Hi, we are S. and J. and we’ve apparently decided to talk in public.
As the subhead of this blog states, on this site you will find an ongoing discussion between the two of us about each and every film on Sight & Sound Magazine’s 2012 Critics’ Top 250 Films list. For those readers who are unfamiliar with the Sight & Sound Greatest Film Poll, it is conducted every 10 years and is generally considered to create the closest thing we have to a definitive list of the greatest movies of all time.
We decided to watch all 250 of these movies because we both enjoy film, but more importantly because we constantly seek to broaden our cultural horizons. We are avid readers and museum goers, and since we don’t stick to just one type of art, one time period, or one national culture in those arenas, why should we do so with movies? The aspect of the Sight & Sound list that excites us most is its wide reach — films from 1902 to 2011; documentaries to science fiction; and cinema from all across the globe. S. has never seen a Thai film; J. has never seen a Danish film [edit: Now I have – J.]. Now we have the chance to correct these and many more gaps in our cultural knowledge.
We started this blog as a way to better recall and organize the discussions we’d already been having after watching these films. We are aiming to preserve that casual and conversational mode in our posts, but hopefully we will be able to ratchet up the profundity when a movie really inspires or challenges us. Because we want to be able to discuss these movies in full, please note that every discussion will be packed with spoilers. We don’t want to ruin anything for anyone, but we also don’t want to hem ourselves in.
The two of us will generally be watching and discussing the 250 films in roughly chronological order (all the better to see how early movies influenced later films), but there definitely will be some bouncing around depending on our mood or the availability of some of the films. Also, we live in Melbourne, Australia, home of the amazing Astor Theatre, so if we can see a list movie there instead of on a television — we’re there, chronology be damned! And just for the hell of it we might chat about a new movie or perhaps a few flicks that didn’t make the Sight & Sound list but are generally considered classics. Basically, we’ll make or break the rules pretty much at will, and you’re very welcome to read along as we do so.
S. & J.