No one understands more about cinema than critics. But in a totally various way, no one understands more about movie theater than directors. That, maybe, is one of the reasons that Sight and Sound publication has, for the previous thirty years, carried out two separate once-in-a-decade polls to determine the best movies of perpetuity. Recently we included the outcomes of Sight and Noise’s newest critics survey here on Open Culture, however the outcome of the directors’ vote– whose electorate of 480 “spans speculative, arthouse, mainstream and category filmmakers from around the globe”– benefits its own factor to consider.
As all the cinephile world understands by now, Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles triumphed of Sight and Noise’s critics survey this year. That temporally extensive masterwork of potatoes, veal cutlets, prostitution, and murder didn’t place quite so extremely in the directors poll. It ranks at number 4, listed below Ozu Yasujirō’s Tokyo Story, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, Orson Welles’ Resident Kane, and– at number one– Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which, for those who make movies, evidently stays the “supreme journey” that its late-sixties marketing project promised.
The roundup of specific ballots at World of Reel exposes that 2001’s supporters consist of a wide variety of auteurs– Olivier Assayas, Bi Gan, Don Hertzfeldt, Gaspar Noé, Joanna Hogg, Edgar Wright, Martin Scorsese– not all of whose own work reveals clear proof of having been influenced by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s at the same time lavish and plain vision of mankind’s destiny in the realms beyond Earth. But 2001’s genuine achievement was less to inform its particular story, no matter how astonishing, than to broaden the possibilities of movie theater itself: to perform, as analyzed in the video essay above, a sort of cinematic hypnotherapy.
Obviously, Kubrick is hugely admired by viewers and makers of movies alike. Barry Lyndon appears on both top-100 lists, though it seems as if critics favor The Shining more than filmmakers. The latter group cast more votes for Kubrick’s Cold-War comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Also amongst the dozens of titles just in the filmmakers’ top 100 include Abbas Kiarostami’s Where Is the Friend’s Home? and Taste of Cherry, Kurosawa Akira’s Throne of Blood and Ikiru, Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates, and even Steven Spielberg’s Jaws– which, no less than 2001, undoubtedly interest any filmmaker’s inherent sense of phenomenon.
See the directors leading 100 films here.
Akira Kurosawa’s List of His 100 Favorite Movies
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Andrei Tarkovsky Creates a List of His 10 Favorite Films (1972 )
Martin Scorsese Exposes His 12 Favorite Movies
Stanley Kubrick’s List of Leading 10 Films: The First and Only List He Ever Produced
The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 358 Filmmakers
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and relays on cities, language, and culture. His jobs consist of the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Stroll through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.