Lost in the Movies: The Sight & Sound Top 100 Films: which have I discussed? Announcing a new miniseries... (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #55)

The Sight & Sound Top 100 Films: which have I discussed? Announcing a new miniseries... (LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #55)

Late last year, Sight & Sound Magazine released the results of its eighth decennial critics' and directors' poll to determine "the greatest film of all times." I think it's fair to say that, due to the massive expansion of the voter pool and the consequent shake-up in results, this was the most provocative, exciting, and controversial list in the poll's history. Citizen Kane, which landed at #1 five times in a row until it was unseated by Vertigo in 2012, has now been dropped to #3. Vertigo has been pushed back as well, with a film previously ranked #36 rocketing all the way to the top spot. Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - its mouthful of a name announcing its challenge to film conventions at the outset - presents a radical detour in many ways: lengthy runtime, pared-down approach, and a female filmmaker as a stark departure from seventy years in which only men cracked the top ten (or, once longer lists began to go public in 2012, even the top thirty). Debate raged; did this - and other notable elevations of the work of female, queer, and/or people of color - represent a courageous revolution or superficial tokenism? And what of the unabashed inclusion of more recent works, following decades of midcentury emphasis with barely any forays into the eras millennials or zoomers grew up in?

Amidst all the discourse, I realized I didn't have much to say - either in the past or the present - on the top film or other major movement within these rankings (aside from breakthroughs for personal favorites like Meshes of the Afternoon). Several of the highest-ranked films had never been discussed by me on my site; some I'd never even seen. And my memories of the cinematic centerpiece were surprisingly fuzzy, although I was certain I must have seen Jeanne Dielman at some point following its Criterion release, probably between 2010 and 2012 (after all, I'd proclaimed my interest back in the blog's early days when the now-greatest-film-of-all-time was still quite hard to see). I'll save the details of that (re-?)discovery for next week's episode on Jeanne Dielman, because I ultimately decided to record podcasts on the top five films (on the combined critics' and directors' lists) about which I hadn't previously written, recorded, focused on in a video essay, or otherwise covered. Here is this week's episode announcing the miniseries:

Back in June, when I released what seemed like an epic guest conversation on Southland Tales (wait until you see the length of the Jeanne Dielman one), I thought I was concluding this Lost in the Movies podcast feed...but here we are again. I do plan to wrap up my public film/TV work in late October but I couldn't resist this opportunity, especially once a prior Twin Peaks Conversations guest (Ashley Brandt, of Twin Peaks Peeks) expressed her interest in talking about Jeanne Dielman. Even just setting up this introductory episode, I initially found myself going on way too long - the initial recording was thirty-eight minutes! - so I tried to keep it simple and pare it down. This kickoff alludes to past work on many other Sight & Sound picks; if you want to actually visit these links, scroll down and gorge to your heart's content. Aside from that, see you in a week, and then every week after that until we reach the fifth film (all five revealed in this episode as well as the line-up below)...

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THE 2022 SIGHT & SOUND LIST w/ links to my previous coverage
(& awards in my alternate Oscars from 2013)

Update: If you have trouble viewing some of the links -especially those labeled "video",


1. Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)
*** podcast UPCOMING on Wednesday, September 27 ***
(listen ahead of time on $5/month Patreon tier)

2. Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958)
...awarded Feature, Actor (James Stewart), Director, Score (Bernard Herrmann), Editing (George Tomasini)
+ featured only briefly in two video projects

3. Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941)
...awarded Feature, Director, Score (Bernard Herrmann), Cinematography (Gregg Toland), Screenplay (Herman Mankiewicz, Welles), Editing (Robert Wise)
+ featured only briefly in two video projects

4. Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story (1953)
...awarded Supporting Actress (Setsuko Hara)

5. Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love (2000)
...awarded Director, Cinematography (Christopher Doyle), Use of Music, #3 for 2000 after Platform & The Gleaners and I
+ featured only briefly in a video project

6. Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
...awarded Director, Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth, John Alcott), #2 for 1968 after Rosemary's Baby
+ featured only briefly in in four video projects

7. Claire Denis' Beau Travail (1998)
*** podcast UPCOMING on Wednesday, October 4 ***
(listen ahead of time on $5/month Patreon tier)

8. David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001)
...awarded Feature, Actress (Naomi Watts), Director, Score (Angelo Badalamenti), Screenplay (Lynch), Scene (What's behind the dumpster at Winkie's?)
+ featured only briefly in two video projects + two other Journey chapters

9. Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
...awarded Feature, Director, Editing (Vertov)
+ featured only briefly in a video project

10. Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain (1952)
...awarded Feature, Supporting Actor (Donald O'Conner), Supporting Actress (Jean Hagen), Editing (Adrienne Fazan)


