The BFI’s Sight and Sound magazine has announced the results of its hugely anticipated and world-renowned once-a-decade Greatest Films of All Time Critics’ Poll 2022.
Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) has taken the top spot, making it the first time a female filmmaker has taken the number one spot since the poll’s inception in 1952. Akerman’s film has leapfrogged from 36th place in 2012 to take the top spot a decade later.
The prestigious once-a-decade poll is Sight and Sound’s eighth, and the most ambitious to date, with more than 1,600 of the most influential international film critics, academics, distributors, writers, curators, archivists and programmers voting, almost double the number of participants in 2012.
The 2012 winner, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, is now in second place, with Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (which held the No. 1 spot for 50 years) placed third and Yasujirō Ozu’s Tokyo Story fourth. Three further new films have made it into the top 10, including Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood for Love in fifth place (up from 24th in 2012), Claire Denis’s Beau travail at number seven (up from 78th in 2012) and David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. in eighth place (up from 28th).
The full results and commentary on the 100 Greatest Films of All Time are published in the Winter double issue of Sight and Sound, on sale in print and digital edition from 5 December.
Visit https://www.bfi.org.uk/sight-and-sound/greatest-films-all-time for the Critics’ poll results in full. Heralded by Le Monde in January 1976 as “the first masterpiece of the feminine in the history of the cinema”, Chantal Akerman’s mesmerising and hypnotic Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles follows the meticulous daily routine of a middle-aged widow (played by Delphine Seyrig) over the course of three days. In 1975, Akerman was only 25 years old when she shot her experimental, groundbreaking film and it has since provoked analysis and debate over the decades.
Mike Williams, Editor, Sight and Sound Magazine said:
”Jeanne Dielman challenged the status quo when it was released in 1975 and continues to do so today. It’s a landmark feminist film, and its position at the top of list is emblematic of better representation in the top 100 for women filmmakers. While it’s great to see previous winners Vertigo and Citizen Kane complete the top three, Jeanne Dielman’s success reminds us that there is a world of under-seen and under-appreciated gems out there to be discovered, and that the importance of repertory cinemas and home entertainment distributors cannot be overestimated in their continued spotlighting of films that demand to be seen. What currently undervalued masterpieces might emerge in ten years thanks to this tireless work?”
The Critics’ top 20 Greatest Films of All Time are: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 & Gene Kelly, 1951) 11 Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927) 12 The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) 13 La Règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939) 14 Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962) 15 The Searchers (John Ford, 1956) 16 Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid, 1943) 17 Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1989) 18 Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966) 19 Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) 20 Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
Films that have been knocked out of the top 100 include Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance, Luis Buñuel’s Un chien andalou, Jean Renoir’s Partie de campagne and La Grande Illusion, Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons and Touch of Evil, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Marcel Carné’s Les Enfants du paradis, David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’eclisse, Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, Wrath of God, Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part II, Robert Altman’s Nashville and Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull.
BFI Southbank will screen the full 100 Greatest Films of All Times across January, February and March. For more information, visit: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/article/sightandsoundgreatestfilms2022 Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles will be available exclusively on BFI Player Subscription from 1 December – the first time the film has been available to stream in the UK. In addition, audiences across the UK will also have the opportunity to view over 50 of the titles from the Critics’ top 100 poll at home on BFI Player (including 9 of the top 10 films) both on rental and subscription