Roger Ebert (who I’ll say again, has one of the best blogs on the internet) came out in defense of greatest films lists today. He started off by showing some love for the Sight & Sound poll, put out every 10 years and made up of lists by the most influential critics and directors of the day, and ends by printing the new poll by the British mag, the Spectator. The new list is on his blog and is topped by Night of the Hunter, a film I enjoyed, but didn’t love. I’ll have to watch it again.
Calling attention to the unappreciated is what Ebert likes about these lists and criticism in general, and I think he’s got something there. I’ll let him say it.
Any list of great films helps breaks the hammer-lock of box office performance that grips too many American moviegoers. I can’t tell you how many people responded to my attack on “Transformers” by telling me how much money the movie was grossing, as if that had the slightest relevance. A great movie acts like a window in our box of space and time, opening us to other times and other lands. The more windows we open, the better.