Sight & Sound poll replaces "Citizen Kane" with "Vertigo" as top film - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 82 Old 08-02-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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After 50 years as Sight & Sound respondents' pick as the "Greatest", CITIZEN KANE has now been replaced by VERTIGO as the top pick.

VERTIGO is my favorite film and, imo, stands firmly among the half-dozen greatest films ever made. So I have been gratified to watch its climb to a higher rank on many "Best" and "Greatest" lists over the years, often dramatically from somewhere around 60th or so to a place in the top ten within a handful of post re-release/post restoration years. But I'm not sure I could argue that KANE isn't a greater film and still deserves to be recognized as the Greatest.

‘Vertigo’ Ousts ‘Citizen Kane’ on Sight & Sound’s Top Films List
Aug. 2, 2012
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/08/vertigo-ousts-citizen-kane-on-sight-sounds-top-films-list/
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htvertigodm120802wblog.jpg

Alfred Hitchcock fans rejoice: “Vertigo,” which is widely considered the filmmaker’s masterpiece, has come out on top of Sight & Sound magazine’s list of the top 50 greatest films of all time.

Hitchcock’s 1958 dark psychological thriller, which focuses on an acrophobic San Francisco detective’s descent into obsession as he trails an old friend’s wife, ousted another critical favorite, Orson Welles’ 1941 landmark “Citizen Kane,” which for the first time in 50 years did not take the list’s top spot.

The Sight and Sound poll compiles the votes of 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors. The magazine is a monthly film title published by the British Film Institute.

American film critic Roger Ebert notably called the poll “the most respected of the countless polls of great movies” and “the only one most serious movie people take seriously.”

As noted by British film scholar Ian Christie as the magazine announced their new number one film, “Vertigo” has been climbing up the list for the past 30 years. The film, which opened to mixed critical reaction, has gradually won favor among members of the critical community.

Hitchcock’s 45th feature moved up from seventh place to fourth in 1992, and 10 years later it was firmly planted in second place.

The full list of the 2012 Sight and Sound poll is as follows:

1. “Vertigo”
2. “Citizen Kane”
3. “Tokyo Story”
4. “La Regle du jeu” (“The Rules of the Game”)
5. “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans”
6. “2001: A Space Odyssey”
7. “The Searchers”
8. “Man with a Movie Camera”
9. “The Passion of Joan of Arc”
10. “8 1/2″

(Watch accompanying video on above link)
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post #2 of 82 Old 08-07-2012, 08:28 AM
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Vertigo is a much better movie, IMO, than Citizen so I find this gratifying!
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post #3 of 82 Old 08-07-2012, 05:03 PM
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This is one of the most ridiculous "Best Ever" lists I have yet seen.
Results like this is why the concept of art "critics" is such a joke.
It's simply a mechanism for the insecure to create an air of elitism and snobbery.

Apparently, great movies ended with 2001....NOTHING made in the last 44 years made the cut.rolleyes.gif
For fun, go to IMDB and look up the release dates for these movies.

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post #4 of 82 Old 08-07-2012, 05:20 PM
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Yeah it is just absurd. DANCES WITH WOLVES, JFK, SHINDLER'S LIST, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.... None are included.

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post #5 of 82 Old 08-07-2012, 05:38 PM
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I see it all the time. Some people's admiration of cinema is perpetually stuck in the Golden Age.
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post #6 of 82 Old 08-07-2012, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

Yeah it is just absurd. DANCES WITH WOLVES, JFK, SHINDLER'S LIST, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.... None are included.
Sarcasm, Matt?
Or did you vote for A Man and His Camera?tongue.gif

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Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I see it all the time. Some people's admiration of cinema is perpetually stuck in the Golden Age.
It isn't about nostalgia (unless the voters were born in 1901 and stopped going to the movies in 1944 wink.gif).

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post #7 of 82 Old 08-07-2012, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

Yeah it is just absurd. DANCES WITH WOLVES, JFK, SHINDLER'S LIST, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.... None are included.
Sarcasm, Matt?
Or did you vote for A Man With A Movie Camera?

