My Thoughts on Sight & Sound’s 2022 Poll and My Top 10 Favorite Films of All Time

-My Thoughts on Sight & Sound’s 2022 Poll-

At last, Sight & Sound magazine has finally released their 10-year annual Greatest Films of All Time poll, in which various critics and filmmakers serve as participants. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the results is that the film that dethroned the number one choice of 2012 (Vertigo) was dethroned by a 1975 Belgian masterpiece directed by the late great Chantal Akerman entitled Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. Vertigo, Citizen Kane and Bicycle Thieves (the critics previous number one choices) now rank at numbers 2, 3 and 41 respectively. Akira Kurosawa”s Rashomon technically ranks at 42, but the 41 number may suggest a tie vote. Refreshing to see two 21st century films within the top 10 – 2000’s In the Mood for Love ranked at number 5 and 2001’s Mulholland Drive ranks at number 8. According to the directors poll, director Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 groundbreaking science-fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey is the number one greatest film ever made. Kane, Vertigo, Jeanne Dielman and Bicycle Thieves rank at numbers 2, 6, 21 and 5 respectively. Click here and here to view the results.While I did not rank Jeanne Dielman as my number one favorite film of all-time (I would place it between numbers 51 and 60 on my list), I do find it refreshing that it was not a traditional choice (i.e. The Godfather or The Third Man). As for 2001: A Space Odyssey as the number one favorite film among the directors who participated, I would actually place 1975’s Barry Lyndon (also directed by Kubrick) higher, though the former is my second favorite Kubrick film. Speaking of which, 2001 and Barry Lyndon rank at numbers 6 and 45 respectively on the critics list. Nevertheless, the rankings remain every bit as entertaining as usual. Though I did not participate in this list, this is the first time that I have ever put together a list of my top 10 favorite films of all time. I actually first started the list in June and finished it in early September. That being said, it will be interesting to see what the Sight & Sound poll and my list look like 10 years from now in 2032.


-My Top 10 Favorite Films of All Time-
(An Introduction)

Let’s face it, every top 10 list (mine included) is subjective. In other words, the films chosen by critics and directors for Sight & Sound’s poll will inevitably differ from that of more populist viewers. As a self-proclaimed cinephile, I would say that my taste in film knows no boundaries. Equally, albeit in different ways, I love Jean-Luc Godard’s films as much as The Expendables movies. While my top 10 favorite film list may not include examples of the latter, it is still significantly inclusive. For example, my list consists of five American/English-Language films and five Foreign films. My choices range from the Silent and Classical Hollywood era through the first two decades of the 21st century. Admittedly, I have an infinite number of favorite films, these following ten are just the ones that have impacted me the most as a viewer. I will also present the numbers in descending order (i.e. 10, 9, 8 etc.) Now, without further ado, I present to you all:


-My Top 10 Favorite Films of All-Time-
(The Results)

P.S. Please be kind to numbers 1 and 8 on here because they mean a lot to me πŸ™‚

10) Satantango (1994)
(Dir: Bela Tarr)
(Country: Hungary/Germany/Switzerland)
Color: Black and White
Satantango is as much an inspired cinematic combination of form and content on the surface, as it is a deconstruction of said criteria in the center. As directed by Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr, Satantango is a black-and-white masterwork consisting of impressively composed long takes. At the same time, Tarr subtly graces his characteristically bleak existential drama with a considerable dose of deadpan humor throughout. Topped off by it’s close to seven-and-a-half hour running time, Satantango is occasionally implicitly cited (yet rightfully so) as the cinematic equivalent of an elaborate joke. Satantango is not the first great film to demonstrate that, but it arguably serves as the richest example yet of this aforementioned theory. In addition, Satantango ranks as my number one favorite film of the 1990’s.

Click here to view the film’s original trailer

Click here to view the film’s 4K Restoration trailer

9) Three Times (2005)
(Dir: Hou Hsiao-hsien)
(Country: Taiwan)
Color: Color

As of 2022, Three Times remains my number one favorite foreign film of the 21st century. On a whole, Three Times is the most beautifully realized anthology film ever helmed single-handedly. In the case of Three Times, that would be renowned Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien. Shot in a series of elegantly composed long takes, the result consists of three romantic stories set during the past and the then present. Ranging from poignant to inspired to ultimately insightful, Three Times explores the human condition in rich and poetic ways. Like all truly great directors, Hsiao-hsien uses atmosphere, color and music to shape the film’s drama. These aforementioned elements may have been combined flawlessly in films before and after it, but never more effortlessly than in Three Times.

