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Our Favorite Crazy (Directors') Votes in the Sight & Sound Greatest Film Poll

by Matt Singer
August 23, 2012 12:30 PM
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In a process that feels about as long as the history of cinema itself, Sight & Sound Magazine has been slowly releasing the results of the 2012 edition of its decennial Greatest Films Poll. First came the top ten vote-getters ("Vertigo" and "Tokyo Story"), followed by the full ballots for all 846 critics, and now, at last, the ballots from the 358 contributing directors. Abandon all hope of not wasting your afternoon, ye who enter here.

One of my favorite parts of the poll is the complete list of films, which contains every single title that received at least one vote. Here's where you'll find all the crazy outliers -- like Slavoj Zizek insisting that the Timothy Olyphant "Hitman" movie is one of the best films ever made. Good times.

We already held the critics' feet to the fire over their craziest votes, so it's only fair to do the same to the directors. I'll mention the same disclaimer here that I mentioned there: when I say "crazy," I mean that with love. Top ten lists are very personal statements -- if they're not honest, then they're pointless. And if you honestly believe that "Showgirls" is one of the ten greatest achievements ever captured with a motion picture camera, then by God, that's what you should proclaim, loudly and possibly while having sex with Kyle MacLachlan in a pool.

One update from that earlier post about the critics' results: after much whining on my part, "Die Hard" did finally receive a single vote, from "Cold Weather" director Aaron Katz. Still, out of over 800 critics and 350 directors, there wasn't a single mention of "Ghostbusters." Not one! These ten movies did get mentioned. And now they are immortalized forever.

Our Favorite Directorial Outliers From Sight & Sound's Greatest Film Poll

"The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension" - Edgar Pera, "Rio Turvo"

"The Bad News Bears" - Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"

"Bull Durham" - Niki Caro, "Whale Rider"

"Fletch" - Jeff Nichols, "Take Shelter"

"Idiocracy" (sp) - Sara Driver, "When Pigs Fly"

"9 1/2 Weeks" - Angelina Nikonova, "Twilight Portrait"

"Rocky III" - Matthew Vaughn, "X-Men: First Class"

"Showgirls" - David Panos, "The Empty Plan"

"Team America: World Police" - Ben Hopkins, "The Market: A Tale of Trade"

"Trash Humpers" - Mans Mansson, "Mr. Governor"

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More: Showgirls, Sight & Sound Film Poll


  • Patrick Gamble | August 24, 2012 8:00 AMReply

    You've missed Shion Sono's pick of Babe!

  • Stuart | August 24, 2012 12:20 AMReply

    Showgirls is a masterpiece, no joke.

  • Skippy | August 23, 2012 5:11 PMReply

    You can certainly argue that 'The Bad News Bears" is one of the best sports movies ever made. I'm not going to snark at that vote.

  • Eric Harris | August 23, 2012 4:50 PMReply

    "Rocky III" is a crazy pick how?

    In all seriousness, "Bull Durham" is in no way a crazy pick. That movie is great.

  • Thelma Adams | August 23, 2012 1:12 PMReply

    Thanks for this, Matt. I just have to say that I'm glad to see "Idiocracy" on this list because it's a movie that needs to be revisited. It's so prescient! And, yes, I have a soft-spot for the genius of "Team America: World Police."

  • Erlend Holbek | August 23, 2012 8:05 PM

    Broad satire doesn't get enough critical respect. It's extremely hard to do well, and Team America and Idiocracy worked masterfully at that. Idiocracy is also a storytelling mess and Team America is too aggressive for me to call it a Great film, but I think it's fantastic to see them on lists like these.
    Of all these, I'm most surprised by Fletch. Saw it for the first time this week, and it was dazzlingly mediocre

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