Officially the Best Reloaded Redux

A couple years ago, I watched all the movies on the Sight & Sound 2012 Director’s Poll Top 100, and that was a lot of fun — lots of great movies I hadn’t seen before, and lots of stuff I hadn’t seen in a long time.

But then there was a new poll in 2022, so I had to watch all the new movies, right?

Right.

So project completed, and here’s the new list, and I’ll continue nattering on in a random way after the list.

Pos

 

Year

Title

 

Prev

#1

1968

2001: A Space Odyssey

#2

#2

1941

Citizen Kane

#2

#3

1972

The Godfather

#7

#4

1975

Jeanne Dielman 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

New

#4

1953

Tokyo Story

#1

#6

1958

Vertigo

#7

#6

1963

#4

#8

1975

Mirror

#9

#9

2000

In the Mood for Love

#67

#9

1989

Close-up

#37

#9

1966

Persona

#13

#12

1976

Taxi Driver

#5

#12

1975

Barry Lyndon

#19

#14

1998

Beau travail

#91

#14

1954

Seven Samurai

#17

#14

1960

À bout de souffle

#11

#14

1979

Stalker

#30

#18

1979

Apocalypse Now

#6

#19

1974

A Woman under the Influence

#59

#20

1948

Bicycle Thieves

#10

#20

1950

Rashomon

#18

#22

2001

Mulholland Dr.

#75

#22

1955

Pather Panchali

#48

#22

1966

The Battle of Algiers

#26

#22

1980

Raging Bull

#12

#26

1966

Andrei Rublev

#13

#26

1974

The Godfather Part II

#30

#28

1990

GoodFellas

#48

#29

1989

Do the Right Thing

New

#30

1929

Man with a Movie Camera

#48

#30

1927

The Passion of Joan of Arc

#37

#30

1955

Ordet

#19

#33

1927

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

#22

#34

1959

The 400 Blows

#13

#34

1960

La dolce vita

#37

#34

1962

La Jetée

New

#37

1966

Au hasard Balthazar

#21

#38

1939

La Règle du jeu

#22

#38

1960

L’avventura

#30

#38

1954

La strada

#26

#41

1967

Playtime

#37

#41

1955

The Night of the Hunter

#26

#41

1956

A Man Escaped

#37

#41

1985

Sans toit ni loi

New

#41

1985

Come and See

#30

#46

1960

Psycho

#48

#46

1934

L’Atalante

#22

#46

1931

City Lights

#30

#46

1963

Le Mépris

#44

#46

1968

Once upon a Time in the West

#44

#46

1973

Don’t Look Now

#91

#46

1963

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying

New

#53

1976

Eraserhead

New

#53

1951

Singin’ in the Rain

#67

#53

1974

Fear Eats the Soul

#75

#53

1973

La Maman et la Putain

#91

#53

1961

La notte

New

#53

1982

Fanny and Alexander

#16

#53

1962

Cléo from 5 to 7

New

#53

1992

The Piano

New

#53

1961

Viridiana

#37

#62

1959

Some Like It Hot

#37

#62

1982

Blade Runner

#67

#62

1950

Sunset Blvd.

#67

#62

2004

Tropical Malady

New

#62

1994

Sátántangó

New

#62

1943

Meshes of the Afternoon

New

#62

1949

Late Spring

New

#62

1975

Jaws

#75

#62

1962

Lawrence of Arabia

#48

#62

2001

La ciénaga

New

#72

1976

News from Home

New

#72

1991

A Brighter Summer Day

New

#72

1956

The Searchers

#48

#72

1985

Shoah

#48

#72

1982

Sans Soleil

#91

#72

1987

Where Is the Friend’s House?

New

#72

1973

Touki Bouki

New

#72

1936

Modern Times

#22

#72

1957

The Seventh Seal

#75

#72

1948

The Red Shoes

New

#72

1973

The Spirit of the Beehive

New

#72

1986

Blue Velvet

#59

#72

1976

The Ascent

New

#72

1974

Chinatown

#91

#72

1952

Ikiru

New

#72

1983

L’Argent

#91

#72

1974

The Conversation

New

#72

1957

Wild Strawberries

New

#72

1975

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

#75

#72

2011

A Separation

New

#72

1969

Kes

#75

#93

1970

Wanda

New

#93

1925

Battleship Potemkin

#75

#93

2019

Parasite

New

#93

2016

Moonlight

New

#93

1970

The Conformist

#59

#93

1968

The Colour of Pomegranates

New

#93

1959

Pickpocket

#48

#93

1997

Taste of Cherry

New

#93

2004

Hidden

#75

#93

2004

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

New

#93

1999

Yi Yi

New

As you can see, almost all of the new movies are on #29 and down — just one of the top 28 are new. And that’s natural, of course — the films on the bottom of the list are pretty random, and come and go from decade to decade. (Because there aren’t that many people voting, and people can vote for whichever movie they want to (i.e., there’s no “nomination process”), it’s not a very stable list.)

