Now here’s one to get us all talking, it’s the BFI’s Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All-Time 2022, voted for by over 1,600 participants who this year represent a wider and more diverse group than ever before, and quite right to. This rundown brings together the Top10 lists of film critics, academics, distributors, writers, curators, archivists and programmers voting, from across the world, who voted for an incredible 4,000+ films overall.
Coming out on top spot is Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), and it’s the first time a female filmmaker has taken the number one spot since the poll’s inception in 1952. Akerman’s film has leapfrogged from 36th place in 2012 to take the top spot a decade later – and you can watch it on the BFI Player here!
The 2012 winner, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, is in second place, with Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (which held the No. 1 spot for 50 years) placed third and Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story fourth. Three further new films have made it into the top 10, including Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood for Love (reviewed here by Nick) in fifth place (up from 24th in 2012), Claire Denis’s Beau travail (reviewed here) at number seven (up from 78th in 2012) and David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. in eighth place (up from 28th).
It’s great to see such a difference in this films and it’s interesting because there’s a wealth of online choice, so as well as 4K UHD, Blu-ray and the quietly dying DVD, you’ve got a huge scattering of streamers and many more online TV channels dedicated to cult classics and curated film seasons, and all this together makes for a much more cine-literate viewer. While we’ve got a little teaser of the full list just down the page, you’ll need to visit bfi.org.uk/sight-and-sound/greatest-films-all-time for the Critics’ poll results in full.
The Critics’ top 20 Greatest Films of All Time are:
1 Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
2 Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
3 Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
4 Tokyo Story (Ozu Yasujiro, 1953)
5 In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2001)
6 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
7 Beau travail (Claire Denis, 1998)
8 Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
9 Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov,1929)
10 Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1951)
11 Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
12 The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
13 La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
14 Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
15 The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
16 Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid, 1943)
17 Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1989)
18 Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
19 Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
20 Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
The full results and commentary on the 100 Greatest Films of All Time are published in the Winter double issue of Sight and Sound, on sale in print and digital edition from 5 December
Want a bit more? Don’t forget to also check out the filmmakers poll, where a record 480 people, including Martin Scorsese, Barry Jenkins, Sofia Coppola, Bong Joon Ho, Lynne Ramsay and Mike Leigh, voted Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey the Greatest Film of All Time. Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane is at number 2, with Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather placed at number 3.
The Critics’ Poll winner Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is ranked at number 4, alongside 2012’s Directors’ Poll leader Tokyo Story!
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