Click here to view what may or may not be the film’s Taiwanese trailer

Click here to view what may or may not be another Taiwanese trailer for it

Click here to view the film’s US trailer

8) Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)
(Dir: David Lynch)
(Country: United States)
(Cable/Television)
Color: Color
I may be debatably cheating with my inclusion of a television series on here, but there is no other way around it. As of 2022, Twin Peaks: The Return currently ranks (for me) as the crowning achievement of 21st century cinematic art. Unlike seasons 1 and 2 of Twin Peaks (1990-91), season 3 (consisting of 18 episodes) is helmed entirely by co-creator David Lynch and his vision remains as bold as his feature films and bolder than anything depicted in the previous two seasons. Airing on premium cable (Showtime in this case) as opposed to network television (ABC in the past), Twin Peaks: The Return allows Lynch the luxury of letting his dark and twisted imagination run wild. The result is Lynch at his most expressive (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive) and (in some ways) experimental (Eraserhead and Inland Empire). Chicago-based director/writer Michael Glover Smith summed it up as Lynch’s magnum opus and I am in complete agreement with him. On the surface, Twin Peaks: The Return may feel like television, but in the center, it resembles pure cinema.

Click here to view the intro to Twin Peaks: The Return/Season 3

Click here to view all of the teaser trailers for Twin Peaks: The Return

Click here to view an Amazon.com link for buying information on Twin Peaks: The Return/Season 3

If you live in the UK, click here to view an Amazon.co.uk link for buying information on Twin Peaks: The Return/Season 3

7) The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
(Dir: Orson Welles)
(Country: United States)

Color: Black and White
Even in it’s mutilated form, The Magnificent Ambersons still stands out as one of the finest American films ever made. For those who are unaware, RKO Pictures infamously cut the film’s intended 131-minute running time to 88 minutes and replaced it’s downbeat ending with a happier one that contradicts the overall tone of the picture. Despite all this, I personally feel that The Magnificent Ambersons is a greater masterwork than Citizen Kane, which was also directed by the legendary Orson Welles. Prior to the aforementioned studio’s meddling, Welles himself felt the same way. Based on Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize winning 1918 novel, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the rise and fall of a wealthy Midwestern family during the late 19th to early 20th century. No cinematic period drama made since the advent of sound has been as hauntingly beautiful or cast and acted to perfection other than The Magnificent Ambersons.

Click here to view the film’s original theatrical trailer

Click here to read an article about the current mission to find the 131-minute cut of Ambersons

Click here to view a short video about it

Click here to view a link to a 1993 book about Orson Welles original cut entitled The Magnificent Ambersons: A Reconstruction

Click here to view this excerpt from the 1982 documentary entitled The Orson Welles Story, in which Welles details how RKO sabotaged Ambersons

6) Spione (1928) (U.S. title: Spies)
(Dir: Fritz Lang)
(Country: Germany/Weimar Republic)
Color: Black and White

When it comes to foreign cinema, no other film is simultaneously more exciting and faster-paced than legendary German director Fritz Lang’s 1928 silent epic Spione. From it’s electrifying opening sequence to the revelatory denouement, Spione will keep you on the edge of your seat. In addition, Spione features two spectacular set pieces in the form of a train crash and a bank raid. Lang’s aforementioned achievements are all the more impressive considering that Spione was produced on a low-budget. As quite possibly the earliest non-serialized film to combine eroticism with action-packed suspense, Spione also set the standard for the classical and contemporary spy thriller. Influencing everything from certain Alfred Hitchcock thrillers to James Bond to Mission: Impossible and beyond, Spione has more than stood the test of time.

Click here to view the entire film

Click here to view what may be the film’s original theatrical trailer

5) Histoire(s) du Cinema (1988-1998)
(Dir: Jean-Luc Godard)
(Country: France/Switzerland)
Color: Color

Often cited among Jean-Luc Godard enthusiasts (myself included) as the aforementioned French New Wave veteran’s magnum opus, Histoire(s) du Cinema doubles as arguably the only cinematic work of art to actually defy categorization and convention in every single way imaginable. Shot on and off over a period of ten years between 1988 and 1998, Histoire(s) du Cinema is not so much a film, let alone a documentary, as it is a video essay project. Divided into four two-part chapters totaling 8 episodes, Histoire(s) du Cinema not only examines how we look at cinema, but also it’s relationship with the 20th century on a whole. In Histoire(s) du Cinema, Godard illustrates this theory through a dazzling montage of elements rooted in the visual, literary and performing arts. Simultaneously, Godard expresses his own sentiments as a contrarian to deconstruct cinema altogether. The result is a genuinely unique experience for the brain, ears and eyes. Viewed in it’s entirety 24 years later, Histoire(s) du Cinema remains every bit as radical and relevant now as it was then.

