Greatest Films of All Time

Sight & Sound annual poll, 2022

Akira (1988) Katsuhiro Otomo
Neo-Tokyo. Taiko rebirth. Geinoh Yamashirogumi. ESPer damage. Stadium collapse. White light. Post-humanism.

Beneath The Valley of the Ultravixen (1979) Russ Meyer
Pneumatic deviation. Pendulous impossibility. New world anal. Peter Built. Small town America. Porno-graphology. Audiovisual onslaught.

Crash (1996) David Cronenberg
Flesh and more flesh. Cars and more cars. Ballardian trauma sex. The head of Jayne Mansfield. The thighs of Holly Hunter. The breath of James Spader. Howard Shore electric.

Heat (1995) Michael Mann
Infinite screenic flatness. Los Angeles erogenized. Male war. LAX. Deaf Elk Guitar Orchestra. Granite as acting. De Niro and Pacino - but also Kilmer.

Kwaidan (1964) Masaki Kobayashi
Dimensional rupture. Toru Takemitsu. Unsound. The sonorum of the world turned inside out. Entities beyond humanism. Pure invisible theatre.

Last Year At Marienbad (1961) Alain Resnais
The voice, the passage, the world. Ghosts of textuality. Entombing architecture. Chamber purgatory. Corrupted cine-literacy. Die, novel, die.

Magnolia (1999) Paul Thomas Anderson
Song as everything. Voice as all. Fractal emotional detonation. Drama melting down. Irrevocable fate. The carousel of cancer. Yes, it did happen.

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968) Sergio Leone
The twanging godliness of Morricone. The memory of sounded death, breathing until you die. Bronson as Westworld. Templating entrepreneurial hell. Henry Fonda's blue eyes.

The Thing (1982) John Carpenter
The thing-ness of everything. Genre plasticity remoulded. Morricone melting. Rob Bottin from Planet X. No, it is not fucking kidding.

West Side Story (1961) Robert Wise
Michael Jackson before he existed. The Musical - year one. Manhattan - ground zero danced. Leonard Bernstein paints Manhattan. The outside world staged, perfectly.

Ordered alphabetically. Audiovisually dictated. Written in 15 minutes, with complete indifference to what people call 'cinema'.

Text © Philip Brophy. Image © Akira Committee.