The Cinematologists Podcast

Sight and Sound’s Greatest Films of All Time 2022 (Part 1)

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Episode notes

So, after much hype, critique and discussion, the Sight and Sound Greatest films of all-time poll has been published and we have an extensive 2-part episode of The Cinematologists to cover it. Neil and Dario were both invited to contribute a top ten list to the poll, which was an unexpected honour in itself. Not only that, Sight and Sound kindly gave us access to the results early so we could record and release the episode to coincide with the publication of the list. Furthermore, Dario got to speak to Isabel Stevens, Managing Editor of Sight and Sound before the list came out (which comes in part 2).

AND, for part 1 of this double feature, Neil is back. Yes, he interrupts his hiatus to lend his astute critical savvy to the results of the poll and to speak about both his own and Dario’s choices. In the past, we have critiqued the problems of list culture and its potential negative effects on film appreciation and criticism. But in a move, particularly on Dario’s part, to ameliorate any hypocrisy of rejecting lists while gleefully contributing to “the big one”, we also discuss the positive value of list making as an access point in a chaotic cultural milieu. Of course, we also talk about the expansion of the critics invited to participate in a move towards a greater diversity and the implications this has for the film canon.

And, of course, we talk about some of the major headlines from this year's poll. First and foremost the new number 1 slot taken by Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. We discuss the dynamics around this change, how it relates to other shifts (such as the higher recognition of other female filmmakers such as Claire Denis and Agnès Varda) and how they might be received: is it both a long overdue boost for female filmmaking and feminist criticism of under-representation in processes of institutionalisation & canonisation. Or does this reflect a narrow kind of diversity, the promotion of a high-modernist cinema which is open to cries of elitism and inaccessibility? We get into these issues in typical Cinematologists depth along with analysing the other big moves and trends. Finally, we reveal our own lists and deconstruct the contrasting "methodologies" for choosing them. Please enjoy.


Link to the Sight and Sound List Online

Quentin Tarantino’s video archives podcast

Silver Screen Video Podcast - with David Thompson

Film Comment podcast on movie list culture and documentary.

Against Lists by Elena Gorfinkel


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Music Credits:

‘Theme from The Cinematologists’

Written and produced by Gwenno Saunders. Mixed by Rhys Edwards. Drums, bass & guitar by Rhys Edwards. All synths by Gwenno Saunders. Published by Downtown Music Publishing