The DVD of Histoire(s) du Cinema was first released in the US by Olive Films back in 2011 – click here

Click here to watch a truncated version of episode 1

4) City Lights (1931)
(Dir: Charlie Chaplin)
(Country: United States)
Color: Black and White

Though frequently hailed (and deservedly so) as the quintessential Tramp entry, for me, City Lights reputation has always rested upon so much more than that. Whereas The Kid established iconic director/producer/star Charlie Chaplin’s trademark combination of humor and pathos, City Lights unquestionably polished it. From the first to last frame, City Lights can only be described as the most beautifully realized silent comedy ever made. In addition, City Lights features a justifiably celebrated ending that is as poignant as it is perfect. 91 years may have passed since it’s initial theatrical release in 1931, but City Lights still continues to impact audiences, critics and filmmakers alike as of 2022. As for myself, I define City Lights as the cinematic equivalent of poetry in motion.

Click here to view what may be the film’s original theatrical trailer or one of the re-released ones

Click here to view what is definitely a re-release trailer of the film

Click here to view the 2003 documentary Chaplin Today: City Lights

3) Journey to Italy (1954)
(Dir: Roberto Rossellini)
(Country: Italy/France)
Color: Black and White

Notwithstanding the fact that a majority of it’s dialogue is in English, Journey to Italy remains my number one favorite foreign film of all time. On the surface, it stems from master Italian director Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist visual style, courtesy of location shooting. In the center, it comes from Rossellini’s modernist approach to drama and storytelling. The answer lies in how it forever changed the face of European cinema. By combining these two aforementioned elements together, Rossellini laid the groundwork for the French New Wave movement and Michelangelo Antonioni’s existentialist dramas, which emerged simultaneously at the tail’s end of the 1950’s into 1960. During the past 9 years of the 21st century, Journey to Italy’s influence seems to have gradually expanded into the American cinema. For example, in director/writer Richard Linklater’s 2013 romance drama Before Midnight, (the third film in his Before Trilogy), Julie Delpy’s character references it. As a devotee of everything it influenced, maybe my enthusiasm for Journey to Italy is based on that? Either way, for me, watching Journey to Italy is like sipping a fine wine – the taste never ages.

Click here to view the entire film

Click here to view Janus Films 2013 restoration trailer of the film

Click here to view Roberto Rossellini’s intro to the film himself

Click here to view late Scottish novelist and film critic Gilbert Adair’s 1990 Film Club intro to the film

Click here to view master filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s 2014 video conversation on the films of Roberto Rossellini, which includes Journey to Italy

2) Greed (1924)
(Dir: Erich von Stroheim)
(Country: United States)
Color: Black and White

Even in it’s truncated form, Greed still ranks as my number one favorite silent film of all time. Like The Magnificent Ambersons after it, Greed is often cited among cinephiles as the textbook example of studio interference. In the case of Greed, MGM notoriously cut the film’s original eight-hour running time to that of two hours and ten minutes. Perhaps the longest version circulating in the public domain is Turner Entertainment’s 1999 reconstruction, which runs close to four hours – 239 minutes to be exact. Here, picture stills with title cards are displayed in place of the missing scenes. Regardless of which version I watch, the result amazingly remains the same. Out of all the ambitious Hollywood films of it’s era, sophisticated Austrian-American filmmaker Erich von Stroheim’s 1924 epic Greed stands out as quite possibly the most influential. For starters, Greed is noted for being the first American film to use deep-focus cinematography, location shooting and montage editing (think Soviet montage theory) all together as cinematic storytelling devices. Adapted from Frank Norris 1899 novel McTeague, Greed is a psychological drama about human nature at it’s ugliest. No other film offers a more uncompromising and vivid depiction of this aforementioned theme than Greed.

Click here to view what may be either the film’s trailer or short subject for lack of better word

Click here to view Turner Entertainment’s 1999 239-minute cut of the film. The Jonny Greenwood music score was not part of the 99 version though

Click here to view the 130 minute version of the film

Click here to view a very old introduction to the film by esteemed British film historian Kevin Brownlow

Click here to view a link to a 1972 book entitled The Complete Greed of Erich von Stroheim

1) Vertigo (1958)
(Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)
(Country: United States)
Color: Color