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Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I see it all the time. Some people's admiration of cinema is perpetually stuck in the Golden Age.
It isn't about nostalgia (unless the voters were born in 1901 and stopped going to the movies in 1944 wink.gif)

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post #8 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oink View Post

This is one of the most ridiculous "Best Ever" lists I have yet seen.
Results like this is why the concept of art "critics" is such a joke.
It's simply a mechanism for the insecure to create an air of elitism and snobbery.
Apparently, great movies ended with 2001....NOTHING made in the last 44 years made the cut.rolleyes.gif
For fun, go to IMDB and look up the release dates for these movies.

Here is a link that will take you to Sight & Sound's 2012 Top 50 Greatest Movies of All Time list and The Directors' Top Ten list, which also features movies made no later than 1979's Apocalypse Now:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/polls-surveys/greatest-films-all-time-2012

The list below is what came after the Critics' Top Ten list above. There are several films made after 1969's 2001: A Space Odyssey in the top 50, including Apocalypse Now (1979) and the most recent movie on the list, Mulholland Dr. (2001). Counting the ties, there are more than 50 in the Top 50. If they went as high as The Top 100, I have yet to locate that list on the Internet.

I guess Sight & Sound's poll respondents felt there was indeed more Gold to be mined from the Golden Age than since smile.gif :

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11. Battleship Potemkin
Sergei Eisenstein, 1925 (63 votes)

12. L’Atalante
Jean Vigo, 1934 (58 votes)

13. Breathless
Jean-Luc Godard, 1960 (57 votes)

14. Apocalypse Now
Francis Ford Coppola, 1979 (53 votes)

15. Late Spring
Ozu Yasujiro, 1949 (50 votes)

16. Au hasard Balthazar
Robert Bresson, 1966 (49 votes)

17= Seven Samurai
Kurosawa Akira, 1954 (48 votes)

17= Persona
Ingmar Bergman, 1966 (48 votes)

19. Mirror
Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974 (47 votes)

20. Singin’ in the Rain
Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951 (46 votes)

21= L’avventura
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960 (43 votes)

21= Le Mépris
Jean-Luc Godard, 1963 (43 votes)

21= The Godfather
Francis Ford Coppola, 1972 (43 votes)

24= Ordet
Carl Dreyer, 1955 (42 votes)

24= In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar-Wai, 2000 (42 votes)

26= Rashomon
Kurosawa Akira, 1950 (41 votes)

26= Andrei Rublev
Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966 (41 votes)

28. Mulholland Dr.
David Lynch, 2001 (40 votes)

29= Stalker
Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979 (39 votes)

29= Shoah
Claude Lanzmann, 1985 (39 votes)

31= The Godfather Part II
Francis Ford Coppola, 1974 (38 votes)

31= Taxi Driver
Martin Scorsese, 1976 (38 votes)

33. Bicycle Thieves
Vittoria De Sica, 1948 (37 votes)

34. The General
Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926 (35 votes)

35= Metropolis
Fritz Lang, 1927 (34 votes)

35= Psycho
Alfred Hitchcock, 1960 (34 votes)

35= Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles
Chantal Akerman, 1975 (34 votes)

35= Sátántangó
Béla Tarr, 1994 (34 votes)

39= The 400 Blows
François Truffaut, 1959 (33 votes)

39= La dolce vita
Federico Fellini, 1960 (33 votes)

41. Journey to Italy
Roberto Rossellini, 1954 (32 votes)

42= Pather Panchali
Satyajit Ray, 1955 (31 votes)

42= Some Like It Hot
Billy Wilder, 1959 (31 votes)

42= Gertrud
Carl Dreyer, 1964 (31 votes)

42= Pierrot le fou
Jean-Luc Godard, 1965 (31 votes)

42= Play Time
Jacques Tati, 1967 (31 votes)

42= Close-Up
Abbas Kiarostami, 1990 (31 votes)

48= The Battle of Algiers
Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966 (30 votes)

48= Histoire(s) du cinéma
Jean-Luc Godard, 1998 (30 votes)

50= City Lights
Charlie Chaplin, 1931 (29 votes)

50= Ugetsu monogatari
Mizoguchi Kenji, 1953 (29 votes)

50= La Jetée
Chris Marker, 1962 (29 votes)
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post #9 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

This is one of the most ridiculous "Best Ever" lists I have yet seen.
Results like this is why the concept of art "critics" is such a joke.
It's simply a mechanism for the insecure to create an air of elitism and snobbery.

Apparently, great movies ended with 2001....NOTHING made in the last 44 years made the cut.rolleyes.gif
For fun, go to IMDB and look up the release dates for these movies.

