vertigo Hitchcock 1958
3 Rules of the Game Renoir 1939
4 8 ½ Fellini 1963
5 2001: A Space Odyssey Kubrick 1968
6 Tokyo Story Ozu 1953
7 Godfather Part II, The Coppola 1974
8 Seven Samurai Kurosawa 1954
9 Rashomon Kurosawa 1950
10 Battleship Potemkin Eisenstein 1925
10 Singin' in the Rain Donen/Kelly 1952
12 Sunrise Murnau 1927
13 Searchers, The Ford 1956
14 Lawrence of Arabia Lean 1962
15 Godfather, The Coppola 1972
16 Bicycle Thieves, The De Sica 1948
16 Dolce Vita, La Fellini 1960
16 Passion of Joan of Arc, The Dreyer 1928
19 Avventura, L' Antonioni 1960
19 Breathless (A Bout de souffle) Godard 1960
19 Touch of Evil Welles 1958
22 Dr. Strangelove Kubrick 1964
22 Jules and Jim Truffaut 1962
22 Raging Bull Scorsese 1980
25 Atalante, L' Vigo 1934
25 Psycho Hitchcock 1960
25 Sunset Blvd. Wilder 1950
28 Fanny and Alexander Bergman 1982
28 General, The Keaton/Bruckman 1927
28 Godfather & Godfather Part II, The Coppola
28 Mirror, The Tarkovsky 1975
28 Some Like it Hot Wilder 1959
33 Andrei Roublev Tarkovsky 1969
33 City Lights Chaplin 1931
33 Children of Paradise (Enfants du
Paradis) Carne 1945
33 Grand Illusion Renoir 1937
37 Apartment, The Wilder 1960
37 Apocalypse Now Coppola 1979
37 Au hasard Balthazar Bresson 1966
37 Pather Panchali Ray, Satyajit 1955
37 Seventh Seal, The Bergman 1955
37 Taxi Driver Scorsese 1976
43 Casablanca Curtiz 1942
43 Chinatown Polanski 1974
43 Contempt (Le Mepris) Godard 1963
43 Third Man, The Reed 1949
43 Ugetsu Monogatari Mizoguchi 1953
48 Ivan the Terrible Eisenstein 1947
48 Metropolis Lang 1927
50 400 Blows, The Truffaut 1959
50 Intolerance Griffith 1916
50 M Lang 1931
50 Ordet Dreyer 1955
50 Wild Strawberries Bergman 1957

Click on the link for the rest. The rankings all get tied at 226 and go no further, which simply means that a film got at least two mentions on this combined crit/director list. If a film isn't on this, it just isn't regarded yet - since there are many eyebrow raising selections on it

Vichitravirya_XI, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

'52, cuz I like le million

contenderizer, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

then again, it's the only one without CK, so I dunno

contenderizer, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

wait, I change, '72's got persona, ambersons, the general

contenderizer, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:23 (nine years ago) Permalink


contenderizer, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

There are some movies I don't much like on that Top 50 list (as opposed to movies I just find kind of boring which are all over the place.)

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm as upset as anyone that Ugetsu has been phased out of the top 10 out of the past few decades since it is, to my tastes, far greater than anything Kurosawa has done

i love a lot of kurosawa but i might go along with that.

thing that bothers me most about the '92 list is 2001, which i like fine (just watched it on an HD channel last month, it looked great) but no way as top 10 material. (and it crept up farther in '02. i sort of doubt that will be sustained next time around.)

tipsy mothra, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

eyes wide shut, barry lyndon > 2001

seven samurai > mizoguchi > rest of kurosawa

ryan, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

No, I see 2001 sustaining its high rankings for the long haul now. Aside from being about the only acceptable excursion into "genre" here (along with Searchers), it's also in the last few decades come to stand in for the 1960s en toto.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

i wonder what the first post-1980 film to make one of these top 10s will be. and when.

tipsy mothra, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

As a side note ...

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 22:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Barry Lyndon holds up so much better than 2001 as K's masterpiece; no contest. How 2001 can't be seen as a somewhat dated, if mesmerizing, relic has always been beyond me...

Here is the bottom of hat list - all the movies that got at least two mentions to be tied at 226. More interesting, but parts are just as canonical rather than anti-canonical...

And "Topsy Turvy" ? Really ? From 1999, I believe that's the most recent film. I guess I need to watch it. I still haven't seen that Angelopoulos film from the year before either..