Former Chicago Reader film critic Dave Kehr eloquently praised Vertigo as One of the landmarks-not merely of the movies, but of 20th-century art. I am in total agreement with him. Coincidentally, Vertigo ranks as my number one favorite film of all time. For me, Vertigo not only stands out as the crowning achievement of Classical Hollywood cinema, but of filmmaking on a whole. No other cinematic masterwork has impacted me on so many levels than this 1958 American classic. Set to celebrated composer Bernard Herrmann’s unforgettable music score, Vertigo opens with a characteristically expressive title sequence designed by the legendary Saul Bass. After this, we are treated to one of the most atmospheric and visually stunning films ever made. In the center, Vertigo is two beautifully realized films for the price of one. What begins as a mystery, suddenly turns into a haunting drama of sexual obsession. The result is every bit as erotic as it is disturbing and ultimately tragic. As directed by the iconic Alfred Hitchcock (a.k.a. The Master of Suspense), Vertigo is a masterpiece of form and content. More than that, Vertigo serves as Hitchcock’s magnum opus. Though renowned (and justifiably so) as a showman, Hitchcock also deserves to be lauded as an artist. This latter trait has never been more evident than in Vertigo. In that same review, Kehr summed up Vertigo as the most intensely personal movie to emerge from the Hollywood cinema. Kehr is totally right on that. For everybody involved, Vertigo represents the pinnacle of their careers. What else left is there for me to say except that Vertigo is (for myself) the greatest film ever made.

Click here to read former Chicago Reader film critic Dave Kehr’s review of Vertigo

Click here to view the film’s original theatrical trailer

Click here to view the film’s 1996 Restoration trailer

Click here to view the film’s 60th anniversary 4K Restoration trailer

Click here to view legendary title designer Saul Bass masterful opening title sequence

Click here to view the film’s memorable psychedelic dream sequence

Click here to listen to Bernard Herrmann’s haunting music for the film

Click here to view the documentary on Vertigo’s 1996 Restoration from 1997 entitled Obsessed with Vertigo


-My Top 10 Favorite Films of All Time (In Alphabetical Order)-

City Lights (1931) (Dir: Charlie Chaplin)
Greed (1924) (Dir: Erich von Stroheim)
Histoire(s) du Cinema (1988-1998) (Dir: Jean-Luc Godard)
Journey to Italy (1954) (Dir: Roberto Rossellini)
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) (Dir: Orson Welles)
Satantango (1994) (Dir: Bela Tarr)
Spione (1928) (Dir: Fritz Lang)
Three Times (2005) (Dir: Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) (Dir: David Lynch)
Vertigo (1958) (Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)


-My Top 10 Favorite American/English-Language Films of All Time-
(An Introduction)

Back in 2015, the BBC conducted a poll for film critics regarding The 100 greatest American films. Once again, I was not involved in this, but limited to ten, these would be my following choices. Read below.


-My Top 10 Favorite American/English-Language Films of All Time-
(The Results)

P.S. Please be kind to numbers 1, 5 and 9 on here because they mean a lot to me.

  1. Vertigo (1958) (Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. Greed (1924) (Dir: Erich von Stroheim)
  3. City Lights (1931) (Dir: Charlie Chaplin)
  4. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) (Dir: Orson Welles)
  5. Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) (Dir: David Lynch)
  6. Sunrise (1927) (Dir: F.W. Murnau)
  7. Love Me Tonight (1932) (Dir: Rouben Mamoulian)
  8. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) (Dir: William Wyler)
  9. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) (Dir: Howard Hawks)
  10. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) (Dir: Steven Spielberg)

Since I have already gave links to numbers one to five, I will give the ones from six to ten below.

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer for Sunrise
Also, click here to view the entire film

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer for Love Me Tonight
Click here to view the entire film

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer for The Best Years of Our Lives

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer to A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Click here to view trailer #2 for A.I. Artificial Intelligence


-My Top 10 Favorite Foreign Films of All Time-
(An Introduction)

Though the BBC (at least based on my knowledge) did not have a poll regarding foreign films, here are my ten following choices regarding that below.


-My Top 10 Favorite Foreign Films of All Time-
(The Results)

  1. Journey to Italy (1954) (Dir: Roberto Rossellini) (Italy/France)
  2. Histoire(s) du Cinema (1988-1998) (Dir: Jean-Luc Godard) (France/Switzerland)
  3. Spione (1928) (Dir: Fritz Lang) (Germany/Weimar Republic)
  4. Three Times (2005) (Dir: Hou Hsiao-hsien) (Taiwan)
  5. Satantango (1994) (Dir: Bela Tarr) (Hungary/Germany/Switzerland)
  6. Gertrud (1964) (Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer) (Denmark)
  7. Tih Minh (1918) (Dir: Louis Feuillade) (France)
  8. Playtime (1967) (Dir: Jacques Tati) (France/Italy)
  9. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) (Dir: Jacques Demy) (France)
  10. The Wind Will Carry Us (1999) (Dir: Abbas Kiarostami) (Iran/France)