I don't know the rules of that list, but I think it is a good idea to have a cutoff date. In "best movies of all time" polls in newspapers people always vote for titles that have been in the theater in the last few months. Eliminate those and they may be more considered in their opinions. Evaluations benefit from time and distance.

That said, list making and ranking is highly suspect no matter what the rules. It is an attempt to quantify what can't be measured. For me, "best", "worst", "top 10" are silly games. Which can be fun as long as we understand they make no sense.

As for critic snobbery: it happens. And not just to critics; people know they are supposed to revere certain films and are reluctant to admit they don't really like them. In some cases I really do enjoy the films I am "supposed" to, like Casablanca and Singin' in the Rain. In other cases I have to go against the flow: Citizen Kane and My Fair Lady, for example.

Finally: I'll see Vertigo twenty times before watching Citizen Kane again.

-Bill
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post #10 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 04:52 AM
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We need a top ten list of top ten lists. It is important to exclude lists made after December 31, 1959.
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post #11 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

I don't know the rules of that list, but I think it is a good idea to have a cutoff date. In "best movies of all time" polls in newspapers people always vote for titles that have been in the theater in the last few months. Eliminate those and they may be more considered in their opinions. Evaluations benefit from time and distance.
That said, list making and ranking is highly suspect no matter what the rules. It is an attempt to quantify what can't be measured. For me, "best", "worst", "top 10" are silly games. Which can be fun as long as we understand they make no sense.
Agreed.

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We need a top ten list of top ten lists. It is important to exclude lists made after December 31, 1959.
LOL, maybe you're right.tongue.gif

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post #12 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

I don't know the rules of that list, but I think it is a good idea to have a cutoff date. In "best movies of all time" polls in newspapers people always vote for titles that have been in the theater in the last few months. Eliminate those and they may be more considered in their opinions. Evaluations benefit from time and distance.
That said, list making and ranking is highly suspect no matter what the rules. It is an attempt to quantify what can't be measured. For me, "best", "worst", "top 10" are silly games. Which can be fun as long as we understand they make no sense.
As for critic snobbery: it happens. And not just to critics; people know they are supposed to revere certain films and are reluctant to admit they don't really like them. In some cases I really do enjoy the films I am "supposed" to, like Casablanca and Singin' in the Rain. In other cases I have to go against the flow: Citizen Kane and My Fair Lady, for example.
Finally: I'll see Vertigo twenty times before watching Citizen Kane again.
-Bill
I can't locate it now but there was a link on the Sight & Sound site that recalled the circumstances of their first list request from film critics and film directors in 1952, including photo samples of responses from a few directors in letters and memos. There was apparently a lot of balking by the respondents, acknowledging the maddening challenge of choosing one kind of film over another, the silliness of it all and so on. But there was still a sense of playfulness in wanting to contribute to "the game". For me a "ten best list" from a wide range of movie fans, critics and filmmakers is just another reason to talk about movies. It's fun and informative in that it triggers an interest in checking out a title I'd never seen. For instance, I've never seen Tokyo Story, which figures quite highly on both the critics and directors lists. So now I'll take the time to check in out, something I might never have done otherwise.

On the passage of time issue, I don't think it requires as much time to pass these days to recognize or be reminded of a film's qualities as it did in the past because of the availability of a pretty good copy of virtually every film made and distributed on Blu-ray/DVD within 3-4 months of its initial theatrical release. And in many cases there is a constant reminder of it on Pay-Per-View, Netflix, Hulu, Premium Cable Channel replays and on and on for the next few years. Or even if it slips in as a straight-to-video release. It isn't like the days when Vertigo was released, played in theaters for perhaps a couple of months, and then largely disappeared for a few years until it showed up for a commercial-laden network television showing and then pulled from circulation altogether for another decade or more.

I agree with you that a few months would probably be too soon, but there is really no reason for a movie to escape anyone's consideration and review as a potential "Greatest of All Time" candidate in a couple of years considering the speed and ease with which we can revisit a movie these days. If there was any movie made within the past couple of years that might show up in the top 20 or 30 of the Sight & Sound "Greatest" list next time around I'm pretty sure we'd have a fairly realistic heads up about it by now.

