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Sight & Sound’s Top 10 films of 2013

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  • 24Emmy
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    #119894

    http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/polls-surveys/annual-round-ups/best-films-2013

    Sight & Sound:
    1. The Act of Killing
    2. Gravity
    3. Blue is the Warmest Color
    4. The Great Beauty
    5. Frances Ha
    6. A Touch of Sin
    7. Upstream Color
    8. The Selfish Giant
    9. Norte, the End of History & Stranger By The Lake (TIE)

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    Riley
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    #119896

    I love Sight & Sound because they host the definitive all-time best films list, but their annual lists are a bit of a mess with their January to November eligibility period.  What about December?  Some of the best films of the year come out then.  Where was Zero Dark Thirty?  What if The Wolf of Wall Street ends up being a Scorsese classic?

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    CanadianFan
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    #119897

    My grades beside the films… I have seen:

    The Act of Killing (A)
    Gravity (A-)
    Blue is the Warmest Color (B+)
    Frances Ha (B/B+)
    Upsteam Color (B)
    Stranger by the Lake (B-)

    So, The Act of Killing will 100% make my top ten at the end of the year, and Gravity stands a good shot. The four films below have an auteur-quality to them, but it’s laughable that Stranger by the Lake (for example) is among the best of the year.  

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    Scottferguson
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    #119898

    The shock about this list, which included many UK critics although it had others, is that 12 Yrs a Slave only ended up #14. It likely had been seen by most of the contributors.

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    DamianWayne
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    #119899

    The Act of Killing will go down as one of the most disturbing films I’ve ever seen. Just unreal.

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    KT
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    #119900

    There is probably an ingrained, anti-Oscar sentiment among the people voting for the Sight and Sound list.  12 Years very well could have won Cannes this year if it had been entered, and with Spielberg as the jury president.

    The calendar is nonsense.  So I guess Zero Dark Thirty wasn’t one of the top 10 films this year or last year?  Right. 

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    Gabriel
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    #119901

    There is probably an ingrained, anti-Oscar sentiment among the people voting for the Sight and Sound list. 

    I’m not sure. They just seem naturally more inclined to arthouse films. 12YaS doesn’t really seem like something that cineastes would rate highly.

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    Scottferguson
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    #119902

    Pedantic note – a cineaste is a filmmaker; a cinephile is a serious film fan. I made the same mistake until a friend pointed out my error.

    If there were an anti-Oscar sentiment, why rank Gravity so high? And Steve McQueen is basically a made man for UK critics, so if anything one would think the bias would have been toward not against.

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    CanadianFan
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    #119903

    If Zero Dark Thirty were released in the first half of the year, it probably would have done very well.

    It shows the constraints that these guys are putting on themselves for wanting to have the first word. 

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    KT
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    #119904

    Exactly!  I wonder if Bigelow should have brought ZDT to Cannes and tried to win the Palme (though Spielberg might be the type to resent her history films–I remember him saying something about Oliver Stone in the early 90s, saying he could never be as good).  Well, maybe critics see Gravity as anti-Oscar.  Does it really seem like your Oscar winner for Best Picture?  You would think UK critics would step up for McQueen here….could some see 12 Years as a step away from what he was known for, taking his career in the “wrong direction” for industry acclaim (I disagree, but just raising the point)?

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    Renaton
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    #119905

    So, The Act of Killing will 100% make my top ten at the end of the year, and Gravity stands a good shot. The four films below have an auteur-quality to them, but it’s laughable that Stranger by the Lake (for example) is among the best of the year.  

    Stranger By The Lake is a great film, and much better than a lot of the stuff you claim to be so great. Nothing laughable about it.

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    Renaton
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    #119906

    And Gravity is much less likely to be a film to be embraced by UK critics (in theory, of obviously) than 12 years a Slave. Gravity is actually in many ways a film places like Cahiers and Sight & Sound wouldn’t be as likely to put so high. The fact it did shows just how much it crossed over with them. Not many blockbusters get this kind of critical recognition usually. I thought 12 years a Slave would be a near lock for S&S. Uk critics love McQueen, and this has been his most acclaimed film yet. Weird.

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    CanadianFan
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    #119907

    [quote=”SxECanadianFanSxE”]
    So, The Act of Killing will 100% make my top ten at the end of the year, and Gravity stands a good shot. The four films below have an auteur-quality to them, but it’s laughable that Stranger by the Lake (for example) is among the best of the year.  

    Stranger By The Lake is a great film, and much better than a lot of the stuff you claim to be so great. Nothing laughable about it.[/quote]

    It’s not great.

    Midway through the movie, the tone completely shifts and the director loses the material. It is the type of pretentious BS that some people will eat up though…

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but the last sequence is so ridiculous and unrealistic that it actually ruins the first half. It reminds me of a movie in a film studies class that people begrudgingly say they like because it seems like the consensus at the time. 

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    Renaton
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    #119908

    I don’t feel it was supposed to be realistic. I felt the film has glimpes of dream logic. I also felt it was a decision to have plot and story be secondary to the emotional representation of the characters and the themes. I also kinda disagree about tonal shift. Yes, it does change, in expansion. I never felt the film abandons the set up. It simply moves along and expands its tone.

    I’m calling the “pretentious BS” card. You want films for story? great, good for you. But it is not pretentious that a film has a mood and life of it’s own though. Some films have different emphasis. I find criticism saying a film is bad because it’s unrealistic very underdeveloped.

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    Freddy Almonte
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    #119909

    The shock about this list, which included many UK critics although it had others, is that 12 Yrs a Slave only ended up #14. It likely had been seen by most of the contributors.

    Well, british people don’t have the absurd sentiment of guilt about slavery and they are, probably, more likely to see the film for what it is, a good film not the “masterpiece” that is being sold to american audiences.  

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