British Film Institute Top Ten Poll for 2002
August 9, 2002 7:03 AM   Subscribe

British Film Institute Top Ten Poll for 2002 is out. Compiled every 10 years by the folks who publish the Sight and Sound magazine, it asks 145 critics and 108 directors for their top 10 films ever. Both top 10s are filled with the usual suspects - yes, we all know who always wins. It's more interesting to browse the full list of films voted for. Or read the individual top 10s and occasional comments by directors who voted, such as Michael Mann, Jim Jarmusch, and Roger Corman.
posted by shortfuse (28 comments total)
Hmm, John Waters is not surprising, nor is Tim Robbins, say but what's up with that Tarantino? They All Laughed? The name for that around here was They All Left... the theater immediately.
posted by y2karl at 7:22 AM on August 9, 2002

Disappointing not to see Goddard, Truffaut, Altman, Polanski, Lumet, Peckinpah, Jodorowsky, or Tsukamoto Shin'ya on the director's list. Any one of these beats Scorsese, David Lean, or Billy Wilder. (Instead of links to all these folks, peruse at your leisure here.)

posted by Fabulon7 at 7:25 AM on August 9, 2002

the guy who voted for ferris bueller's day off should have his right to be a film critic revoked.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 7:27 AM on August 9, 2002

Quentin Tarantino put "Dazed and Confused" in his top ten? That's a joke right?
posted by panopticon at 7:37 AM on August 9, 2002

they let Quentin Tarantino vote? that's a joke, right?
posted by zoopraxiscope at 7:54 AM on August 9, 2002

Art and democracy do not mix.
posted by ewkpates at 7:55 AM on August 9, 2002

Art and Fascism didn't mix too badly... At least the world's first Film Festival was established (Venice).
posted by mooseindian at 8:23 AM on August 9, 2002

Tarantino put Rolling Thunder in his top 10!!! I wonder if this is a big F**k You to the British Film Institute. Sort of like listing McDonalds in the Michelin Food Guide.

However, I found myself much more in tune with the Directors' List over the Critics'. Singing in the Rain?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2002

I'd like to voice my distatse for Sunrise. Thank you.
I'm sure it was something for its day, but now it's a couple hours of ridiculous acting.
posted by yerfatma at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2002

"Distatse" being Swahili for "distaste", of course.
posted by yerfatma at 8:34 AM on August 9, 2002

Another good site for lists of top tens is at Senses of Cinema. It's a bit more pretentious, but the choices tend to be more idiosyncratic (Someone mentions Pee-Wee's Big Adventure between Wings of Desire and Solaris. Most only sparingly use the usual suspects of Citizen Kane, Vertigo, etc).

Also, it might be my own personal preference, but Chinese directors seem to have gotten the shaft on the BFI list. My own favorite director only got scraps of recognition, while nobody even mentions Raise the Red Latern (!) or John Woo (!!).
posted by alidarbac at 8:53 AM on August 9, 2002

2001 is up to #6. My relentless campaigning is paying off.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 8:57 AM on August 9, 2002

alidarbac, have you seen the wong kar wai video for the new dj shadow song Six Days? i just noticed that it recently went online. Pretty cool.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 9:00 AM on August 9, 2002

SLoG, sadly I don't think Tarantino is taking the piss - his company that re-releases rare / foreign films is named Rolling Thunder.

alidarbac, I love WKW as well, and at least 4 out of his 7 films got some votes. I'm also glad to see Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, and Hayao Miyazaki all get votes.
posted by shortfuse at 9:00 AM on August 9, 2002

I love to see what my favorite directors' tastes are like. I'll have to check out some of the movies picked by Jarmusch. Cool link, shortfuse.

I'm surprised The Third Man didn't make it on either top ten list. Seems like it, along with Citizen Kane and The Seven Samurai, is always bandied about as being one of the best movies ever made. I rented it recently to see what all the fuss was about and it well exceeded my expectations. That one, brief shot of Orson Welles' smirking face coming out of the shadows under the doorway really struck me. And the theme music from it still gets stuck in my head, despite having only seen it the once three months ago.
posted by picea at 9:04 AM on August 9, 2002

Also somewhat recently from WKW: commercial for Lacoste
posted by shortfuse at 9:04 AM on August 9, 2002

Being a populist and a corporate shill myself, I figure I've just got to meet Anurag Mehta. I find it humorous that he threw Casablanca in there, as if to give his list some credibility.

Don't get me wrong, I adore every film on this list, and own a number of them in multiple formats (although if Spielberg doesn't release Raiders on DVD sometime soon, I'm going to have to write a nasty letter). It just seems that filling your list with titles like these may be ignoring about 40 years worth of film making that came before them.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:18 AM on August 9, 2002

Howard Hawks isn't even on the long list. Philistines.
posted by goethean at 9:21 AM on August 9, 2002

Ah, shite. The long list is the directors who voted. Disregard...
posted by goethean at 9:22 AM on August 9, 2002

Oh, short fuse, I had forgotten that.

This reminds me of the contemporary lit discussion yesterday. What constitutes great cinema, and have the standards changed? For example, acting styles have changed greatly over the years. If you watch Rashomon, the acting is hardly natural-- more akin to Noh Drama.

A few of my criteria: great cinematography (Days of Heaven), great acting/unforgettable characters (Sophie's Choice), engrossing story (Wages of Fear), innovation (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and social reverberation--aka meme pool (The Godfather.)

With all the different elements that directors have to juggle, I think that film making must be one of the hardest crafts to master.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:40 AM on August 9, 2002

At least two people recognized the greatness that is Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:45 AM on August 9, 2002

It's nice to see that someone was thoughtful (or brave) enough to vote for Deep's, uhh, a classic...
posted by Darryl at 10:30 AM on August 9, 2002

You can never make everyone happy with these sorts of lists, but at least there are no glaring clunkers on the list. One can easily think of at least 50 other films that all deserve to be there, but they were limited to 10, so someone had to be left off.
posted by briank at 10:40 AM on August 9, 2002

Would it have killed them to mention that there is such a thing as a screenwriter? That not every single idea in a film comes from the director? Grrr....
posted by mrhappy at 10:45 AM on August 9, 2002

Tarantino put Rolling Thunder in his top 10!!! I wonder if this is a big F**k You to the British Film Institute.

Tarantino has said before that Rolling Thunder is one of his favorite films. It's why he named the production company after it. I don't think he was trying to give the finger to the British Film Institute.
posted by gluechunk at 11:58 AM on August 9, 2002

So, I had this on preview:

Where's The Sound of Music? I don't understand.

Then saw it was actually on the list. Along with Guy Ritchie's Snatch. Shows how much I know.
posted by Summer at 12:17 PM on August 9, 2002

Good to see that 2 critics & 5 directors recognized Once Upon a Time in the West for the gem that it is. But how could they forget My Name is Nobody? Viva la spaghetti western!
posted by runthegamut at 2:07 PM on August 9, 2002

Personally, I greatly prefer Fred Astaire to Gene Kelley, and my choice for greatest musical would be The Band Wagon, rather than the vastly overrated Singin' in the Rain.
posted by Rebis at 3:01 PM on August 9, 2002

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