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Sight & Sound list: UMN edition

University of Minnesota cinema professors give their takes on the 10 greatest films of all time.
Image by Graphic by Mary Ellen Ritter
The film was released last weekend, but still an entertaining movie to see.

Once a decade, the British Film Institute’s (BFI) magazine, Sight & Sound, asks the world’s best directors and film critics about their personal top 10 favorite films.

Most recently in 2022, well-regarded cinephiles (more than 1,600 of them!) shared their most sacred texts with both their fans and the magazine. Once the responses are in, Sight & Sound compiles everyone’s top 10 lists into their “Greatest Films of All Time” list.

I conducted a similar poll for The Minnesota Daily with some of the University of Minnesota’s cinema professors and a couple A&E staffers. However, I did not compile a composite list because the only films on multiple lists below are “Seven Samurai,” “Spirited Away,” “Do The Right Thing” and “La Noire de.”

Here’s what they said:

Maggie Hennefeld
An associate professor of cultural studies and comparative literature (CSCL), Hennefeld was also a selected voter for the real BFI Sight and Sound poll.

  1. “La pile electrique de Leontine” (Unknown, 1910)
  2. “Le bateau de Leontine” (Romeo Bosetti, 1911)
  3. “Leontine s’envole” (Unknown, 1911)
  4. “Laughing Gas” (Edwin S. Porter, 1907)
  5. “Daisy Doodad’s Dial” (Florence Turner, 1914)
  6. “Sedmikrásky” (Věra Chytilová, 1966)
  7. “Born in Flames” (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
  8. “De Cierta Manera” (Sara Gómez, 1977)
  9. “Sambizanga” (Sarah Maldoror, 1972)
  10. “Bildnis einer Trinkerin” (Ulrike Ottinger, 1979)

Daniel Aufmann
A Ph.D. student in CSCL, Aufmann included films from legendary directors like Alfred Hitchock and Akira Kurosawa in his list.

  1. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
  2. “Rear Window” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
  3. “City Lights” (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
  4. “Seven Samurai” (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
  5. “Der letzte Mann” (F. W. Murnau, 1924)
  6. “The Watermelon Woman” (Cheryl Dunye, 1996)
  7. “Singin’ in the Rain” (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952)
  8. “Dance, Girl, Dance” (Dorothy Arzner, 1940)
  9. “Spirited Away” (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
  10. “3 Faces” (Jafar Panahi, 2018)

Michelle Lekas
A CSCL professor, Lekas included films that spanned 10 different decades in cinema.

  1. “The Dupes” (Tewfik Saleh, 1973)
  2. “Moolaadé” (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
  3. “Poetry” (Lee Chang-dong, 2010)
  4. “The Crowd” (King Vidor, 1928)
  5. “Seven Samurai” (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
  6. “Mahanagar” (Satyajit Ray, 1963)
  7. “Le Salaire de la peur” (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953)
  8. “Super Fly” (Gordon Parks Jr. 1972)
  9. “Neptune Frost” (Saul Williams & Anisia Uzeyman, 2021)
  10. “The Night of the Hunter” (Charles Laughton, 1955)

James Schaak
The Daily’s A&E editor plans to graduate with a double major in journalism and studies in cinema & media culture in May. Here are his takes.

  1. “Spring Breakers” (Harmony Korine, 2012)
  2. “The Living End” (Gregg Araki, 1992)
  3. “Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
  4. “Under the Skin” (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
  5. “Spirited Away” (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
  6. “The Bling Ring” (Sofia Coppola, 2013)
  7. “Some Like It Hot” (Billy Wilder, 1959)
  8. “Do The Right Thing” (Spike Lee, 1989)
  9. “Taxi Driver” (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
  10. “La Noire de” (Ousmane Sembène, 1966)

Joshua Badroos
As for my list, these are the 10 I can settle on (for now).

  1. “La règle du jeu” (Jean Renoir, 1939)
  2. “Amélie” (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
  3. “Rashomon” (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
  4. “Raging Bull” (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
  5. “Do the Right Thing” (Spike Lee, 1989)
  6. “Det sjunde inseglet” (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
  7. “Vertigo” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
  8. “Apocalypse Now” (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
  9. “Shoplifters” (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)
  10. “La Noire de” (Ousmane Sembène, 1966)
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