Hannah Strong

Digital Editor, Little White Lies Magazine

Voted for

Beau travail1998Claire Denis
It's Such A Beautiful Day2012Don Hertzfeldt
In the Mood for Love2000Wong Kar Wai
Do the Right Thing1989Spike Lee
Goodbye, Dragon Inn2003Tsai Ming-liang
A New Leaf1970Elaine May
Akira1987Katsuhiro Otomo
Jackass 3D2010Jeff Tremaine
GoodFellas1990Martin Scorsese
Cléo from 5 to 71962Agnès Varda


Over the past weeks, months and even years I had a lot of conversations with friends and colleagues about Sight and Sound’s poll, prognosticating on what we talk about when we talk about ‘the greatest films of all time’, how the voting body would be formed, and more generally on the ethics and merits of these sorts of surveys. I have mixed feelings on polls and lists, particularly as to how they might inform the construction of ‘film canons’. But I grew up without much access to film culture, and as such I devoured these kinds of studies, using them as a starting point to inform my own tastes and knowledge of cinema. While I feel it’s impossible and sort of comical to even attempt to decide what constitutes ‘The Greatest Films of All Time’, I like the idea of this survey as taking the temperature of film culture, and participating in this thought exercise has been an enjoyable experience for me.

When it came to choosing my 10 films, I decided to impose a few rules upon myself to make it a bit less overwhelming. I excluded anything that had made the Top 10 before and all films made after 2012 (I’m sure they will have their time in the sun). So then it was a case of working out what films I thought had value, be it to the art of filmmaking or to myself as a critic and person. Films that changed the way I think about and understand the medium, or even the world itself, but also genres I thought had maybe not been represented as strongly as they could be in previous editions of the poll. While I'm sure that by the time the list is published I might be kicking myself for not including one film or another, at a certain point you have to just accept that film criticism, much like filmmaking, is always a journey rather than a destination. I hope the 2022 edition of the poll serves as a toolkit for budding film enthusiasts to start shaping their personal canons as well as for the film industry to consider what does – and doesn't – appear on the list. I also hope that by the time this poll is next taken, in the year 2032, plenty about the shape of cinema will have changed for the better.