Since I already gave links to numbers one to five, I will give the ones from six to ten below

Click here to view a scene from Gertrud (I could not find a trailer)
Click here to view a trailer for a 2022 documentary about it Dreyer’s Gertrud

Click here to view the entire Tih Minh (it is a silent serial and I could not find it’s original theatrical trailer)
Also, while there are no English subtitles, I actually understood what was going on

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer for Playtime
Click here to view the film’s 2014 4K Restoration trailer

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer for The Young Girls of Rochefort
Click here to view what may or may not be a Restoration trailer

Click here to view the original theatrical trailer for The Wind Will Carry Us
Click here to view a Digitally Restored trailer for the film


-Closing Thoughts-

While it is possible that my list will change ten years from now, for the time being, I shall pride myself for a job well done. My final question to all of you readers is this:

1.) What are your Top 10 Favorite Films of All Time?

2.) What are your Top 10 Favorite American/English-Language Films of All Time?

3.) What are your Top 10 Favorite Foreign Films of All Time?


Feel free to answer the 3 questions above If you like. Also, I would like to extend a huge thank you to all of my dear readers for reading this special blog entry of mine πŸ™‚

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22 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Sight & Sound’s 2022 Poll and My Top 10 Favorite Films of All Time

  1. Congratulations on your list. It’s beautifully written and I commend you for it.
    Maybe I’m an uncultured wretch and my taste in films is too populist but I’m afraid I haven’t seen most of the films on your lists so I can’t say anything about those films.

    Vertigo is your number one favourite? I’m really, really, really afraid to say that I’m not a fan of the film. Please don’t hate me. I won’t go any further than that since you asked to be kind.

    You also asked to be kind about Twin Peaks: The Return. I haven’t seen that either. I haven’t seen The Magnificent Ambersons in quite a while. I’ll have to watch it again.

    As for the Sight and Sound list. I’ve never even heard of the film voted number one. Maybe I’m an uncultured wretch again. I’m afraid I really disagree with Muholland Dr. being number eight. I absolutely hated that film. I thought it was terrible. It moved at a snail’s pace and was completely uninvolving and interesting. I think it’s overrated.

    I realise you are most likely a fan of David Lynch but I’m afraid to say I am not.
    I think he’s incredibly overrated. He does have talent. His films are very well directed and he’s a talented visualist and at creating atmosphere but I think he’s a bad screenwriter. The Elephant Man is the film of his I like the most. I think it’s a great film and a classic and I just wonder why couldn’t he have made more films like that and of that quality. I’m mixed on Blue Velvet. I think it’s good overall but it isn’t as good as it’s reputation. Dennis Hopper is fantastic and the scene at Dean Stockwell’s place is classic but I think the rest of the film is only good as opposed to great. I also think Kyle MacLachlan’s and Laura Dern’s characters are quite dull.

    I dislike a lot of his other work. I thought Wild At Heart was an average film at the most. I also think Wild At Heart is where Lynch and coherence parted company. I watched season one of Twin Peaks and I’m also really, really afraid to say I didn’t like it at all. It just isn’t my thing. I’m really afraid to say I hated Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. That film was negatively received when it was first released which I agree with. Suffice it to say I didn’t watch Twin Peaks: The Return since I’m not even a fan of the original Twin Peaks.

    I also didn’t like Lost Highway. I also think that’s bad and nonsensical. It does have some good scenes, good ideas and good performances but is overall nonsensical and incoherent. I agree with what Roger Ebert wrote about the film; “Lost Highway plays like a director’s idea book in which isolated scenes an notions are jotted down for future use. Instead of massaging these into a finished screenplay, Lynch has filmed the notes”.

    I realise I might really be angering you and other Lynch fans by saying this but please don’t hate me. I’m just giving my honest opinion. Alex Cox isn’t a fan of Lynch’s films either. I heard an audio interview with him where he said he thinks Lynch is a complete fool for his advocacy of transcendental meditation.

    It’s quite a good list overall. I haven’t seen many of the films on the list. Maybe I’m an uncultured wretch again. The film that gets my vote as the greatest film ever made is The Godfather Part II isn’t on the list! The Godfather is number 12 and that’s a good thing but I think Part II is even better than the original. The absence of The Godfather Part II from the top 100 is a huge oversight and I think any list of 100 greatest films that doesn’t have The Godfather Part II doesn’t have much credibility. It is on the director’s top 100 which is good. There’s also no Sam Peckinpah, Oliver Stone or Terrence Malick’s Badlans on the list. More big oversights. The directors’ top 100 list I would say is even better.