1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

2. Citizen Kane

3. Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972)
...awarded Feature, Supporting Actor (James Caan), Score (Nino Rota), Editing (William Reynolds, Paul Zinner), Ensemble, Scene (Closing the door on Kay), Line ("Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.") ...mentioned as very close calls for Actor (Al Pacino) + Cinematography (Gordon Willis) + Screenplay (Mario Puzo) + Scenes (Assassination of Sollozzo, Baptism of Blood)
...mentioned as additional close calls for Director + Actor (Marlon Brando) + Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)
+ featured only briefly in a video project

4. (tie) Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

4. (tie) Tokyo Story

6. Vertigo

7. Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963)
...awarded Cinematography (Gianni di Venanzo)
+ featured only briefly in two video projects

8. Andrei Tarkovsky's Mirror (1975)
...awarded Director, #2 for 1974 after The Godfather Part II
+ featured only briefly in two video projects

9. (tie) In the Mood for Love

9. (tie) Abbas Kiarostami's Close-Up (1990)
*** podcast UPCOMING on Wednesday, October 11 ***
(listen ahead of time on $5/month Patreon tier)

9. (tie) Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966)
...awarded Screenplay (Bergman), #4 for 1966 after Masculin Feminin & Daisies & Au Hasard Balthazar
...mentioned as close calls for Actress (Liv Ullman, Bibi Andersson), Director
+ featured only briefly in two video projects


11. F.W. Murnau's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
*** podcast UPCOMING on Wednesday, October 18 ***
(listen ahead of time on $5/month Patreon tier)
+ featured briefly in a video project

12. The Godfather

13. Jean Renoir's La Regle du Jeu (1939)
...awarded Cinematography (Jean-Paul Alphen, Jean Bachelet)

14. Agnes Varda's Cleo From 5 to 7 (1962)
...mentioned as top 5 honorable mention for 1962

15. John Ford's The Searchers (1956)
...awarded Feature, Actor (John Wayne), Score (Max Steiner), Cinematography (Winton Hoch)
+ featured only briefly in a video project

16. Maya Deren and Alexander Hacksmied's Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
...awarded Short (tied w/ Red Hot Riding Hood)
+ featured only briefly in a video project

17. Close-Up

18. Persona

19. Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979)
...awarded Director, Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall), Editing (Lisa Fruchtman, Gerald Greenberg, Walter Much), Ensemble, Scene (Killing Kurtz), Line ("I love the smell of napalm in the morning.")
+ featured only briefly in a video project

20. Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954)
...awarded Cinematography (Asakazu Nakai), Editing (Akira Kurosawa)


12. (tie) Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975)
...awarded Feature, Director, Cinematography (John Alcott), Scene (The final duel)
+ featured only briefly in a video project

12. (tie) Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976)
...awarded Feature, Actor (Robert De Niro), Director, Supporting Actor (Harvey Keitel), Supporting Actress (Jodie Foster), Score (Bernard Herrmann), Editing (Tom Rolf, Melvin Shapiro), Ensemble

14. (tie) Beau Travail

14. (tie) Seven Samurai

14. (tie) Jean-Luc Godard's A Bout de Souffle (1960)
...awarded Editing (Cecile Decugis, Lila Herman)
+ featured only briefly in a video project

14. (tie) Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker (1979)
*** podcast UPCOMING on Wednesday, October 25 ***
(listen ahead of time on $5/month Patreon tier)

The next top 5 films I haven't covered would have been...

A Woman Under the Influence tied for Directors' #18
The Battle of Algiers tied for Directors' #22
The Night of the Hunter tied for Critics' #25
Andrei Rublev tied for Directors' #26
Ordet tied for Directors' #30

I've seen all of those films before
(Andrei Rublev & Ordet were featured briefly in video projects)

The others in the top 100 that I haven't seen before are...

Vagabond tied for Directors' #41
La Cienaga tied for Directors' #62
Touki Bouki at Critics' #66
A Brighter Summer Day, Where Is the Friend's House & L'Argent all tied for Directors' #72
(not sure about Critics' #72 My Neighbor Totoro - may have only seen parts of it or had in the background during a social visit)
Taste of Cherry tied for Directors' #93

The others in the top 100 I've seen, but not covered (alphabetically):
The Ascent, L'Atalante, Blade Runner, Chungking Express, The Color of Pomegranates, Come and See (though that may change soon), Daughters of the Dust (aside from images as w/ many of the films mentioned above), Hidden, Ikiru, Imitation of Life, Journey to Italy, Kes, M, Madame de..., A Matter of Life and Death, maybe My Neighbor Totoro, New from Home, North by Northwest, La Notte, Once Upon a Time in the West, Pickpocket, The Red Shoes, Sansho the Bailiff, A Separation, Sherlock Jr., Some Like It Hot, Throne of Blood, Viridiana, Wanda, Yi Yi

The others in the top 100 I have covered before
(alphabetically w/ "*" as additional brief video project or Remembering the Movies round-up):

Previous Sight & Sound lists


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