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Sight & Sound (ISSN 0037-4806) is a British monthly film magazine published by the British Film Institute (BFI). Sight & Sound was first published in 1932 and in 1934 management of the magazine was handed to the nascent BFI, which still publishes the magazine today. Sight & Sound was published quarterly for most of its history until the early 1990s, apart from a brief run as a monthly publication in the early 1950s, but in 1991 it merged with another BFI publication, the Monthly Film Bulletin, and started to appear monthly.

The journal was edited by Gavin Lambert from 1949 to 1955. From 1956 to 1990 it was edited by Penelope Houston, and then in its relaunched form by Philip Dodd. It is currently edited by Nick James.

Sight & Sound has a more highbrow reputation than other film magazines.[citation needed] It says it reviews all film releases each month, including those with a narrow art house release, as opposed to the more mainstream focus of its competitors. Sight and Sound also currently features a full cast and crew credit list for each reviewed film.

Every decade, Sight & Sound asks an international group of film professionals to vote for their greatest film of all time. Critics are asked to provide a top ten list; in 1992, directors were invited to participate in a separate poll. The individual results are eclectic; in the most recent poll, 885 different films received at least one mention from one voter. Even the top-of-the-list consensus has its limits. In 2002, both the critics and the directors selected Stanley Kubrick films in their top ten; however, the critics chose 2001: A Space Odyssey, while the directors preferred Dr. Strangelove.

The Sight & Sound accolade has come to be regarded as one of the most important of the "greatest ever film" lists. Roger Ebert described it as "by far the most respected of the countless polls of great movies--the only one most serious movie people take seriously."[1] The first poll, in 1952, was topped by Bicycle Thieves. The five subsequent polls (1962-2002) have been won by Citizen Kane (which finished 13th in 1952).[2] Just two films have appeared in all six of the magazine's six decennial polls: The Battleship Potemkin and La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game).

Sight & Sound has in the past been the subject of criticism, notably from Raymond Durgnat, who often accused it of elitism, puritanism and upper-middle-class snobbery, although he did write for it in the 1950s, and again in the 1990s.[citation needed]

Contents

Critics' Top Ten Poll

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1952

01. Bicycle Thieves (25 mentions)
02. City Lights (19 mentions)
02. The Gold Rush (19 mentions)
04. The Battleship Potemkin (16 mentions)
05. Intolerance (12 mentions)
05. Louisiana Story (12 mentions)
07. Greed (11 mentions)
07. Le Jour se leve (11 mentions)
07. The Passion of Joan of Arc (11 mentions)
10. Brief Encounter (10 mentions)
10. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (10 mentions)
10. Le Million (10 mentions)

1962

01. Citizen Kane (22 mentions)
02. L'avventura (20 mentions)
03. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (19 mentions)
04. Greed (17 mentions)
04. Ugetsu Monogatari (17 mentions)
06. The Battleship Potemkin (16 mentions)
07. Bicycle Thieves (16 mentions)
07. Ivan the Terrible (16 mentions)
09. La terra trema (14 mentions)
10. L'Atalante (13 mentions)

1972

01. Citizen Kane (32 mentions)
02. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (28 mentions)
03. The Battleship Potemkin (16 mentions)
04. (15 mentions)
05. L'avventura (12 mentions)
05. Persona (12 mentions)
07. The Passion of Joan of Arc (11 mentions)
08. The General (10 mentions)
08. The Magnificent Ambersons (10 mentions)
10. Ugetsu Monogatari (9 mentions)
10. Wild Strawberries (9 mentions)

1982

01. Citizen Kane (45 mentions)
02. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (31 mentions)
03. Seven Samurai (15 mentions)
04. Singin' in the Rain (15 mentions)
05. (14 mentions)
06. The Battleship Potemkin (13 mentions)
07. L'avventura (12 mentions)
07. The Magnificent Ambersons (12 mentions)
07. Vertigo (12 mentions)
10. The General (11 mentions)
10. The Searchers (11 mentions)
  • Closest runners-up: 2001: A Space Odyssey and Andrei Rublev (10 mentions apiece)

1992

01. Citizen Kane (43 mentions)
02. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (32 mentions)
03. Tokyo Story (22 mentions)
04. Vertigo (18 mentions)
05. The Searchers (17 mentions)
06. L'Atalante (15 mentions)
06. The Passion of Joan of Arc (15 mentions)
06. Pather Panchali (15 mentions)
06. The Battleship Potemkin (15 mentions)
10. 2001: A Space Odyssey (14 mentions)