It's interesting that the 1952 list cited The Bicycle Thieves (I always knew it as The Bicycle Thief...) as the number one Greatest Film of All Time even though it had only been released to theaters 4 years earlier. And, sure enough, that great movie still lands prominently on most major "Greatest" lists today. Also among the top 5 then were two silent films that most of those respondents in 1952 couldn't have had easy access to for a decade or more, The Gold Rush and City Lights.
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post #13 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitchfan View Post

For me a "ten best list" from a wide range of movie fans, critics and filmmakers is just another reason to talk about movies. It's fun and informative in that it triggers an interest in checking out a title I'd never seen.

I agree that it can be fun and introduce people to movies, but some people take them too literal as "definitive" lists (which is strange given all the lists out there vying to be "the" list.)

I think the waiting period Bill mentioned was to prevent the myopic mouthbreathers who insist that the latest blockbuster is the "best film ever" (and which superseded last year's "best film ever") from skewing the list. It's not that films today shouldn't be considered, it's just to exclude those "in the moment" votes.

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post #14 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post


I think the waiting period Bill mentioned was to prevent the myopic mouthbreathers who insist that the latest blockbuster is the "best film ever" (and which superseded last year's "best film ever") from skewing the list. It's not that films today shouldn't be considered, it's just to exclude those "in the moment" votes.
+1

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post #15 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

I don't know the rules of that list,
-Bill
Seems simple enough.
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About a year ago, the Sight & Sound team met to consider how we could best approach the poll this time. Given the dominance of electronic media, what became immediately apparent was that we would have to abandon the somewhat elitist exclusivity with which contributors to the poll had been chosen in the past and reach out to a much wider international group of commentators than before. We were also keen to include among them many critics who had established their careers online rather than purely in print.

To that end we approached more than 1,000 critics, programmers, academics, distributors, writers and other cinephiles, and received (in time for the deadline) precisely 846 top-ten lists that between them mention a total of 2,045 different films.

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.”

Each entry on each list counts as one vote for the film in question, so personal rankings within the top tens don’t matter. And one important rule change compared to 2002 was that The Godfather and The Godfather Part II would no longer be accepted as a single choice, since they were made as two separate films.


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post #16 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 08:59 PM
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Hmmm.

I just can't get on board with Vertigo being the "greatest film ever."

I LOVE Hitchcock, but the last time I watched Vertigo it just left me sort of cold. Technically interesting, but odd and something I couldn't really get
attached to. Whereas something like North By Northwest exhibits Hitchcock's gorgeous cinematography, mighty technique, amazing casting and acting,
and story and characters who draw me in more than Vertigo.

Just IMO....
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post #17 of 82 Old 08-08-2012, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Hmmm.
I just can't get on board with Vertigo being the "greatest film ever."
I LOVE Hitchcock, but the last time I watched Vertigo it just left me sort of cold. Technically interesting, but odd and something I couldn't really get
attached to. Whereas something like North By Northwest exhibits Hitchcock's gorgeous cinematography, mighty technique, amazing casting and acting,
and story and characters who draw me in more than Vertigo.
Just IMO....
As I stated in the op, Vertigo is my favorite film and I definitely feel it stands among the half dozen Greatest movies ever made. But I also understand your point. But I must say this, I am of the camp that believes the "restoration" of the soundtrack and foley sound effects for Vertigo a while back did no favors to that movie and, in fact, the sum of the modern day "tweaks", re-recordings and altered music cue dynamics, however minor each might seem, diminished the emotional impact of Vertigo as a whole that borders on a desecration of it, imo. To be fair to Robert Harris who conducted much of the restoration, he has gone on record stating what he and his partner had done with the audio restoration, following as closely as possible Hitchcock's notes for cues and so on, were dropped just as the "restoration" was set for distribution and taken over by the studio/distributor. Not sure I understand everything about that but I've heard the upcoming first Blu-ray of Vertigo will contain the "restored" version as Harris and company meant it to be according to Hitchcock's notes and not according to what we've got in circulation now.

I'm not talking about the visual restoration, only the soundtrack restoration. This has caused quite a controversy among some real fans of the movie. I felt the exact same thing you mention feeling about Vertigo when I saw the "restored" version. There was just something missing that left me cold and, even worse, led me to feel a simpatico with those who thought it "boring" and "too slow", although it didn't mean I stopped loving it.

