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Thread: If You Had a Sight & Sound Ballot...

  1. #1
    What a happy day it is! Elliott?'s Avatar
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    If You Had a Sight & Sound Ballot...

    I know we have about a dozen "your favorite films" threads already, but hear me out: with the latest Sight and Sound poll being released, and with everybody and their potato peeler having an opinion about it, I was curious what the fine folks at AW would pick if they could submit a ballot. Obviously, in theory, this would be just your votes for the ten greatest films, but like Roger Ebert said in his impeccable write-up on the 2012 S&S list, "Lists are ridiculous, but if you're going to vote, you have to play the game."

    So, with your understanding of the history and behaviors of this very specific list: what ten films would be on your ballot? Would you "play the game" or would you submit a straight "ten favorites" list?

    If they were foolish enough to give me a ballot, I think mine would look something like (in chronological order):
    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
    Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
    To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
    Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
    Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
    The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
    Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
    Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
    Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
    The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

    But ugh, there are some films that are agonizing to leave off. I don't envy anyone having to do this, LOL.

  2. #2
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    Celine and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette, 1974)
    Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
    Sansho the Baliff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
    8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, 1963)
    The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
    Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
    Make Way for Tomorrow (Leo McCarey, 1937)
    The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov, 1968)
    Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene, 1966)
    Black God, White Devil (Glauber Rocha, 1964)

    Just off the top of my head. Really narrowing anything down to a top 10 or even a top 100 list is a futile endeavor.

  3. #3
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    L'Atlante (1934)
    The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
    The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)
    The River (1951)
    The Cloud Capped Star (1960)
    The Leopard (1963)
    Army of Shadows (1969)
    Come and See (1985)
    A Brighter Summer Day (1991)
    Talk to Her (2002)

    Almost my actual top 10 favourites.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member affy18's Avatar
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    Sherlock Jr.
    La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc
    The Magnificent Ambersons
    Sansho the Bailiff
    The Apu Trilogy
    Vivre sa vie
    Young Girls of Rochefort
    The Tree of Life

    Questions in a World of Blue

  5. #5
    Technicality no down boo over?! flibber's Avatar
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    City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)
    M (Lang, 1931)
    The Third Man (Reed, 1949)
    Singin' in the Rain (Kelly and Donen, 1952)
    Pather Panchali (Ray, 1955)
    8½ (Fellini, 1963)
    Nashville (Altman, 1975)
    The Thin Blue Line (Morris, 1988)
    Wayne's World (Spheeris, 1992)
    The New World (Malick, 2005)

  6. #6
    It's kind of a really nice day makemeameteor's Avatar
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    I'd probably play the game for a list like this, but I don't know if the "game" is to try and cover a wide breadth of cinema or try and tilt the scales further in favor of movies I already know will have a strong showing. For example, 2001, ITMFL, and Mulholland Drive are all in my top ten of all time and had strong showings in today's list. Do I try and prop them up more, or spread the wealth to try and get a smaller film just over the 100 mark?

    Maybe something like this, no particular order:

    Black Girl, Sembene
    It's Such a Beautiful Day, Hertzfeldt
    Stalker, Tarkovsky
    Meshes of the Afternoon, Deren
    The River, Tsai
    Happy Together, Wong
    High and Low, Kurosawa
    Twin Peaks, Lynch
    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, Murnau
    Lost in Translation, S. Coppola

    Still not perfect, though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CitizenKian's Avatar
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    The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993)
    The Ascent (Larisa Shepitko, 1977)
    Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
    The Crowd (King Vidor, 1928)
    La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
    Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)
    My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)
    The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
    Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
    Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

  8. #8
    Montgomery Clift GeorgeEastman's Avatar
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    Considering cinema before the 50's barely seem to exist in the recent list, prob 10 films before that.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member nike290's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Would I vote strategically?

    These would be shoo-ins, full stop:

    Yi Yi
    Citizen Kane
    Singin' in the Rain
    His Girl Friday
    Jeanne Dielman...