  2. John, do you think you could answer back to the posts I wrote on the Leon the Professional / La Samourai post? I’d be interested.

  3. A very interesting set of lists, John. None would be in my top ten, but they are all worthy films. I noted Hitchcock got your number one spot, and was smiling at your choice of Vertigo. I actually think that is one of his more pretentious (and quite irritating) films, and I really don’t like it at all. But making different choices is what makes for film-fan debate. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Thank you for the kind words as always Steve πŸ™‚ I do not think that you are an “uncultured wretch” at all πŸ™‚ Anyone who loves the work of Dennis Potter every bit as much as I do, is anything but πŸ™‚ Tell me something πŸ™‚ If you allowed yourself to place a miniseries on your top 10 favorite list, would you choose Lipstick on Your Collar πŸ™‚ I would personally place The Singing Detective as my number one favorite Potter work, but Lipstick on Your Collar is undoubtedly number 2 for me πŸ™‚

    Vertigo is my number one favorite film of all time and I make no apologies for it πŸ™‚ When I first saw the film, I not only knew it required multiple viewings, but something about it just resonated with me on so many levels including on an emotional level πŸ™‚

    I take it you are not a David Lynch fan πŸ™‚ Some have compared him favorably to Dennis Potter. What would you say about that? πŸ™‚

    I actually love all of David Lynch’s work and I love Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me as much as I do Twin Peaks: The Return πŸ™‚ Sure, The Return, Inland Empire and Mulholland Drive has topped it since, but Sheryl Lee’s performance as Laura Palmer ranks for me as my number one favorite female lead performance from a David Lynch film πŸ™‚ Believe it or not, both Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and Lost HIghway have since been reassessed and are now viewed as misunderstood masterpieces πŸ™‚ With all due respect to Roger Ebert, he is wrong about Lost Highway πŸ™‚ With all due respect to Alex Cox, he is wrong about David Lynch πŸ™‚

    Steve, I hear what you are saying about The Godfather Part II and personally, I am actually amazed that the second one is not on the critics list πŸ™‚ Speaking of which, isn’t Fredo’s wife (or is it his girlfriend?) pretty? πŸ™‚ The absence of any Sam Peckinpah film on there (or at least The Wild Bunch) is very unfortunate as you so eloquently imply πŸ™‚ Interesting thoughts you have regarding the Sight & Sound list πŸ™‚

  5. Steve, I just answered back on your replies regarding the Leon the Professional/Le Samourai post πŸ™‚ Out of curiosity, how often do you attend art houses in the UK, which is where you live If I am not mistaken? πŸ™‚ And If so, do you have any favorites in particular? πŸ™‚ How kind do they treat poliziotesschis? πŸ™‚

  6. Any list that stood out for you in particular Pete? πŸ™‚ I am also very interested in hearing why you smiled at the choice of Vertigo? πŸ™‚ Or did you lay out the answer in your reply? πŸ™‚

  7. I smiled because so many people choose a Hitchcock film as their number one in top ten lists. As you know, despite liking Rear Window, Shadow of A Doubt and Strangers on A Train very much, I consider him to be overrated. I also don’t care for his choice of casting in some films, especially Rod Taylor in The Birds.
    The list that interested me most was your foreign language films, as I have only seen two of them.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  8. Of course I would choose Lipstick On Your Collar. It would easily be number one on my list. I love, adore and cherish Lipstick On Your Collar. It’s my favourite thing that’s ever been on the screen and I think it’s the greatest thing that’s ever been on the screen. I also think it’s Dennis Potter’s best work. The script and dialogue are magnificent as are the performances. The actors are brilliant and they all give career best performances in my opinion. Lipstick On Your Collar is my desert island DVD.

    I especially love the scenes in the War Office. They are brilliant and I think they are a work of genius. The dialogue is exquisite and brilliant. I love the actors playing the officers, their characstes and their performances. Peter Jeffrey, Clive Francis, Nicholas Farrell, Nicholas Jones and Shane Rimmer. These are distinguished actors.

    Peter Jeffrey was in The Abdominable Dr. Phibes and it’s sequel. He was also in the Lindsay Anderson / Malcolm McDowell films if…, O Lucky Man and Britannia Hospital as well as Midnight Express, Return of the Pink Panther and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He was also in episodes of many classic British TV series including The Avengers, Yes Minister, Porridge. He was also in a popular Doctor Who story from the Tom Baker era called Androids of Tara.

    Clive Francis also played Joe the Lodger in A Clockwork Orange. So the Major drinky winking the barely bloody drinkable coffee was the lodger munchy wunching lomtiks of toast!