And another thing: Should they rename the list “the Criterion list”? While buying these 30 films, I found that the majority of them are carried by Criterion. And Criterion are great at curating stuff: They produce excellent Blurays and DVDs with interesting booklets, and they put the movies they carry on their own on-demand channel. I wonder whether they’ve become the gatekeepers to which art films are remembered: If it’s on Criterion, it’s available to a huge number of people. If it’s not on Criterion, does it even exist?

So I was excited to go to the Criteron web page and see this:

Criterion is doing Mai Zetterling! I was absolutely flabbergasted by her film The Girls when I watched it the other year, but it was a largely forgotten movie then — only available on a Swedish box set. Now that Criterion is carrying it, will it make an appearance on the 2032 Sight & Sound poll?

Misunderstand me correctly — I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but I think it’s a thing: What’s being remembered is, of course, a matter of what’s possible to watch. And Criterion has turned into a gatekeeper: If an older art movie isn’t on Criterion (and the Criterion Channel, and therefore HBO), it doesn’t exist.

Anyway, the following films that were on the 2012 list are gone from the 2022 list:

Pos

 

Year

Title

 

#26

1958

Touch of Evil

#30

1964

Il Vangelo secondo Matteo

#30

1973

Amarcord

#44

1968

Hour of the Wolf

#44

1960

The Apartment

#48

1954

Rear Window

#48

1962

L’eclisse

#48

1975

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

#59

1937

La grande illusion

#59

1966

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

#59

1972

Aguirre, Wrath of God

#59

1964

Gertrud

#59

1966

Blow Up

#67

1954

Journey to Italy

#67

1962

Vivre sa vie

#67

1973

Badlands

#67

1953

Ugetsu Monogatari

#75

1950

Los Olvidados

#75

1969

The Wild Bunch

#75

1970

Husbands

#75

1980

The Shining

#75

1971

A Clockwork Orange

#75

2007

There Will Be Blood

#75

1926

The General

#75

1931

M

#91

1967

Le Samouraï

#91

1961

L’Année dernière à Marienbad

#91

1964

Soy Cuba

#91

1976

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

#91

1933

Zéro de Conduite

#91

1978

The Deer Hunter

#91

1925

The Gold Rush

#91

1977

Opening Night

#91

1929

Un chien andalou

#91

1965

Pierrot le Fou

Here’s the list of the new movies:

Pos

 

Year

Title

 

#4

1975

Jeanne Dielman 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

#29

1989

Do the Right Thing

#34

1962

La Jetée

#41

1985

Sans toit ni loi

#46

1963

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying

#53

1976

Eraserhead

#53

1961

La notte

#53

1962

Cléo from 5 to 7

#53

1992

The Piano

#62

2004

Tropical Malady

#62

1994

Sátántangó

#62

1943

Meshes of the Afternoon

#62

1949

Late Spring

#62

2001

La ciénaga

#72

1976

News from Home

#72

1991

A Brighter Summer Day

#72

1987

Where Is the Friend’s House?

#72

1973

Touki Bouki

#72

1948

The Red Shoes

#72

1973

The Spirit of the Beehive

#72

1976

The Ascent

#72

1952

Ikiru

#72

1974

The Conversation

#72

1957

Wild Strawberries

#72

2011

A Separation

#93

1970

Wanda

#93

2019

Parasite

#93

2016

Moonlight

#93

1968

The Colour of Pomegranates

#93

1997

Taste of Cherry

#93

2004

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

#93

1999

Yi Yi


This movies that are gone are ⚄⚅⚂⚃⚂⚅⚅⚄⚄⚄⚅⚅⚄⚅⚅⚄⚂⚄⚂⚀⚄⚂⚂⚃⚃⚃⚅⚅⚂⚃⚂⚄⚅⚄⚅, 35 films with a mean rating (from me) of 4.6.

The new movies are ⚅⚃⚄⚄⚄⚅⚄⚅⚅⚃⚅⚂⚅⚃⚂⚅⚃⚂⚃⚃⚃⚁⚂⚅⚄⚅⚃⚂⚄⚃⚄⚃, 32 films with a mean rating (from me) of… 4.6.

OK, we need more decimals. 4.60 vs 4.58! The 2022 list is so much worse than the 2012 list! Scandalo!!!

So there you go. It’s fun watching films this way — I don’t have to decide myself what to watch, which makes things more efficient. But (like I probably said last time around) there’s a certain sameyness to the films on this list: We’re talking “serious dramas” for the most part, and that can become oppressive when watching so many of them in a row.

My list of “best 100 films” would look quite different. It’d have, like, Liquid Sky at #71, Polyester at #72 and India Song at #73. (What would your #71-73 look like?) And Bringing Up Baby at #7 or something. But there’s a certain genre — the “film club films” — that invariably have hegemony over these lists.

I’m not complaining or anything — it is what it is, and it’s a list of very good films.

Just kinda one note.

2 thoughts on “Officially the Best Reloaded Redux”

  1. Aren’t “Fear Eats the Soul” (#53 on the new list) and “Angst essen Seele auf” (#75 on the old list) the same movie? 🙂 (i.e. the latter never disappeared)

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