The british film magazine Sight & Sound has polled a large sampling of critics and filmmakers every decade since 1952. They simply ask them to pick the top movies of all time (an easy task). The last list was released in 2012 (The 50 Greatest Films of All Time).
As I looked through it, I will admit that I have not seen many of the films on the list. Honestly, my film history appreciation and knowledge could use some beefing up. I have the 1990’s and forward down fairly well, and then a lot of the “important” films from the 1970’s, but I haven’t ventured too far past that, unless made to.
Well here I am, making myself. I have subscribed to FilmStruck (a streaming service that has a large collection of classics + much of the Criterion Collection). Of the 52 films on the 2012 Sight & Sound Top 50 list (because of ties, there are more than 50), FilmStruck has 31. Some of the missing ones are going to either be very hard to find (looking at you Histoire(s) du cinéma) or very easy (I own The Godfather and The Godfather Part II).
I am going to watch at least 1 film from the list per week, then do a write up on it. The format of the write up may be a straight review, or may highlight something in the film that is important to cinema history, or it even may be me writing about how confused I am as to why the film is important at all. I am going to try to work through the list in order from lowest ranking to highest, as long as I can get my hands on the next movie in line.
Why am I doing this?
I want to grow in my understanding and appreciation of film, and I supposed going through the best movies of all time is a good place to start.
Why the Sight & Sound list?
It is the most respected list in the industry. Seriously, Roger Ebert called it the best damn film list of them all (and I often found myself in agreement with the late critic). Because of the sheer number and status of those involved in ranking the list every 10 years, it is basically industry standard.
So please feel free to join in this journey with me (this is your official invitation). Or you can just watch me work through the films and only watch the ones I like (or hate depending on where our tastes align). I’m starting with La Jetée (1962) this week. So get on the interwebs and watch it however you can, and let’s explore the best films of all time (according to 874 critics, 6 years ago, of various ages, backgrounds, languages, etc.).