2002

01. Citizen Kane (46 mentions)
02. Vertigo (41 mentions)
03. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (30 mentions)
04. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (23 mentions)
05. Tokyo Story (22 mentions)
06. 2001: A Space Odyssey (21 mentions)
07. The Battleship Potemkin (19 mentions)
07. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (19 mentions)
09. (18 mentions)
10. Singin' in the Rain (17 mentions)

Directors' Top Ten Poll

1992

01. Citizen Kane
02.
03. Raging Bull
04. La strada
05. L'Atalante
06. The Godfather
06. Modern Times
06. Vertigo
09. The Godfather Part II
10. The Passion of Joan of Arc
10. Rashomon
10. Seven Samurai

2002

01. Citizen Kane
02. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II
03.
04. Lawrence of Arabia
05. Dr. Strangelove
06. Bicycle Thieves
06. Raging Bull
06. Vertigo
09. Rashomon
09. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game)
09. Seven Samurai

Critics' Top Ten Directors

2002

01. Orson Welles
02. Alfred Hitchcock
03. Jean-Luc Godard
04. Jean Renoir
05. Stanley Kubrick
06. Akira Kurosawa
07. Federico Fellini
08. John Ford
09. Sergei Eisenstein
10. Francis Ford Coppola
10. Yasujiro Ozu

[3]

Directors' Top Ten Directors

2002

01. Orson Welles
02. Federico Fellini
03. Akira Kurosawa
04. Francis Ford Coppola
05. Alfred Hitchcock
06. Stanley Kubrick
07. Billy Wilder
08. Ingmar Bergman
09. Martin Scorsese
09. David Lean
09. Jean Renoir

Critics' Top Ten Films of the Past 25 Years (2002)

01. Apocalypse Now
02. Raging Bull
03. Fanny and Alexander
04. Goodfellas
05. Blue Velvet
06. Do the Right Thing
07. Blade Runner
08. Chungking Express
09. Distant Voices, Still Lives
10. Once Upon A Time in America
10. Yi yi: A One and a Two...

Critics' Top Ten Directors of the Past 25 Years (2002)

01. Martin Scorsese
02. Krzysztof Kieslowski
03. Wong Kar-Wai
04. Abbas Kiarostami
05. Michael Mann
06. David Lynch
07. Pedro Almodóvar
08. Francis Ford Coppola
09. Spike Lee
09. Ingmar Bergman

[4]

Top Films of the Year

2005

01. Brokeback Mountain
02. A History of Violence
03. La niña santa (The Holy Girl)
04. 2046
05. Mysterious Skin
06. Le conseguenze dell'amore (The Consequences of Love)
07. The Descent
08. Moolaadé
09. Sud pralad (Tropical Malady)
10. De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped)
11. Gegen die Wand (Head-On)
12. Hauru no Ugoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle)
13. Last Days
14. Solntse (The Sun)

2006

01. Caché
02. Volver
03. The Departed
04. The Queen
05. Red Road
06. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
07. İklimler (Climates)
08. The New World
09. United 93
10. Pan's Labyrinth

2007

01. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
02. Inland Empire
03. Zodiac
04. I'm Not There
05. Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
06. Silent Light
07. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
08. Syndromes and a Century
09. No Country for Old Men
10. Eastern Promises

2008

01. Hunger
02. There Will Be Blood
03. WALL-E
04. Gomorra
05. A Christmas Tale
05. Entre les murs
07. Of Time and the City
08. Happy-Go-Lucky
09. The Headless Woman
10. Let The Right One In

2009

01. A Prophet
02. The Hurt Locker
02. 35 Shots of Rum
04. The White Ribbon
05. Let The Right One In
06. Up
06. White Material
08. Bright Star
08. Antichrist
10. Inglourious Basterds

References

Further reading

  • Pam Cook and Philip Dodd (eds): Women and Film. A Sight and Sound Reader, London: Scarlet Press, 1994, 287 p.
  • Jacqueline Louviot: Le regard de Sight and Sound sur le cinéma britannique des années 50 et 60 (What Sight and Sound Saw: Sight and Sound on British Cinema during the Fifties and Sixties), French doctoral thesis, University of Strasbourg II, 1997, 980 p.
  • David Wilson (ed): Sight and Sound. A Fiftieth Anniversary Selection, London: Faber and Faber in association with BFI Publishing, 1982, 327 p.

External links


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