Nocturnal Admissions Film Blog: Links of Interest, 10 Best Lists
D. K. Holm
The new issue of Sight and Sound has arrived and the bulk of the issue is given over to commemorating the best of 2010. There is the lead article's polling of international film writers for their top five films, with the results ranging from the conventional to the comedy team of Christof Huber and Olaf Molller who rejoice in finding the world's most obscure movies, usually impossible to see anywhere, though their efforts to bring attention to the films is admirable. Sophie Mayer picked only films by female directors, a clever approach. But also in the spirit of best is David Thomson's essay about Citizen Kane, written in anticipation of the publication's forthcoming best films of all time poll which it conducts every 10 years, the next occasion coming up in 2012. Mr. Thomson is the author of a film book that was polled as the best film book ever in an issue of the magazine earlier in the year, and he seems to have a reputation as high as Pauline Kael's in her heyday. Personally I don't know anyone who has read his books, including a controversial biography of Orson Welles, and certainly his views are not as debated as much as Kael's, though granted she appeared in the high profile New Yorker, while Thomson's work is scattered among numerous publications. Mr. Thomson's strange essay, "The Mark of Kane" seems to be arguing against choosing Citizen Kane as the number one movie of all time, as the poll has done for the past several iterations. His reasoning is confusing and meandering, and Mr. Thomson's cozy, intimate writing style has become a tick that paradoxically excludes the reader from his thinking processes. One hopes that the magazine's readers and particularly its pollsters, ignore this odd polemical thrust.