8-and-a-half

U.K. film magazine Sight & Sound has a very special place in our hearts. In fact, we almost named ourselves Sound & Vision partly as a loose homage. More importantly, though, every ten years, since long before we were born, Sight & Sound has collected all-time top ten lists from many of the world’s leading critics and directors.  Fantasizing about participating in the poll, we decided to pool together our own lists.

Although many of us cited a certain handful of filmmakers, we largely chose different films from one another.  In fact, only two films received more than two votes: The Rules of the Game made it onto five lists, often at #1, and 8 ½ landed four. Seven films earned two votes a piece: The Passion of Joan of Arc, Modern Times, Vertigo, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Fanny and Alexander, Mulholland Dr., and Christian Marclay’s 24-hour opus The Clock.

Fellini, Dreyer, and Scorsese each got four cumulative votes, not enough to overcome Renoir with five. Earning the bronze medal in our mini cinem-Olympics, with three votes each, are Bergman, Kubrick, Truffaut, and Ozu.

See the lists below, and see you back here in 2022:

— Joseph Pomp

Julianne Adams

1.    8 ½ (1963, Federico Fellini)
2.    Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)
3.    The Adventures of Antoine Doinel series (1959-79, François Truffaut)
4.    Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)
5.    Point Blank (1967, John Boorman)*
6.    Small Change (1976, François Truffaut)*
7.    The Exterminating Angel (1962, Luis Buñuel)
8.    The Deer Hunter (1978, Michael Cimino)
9.    Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966, Mike Nichols)*
10.  Cool Hand Luke (1967, Stuart Rosenberg)*

David Beal

1.    The Clock (2010, Christian Marclay)
2.    Boxing Gym (2010, Fred Wiseman)
3.    Sans Soleil (1983, Chris Marker)
4.    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011, Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
5.    The Son (2002, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
6.    Il Posto (1961, Ermanno Olmi)
7.    Modern Times (1936, Charlie Chaplin)
8.    A Man Escaped (1956, Robert Bresson)
9.    Sansho the Bailiff (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi)
10.  A Serious Man (2009, Joel and Ethan Coen)

Shelley Farmer

1.    The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)
2.    Charulata (1964, Satyajit Ray)
3.    8 ½ (1963, Federico Fellini)
4.    Rashomon (1950, Akira Kurosawa)
5.    Sunrise (1927, F.W. Murnau)
6.    Daisies (1966, Vera Chytilova)
7.    Cairo Station (1958, Youssef Chahine)
8.    Stalker (1979, Andrei Tarkovsky)
9.    The Passion of Joan of Arc (1929, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
10.  The Promised Land (1975, Andrzej Wajda)*

Blair McClendon

1.    The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)
2.    A Woman Under the Influence (1974, John Cassavetes)
3.    Pierrot le fou (1965, Jean-Luc Godard)
4.    Winter Light (1963, Ingmar Bergman)
5.    Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese)
6.    Red Desert (1964, Michelangelo Antonioni)
7.    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
8.    The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
9.    8 ½ (1963, Federico Fellini)
10.  Hunger (2008, Steve McQueen)

Max Nelson

1.    The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)
2.    Before Sunrise (1995, Richard Linklater)*
3.    Ordet (1955, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
4.    Late Spring (1949, Yasujiro Ozu)
5.    La jetée (1962, Chris Marker)
6.    Young Mr. Lincoln (1939, John Ford)
7.    Fanny and Alexander (1982, Ingmar Bergman)
8.    A Canterbury Tale (1944, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
9.    The Clock (2010, Christian Marclay)
10.  Tale of Tales (1979, Yuri Norstein)

Will Noah

1.    Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974, Jacques Rivette)
2.    Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)
3.    Fanny and Alexander (1982, Ingmar Bergman)
4.    The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)
5.    Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)
6.    The Mirror (1975, Andrei Tarkovsky)
7.    Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)
8.    Days of Heaven (1978, Terrence Malick)
9.    Love Streams (1984, John Cassavetes)
10.  Ugetsu (1953, Kenji Mizoguchi)

Joseph Pomp

1.    Day of Wrath (1943, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
2.    The Spirit of the Beehive (1973, Victor Erice)
3.    8 ½ (1963, Federico Fellini)
4.    Sátántangó (1994, Béla Tarr)
5.    I Was Born, But… (1932, Yasujiro Ozu)
6.    Hiroshima mon amour (1959, Alain Resnais)
7.    Only Angels Have Wings (1939, Howard Hawks)
8.    Jules and Jim (1962, François Truffaut)
9.    Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
10.   2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)

Nathan Proctor

1.    The Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)
2.    Modern Times (1936, Charlie Chaplin)
3.    Sunset Blvd. (1950, Billy Wilder)
4.    Umberto D. (1952, Vittorio De Sica)
5.    Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujiro Ozu)
6.    The Passion of Joan of Arc (1929, Carl Theodor Dreyer)
7.    Close-Up (1990, Abbas Kiarostami)
8.    Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)
9.    Do the Right Thing (1989, Spike Lee)
10.  On the Bowery (1956, Lionel Rogosin)*

Gus Reed

1.    The Double Life of Véronique (1991, Krystof Kieslowski)
2.    The Red Shoes (1948, Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
3.    L’Avventura (1960, Michelangelo Antonioni)
4.    That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Buñuel)
5.    Badlands (1973, Terrence Malick)
6.    Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)
7.    The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick)
8.    Last Year at Marienbad (1961, Alain Resnais)
9.    Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock)
10.  In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-Wai)

Theo Zenou

1.    Children of Paradise (1941, Marcel Carné)
2.    The Village (2004, M. Night Shyamalan)
3.    The Last Temptation of Christ (1988, Martin Scorsese)*
4.    Le Samouraï (1967, Jean-Pierre Melville)
5.    Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz)
6.    Scent of a Woman (1992, Martin Brest)*
7.    Reds (1981, Warren Beatty)
8.    The Aviator (2004, Martin Scorsese)
9.    Signs (2002, M. Night Shyamalan)
10.  Jerry Maguire (1996, Cameron Crowe)

* indicates a film that was made before 2002 but did not receive any votes in the 2002 Sight & Sound poll