I chalked it up to having seen it so many times. But I had already seen it a couple of dozen times before the "restoration" and never felt this diminished emotional response to it. Then I heard there was one standard DVD version of Vertigo that included the original, un-"restored" soundtrack and foley effects, the one in the Masterpiece Collection, the velvet box set. I already had that version so I played it all the way through with the original soundtrack option which, oddly, is found in the Languages section of the menu, not the "Set-Up" or "Audio" section. It was a revelation. The old feelings about Vertigo returned and that's when I realized it was the "restored" soundtrack and foley that had somehow diminished what for me had been a much stronger response. Then I did a few A>B comparisons of key moments and it was amazing how much more lively, alive, tighter, clever, organic, informative, and emotional the old original soundtrack was compared to the "restored" one.

I've got my fingers crossed that the upcoming Blu-ray of Vertigo will indeed include that original version or at least a much closer restoration of the original than we've got in the only version making the rounds in theaters and on DVD today, the "restored" version. Otherwise, I won't even bother buying it. Seriously. The difference between the original soundtrack/foley effects version and the "restored" version in terms of emotional impact is SO great, imo, that I refuse to recommend anyone see Vertigo for the first time in any format other than that one Masterpiece Collection standard DVD of it with the original soundtrack option selected. And that includes the best theatrical presentations of it in the best theaters in town. To my ears, it is that different and diminished in impact.
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post #18 of 82 Old 08-09-2012, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the kind of thing that justifies these Ten Best/Greatest lists by Sight & Sound and others, imo; I just watched Tokyo Story for the first time. Streamed it from HuluPlus. This year it ranks #3 on the Critics list and #1 on the Directors list above.

And in so far as, at its core, a Ten Best/Greatest list is simply people really into movies telling other people who are really into movies that, "If you're really into movies, you should see this...", I will now do my part in encouraging anyone who is really into movies to see Tokyo Story smile.gif .

It is a beautifully executed movie that delivers an emotional wallop I honestly didn't expect or see coming. As is the case with most of the movies at the top of these lists, it is more than anything a directorial triumph. Whether it's the surveyed directors or critics who secretly want to direct, I can see why it would rank so highly on both the critics and directors poll. Like Vertigo, Kane, The Searchers and the others, I think every director and wannabe director alive would give anything to be able to say this was their baby. Check it out. Be prepared for a deeply emotional and, I'm guessing for most, unforgettable pure movie experience.
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post #19 of 82 Old 08-09-2012, 09:29 PM
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I will admit that lists of the past did bring me to some worthwhile movie experiences.

The Criterion Collection has been a great way to introduce me to some fine films. "The Wages of Fear," "Harakiri" and "Letter Never Sent" are some that immediately come to mind.
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post #20 of 82 Old 08-09-2012, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I will admit that lists of the past did bring me to some worthwhile movie experiences.
The Criterion Collection has been a great way to introduce me to some fine films. "The Wages of Fear," "Harakiri" and "Letter Never Sent" are some that immediately come to mind.

I think my resistance to these lists is the "homework assignment" thing. Seeing a movie on a list like that isn't as fun as seeing the movie poster in a local theater window as a Coming Attraction with the smell of popcorn and hot dogs in the air. But that's why these movies were made; to move some popcorn and hot dogs, just like almost every other movie, not to provide material for a term paper.

I've seen Tokyo Story show up on similar lists for decades and couldn't be bothered. This time I finally relented and set aside 2 hours and 15 minutes for it. Boy, I'm glad I did.
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post #21 of 82 Old 08-10-2012, 08:45 AM
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I LOVE Hitchcock, but the last time I watched Vertigo it just left me sort of cold. Technically interesting, but odd and something I couldn't really get
attached to.


I must confess I'm with R Harkness on this one. I think it suffers with multiple viewings,like Strangers on a Train and lots of other Hitchcock movies. Though usually Hitchcock movies are primarily surface, Vertigo has lots of things going on under the surface, things related to Hitchcock's frequently twisted obsessions. But it requires enormous suspension of disbelief, and I found a long time ago that multiple viewings reveal too much of it is James Stewart following Kim Novak around in his car. But movies should be judged usually on the impact they make on first viewing, and Vertigo works in spades for that. And it has one of the greatest endings in motion picture history.