226 1900 Berolucci 1976
226 Accattone Pasolini 1961
226 African Queen, The Huston 1951
226 Age of Innocence Scorsese 1993
226 All that Heaven Allows Sirk 1956
226 And Life Goes On Kiarostami 1991
226 Angel Lubitsch 1937
226 Annie Hall Allen 1997
226 Apu Trilogy, The Ray, Satyajit 1959
226 Atanarjuat Kunuk 2001
226 Autumn Afternoon, An Ozu 1964
226 Baby Doll Kazan 1956
226 Bigger Than Life Ray, Nicholas 1956
226 Birth of a Nation, The Griffith 1915
226 Bob le flambeur Melville 1955
226 Bride of Frankenstein Whale 1935
226 Bringing up Baby Hawks 1938
226 Burnt by the Sun Mikhalkov 1994
226 Dames du Bois de Boulogne, Les Bresson 1945
226 Day of Wrath Dreyer 1943
226 Death in Venice Visconti 1971
226 Demoiselles de Rochefort, Les Demy/Varda
226 Devils, The Russell 1971
226 Don't Look Back Pennebaker 1967
226 Double Life of Veronique, The Kieslowski
226 Naked Childhood Pialat 1970
226 Eternity and a Day Angelopoulos 1998
226 Europa Von Trier 1991
226 F for Fake Welles 1976
226 Phantom of Liberty Bunuel 1974
226 Farewell My Concubine Chen 1993
226 Fargo Coens 1996
226 Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Meyer 1985
226 Woman Next Door, The Truffaut 1981
226 Fires Were Started Jennings 1943
226 Germany Year Zero Rossellini 1947
226 Godfather Trilogy, The Coppola 1992
226 Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Leone 1967
226 Great Expectations Lean 1947
226 Hate Kassovitz 1995
226 Hidden Fortress, The Kurosawa 1958
226 High and Low Kurosawa 1963
226 Hiroshima mon Amour Resnais 1959
226 Hotel Terminous: Klaus Barbie, His Life and
Times Ophuls, Marcel 1988
226 I vitelloni Fellini 1953
226 Red Desert, The Antonioni 1964
226 Lacombe Lucien Malle 1974
226 Lady Vanishes, The Hitchcock 1938
226 Lancelot of the Lake Bresson 1974
226 Last Laugh, The Murnau 1924
226 Last Picture Show, The Bogdanovich 1971
226 Limelight Chaplin 1952
226 Lola Demy 1961
226 Love Me Tonight Mamoulian 1932
226 Ludwig Visconti 1972
226 Make Way for Tomorrow McCarey 1937
226 Maltese Falcon, The Huston 1941
226 Masculin Feminin Godard 1986
226 Mean Streets Scorsese 1973
226 Meghe dhaka tara Ghatik 1960
226 Miracle in Milan De Sica 1951
226 Moment of Innocence, A Makhmalbaf 1996
226 My Neighbor Totoro Miyazaki 1988
226 Nanook of the North Flaherty 1922
226 Navigator, The Keaton 1924
226 Network Lumet 1976
226 Nights of Cabiria Fellini 1957
226 October Eisenstein 1927
226 Odd Man Out Reed 1947
226 Oedipus Rex Pasolini 1967
226 Orlando Potter 1992
226 Orphee Cocteau 1949
226 Pakeezah Amrohi 1975
226 Pandora's Box Pabst 1929
226 Day in the Country, A Renoir 1936
226 Passenger, The Antonioni 1975
226 Performance Roeg 1970
226 Puppetmaster Hou 1993
226 Red Shoes, The Powell/Pressburger 1948
226 Region Centrale, La Snow 1971
226 Remains of the Day, The Ivory 1993
226 Riff-Raff Loach 1990
226 Rosemary's Baby Polanski 1968
226 Round-Up, The Jancso 1965
226 Rue Cases-Negres, La Palcy 1983
226 Sacrifice, The Tarkovsky 1986
226 Salvatore Giuliano Rosi 1961
226 Scarlett Empress, The Von Sternberg 1934
226 Schindler's List Spielberg 1993
226 Shadows Cassavetes 1959
226 Shane Stevens 1953
226 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Ford 1949
226 Shining, The Kubrick 1980
226 Short Cuts Altman 1993
226 Silences du palais, Les Tlati 1994
226 Steamboat Bill, Jr. Keaton/Reisner 1928
226 Still Life Saless 1974
226 Strangers on a Train Hitchcock 1951
226 Stray Dog Kurosawa 1949
226 Strike Eisenstein 1925
226 Thief of Bagdad, The Berger/Powell 1940
226 Thing from Another World, The Hawks/Nyby
226 Three Colours Blue Kieslowski 1991
226 Time of Gypsies Kusterica 1988
226 Tingler, The Castle 1959
226 Shoot the Piano Player Truffaut 1960
226 To Be or Not ot Be Lubitsch 1942
226 To Sleep with Anger Burnett 1990
226 Topsy-Turvy Leigh 1999
226 Touch of Zen, A Hu 1969
226 Underground Kusterica 1995
226 Vampires, Les Feuillade 1915
226 Vampyr Dreyer 1932
226 Vidas Secas Dos Santos 1963
226 Weekend Godard 1967
226 Where is My Friend's House? Kiarostami 1987
226 White Heat Walsh 1949
226 Wind, The Sjostrom 1928
226 Woman under the Influence, A Cassavetes
226 Xala Sembene 1975

