Old movie theater.

BFI’s Best Movies List Leaves the Internet Reeling: ‘Shame on You’

Sixty years ago, Britain Sight and sound magazine thought it wise to name the greatest movies of all time.

The tradition has continued for six decades, with an updated list of the 100 greatest films of all time being released every 10 years.

But where the applause — and criticism — for such lists began with scribbled praise and word-of-mouth complaints, social media has completely changed the game.

In 2012, critics from the British Film Institute named Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film “Vertigo” the greatest film of all time. Other classics, including “Citizen Kane”, “Tokyo Story” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” also made the 2012 top 10.

Ten years later, a relative newcomer tops the list.

“Jeanne Dielman 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels”, a 1975 film directed by Chantal Akerman, is the greatest film of all time, according to the 2022 Sight and sound survey.

But according to several Twitter users, the film’s No. 1 ranking comes as a complete surprise.

“I’ll let people click and find number one themselves, but isn’t that a huge shock?” @3000Elsinore questioned. “Did anyone see it coming?”

“I definitely didn’t,” @GrandKeizer replied.

“It was 37th place in 2012. He jumped over 37 places,” they lamented. “Compare that to Vertigo, which only made the top 10 in 1982, and had to climb every decade until 2012.”

“I remember watching movie number one in college. There were only a handful of us left when the screening ended,” @nathanjcarr exclaimed. “I recognize its historical significance and strong themes, but ‘Greatest Movie of All Time’ must surely captivate an audience of film students.”

Twitter user @djxcqtion, however, offered the opposite opinion.

“Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Brussels NO 1….,” they tweeted. “LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOO.”

Old cinema hall.
An old movie theater sees a full house. Britain’s Sight & Sound magazine has updated its selection of the 100 greatest films of all time, annoying moviegoers on the internet.
Archive Holdings Inc./iStock/Getty Images Plus

Although much of the online discussion surrounding Sight and sound the latest rankings remained focused on “Jeanne Dielman 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels”, other films included in the list caused a stir themselves.

Spike Lee’s 1989 pic “Do The Right Thing”, which was previously unranked, was catapulted to 24th place in the greatest movies of all time in 2022, much to the satisfaction of Twitter user @ kmstx78.

“DO THE RIGHT THING’s huge raise is impressive and well deserved,” they tweeted.

“I love doing what it takes to get my due!” @JDGonzales2 repeated.

“Get Out,” a 2017 film written and directed by Jordan Peele, was named the 95th greatest movie of all time, an honor some Twitter users said was granted too soon.

“Get out, errrrr wtf?” @EdgeOfThePark tweeted.

“Okay movie but wouldn’t even be in my top 1000 let alone 100,” @jeffreyarnold76 agreed.

“I feel like if a movie has been released in the last 15 years, the critical appraisal hasn’t matured enough to place it on the all-time greatest list,” @Mrtrick80 wrote. “I’m just saying.”

Despite the natural tendency to debate the details of Sight and sound most recent movie ratings, other Twitter users took issue with the broader themes associated with the list, commenting on the stark lack of certain genres and cultures.

“My appeal to critics who vote in this poll: please watch animated movies. They are really good,” begged @DisneyMusings23. “Only [two] making the list is criminal.”

“Not a single film from the Balkans has been successful,” @__adn tweeted. “You are absolute philistines.”

“Not a single Latin American movie,” @NicolsPrivider1 lamented. “Shame on you.”

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