    Nicholas Farrell played Horatio in Branagh’s Hamlet which is a great film and adaptation with a great cast. I recommend it if you haven’t seen that. He was a great Horatio in the film.

    Shane Rimmer was in Dr. Strangelove, Star Wars (he put R2 in the X Wing before the Death Star battle), The Spy Who Loved Me, Rollerball with James Caan, Superman 1-3, Gandhi, Out of Africa and many more movies and British TV shows. He also was a voice actor in Thunderbirds.

    There was also Ewan McGregor of course. It was his breakthrough role and it’s easy to see why he became a star. His star quality and charisma was on complete display in Lipstick On Your Collar.

    I can definitely see the influence of Dennis Potter’s work on Blue Velvet particularly Dean Stockwell lip synching In Dreams and the fact that it’s named after a song like Lipstick On Your Collar and Pennies From Heaven. Dennis Potter was obviously a much better screenwriter though and was much better with dialogue.

    Lynch and Potter were fans and admirers of each other’s work. They were actually going to collaborate on a film called The White Hotel which Potter was going to write and Lynch would direct but then Potter tragically died.

    Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr are just too incoherent and incomprehensible for me. I disagreed with you on Heaven’s Gate and I have to respectfully disagree again on Lynch. I’m just not a fan apart from The Elephant Man.

    The audio interview with Alex Cox I mentioned is here and it’s fantastic. I recommend a listen.
    https://auticulture.com/linimalist-42/

    He talks about Lynch at 01.26.04.

    In The Godfather Part II that character is Deanna Corleone and actress is Marianna Hill. She also played Germaine in Ted Post’s The Baby which you’re a fan of. It was a Moviedrome film of course.

  9. I’m afraid I don’t attend art houses. Maybe I should. I’ll have to look up art houses in my area.

  10. John, you’ve given me some real food for thought here! I was especially interested to see your recommendations in the foreign and silent arenas. I plan to go through this list and prioritize a few of those for my upcoming couch potato nights. I’ll let you know what I think. As usual, excellent work with not only the compilation of this list, but also the supporting rationale and contextual details. I think even those who might disagree with your rankings can appreciate your attention to both the personal and professional elements of the cinematic experience.

    I hope to have more feedback for you soon! Thanks again for putting this helpful post together!

  11. Why thank you for the kind words Genny πŸ™‚ Just out of curiosity, which silents and foreign films are you the most excited about checking out? πŸ™‚ I know I could have easily added reasons for the last 5 on my top 10 American/English-Language films and foreign films, but I wanted to stick to what was more essential, which was my top 10 favorite ones of all time πŸ™‚ In the future, I will probably give reasons for those too πŸ™‚ You are also correct in your implications that all lists are subjective, which I wholeheartedly agree with πŸ™‚ I do not know If you clicked on every single link, but what do you think of the Twin Peaks: The Return entry? πŸ™‚ Excited to watch that one given that you saw the first two seasons? πŸ™‚

    I look forward to you feedback as always πŸ™‚

  12. John, An excellent post. I cannot comment of Jeanne Dielman since I have not seen it. I should check it out. But overall, in looking over the S&S list I felt there was a push toward β€œnewer” films. I always felt that a film should be at least ten years old before being considered for a list such of this. One needs to see if it holds up. Anyway, my list, more traditional, would be something like this…in no particular order.
    City Lights
    Citizen Kane
    Double Indemnity
    Rear Window
    The Godfather
    Grand Illusion
    Casablanca
    M
    Bicycle Thieves
    In the Mood for Love
    That said, tomorrow if you asked me the list could be different. Some out, others in. Like where is The Maltese Falcon, Duck Soup, Seven Samurai, Goodfellas, Modern Times… well you get the picture.

  13. I guess I’m a movie schlub. I don’t have the studied tastes of real film enthusiasts, especially in the area of foreign films–of which I’ve seen none from your list! And of your American/English list, I’ve only seen Vertigo and A.I.
    I love hearing people’s differing opinions on things like this, like B. above isn’t fond of Rod Taylor in The Birds, while my husband and I LOVE him in that, lol. But differences make a beautiful world! πŸ™‚

  14. Hi John

    I’ve missed communicating with you!

    I can’t wait to read your thoughts on the Sight and Sound poll. I’ll be writing something about it also.

    Hope you stop by my blog again soon

    Mitchell Brown

  15. Excellent stuff! I’ll have to check out the new Sights & Sounds Lists, but as with any of these lists I’ll find myself agreeing with 50% and shouting at the screen in impotent rage at the other 50%. Such is the life of a film fan.

