Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Useless Clatter...My Sight & Sound Top 10*

Happening only once every ten years, the Sight and Sound poll always proves to stem its fair share of excitement and procrastination to cinephiles everywhere.  Even during those odd years, one certainly has enough internet at their hands to pass the time, memorizing each of the previous five polls s to get them through until the next voting.  And with the poll taking place this past July, so begins our long nine year hibernation.  But just like any animal heading towards their long winter’s nap, we have to be adequately prepared and make sure there is substantial feeding for our hunger. 

And we got it quite recently when Sight and Sound released the all-extensive statistics outlying every movie voted for and the Top 10 lists from all 946 directors, critics, programmers, scholars who partook in this year’s poll.  Thousands of films and thousands of links to click; I found myself overwhelmed by the magnitude of what we now had.  But after almost two hours, I found it difficult to differentiate my feverish clicking from what’s called procrastination.  I knew nothing was getting done so I decided to put my efforts towards something remotely more proactive, if that can even be said.

Below is my Sight and Sound Top 10*, though I must say the asterisk is stressed.  Instead making one of those typical “these are the 10 best films in my opinion” list, I decided to make it more difficult and place some restrictions on my selections.  I decided that the films I was going to choose could not be in the Top 25 from either the Directors Top 100 or the Critics Top 250 lists.  That was a big sacrifice and mean leaving many sure picks like Kane, 2001, and Seven Samurai off-limits.  But rules are rules, even if you're the one that made them up.

 So below you will find my Sight and Sound Top 10*.  I tried not to dwell too hard on my selections, but at the same time tried to make them as diverse as possible, picking one from various countries, genres and movements.  If anyone else would like to partake in creating a Top 10 list under these restrictions, please feel free.  I would love to see what others think and maybe it could be some sort of Blog-a-thon or something.

Here are the extensive rules:

1. Only 10 films can be chosen
2. All selections must exceed the 25th film voted by the Critics (ties included)      http://explore.bfi.org.uk/sightandsoundpolls/2012/critics/
3. All selections must also exceed the 25th film voted by the Directors (ties included) http://explore.bfi.org.uk/sightandsoundpolls/2012/directors/

My Sight & Sound Top 10 (alphabetically)

Aguirre [1972] dir. Werner Herzog

Critics: 90th | Directors: 59th

Blow Up [1966] dir. Michelangelo Antonini

Critics: 144th | Directors: 59th

Hidden [2004] dir. Michael Haneke

Critics: 154th | Directors: 75th

Downfall [2004] dir. Oliver Herschbiegel

Critics: n/a | Directors: n/a

La Grand Illusion [1937] dir. Jean Renoir

Critics: 73rd | Directors: 59th

Metropolis [1927] dir. D.W. Griffith

Critics: 36th | Directors: 132nd

Psycho [1960] dir. Alfred Hitchcock

Critics: 34th | Directors: 48th

There Will Be Blood [2007] dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

Critics: 202nd | Directors: 75th

Touch of Evil [1958] dir. Orson Welles
Critics: 57th | Directors: 26th

Werkmeister Harmonies [200] dir. Bela Tarr

Critics: 171st | Directors: 132nd


  1. I'd be interested in your (review?) defense of why Werckmeister Harmonies is a masterpiece.

    Here are my thoughts on Tarr's film:

  2. Your thoughts are very true, and too yes I was taken in quite far by his direction style and cinematography and that's a large part of why I like the movie. But at the same time, I think its a terrific story with tons of depth. I definitely need to see it a second time and then I will surely write a review.

    You should make one of these lists too, it was real fun.

  3. Dude, solid list here. Love your picks - fresh mix of old and new. I sincerely love all of these films, and PSYCHO would actually make my Top 10 of all time as well.

    Good shit, man. Good. Shit.

    1. Thanks for the compliments, I purposely tried to mix it up with my choices and not just filter through the 'classics.' I didn't really realize I had 4 movies from the last decade.

      Btw, I love your appreciation for Psycho; its most definitely one of my all-time favorites.