Here’s an interesting blog post from Ebert:
The best damned film list of them all
Ebert considers including Monster in his list? Yeah, he’s definitely lost his marbles.
He considers PAN’S LABYRINTH and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN too. Sad.
Also MUBI favorite, Juno!
Juno is the only film he lists that I consider to be a truly bad film, but I honestly still love Roger, I don’t read him so I can agree with what he says.
I like Juno, but its quite insane to consider it for a list like this. Then again, the context is him thinking aloud and what he ends up submitting will probably be less surprising.
Well the Juno thing doesn’t surprise me. It was his favorite film of 2007 and made his top ten for the decade (behind only Synecdoche and The Hurt Locker, I think?).
I agree with Brad though. I think this is more just Ebert thinking out loud.
Here’s what Ebert says:
My guess is that there are three ways that people fill out their lists. (1) An objective list of the 10 films they truly believe are the all-time best. (2) Propagandistic votes, selecting a film no one else may vote for, with the hope of drawing attention to it. (3) Strategic votes, such as a shift from “Notorious” to “Vertigo” as Hitchcock’s best.
What about a 4th way. The way I’d do it, and that I wish everyone would do it. (4) A list of their 10 favorite films. No reason to labor over it more than that in my opinion.
Sorry to dredge up an old(er) topic but I’m just now getting to the Ebert blog. I’d say that his mission in part was accomplished with the films he mentioned, considering for reasons I don’t know I never did see Chop Shop or Departures, and I aim to change that now.
I know he had Monster as his favorite film of 2003 so I guess I’m not surprised to see it up there, although I don’t think he’s putting it in his top 10, just as one of his favorite films since the last time the list was made.
@Risselada, I believe Eberts #1 is the same as you’re proposed 4th way.
As silly as it is to say though critics who vote do often change their vote for the reasons he mentioned. I believe Jonathan Rosenbaum had a preface in his list saying he intentionally was picking more offbeat films to draw attention to them (or himself depending on how you look at it).
Now that apparently there are no ties on the next list I wonder how that will affect films like Ivan the Terrible, the Apu Trilogy, and most directly The Godfather 1 and 2, can’t wait to see the results although I do wish they’d expand to a top 100, a top 10 seems just silly at this point.
@Risselada, I believe Ebert’s #1 is the same as you’re proposed 4th way.
Below are Ebert’s selections; it turns out he has replaced Kieslowski’s Dekalog with Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. He writes:
Apart from any other motive for putting a movie title on a list like this, there is always the motive of propaganda: Critics add a title hoping to draw attention to it, and encourage others to see it. For 2012, I suppose this is my propaganda title. I believe it’s an important film, and will only increase in stature over the years.
Aguirre, Wrath of God (Herzog)
Apocalypse Now (Coppola)
Citizen Kane (Welles)
La Dolce Vita (Fellini)
The General (Keaton)
Raging Bull (Scorsese)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick)
Tokyo Story (Ozu)
The Tree of Life (Malick)
^Which strikes me as a big middle finger to every great film made after Raging Bull.
To be clear, the reason he removed Dekalog was because under the new rules he would have to coount it as his entire top ten list.
so when is the list revealed, august or around then?
The September issue, which usually comes out in the second week of August. I still say Kane will be toppled…
I doubt Kane will ever be toppled for several reasons:
1. Critics honestly seem to believe it really is the greatest movie ever made.
2. Since the race was getting closer in 2002 some critics who left off Kane because they figured it would already be voted at the top without their help will probably put it back on their list.
3. I honestly don’t believe there is a strong enough film to topple it, do you honestly think Vertigo could claim the top spot?
I wish I wasn’t so damned excited for this list to come out, part of me wants to dismiss it all as elitist rubbish, but the other part of me is just too curious.
It is interesting that Ebert put Tree of Life on his list. I’ll honestly say I’ve never seen a film impress me more in a movie theater, but I’d still say it’s a little early to put it that high.
A list with Singin’ In the Rain can never be taken seriously.
Singin In The Rain is a great film, I’d stick it in my top 100.
If there’s going to be an unofficial “greatest film ever made” (and yes, the concept that any one film would fit that bill is ludicrous), I think Citizen Kane is a fine choice to fit that bill. So I’m rooting for the champ to keep the title.
Citizen Kane will never be toppled because they have zero intents on widening/dramatically shifting who votes on the list. As long as only the people who have heralded the list in the first place are the majority of the ways still voting it will never change.
No other film fits the bill of “Greatest Film Ever Made” – ludicrous though the whole thing is – than Kane. I have a feeling that Vertigo will be top this time. I figure with the recent release of a great Touch of Evil blu-ray many of the people voting in the poll might throw a few votes at that, taking some votes away from Kane.
Malik, Who would you suggest be eligible for voting that isn’t currently?
Kane will be toppled because the newer generations were not raised in the romance of it being the greatest film ever made. There is no Bazin’s Nouvelle Vague championing it anymore.
How many people from these “newer generations” are voting this time around? Hell I’m (still) in my twenties and I’ve thought Citizen Kane was the greatest film ever since about my 18th birthday.
After watching Touch of Evil again I realize that yes indeed it is also a masterpiece, but if you think it’s going to take votes away from Kane I don’t think it will nearly as much as other Hitchcock films will take away votes from Vertigo. Many critics think Psycho to be a superior film, and I’m sure there will be a few votes for North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Notorious, and the 39 Steps.
@Alex: Do you really believe that about Singin’ in the Rain? If so, why? Does a musical or a comedic picture automatically deserve to be excluded from a discussion of the greatest films ever because it’s not some profound and depressing comment on the meaning of life or some other highbrow pretentiousness? Admittedly this is coming from someone who believes Singin’ in the Rain belongs in every damn top ten list, so maybe I’m biased.
“I wish I wasn’t so damned excited for this list to come out, part of me wants to dismiss it all as elitist rubbish, but the other part of me is just too curious.”
I quote this because I am also of co-opinion. Unless the films from the last decade are included in the list ,it will be simply an dishonesty.
On the contrary, films from the last decade should be barred from the ratings. That’s not enough time for critical distance and reflection.
Kane will be first probably, at least for another decade or two.
I think newer films should be considered. They will still be the same films 20 years from now.
No they won’t. Films either age well or they don’t. They always change with time and new perceptions. New stuff is too new. I’m not interested in someone trying to say Uncle Boomee or The Tree of Life are among the greatest films ever made. With what perspective?
um… a critical perspective? think about a young person getting into film. he sees Citizen Kane on DVD (or, hell, at a revival screening) and the next day sees The Tree of Life in theaters. what’s the difference to him? most of us have not really “felt” the historical evolution of these films, we’ve just read about them, so I don’t see why we need to wait X number of years before calling Mulholland Drive or There Will Be Blood or The Tree of Life or whatever one of the best movies ever made
If anything I think the long held emotional memory we have of films interferes with objective critical evaluation. Most of my favorite films I saw for the first time less than four years ago , so what is the difference to me? Should these films be judged based on their quality and not based on the things we remember feeling about them decades ago.
Maybe a couple years need to pass for us to be able to extract the film from its original cultural context and get multiple perspectives on the film, but five years is sufficient for that.
Well looking at the history of the list there were plenty of “recent” films that made each of the polls. I believe Persona made the 72 poll for example. Granted the last couple of lists have largely avoided all remotely contemporary films, so I don’t know what might make the list this time around.
That said I doubt anything from the last twenty years will make the list.