    Which leads me nicely into your lists πŸ™‚ Two very unique lists of course, as I would hope to see. What I don’t like seeing is the usual few scenarios:
    1. Overly obscure/arty/indie options which 0.1% of the populace have heard of.
    2. Overly reliant on the classics – Hitchcock option, Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Gone With The Wind, Shawshank etc
    3. The poser – typically made entirely of Tarantino, David Fincher, and Christopher Nolan movies.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with the above, and many of those movies and directors are among my favourites, but when I read a Favourites list I want it to be an embarrassing mess of humanity, with smatterings of so-called guilty pleasures in among the classics, a mixture of old, new, foreign, domestic.

    I love that you’ve gone for Twin Peaks – it’s definitely one of my favourite things of the last decade. While I have fan issues with it… it’s still perfect and I love the fact that it even exists. I’ll have to hunt down Three Times πŸ™‚

    I’m not sure I’ve done a Top Ten Foreign (non-US) movies, but I can imagine it would be very heavily Asian focused. Off the top of my head, Seven Samurai, Ring, The Road Warrior, Way Of The Dragon, Battle Royale, Love Exposure, Amelie, The Good The Bad & The Ugly, and I’d have to think about the rest.

  16. Interesting thoughts carlosnightman πŸ™‚ Ain’t that the truth with your 50/50 theory regarding film fans πŸ™‚

    Thank you for the kind words about my lists πŸ™‚ As for your first point, I think 0.1% is a little too harsh πŸ™‚ I would like to say 30%, but 10 or 20% would not be too unreasonable πŸ™‚ As for number 2, I did have a Hitchcock film as my number one favorite πŸ™‚ I would say the closest I have on my list (the American/English-Language one) that is the closest to something like The Godfather would be 1946’s William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives πŸ™‚ As for number 3, I love all of Tarantino’s films, David Fincher has done four great films (Zodiac, Gone Girl, episodes of Mindhunters season 1 and Mindhunters seasons 2) and aside from a few very good films, Memento is still Christopher Nolan’s greatest film πŸ™‚

    I too do what you do when it comes to making lists, make it a variety πŸ™‚

    I always knew count on you to love Twin Peaks every bit as much as I do πŸ™‚ I love all of David Lynch’s films, but Twin Peaks: The Return now ranks as his magnum opus πŸ™‚ As for Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Three Times, given that you live in the UK, try seeing If a Region 2 DVD exists of the film – though I am sure you will do that πŸ™‚

    Thank you for giving me 8 choices for your favorite foreign films of all time as well πŸ™‚ Any more thoughts? πŸ™‚

  17. Nice to hear from you too again Mitchell πŸ™‚ A long time ago, I tried posting replies on your site, but for some odd reason, they were not accepting them, but it may just be a wordpress issue πŸ™‚ I actually gave my brief thoughts about the new Sight & Sound poll at the beginning of the blog entry πŸ™‚ I bet you loved seeing Erich von Stroheim’s Greed at number 2 eh πŸ™‚ I shall go your blog right now Mitch πŸ™‚

  18. Do not feel bad about that at all Stacey πŸ™‚ Glad to hear that you have seen Vertigo and A.I. Artificial Intelligence πŸ™‚

    Differing opinions drive conversations πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  19. Interesting thoughts John G πŸ™‚ Check out Jeanne Dielman, it is a masterpiece of Belgian cinema πŸ™‚ Actually, I am glad that they are giving newer films a chance, but I hear what your saying about waiting ten years πŸ™‚ As for your top 10 list, I see that one of my choices (City Lights) made it on to yours πŸ™‚ What a coincidence πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

  20. I’ve done my favourite Hitchcock films, I haven’t done for Nolan, Fincher, or Tarantino who each have films in some of my yearly lists. I loved Mindhunters too.
    For me I’ve always looked to Foreign Cinema for something I just don’t get from British or US cinema – Hong Kong action, J Horror, French Extremism etc even before I began hunting down particular directors.
    I need to get back to writing my introduction to foreign cinema series to suggest those gateway films to ‘regular’ viewers who are reluctant to try anything outside of Hollywood.

  21. Great post and comment thread John. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear I haven’t seen or even heard of most of your favourites, like Steve I would have found a place in my own list for The Godfather films and Badlands. I do feel guilty that I can’t offer much insight as this post is obviously a labour of love for you. Keep up the good work!

  22. Do not feel bad Paul S πŸ™‚ Nevertheless, I know you saw my number one choice because I once referenced it on one of your blog entries πŸ™‚ I also know that you love number 9 on my list of American/English-Language films cause I referenced that one on your site once too πŸ™‚

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