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The Best of the “Best of” Lists: The Troubling “Top Ten” Triffle…

So, Sight & Sound has conducted their “top fifty films of all time” poll, held once a decade since 1952. With two polls, one for directors and one for critics, it’s certainly an interesting way to measure the pulse of the cinematic establishment. This year, for example, Citizen Kane was vanquished from the top spot, replace by the critics with Vertigo and by the directors with Tokyo Story. The publication of such a list is always a great spark for cinematic debate and discussion – with some commentators describing the lists as conservative or humourless and some directors using it as an opportunity to publish their own lists. Personally, I always find such list-making fun, if ultimately a little pointless.

Raising Kane…

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Best Indecision Ever! Movie Reviewers & Fear of Absolutes…

I had the pleasure of catching Midnight in Paris at the weekend, and I liked it. I really liked it. I confessed in my review that I thought it was Woody Allen’s best film of the past decade, and – as I left the cinema – I found myself wondering if perhaps it was the best of Allen’s films that I’ve seen. I’ll freely concede that I have yet to work my way through the director’s extensive filmography, but I have been a lot of his more famous and celebrated films like Annie Hall or Manhattan. Still, I feel reluctant to say that, which is admittedly quite strange. I am a movie reviewer (or, if you’ll allow me a hint of pretension, a “critic”) why am I so scared of superlatives?

Simply the best?

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