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Sight & Sound Rejects

August 26, 2012

Every ten years since 1952 the British Film Institute’s magazine Sound & Sight has published a list of the ten greatest films of  all recorded time, as produced by a poll of critics. This year they greatly expanded their pool of critics and other film cognoscenti to 846 (each asked to submit their ten top films) and also expanded their published list to fifty. You can find it here, or, at a glance, here. This list inspired me, as an experiment of no great intent, to create my own list of great (or, great?) films left out of the original. I generally tried to reflect  a critical attitude similar to what emerges from the original, something complimentary rather than counter. It is not my list but a list. My taste certainly influenced it very much — most of these movies are ones I greatly like — but not definitively. As with the original list, there are several movies here that I have not even seen. I threw it together casually, intuitively, and with a varying sensibility as I went along. I suppose the point was to see how another list could compare to the original. The motivation was certainly that making lists is fun.

The list is in no particular order. I intended to put down fifty films, but when miscounting brought me over that point I decided to just go on to the Heinz number of 57.

ADDENDUM: When I wrote this I used bullet points, just to try something different (different for me; I know the world at large is dangerously overspilling with bullet points). Then when I “published” it they became X’s. Which I kind of like, though it overemphasizes the reject aspect of the list. It is a little peculiar, a strange quirk of WordPress.

  • The Earrings of Madame De…  Ophüls
  • Sans Soleil  Marker
  • Floating Weeds  Ozu
  • The Color of Pomegranates  Paradjanov
  • Aguirre, Wrath of God  Herzog
  • Sherlock Jr.  Keaton
  • Earth  Dovzhenko
  • The Young Girls of Rochefort  Demy
  • Jaws  Spielberg
  • Grand Illusion  Renoir
  • Lawrence of Arabia  Lean
  • Fanny and Alexander  Bergman
  • The Tree of Life  Malick
  • Night of the Hunter  Laughton
  • His Girl Friday  Hawks
  • The Big Sleep  Hawks
  • Rio Bravo  Hawks
  • Sansho the Bailiff  Mizoguchi
  • Celine and Julie Go Boating  Rivette
  • Killer of Sheep  Burnett
  • Ikiru  Kurosawa
  • A Brighter Summer Day  Yang
  • Shoot the Piano Player  Truffaut
  • Intolerance  Griffith
  • Dr. Strangelove  Kubrick
  • Paisan  Rossellini
  • A Man Escaped  Bresson
  • North by Northwest  Hitchcock
  • Notorious  Hitchcock
  • Chinatown  Polanski
  • Chimes at Midnight  Welles
  • The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie  Buñuel
  • The Lady Eve  Sturges
  • Eraserhead  Lynch
  • Last Year at Marienbad  Resnais
  • The Long Goodbye  Altman
  • Lang
  • Stagecoach  Ford
  • Freaks  Browning
  • Cléo from 5 to 7  Varda
  • Werckmeister Harmonies  Tarr
  • Nosferatu  Murnau
  • The Wind Will Carry Us  Kiarostami
  • The King of Comedy  Scorsese
  • Solaris  Tarkovsky
  • The Red Shoes  Powell & Pressburger
  • An Actor’s Revenge  Ichikawa
  • The Conformist  Bertolucci
  • The Philadelphia Story  Cukor
  • Children of Paradise  Carné
  • Beauty and the Beast  Cocteau
  • The Third Man  Reed
  • Army of Shadows  Melville
  • Johnny Guitar  Ray
  • The Green Ray  Rohmer
  • Beau Travail  Denis
  • I am Cuba  Kalatozov

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