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FRIDAY - Sight & Sound: The Greatest?

Programmed by: Addison Wood

The easiest series I’ll ever program; the films pick themselves! Or rather, they’re selected by a body of “more than 1,600 of the most influential international film critics, academics, distributors, etc.” We’ve left a few films out of our selection (Mulholland and In the Mood for Love played last year, and Jeanne Dielman is already cooking veal cutlets on a Wednesday this quarter), but overall the 2022 list, which was hyped up to be a radical break from tradition, really was conventional in most ways. Titles 150–250 hold some surprises—good and bad alike—but the top 100 films are an amalgam of the bog-standard and cinema 101 syllabi, with a few modern darlings sprinkled in.

So why do we get worked up over the list if it just spews out the collective trends in elitist movie-going over the last ten years? Well for one, it's the history of it all. The Sight and Sound poll has long been an exercise in completionism for budding film buffs. But in the days of Letterboxd and Twitter, does this list still hold its former stature? I’d actually say it does. Titles like Possession, Under the Skin, and directors like Lars von Trier and David Lynch are constants among burgeoning cinefiles; and yet, these nine films are largely made by younger generations of filmmakers, who are reproducing the taste of their filmic forefathers. They’re a little dry, a touch grandiose, and a few overstay their welcome.

My one kernel of advice for those attending this series: feel free to dislike these films! Hell, as traditional as my taste may be, I really only love a few of the films in this lineup. Way more than 1,600 people have had vastly worse takes on much more important things. So sit back and enjoy; or don’t!

7:00PM Friday, March 24th; 4:00PM Sunday, March 26th

The Godfather (1972) still

The Godfather (1972)

Francis Ford Coppola · 175m · 35mm

What a way to start the series! The film that launched a thousand imitations and millions of film studies majors. Coppola adapts two-thirds of Mario Puzo’s bestseller, weaving interfamilial strife into an epic tableau of immigrant life in the midcentury. It's an all-American tale of power, corruption, and lies. Innovative cinematography, a classic Nino Rota score, and ultra-quotable lines abound! It’s an offer you can’t… oh, you know how the line goes.

March 24th tickets can be bought here.

March 26th tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, March 31st

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) still

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

F. W. Murnau · 94m · 35mm

The best German expressionist film ever made outside of Germany, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans delivers on the promise of its title. A glorious, melodic wave of emotion, Murnau’s opus is a testament to what the medium of silent film could offer in its final days. Sunrise would go on to win the only once awarded Oscar for “Unique and Artistic Picture." It's a gorgeous film not to be missed, and in Addison's opinion, the best film in this series.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, April 7th; 4:00PM Sunday, April 9th

Singin' in the Rain (1952) still

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen · 115m · 35mm

If you didn’t know any better, you might think this film was 115 minutes of Gene Kelly doing nothing but, well, singing in the rain. After all, that is by and large the only image that people use nowadays to reference the damn thing. But Singin’ in the Rain has more to offer than that—a lot more. It’s a bombastic whirlwind: gaudy, colorful, loud, and ever so entertaining in all the right ways. All you La La Land fiends had better show up to this one...

April 7th tickets can be bought here.

April 9th tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, April 14th

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) // Man with a Movie Camera (1929) still

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) // Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid // Dziga Vertov · 14m // 68m · DCP

Calling all devotees of Soviet cinema! If you think our usual programming is the opiate of the masses, do we have the picture for you. Man with a Movie Camera is one of the rare cinema 101 works that seemingly everyone loves. Vertov’s revolutionary film, sans intertitles (wowza!), is a masterclass of cutting, framing, throwing everything at the wall, and generally being hyper in a uniquely 1920s way. Preceded by Meshes of the Afternoon.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, April 21st

Beau Travail (1999) still

Beau Travail (1999)

Claire Denis · 93m · DCP

The youngest film to end up on our list has come to unequivocally shape filmmaking in the 21st century. Based on Melville’s Billy Budd, Denis’ film is a meditative and homoerotically-charged work of stunning beauty and catharsis. A simultaneous critique of colonialism, militarism, and repression, Beau Travail has become a recent favorite of directors like Barry Jenkins and Pablo Larraín. It also features the single greatest needle drop in film history.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, April 28th; 4:00PM Sunday, April 30th

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) still

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick · 143m · DCP

2001: A Space Odyssey is a psychedelic space opera that basically wrote the textbook on everything. A spectacle like no other, Kubrick’s foray into science fiction has had an indelible impact on our culture. Whether it be the monolith, HAL 9000, Strauss, or the space fetus, it's the kind of movie most of us know before we’ve even seen it. But that isn’t to say it lacks surprises—2001 packs one hell of a punch, and is a big-screen viewing essential.

April 28th tickets can be bought here.

April 30th tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, May 5th

Tokyo Story (1953) still

Tokyo Story (1953)

Yasujiro Ozu · 136m · DCP

It’s week 7—we all need a good crying session. Tokyo Story 's movingly epic narrative takes place not across great landscapes, but in confined middle-class Tokyo homes, as an elderly couple visit their family in the bustling postwar metropolis. A hallmark of transcendental filmmaking, Ozu utilizes his signature tatami shots and veteran actors Setsuko Hara and Chishū Ryū to craft a generous, empathetic film about aging in an increasingly chaotic world.

Tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, May 12th; 4:00PM Sunday, May 14th

Citizen Kane (1941) still

Citizen Kane (1941)

Orson Welles · 119m · 35mm

It’s terrific!

May 12th tickets can be bought here.

May 14th tickets can be bought here.

7:00PM Friday, May 19th; 4:00PM Sunday, May 21st

Vertigo (1958) still

Vertigo (1958)

Alfred Hitchcock · 128m · 35mm

Although Vertigo only lasted a decade as Sight & Sound's #1, it isn’t any less impressive as a film. Directed by a promising young talent by the name of Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo has it all! Our PI Scottie’s in a real mess: obsessed with at least one woman and recovering from a bad case of—surprise, surprise—vertigo, he dives headfirst into a hallucinatory and macabre journey of possession, filled to the brim with intrigue and drop-dead gorgeous style.

May 19th tickets can be bought here.

May 21st tickets can be bought here.