Vichitravirya_XI, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Xala" literally put me to sleep, but the ending was memorable in its sickening way. I'd see it again as a curiosity

Vichitravirya_XI, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's also in the last few decades come to stand in for the 1960s en toto

because of all the sex, drugs and rock & roll?

gabbneb, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

"i wonder what the first post-1980 film to make one of these top 10s will be. and when."

Judging by the top 50 thing it'll be Fanny and Alexander.

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

And "Topsy Turvy" ? Really ?

i love that movie so much.

tipsy mothra, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

It's a good movie. Leigh's best?

Alex in SF, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

i seem to remember Topsy Turvy got one vote at number 1 on someone's list?

jed_, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

no, 2 votes, no number ones.


jed_, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Not the SDR&R, but rather the elliptical storytelling methods of Antonioni, Resnais, et al that have been all but eradicated from the S&S top 10 canon since 1972.

Eric H., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

honestly, most of these films I wouldn't sit down and watch with pleasure. The exceptions: Renoir, Welles, Ozu, The General. The rest remind me of homework assignments.

that's just silly. none of these would be my top 10 list either, but the chaplin, vigo, fellini, bergman, kelly/donen. ford, kurosawa and mizoguchi choices are hardly a chore to sit through.

J.D., Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

I omitted lots of things from that original comment.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 23:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm very glad that Dutt's "Pyaasa" and "Kaagaz ke Phool" (both at 157) - and in particular Kamal Amrohi's stunning "Pakeezah" at 226 - all got the recognition that they did. There is much more to Indian cinema than the tokenist championing of Ray, Ray, Ray all the time (sigh, I view him as a European director)

Vichitravirya_XI, Thursday, 7 August 2008 00:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

It also makes me happy to note that "The Magnificent Ambersons" got so much love in the 70s & 80s despite the ultimate supremacy of Kane. It would be nice to see it regain popularity but like Ugetsu the peak of its attention is probably long gone, never to return again

Vichitravirya_XI, Thursday, 7 August 2008 00:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

2001 is a genre movie? Moreso if you slice off the CaveApes and Bowman's Hotel Room, yes? I think it's "top-ten material," but I feel that way about whichever of four Kubricks I've seen most recently.

The oddity about the silent-era tokenism is the way Eisenstein has outlasted Chaplin, who along with Griffith popularized cinema. The Great God Montage.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 7 August 2008 16:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

i can't imagine any movie making it onto the list at all, let alone at no. 2, within two years

make it four and prepare to be knocked for a loop by The Dark Knight

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 14:42 (five years ago) Permalink

When I look at the six lists together (especially the last five), it's like looking at one of those 3D pictures where things come into focus gradually, if at all--they all blur together for me.

The '72 list had a huge effect on me: saw it in the Book of Lists in the late '70s, and it was so mysterious to me, all these films like Persona and L'Avventura that I'd never heard of--pre-internet, pre-video, pre-everything if you lived in a small town--I know it played a part in my decision to enroll in film at university, rather than math. One of the dumbest decisions of my life. Thanks Sight & Sound!

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 14:43 (five years ago) Permalink

cinephilia is like catholicism; right now I'm lapsed, but I'm never not going to be a cinephile.

Haha. Um.

Eric H., Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:13 (five years ago) Permalink

The durability of Potemkin amazes me. Even allowing for the fact that it's not my kind of film, it just doesn't strike me as something that would be on every list across six decades (and never lower than seventh).

clemenza, Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:24 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Roger Ebert has picked just one new film to replace one old one on his 2002 Top 10 list http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/04/the_greatest_films_of_all_time.html

piscesx, Monday, 30 April 2012 12:24 (five years ago) Permalink

A movie that was only his 3rd best movie of his year-end list for 2011.

jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Monday, 30 April 2012 12:26 (five years ago) Permalink

I like that he almost went for Synecdoche, New York.

And I have been called "The Appetite" (DL), Monday, 30 April 2012 12:41 (five years ago) Permalink

On another blog, he floated the horrifying possibility that JUNO was on the shortlist for that slot.

jungleous butterflies strange birds (Eric H.), Monday, 30 April 2012 12:56 (five years ago) Permalink

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