I had wondered just what old hitchfan would make of Ozu's Tokyo Story, and I'm pleased at what I found. My fave is probably Late Spring, but I'm impressed international critics are putting Ozu so high in these lists, because the re-release of Tokyo Story in the seventies was the first exposure to him that many of us Americans had ever had. Further delving into his works (criterion of late have released a great deal of his films) will reveal that not only did he make emotionally moving films, but very funny ones too.

Look, people wail about these lists being full of "art movies." Sure they are, and its sad that the audience for these sort of movies may be dying off. But if you're just plain tired of the American fare these days of films derived from comic books and endless blowed-up-real-good suspense and action thrillers, you might do well to start checking out these films that people whose business is seeing lots of films and reviewing them find to be tops.

Good taste is learned. Surely most people discovered books they were forced to read in high school or college that really meant a lot to them, books that they would never have read unless they were forced to read them. Force yourself to see some of these films. Force yourself to overcome your prejudice against B&W films (most of the greatest films are not in color). Force yourself to try and see some subtitiled films. You might be surprised at what you discover.

CW Hinkle
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post #22 of 82 Old 08-10-2012, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood View Post

I had wondered just what old hitchfan would make of Ozu's Tokyo Story, and I'm pleased at what I found. My fave is probably Late Spring, but I'm impressed international critics are putting Ozu so high in these lists, because the re-release of Tokyo Story in the seventies was the first exposure to him that many of us Americans had ever had. Further delving into his works (criterion of late have released a great deal of his films) will reveal that not only did he make emotionally moving films, but very funny ones too.
I watched it alone (this time), but still chuckled more and more with every new "hmmm" initial response from the old man to almost everything that was asked of him. I could imagine an audience cracking up over and over again from that running gag. And the robotic unified head turns to look this way and that way during the bus tour of Tokyo. Great stuff. Really set up a contrast to what was to come. I just loved the way Ozu's minimalist style generated the power for the slightest glance, gesture or word to deliver volumes of complex content. The minimalism style > great emotional impact seemed to me a rough cinematic equivalent to a live performance of Our Town.
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post #23 of 82 Old 08-14-2012, 05:31 PM
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Having seen Jaws again recently in the theaters (and countless times before like everyone else...I'm just going out to get the Blu-Ray), I'd personally put Jaws on the top 10 list and the more I contemplate the movie,
the more I'd seriously be comfortable rating it number one - best movie of all time.

It's no wonder it has inspired so much long running passion among so many people, and inspired so many film careers (as well as careers in biology etc). It pretty much a perfect movie. It's a combination of masterful film directing technique, superb cinematography, one of the best examples of film editing EVER, one of the most iconic and effective scores ever. It's plotting and pace is superb. It has some of the most memorable acting in a movie - a combination of grand AND naturalistic. It has some of the most effective scares, thrills ever put on screen. It is also an effective adventure movie in parts. And it even has perfectly toned moments of comedy that always worked for audiences.

And it does not sit there as a stuffy museum piece of movie history or technique - as many are discovering with it's re-release it is as effective and thrilling and involving as ever.

I simply can not think of another movie that is so rich - one that hits the notes of so many things that film does right, so many genres, all in one...so well.
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post #24 of 82 Old 08-14-2012, 07:17 PM
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This is one of the most ridiculous "Best Ever" lists I have yet seen.
Results like this is why the concept of art "critics" is such a joke.
It's simply a mechanism for the insecure to create an air of elitism and snobbery.
Apparently, great movies ended with 2001....NOTHING made in the last 44 years made the cut.rolleyes.gif
For fun, go to IMDB and look up the release dates for these movies.
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Yeah it is just absurd. DANCES WITH WOLVES, JFK, SHINDLER'S LIST, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.... None are included.
I come to this thread late but have decided to post because I agree wholeheartedly with both of you that the Sight & Sound list lacks credibility. The list bothered me in several ways but none more than the ranking of Vertigo as the best film of all time. I watched Vertigo again recently so it is fresh in my mind. Although I agree that Vertigo is Hitchcock's masterpiece and a fine film, it seems to me that it has too many weaknesses to be ranked Number 1. Despite spectacular photography and wonderful visual storytelling it was weakened by stars who didn't entirely work. James Stewart was 20 years too old for his role, Kim Novak, although beautiful, was painfully untalented, and the marvelous Barbara Bel Geddes was wasted in a bland part that I thought served little purpose in the film.

