Thoughts On The 2022 Sight & Sound List And “Jeanne Dielman”

Now that the dust has been starting to settle on the news about the 2022 Sight & Sound film poll–the once-a-decade event ranking the top 100 greatest films of all time, with particular focus on the top 10–I thought I’d share some thoughts. Because the newest list is–how to put it–a doozy.

Just in case you’ve heard of Sight & Sound (spelled with either “&” or “and”) but haven’t looked into it much, it’s a prestigious monthly film magazine that’s been published by the British Film Institute since the 1930s. In 1952 they decided to poll critics and directors about what ten films they considered the all-time greats–Battleship Potemkin (1925) nabbed the top spot. It was decided that the poll would be held every ten years to gauge the tastes of the critical consensus and to see how appreciation of great cinema might evolve. The once-a-decade nature of the poll and its knowledgeable voter base made it, in the words of Roger Ebert, “…The most respected of the countless polls of great movies–the only one most serious movie people take seriously.” (I’d keep that quote in mind for the rest of this article.)

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