Every ten years, Sight & Sound magazine, a British publication devoted to the — cue cultured BBC accent — Art of Cinema, surveys some 1,000 critics, directors and know-it-all yentas, most of whom I’ve never heard, asking them to list the ten greatest movies in the known universe.
Here’s the survey.
For the past forty years, Citizen Kane has been numero uno. But this year, the number one slot for greatest movie of all time goes to Vertigo.
This is a welcome outcome. Seraphic Secret has always felt that Kane is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Normal people — the mass audience who did not go to film school — is bored stiff by Citizen Kane.
But, I have to admit that much as I love Vertigo — Brian De Palma and I screened it while we were working on Body Double — it’s grim and depressing, with none of the wit that elevates the best Hitchcock movies. But let’s face it, critics tend to favor “serious” movies.
Definitive movie lists are a challenge. You have to make ruthless choices. After thinking about movies and the history of movies for several days, after making list after list, and after inwardly debating the merits of various films, we made our choices, and now present Seraphic Secret’s list of the Ten Greatest Movies of all time.