Sight and sound

Sight & Sound
Categories Film
Frequency Monthly
Publisher British Film Institute
Year founded 1932
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Website
ISSN 0037-4806

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, and from 1956 to 1990 by Penelope Houston. The relaunch editor was Philip Dodd. It is currently edited by Nick James. The magazine reviews all film releases each month, including those with a limited (art house) release, as opposed to most film magazines which concentrate on those films with a general release. Sight & Sound 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. Since 1992 the world's finest directors are invited to participate in a separate poll. The individual results are eclectic; in the 2002 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" polls. 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) were won by Citizen Kane (which finished 13th in 1952), while Vertigo received the most votes in 2012.[2] Only La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) has appeared in all seven of the magazine's decennial polls. Among the directors that participated in 2012 are Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Ken Loach and Francis Ford Coppola. Sight & Sound has in the past been the subject of criticism, notably from Raymond Durgnat, who often accused it of elitism, puritanism and snobbery, although he did write for it in the 1950s, and again in the 1990s. The magazine's American counterpart is the Film Comment, a journal published by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.[3]

Critics' Top Ten Poll

1952

01. Bicycle Thieves (25 mentions)
02. City Lights (19 mentions)
02. The Gold Rush (19 mentions)
04. 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. 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. 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. 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)

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. 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. Battleship Potemkin (19 mentions)
07. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (19 mentions)
09. (18 mentions)
10. Singin' in the Rain (17 mentions)

2012

See also BFI The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time

A new rule was imposed for this ballot: related films that are considered part of a larger whole (e.g. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy and Dekalog, or Satyajit Ray's Apu trilogy) were to be treated as separate films for voting purposes.

01. Vertigo (191 mentions)
02. Citizen Kane (157 mentions)
03. Tokyo Story (107 mentions)
04. La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game) (100 mentions)
05. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (93 mentions)
06. 2001: A Space Odyssey (90 mentions)
07. The Searchers (78 mentions)
08. Man with a Movie Camera (68 mentions)
09. The Passion of Joan of Arc (65 mentions)
10. (64 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

2012

01. Tokyo Story (48 mentions)
02. 2001: A Space Odyssey (42 mentions)
02. Citizen Kane (42 mentions)
04. (40 mentions)
05. Taxi Driver (34 mentions)
06. Apocalypse Now (33 mentions)
07. The Godfather (31 mentions)
07. Vertigo (31 mentions)
09. The Mirror (30 mentions)
10. Bicycle Thieves (29 mentions)

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

  • Sight & Sound official website

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