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cigar joe
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« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2012, 03:33:35 AM »

nice article

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« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2012, 01:31:42 PM »

This guy made a list of the greatest movies that got zero (or very few) votes http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2012/08/the_great_movies_nobody_voted.html

The articles responding to the Sight & Sound poll will of course be endless, so that's the last I'll bother with it. After having a long time to think about it, I've decided that I very strongly disagree with Sight & Sound's method, and that while it may be the most respected/prestigious/discussed greatest movies poll, IMO it's the most meaningless of all. I think their method is terrible, but it is what it is and that's that. We'll go through all this again in 2022   Wink

What better method should they have used (apart from not making such a poll)?

Which list is more meaningful? IMDB?

Of course has every list a meaning, and this is the most interesting of all these "best films ever lists", and therefore also the most "meaningful", which does not mean that it contains "truth" about the best film ever.

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« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2012, 02:38:02 PM »

What better method should they have used (apart from not making such a poll)?

Which list is more meaningful? IMDB?

Of course has every list a meaning, and this is the most interesting of all these "best films ever lists", and therefore also the most "meaningful", which does not mean that it contains "truth" about the best film ever.

I mean that all films should be ranked with points based to gauge the true intensity of the voters' admiration for it. (something that Public Choice economists would relate to). eg. If there is a movie that 5% of critics think is Top 10 but everyone else hates, that would get more credit on this poll than would a movie which a majority of critics rate between 20-30. Casablanca is one example; no way is it only the 80th best film (or something like that), but that's where it winds up based on this system.

I definitely believe that something like IMDB's system is better. (Setting aside the issue of vastly different numbers of voters on each movie), because there, voters are actually voting on how good they think a movie is, rather than simply seeing how many voters believe it's  top 10 movie. All that matters is how many people think it's a top 10 movie, but the intensity of their feelings aren't measured in any way, whether they make the top 10 (ie. a voter's the tenth-favorite film gets treated the same as his favorite film: 1 point) or not (the 11th best film gets treated the same as his 1000th best film: 0 points)

There's no perfect answer and it's all a matter of opinion, but in this man's opinion, Sight & Sound's method is terrible

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« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2012, 01:08:20 PM »

For what it's worth, Leone fares better in the Directors' poll:

Once Upon a Time in the West - 44th

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - 59th

Once Upon a Time in America - 174th (only 4 votes)

http://explore.bfi.org.uk/sightandsoundpolls/2012/directors/

Mat

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« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2012, 05:24:57 PM »

For what it's worth, Leone fares better in the Directors' poll:

Once Upon a Time in the West - 44th

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - 59th

Once Upon a Time in America - 174th (only 4 votes)

http://explore.bfi.org.uk/sightandsoundpolls/2012/directors/

Mat

So according to the directors' poll, OUATITW is the greatest Western.

The only other Westerns to make the top 100 movies are The Searchers, GBU, The Wild Bunch.


The Night of the Hunter is such an overrated movie. As is La Strada (how the hell does it rank higher than La Dolce Vita ?)


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« Reply #50 on: August 23, 2012, 06:14:50 PM »

Quote
The Night of the Hunter is such an overrated movie.

Finally, a voice of reason. Afro

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mike siegel
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« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2012, 01:54:52 AM »

I never liked these lists.
I never cared much for Academy Awards either.

So many wonderful films have been made in the last 90 years or so.
How can one measure art in Top ... lists ?

It is putting down my favorite form of art.
Only in the movies we have to deal with this crap. Go make lists
like ''best painting ever'', ''best opera of the century''. Ridiculous.

And I always hated this American fanatism for 'Top 10' , 'Box office record'
and all this propaganda. It is what will destroy this beautiful art in the end.
Films became a trophy for those who want your money big time. Films should
break even and make a profit. By now they became just tools for greedy
corporates - never mind the content as long as we'll make hundreds of millions
of dollars and have the rights to 6 sequels.


VERTIGO is a great film. To name it the best film ever is saying something,
I don't know yet what exactly. It certainly is not 'the best film ever ' Smiley
VERTIGO is a great film. But so is ANIMAL HOUSE.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2012, 04:14:32 AM »

I never liked these lists.
I never cared much for Academy Awards either.

So many wonderful films have been made in the last 90 years or so.
How can one measure art in Top ... lists ?

It is putting down my favorite form of art.
Only in the movies we have to deal with this crap. Go make lists
like ''best painting ever'', ''best opera of the century''. Ridiculous.

And I always hated this American fanatism for 'Top 10' , 'Box office record'
and all this propaganda. It is what will destroy this beautiful art in the end.
Films became a trophy for those who want your money big time. Films should
break even and make a profit. By now they became just tools for greedy
corporates - never mind the content as long as we'll make hundreds of millions
of dollars and have the rights to 6 sequels.


VERTIGO is a great film. To name it the best film ever is saying something,
I don't know yet what exactly. It certainly is not 'the best film ever ' Smiley
VERTIGO is a great film. But so is ANIMAL HOUSE.


Agreed it is a bit pointless.

I prefer lists along the lines of say 1000 films you should see before you die type lists, that introduce you to somewhat obscure films. But that top 250 of Sight & Sound basically functions that way.

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« Reply #53 on: August 24, 2012, 05:02:03 AM »

Lists are fun to make, fun to read, fun to criticize. That's their appeal. It is silly to act as if they are definitive of anything but the creator's taste. That does not mean they are devoid of value.