    Though I'd think about dropping them, maybe doubting myself a bit, but ultimately they are too close to my lifelong cinephile heart to let go:

    8 ½
    North by Northwest

    Now for the last 2 spots, I would really agonize over. I would seriously consider:

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    Come and See
    French Cancan

    But hold on: I think I would probably give these a rewatch before I voted and they really could stand a shot too:

    Through the Olive Trees
    Letter from an Unknown Woman

    But, right now? I'd probably pick Contempt (yes, maybe even before he passed) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

  10. #10
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    I think mostly I'd do my actual picks for greatest films that I have seen (this was very hard to narrow down but aligns fairly well with previous lists I've made in attempts to distill what I consider the all-timers):

    Safe (Haynes, 1995)
    Touch of Evil (Welles, 1958)
    A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Spielberg, 2001)
    The New World (Malick, 2006)
    The Thing (Carpenter, 1982)
    Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001)
    Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman, 1975)
    Princess Mononoke (Miyazaki, 1997)
    La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960)

    ...and then for #10 I'd probably want to get more subjective/sentimental and throw in something that's both recent-ish and more of a personal treasured fav (although anything I'd pick would still be something I consider a 10/10 film and would passionately advocate as being deserving). Possibilities would be Morvern Callar, Old Joy, Memoria, Phantom Thread, Under the Skin, Nowhere (the Gregg Araki film), O.J.: Made in America (if eligible), among others. If I felt committed to a straight-up ten greatest then I suppose that last spot should really probably go to a Hitchcock, but it's very hard to pick between my top three or so of his!

  11. #11
    𝙞 𝙯𝙞𝙢𝙗𝙧𝙖 The Dark Poet's Avatar
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    Yikes, I would probably be driven mad by the thought of putting together a list like this. My actual Top 10 currently stands as a Top 30, and about 200 honourable mentions (no joke), so I'd be very challenged to whittle it down to 10. I could choose one per decade from the 1920s to 2010s, the film that I feel best represented that decade. Or I could go with ones that I felt genuinely challenged and broke the boundaries of cinema. I'd probably try and create an even spread between languages, regions and genders to make sure my list was inclusive (not to be woke, but because I genuinely think it's important to cast as wide a net as possible, and I'd not include anything just for the sake of diversity - I'd just be more conscious of it, and anything I included on there would absolutely be in my personal Top 30).

    But I definitely know I'd try and make it as personal to what inspires me the most. So honestly, I'd probably just go with my actual Top 10 favourite films of all time, in alphabetical order:

    The Baker's Wife (dir. Marcel Pagnol, 1938)
    Céline and Julie Go Boating (dir. Jacques Rivette, 1974)
    Drowning by Numbers (dir. Peter Greenaway, 1988)
    Endless Poetry (dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky, 2017)
    The Gleaners and I (dir. Agnès Varda, 2000)
    Harold and Maude (dir. Hal Ashby, 1971)
    Merrily We Go to Hell (dir. Dorothy Arzner, 1932)
    Naked (dir. Mike Leigh, 1993)
    To Be or Not to Be (dir. Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
    Woman in the Dunes (dir. Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1964)

    The lack of African cinema does feel very glaring to me, so I'd probably try and replace one of these with either Touki Bouki or The Night of Counting the Years, but I'm not sure what I'd sacrifice - logic says I have too many French films, but every one of them is different and from filmmakers I adore. The next step is to sacrifice one of the irreverent classic era Hollywood comedies, but To Be or Not to Be is the film that made me laugh the most (and I take comedy very seriously as an art form), and Merrily We Go to Hell is not only a film I adore, but one directed by a woman, and I don't want my list to be populated almost entirely by men. I have too much sentimental attachment to Harold and Maude and Endless Poetry, Naked is the film that made me want to become a filmmaker, and both Woman in the Dunes and Drowning by Numbers stimulated and provoked me in ways that no other film ever has. So its such an iron-clad Top 10, I can't leave any of them off

    I know there's some divisive choices here, but I assure you that I can defend each one of them as being very special to me!
    Last edited by The Dark Poet; 12-01-2022 at 06:33 PM.

