An entire generation of cinephiles knew Vertigo as the greatest film ever made. Maybe they didn’t hold it in such high esteem; there’s odds they didn’t even like it that much. But the Sight and Sound list released summer 2012 left an imprint on film culture far beyond anything else striving to define consensus, and for a decade it’s been hard not to consider Hitchcock’s (if you ask me) pretty good film without quickly drifting to assessments of canon. Like the list before it (when Citizen Kane loomed larger than all) and the one before that.
From today to at least 2032 Jeanne Dielman will, with a certain shorthand, be known as the greatest film ever made. (I suppose the opposite of shorthand is calling it Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.) Sight and Sound have unveiled their once-per-decade poll, now topped by Chantal Akerman’s masterpiece—a good choice, and we all know it could be so much worse. Mulholland Dr. and In the Mood for Love are the first 21st-century titles to enter the top 10; Get Out, Moonlight, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and Parasite—all released since 2012’s poll—land in the top 100 at 95, 90, 60, and 30, respectively.
Meanwhile, the directors’ poll—with voters such as Martin Scorsese, Edgar Wright, Joanna Hogg, Guillermo del Toro, Bong Joon-ho, Mia Hansen-Løve, Barry Jenkins, and Michael Mann—resulted in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as the top pick, with showings from Andrei Tarkovsky, Francis Ford Coppola, Abbas Kiarostami, Frederico Fellini, and more.
I had the honor, pleasure, distinction, and self-aggrandizement of participating in the poll. While individual ballots won’t be revealed until a later date, at which time you’re free to harass me for my decisions, you can chastise me on Letterboxd.
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 and Gene Kelly, 1951)
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
2. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
3. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
=4. Tokyo Story (Ozu Yasujiro, 1953)
=4. Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
6. 8½ (Frederico Fellini, 1963)
7. Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1975)
=9. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
=9. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2001)
=9. Close-up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1989)