Thursday, March 26, 2015

Greatest film of all time? Wayne's World? Showgirls? Battlefield Earth?

UK movie mag Sight & Sound issues its latest list of the greatest titles in the history of cinema. "Battlefield Earth" does not make the cut, but "Battleship Potemkin" cruises in at number 11.

Greatest film of all time? Wayne’s World? Showgirls? Battlefield Earth?

Once every decade since the dawn of time – or least since an editor at the London-based Sight & Sound came up with the idea – the movie magazine polls hundreds of critics to come up with a list of the 50 greatest movies of all time. The last time out, in 2002, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane topped the roster. But now another portly auteur, Alfred Hitchcock, has bumped Kane from the top spot. Vertigo, Hitch’s 1958 masterpiece puzzler starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, has been deemed the greatest of the greats, followed by a sometimes ’s predictable, occasionally surprising list of silents, foreign, experimental and studio gems. The oldest title on the list: Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, released in 1925. The newest: David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, from 2001. (In the case of ties, such as with Seven Samurai and Persona, each gets the same spot, and then the editors skip on confusingly to the next number. But the list really does only contain 50 titles.)

The Sight & Sound gang also solicited lists from 358 directors, including Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Mike Leigh, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, to come up with a directors’ top 10. Their numero uno: Tokyo Story, the 1953 Yasujiro  Ozu classic. To see the complete critics and directors’ picks, click here. The top tens are listed below:

Sight & Sound The Critics’ Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time

1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
3. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
4. La Règle du jeu (Renoir, 1939)
5. Sunrise: a Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
7. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
8. Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1927)
10. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

Sight & Sound's The Directors' Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time

1. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
5..Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1980)
6.Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
7. The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
7. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
9. Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974)
10. Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays, and his blog, On Movies Online, can be found here. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Steven Rea's previous blog posts can be found here. Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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