  12. #12
    I heard you paint houses WCB's Avatar
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    The Doll (Ernst Lubitsch, 1919)
    Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924)
    Bringing up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
    Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang, 1945)
    Late Spring (Yasujirō Ozu, 1949)
    Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
    The Eternal Breasts (Kinuyo Tanaka, 1955)
    Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
    The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese, 1993)
    Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

  13. #13
    Old So and So average joe's Avatar
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    Only thing I would do differently from my actual favorite ten is to only have one film per director:

    The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
    The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)
    Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese)
    8 1/2 (Federico Fellini)
    Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
    2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
    Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
    Fanny & Alexander (Ingmar Bergman)
    Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais)
    La Roue (Abel Gance)

  14. #14
    boob petravonkant's Avatar
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    I don't think I would even know how to vote very strategically, so I'd just use the top 10 from the most recent list I made:
    1. Pather Panchali
    2. Close-Up
    3. Shoah
    4. Daisies
    5. The Spirit of the Beehive
    6. Barry Lyndon
    7. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (duh)
    8. Jeanne Dielman
    9. The Red Shoes
    10. The Color of Paradise

  15. #15
    Senior Member afilmcionado's Avatar
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    In alphabetical order:

    2001: A Space Odyssey
    A Better Tomorrow
    Citizen Kane
    Jeanne Dielman
    Man with a Movie Camera
    Scenes from a Marriage
    The Tree of Life
    Twin Peaks: the Return
    Yi Yi

  16. #16
    I Know You're Trying AHiddenEnthu's Avatar
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    In no order

    A Hidden Life (Malick, 2019)
    Mommy (Dolan, 2014)
    Seed (Stahl, 1931)
    Claire's Knee (Rohmer, 1970)
    Duelle (Rivette, 1976)
    Where To? (Nasser, 1957)
    When A Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse, 1960)
    Dans La Maison (Ozon, 2012)
    Persona (Bergman, 1966)
    Gone With The Wind (Leigh, 1939)

  17. #17
    Noli Me Tangere lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makemeameteor View Post
    I'd probably play the game for a list like this, but I don't know if the "game" is to try and cover a wide breadth of cinema or try and tilt the scales further in favor of movies I already know will have a strong showing. For example, 2001, ITMFL, and Mulholland Drive are all in my top ten of all time and had strong showings in today's list. Do I try and prop them up more, or spread the wealth to try and get a smaller film just over the 100 mark?
    Agree with all of this, and the question itself is too subjective and "rigged" in the sense that we're all reacting to today's results.

    I think the optimum way to go about answering this question is how would you have submitted a ballot a few months ago, not knowing what placements you'd be affecting. As for the question of "favorite" vs. representation (both cinema history-wise and overall inclusiveness), I suspect most would split the difference in one way or another.

    As you were saying, a question you would have to ask yourself is, am I trying to get certain titles into the Top 10? The Top 100? The Top 250? So for me, I might not want to "waste" a vote on Duelle, or An Angel At My Table, or The World of Apu (to name 3 examples) if my primary goal was for those respective filmmakers to have good showings in general.
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  18. #18
    American Civil Lesbians Union DeltaEst1903's Avatar
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    In no order:

    Tokyo Story
    City Lights
    Inland Empire
    Spirited Away
    Minding the Gap

    I'm in agreement with Meteor. There's like several more iterations of this because I already missed so many amazing work and have so many more to see. However, I think participating in this also comes with a trust of sort in the film community to come up with other iterations that would cover the breadth of films that I couldn't.

  19. #19
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    The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
    Gone with the Wind (Cukor, Fleming, Wood, 1939)
    A Day in the Country (Renoir, 1946)
    Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954)
    Persona (Bergman, 1966)
    Once Upon a Time in America (Leone, 1984)
    The Long Day Closes (Davies, 1992)
    Velvet Goldmine (Haynes, 1998)
    Mysterious Skin (Araki, 2004)
    Laurence Anyways (Dolan, 2012)

  20. #20
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    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Andrei Rublev
    La Dolce Vita
    Death in Venice
    To Be or Not to Be
    Once upon a Time in America
    Berlin Alexanderplatz
    Schindler's List
    The Act of Killing

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