With summer's blockbuster season in full swing, films like "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Men in Black 3," and "Ice Age: Continental Drift" are wielding the usual tentpole-like hegemony over the box-office. However, the conversation about cinema this week has been fully dominated by looking back into the rear-view mirror thanks to Sight & Sound's "The Greatest Films Of All Time" poll.
Their estimable once-a-decade list that determines what is the Greatest Movie Of All Time is somewhat subjective, but is does poll hundreds of film critics worldwide as well some of the most famous filmmakers working today. It’s widely regarded as the most trusted source there is to the canon of cinema's finest. The big stir this week: after five decades of ruling at the top spot, Orson Welles' vaunted "Citizen Kane" fell from atop the #1 perch to be superseded by Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" (you can see some of the picks from filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino here).
Now lists, at their worst, especially when free of context, tend to be reductive. But at their best, they become conversation starters. And so while looking out from our ledge onto the world, it's impossible to argue that the S&S list hasn't provoked and triggered response and discussion. Another nice byproduct of the list: genuine curiosity and enthusiasm by younger, budding cinephiles who are loading up their Netflix and DVD queues with many unimpeachable touchstones of cinema (oh, how we envy the purity of that first experience).
And so, in the spirit of that idea and conversation, we thought we'd point you to Gowatchit.com, a channel letting you know where to find all 50 films in the S&S list from Netflix, to Hulu and more. And remember, if you're not sick of it yet (which you really shouldn't be frankly), there's more to come. Over 350 directors participated in making their own personal top 10 lists and those ballots will be published on August 22nd. Sight & Sound also made a full top 50-100 greatest of all time list, which will be published on August 15th. We've already seen the list and personally, we're excited to dig into that conversation as well.