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mike siegel
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« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2012, 05:26:49 AM »

Agreed it is a bit pointless.

I prefer lists along the lines of say 1000 films you should see before you die type lists, that introduce you to somewhat obscure films. But that top 250 of Sight & Sound basically functions that way.

Yes, that would be great. It is sometimes frightening when you talk to certain critics and you realize they never even saw absolute 'must see' films. I like intelligent, knowledgeable critics capable of getting emotions certain creators wish to bring across the screen, but in my experience they are few between. Most critics should be just happy they found someone who pays them for writing (or promoting lousy Hollywood films). Years ago I was attached to a cinema that held the press screenings and I was shocked to see how a lot of the 'reviewers' dismissed great films - talking to each other or being noisy on the phone (''I'm important, I get calls all day long!'') during the most touching scenes in films like STRAIGHT STORY, THIN RED LINE or BABEL. Later on they commented things like ''the movie really did not touched me..'' Well, the first rule you learn when you enter films is to watch them - really watch them. But I guess that too calls for a certain talent... Leone is a case in point I guess ! Be patient my friend and you will be highly rewarded..

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« Reply #55 on: August 24, 2012, 12:45:48 PM »

That estimable blogger the Self-Styled Siren takes the list in stride:

http://selfstyledsiren.blogspot.com/2012/08/sight-and-sound-and-siren-and-lack-of.html

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« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2012, 01:41:09 PM »

I think I can agree with a lot of what all of you are saying -- Mike, Groggy, and CJ, and it's not all contradictory.

I agree with Mike, Ranking art is generally silly. I mean, sure, I can clearly say that Casablanca is a better movie than Big Jake, but generally speaking, ranking is not always smart, for many reasons. Each great piece of art has its own positives (and negatives); there are some movies that I'd rate an 8/10 that have a certain wonderful moment in it -- whether a particular piece of acting, or photography, or dialogue -- that you may not find in a movie that I'd rate an 8/10. I don't like comparing different works of greatness, eg. I love all of Leone's films and and that's why I never participate in the threads there that ask you to rate the Leone films; I like to view them as one big block of greatness.
On the other hand, it's the world that is obsessed with Top 10 lists, not just America; Sight & Sound is not American, nor are a large % of the voters). And while we all hate studios for ruining certain works of art, the statement about greedy corporate pigs is silly, I mean, they own the movies and have a right to make money off it, and as much as it may frustrate us sometimes (I hope that everyone at the  Ladd Company dies violent and painful deaths for what they did to OUATIA) the fact is that if there wasn't a profit motive then no movies would ever be made, heck, no products would ever be made, period. profits are what drives every industry to produce the best possible products. (The Soviet factories produced lots of wonderful products, didn't they?)

So I agree with CJ, something like a 100, 250, or 1000 movies to see before you die is much smarter. I can tell you which are (approximately) my favorite 100 movies, but to definitively say that Movie X is my 10th favorite movie and Movie Y is my 11th favorite, that is silly. And while we discussed earlier in this thread that article by Roger Ebert and his ridiculously stupid voting method, in a way I guess I can sympathize with his need to make his own system (however stupid it is), cuz it is almost impossible to definitively rank your ten favorite movies, and be certain which one is #10 and which is #11.

And of course Groggy is right, as stupid as lists are, it's something to talk about, argue about, get angry about, etc. etc. even though it has no meaning whatsoever. We all say lists are meaningless and get upset over them, but we still read them... and that is why these magazines, run by greedy corporate pigs, keep making these lists (although of course some are run by non-profits like BFI), the bottom line is that the only way they will stop stop making lists is if we stop reading them.

I'll continue to read them, roll my eyes.... and insist that there are at least a dozen Westerns greater than The Searchers  Wink

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« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2012, 02:49:30 PM »

Interestingly the taste of the "stupid" critics is more or less the same as the ones of the filmmakers.

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« Reply #58 on: August 25, 2012, 03:32:21 AM »

I think I can agree with a lot of what all of you are saying -- Mike, Groggy, and CJ, and it's not all contradictory.

On the other hand, it's the world that is obsessed with Top 10 lists, not just America; Sight & Sound is not American, nor are a large % of the voters). And while we all hate studios for ruining certain works of art, the statement about greedy corporate pigs is silly, I mean, they own the movies and have a right to make money off it, and as much as it may frustrate us sometimes (I hope that everyone at the  Ladd Company dies violent and painful deaths for what they did to OUATIA) the fact is that if there wasn't a profit motive then no movies would ever be made, heck, no products would ever be made, period. profits are what drives every industry to produce the best possible products. (The Soviet factories produced lots of wonderful products, didn't they?)

There is a big essential difference to the money making attitude of todays corporates and the film business of the past. I said films should break even and make money but the way things changed over the last +/- 20 years it is no longer possible to make great films in Hollywood (OK, when you are 15 years old you'll find your favorites). No more risks, no more art really. Not much individual input possible anymore by the creators (except CGI of course). But what they really do great now is TV. Better than LA movies. Who would have guessed 30 years ago. Maybe NY should take over making features Smiley

 

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« Reply #59 on: August 25, 2012, 08:09:36 AM »

Maybe I'm missing something here. What do lists determined by critical prestige have to do with "making money"?

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