I continue to believe that Citizen Kane is significantly better than Vertigo and that The godfather I and II, The Shawshank Redemption, and too many other films to mention here, are superior to all of the film's ranked in Sight & Sound's Top 10. CAVEAT: Lists such as Sight & Sound's are arbitrary and probably not worth commenting on. Still, here I am commenting on it so consider the source, or both sources.smile.gif
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post #25 of 82 Old 08-15-2012, 12:34 AM
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I come to this thread late but have decided to post because I agree wholeheartedly with both of you that the Sight & Sound list lacks credibility. The list bothered me in several ways but none more than the ranking of Vertigo as the best film of all time. I watched Vertigo again recently so it is fresh in my mind. Although I agree that Vertigo is Hitchcock's masterpiece and a fine film, it seems to me that it has too many weaknesses to be ranked Number 1. Despite spectacular photography and wonderful visual storytelling it was weakened by stars who didn't entirely work. James Stewart was 20 years too old for his role, Kim Novak, although beautiful, was painfully untalented, and the marvelous Barbara Bel Geddes was wasted in a bland part that I thought served little purpose in the film.
I continue to believe that Citizen Kane is significantly better than Vertigo and that The godfather I and II, The Shawshank Redemption, and too many other films to mention here, are superior to all of the film's ranked in Sight & Sound's Top 10. CAVEAT: Lists such as Sight & Sound's are arbitrary and probably not worth commenting on. Still, here I am commenting on it so consider the source, or both sources.smile.gif
Actually, I think you make good points here.

These "Best Films Ever" lists always seem to be laughable....primarily by being completely predictable.

If anyone here really thinks NO film made in the last 44 years should be on a list of "Best Ever," they should stop posting on this forum.
When one thinks about it, such people really don't have anything to say (due to their frame of reference) about modern movies.

Yes....yes, I am totally serious.

A.P.S. deserve our protection....join the cause today!
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post #26 of 82 Old 08-15-2012, 06:51 AM
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well, the only thing I'd disagree about is Stewart being too old for Vertigo. Part of the darkness of the film is due precisely to the age of the character, as well as the twisting of the Stewart persona moviegoers had come to accept and love. Probably as close to evil ol' Jimmy ever was:)

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post #27 of 82 Old 08-15-2012, 07:10 AM
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well, the only thing I'd disagree about is Stewart being too old for Vertigo. Part of the darkness of the film is due precisely to the age of the character, as well as the twisting of the Stewart persona moviegoers had come to accept and love. Probably as close to evil ol' Jimmy ever was:)
In defense of Vertigo, I will agree with you that the emotionally fragile retired detective, played by Jimmy Stewart, was wonderfully complex and ambiguous. The effect on him of his unraveling of the mystery was heartbreaking.

On another point, I agree with oink that limiting Top Whatever lists of Best Films to just old ones is preposterous. There are great films from every era, including our own. At the other end of the spectrum, some silent films have held up beautifully, too. Think Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. I recently saw Howard Hughes spectacular Wings and loved it. It is a little silly and dated in its early scenes but once the two protagonists go to war, it is thoughtful, dark, and sad. During those scenes I forget it was a silent picture.
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post #28 of 82 Old 08-15-2012, 08:50 AM
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The Shawshank Redemption, and too many other films to mention here, are superior to all of the film's ranked in Sight & Sound's Top 10.

I really need somebody to explain to me what's supposedly so great about The Shawshank Redemption. That movie is painfully mediocre on every level. I cannot comprehend the love so many people have for that movie.

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post #29 of 82 Old 08-15-2012, 09:02 AM
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I really need somebody to explain to me what's supposedly so great about The Shawshank Redemption. That movie is painfully mediocre on every level. I cannot comprehend the love so many people have for that movie.

Many people (myself included) find that the movie's message about hope in the face of extreme adversity resonates with them. People find it to be incredibly uplifting.

I cannot comprehend how you could find the movie to be "painfully mediocre". It may not be the greatest movie of all-time, or may not go on any best of list, but it's FAR from mediocre.
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post #30 of 82 Old 08-15-2012, 09:43 AM
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Many people (myself included) find that the movie's message about hope in the face of extreme adversity resonates with them. People find it to be incredibly uplifting.

Not me. I'm with Josh on this one. It's a good movie but imo one of the most overrated as well. There are many more movies with the same theme of "hope in the face of adversity" and they're better than Shawshank. But to each his own.
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