Sight and Sound: the April 2023 issue

101 critics and directors offer heartfelt recommendations for favourite films that only received a single vote in our recent polls. Plus: Hlynur Pálmason on Godland, Jerzy Skolimowski on Eo, the best films from Sundance and Rotterdam and much more…

3 March 2023

Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound: the Hidden Gems issue

In this issue is a list of 101 of the greatest films of all time – but not the kind of list that you might expect from that description. No Citizen Kane. No Vertigo. Not even Jeanne Dielman.

Each of these films is one of the greatest according to just one voter in our recent Greatest Films of All Time poll; they are some of the hidden gems among the more than 4,300 films voted for by more than 2,000 participants.

We asked 101 critics and directors (including Abel Ferrara, S.S. Rajamouli, Benny Safdie, Michael Moore, Nora Twomey, Ngozi Onwurah, Luca Guadagnino, Amanda Kramer, Laura Mulvey, Slavoj Žižek and Apichatpong Weerasethakul) to write about their one-vote wonder and let us know what makes it, for them, one of the greatest films ever made.

Features

101 Hidden Gems

101 Hidden Gems

One-vote wonders from Sight and Sound’s Greatest Films of All Time Poll. Introduction by Thomas Flew.

Includes:

  • Abel Ferrara on Family Nest
  • S.S. Rajamouli on Mayabazar
  • Benny Safdie on Requiem for a Heavyweight
  • Michael Moore on Czech Dream
  • Nora Twomey on The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon
  • Ngozi Onwurah on The Burial of Kojo
  • Luca Guadagnino on Samba Traoré
Jerzy Skolimowski interviewed

Back in the saddle

Jerzy Skolimowski’s Eo, a moving fable about the life of a donkey, is a stunning return to form for a director whose life has seen many chapters since his Polish debut in the 1960s. As BFI Southbank mounts a retrospective of his work in London, he and his wife and co-writer Ewa Piaskowska reflect on their creative partnership. By David Thompson.

The wrath of God

Godland explores the gruelling spiritual odyssey of a 19th-century priest building a church in Iceland. Its director, Hlynur Pálmason, discusses his debt to Robert Bresson and Apocalypse Now, and the search for the sublime. By Jonathan Romney.

Wong Kar Wai interviewed

From the archive: ‘I didn’t want to see them having sex’

As Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love cements its reputation by appearing at No. 5 in the recent Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All Time poll, we look back at the film’s complicated gestation and its Cannes premiere. From Sight and Sound, August 2000. By Tony Rayns.

Opening scenes

Opening scenes

How the director Saim Sadiq beat the censors in Pakistan

His film Joyland, about a young married man who falls in love with a trans woman, has faced endless obstacles in its home country. By Sanam Maher.

Editors’ choice

Recommendations from the Sight and Sound team.

In production: A new leaf for Koberidze

New films by Alexandre Koberidze, André Techiné and Kitty Green. By Thomas Flew and Bruno Savill De Jong.

News: Saving a beloved Bristol cinema

The campaign group ‘Save Redfield Cinema’ has been battling to uncover the theatre and create a new cinema, events venue and community kitchen. By Bruno Savill De Jong.

In conversation: Song Kangho

The star of Parasite tackles illegal adoption in the new film by Koreeda Hirokazu. By Thomas Flew

Under the influence: Tony Kushner

The Pulitzer-winning American playwright discusses working with Spielberg and shares three formative cinematic experiences. Interview by Arjun Sajip.

Obituary: Carlos Saura, 1932-2023

Very few filmmakers can have claimed Luis Buñuel as their mentor and friend. Even fewer had the honour of the Spanish surrealist remarking he wished he’d made one of their films. By Mar Diestro-Dópido.

Ron Peck honoured as BFI Flare returns

London’s celebration of queer cinema is back with a vibrant programme showcasing many recent festival hits, as well as a tribute to the pioneering British director whose film Nighthawks was a landmark piece of gay cinema. By Ben Walters.

The ballot of… Rebecca Zlotowski

Each month we highlight a voter in our Greatest Films of All Time poll. Here the French director of Planetarium, An Easy Girl and Other People’s Children shares her choices.

Talkies

Talkies

The long take

Hollywood loves to look at itself in the mirror, even when what it sees is sordid and ugly. By Pamela Hutchinson.

Cine wanderer

Coppola’s One from the Heart is a feverish Vegas fantasy that revels in its smoke and mirrors. By Phuong Le.

Festival bulletin

Festival Bulletin

Sundance

Up in the Rockies, the premier US showcase for new film hasn’t quite sorted out its post-pandemic format – but even with audiences staying online, there was enough exciting material to generate a buzz. By Carlos Aguilar.

Rotterdam

Down in the Netherlands, the perpetually radical, newly restructured IFFR bounced back after two years of lockdown with a programme that quelled doubts and at the same time reflected our age of anxiety. By Carmen Gray.

Editorial

Regulars

Editorial

In praise of Hedd Wyn, the hidden gem treasured everywhere but next door. By Mike Williams.

Rediscovery: Storm De Hirsch: Mythology for the Soul

In little more than a decade, this New York filmmaker produced an unsettling oeuvre in which time and human bodies are dissolved in flickering, multiplying images. By Sophia Satchell-Baeza

Archive TV: Crown Court

Did the 1970s afternoon television staple use its popular drama format to raise sharp questions about the law and human nature? Guilty as charged. By Robert Hanks.

Lost and Found: Top of the Heap

This feverish satire on race in America was produced by a company looking to ride the blaxploitation wave – and quickly scrapped when it wasn’t blaxploitative enough. By Andrew Nette.

Wider screen

On the trail of Eisenstein in Mexico

The 15 months the director spent in the country in 1930-32 left a treasure trove of footage and sketches that are helping to transform our understanding of his work. By Ian Christie.

Virginia Grey: the luck of the draw

The classical Hollywood actress may not have been an A-list star, but her versatility made her one of Tinseltown’s most sought-after performers. By Olympia Kiriakou.

Endings: The Exterminating Angel

Luis Buñuel’s viciously subversive 1962 tale satirising the indolence and entitlement of the ruling class closes with the rich worshippers trapped inside a cathedral while revolutionary violence rages in the streets outside. By Paul Tickell.

Reviews

Reviews

Film

  • Subject
  • 1976
  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
  • Allelujah
  • Electric Malady
  • Rye Lane
  • Broker
  • Close
  • The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future
  • The Wife and Her House Husband
  • Creature
  • Infinity Pool
  • Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
  • Other People’s Children
  • The Middle Man
  • Pearl
  • The Beasts
  • Magic Mike’s Last Dance
  • Words of Negroes
  • Joyland
  • The Five Devils

TV

  • The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House
  • Liaison
  • Fleishman Is in Trouble
  • Shrinking

DVD and Blu-ray

  • Magnificent Obsession and All that Heaven Allows
  • Marie Menken – Visual Variations
  • Run, Man, Run
  • El vampiro negro
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • The Juniper Tree
  • The Cassandra Cat
  • Enter Santo: The First Adventures of the Silver-Masked Man
  • Kill!
  • Imitation of Life

Books

  • The French New Wave: Critical Landmarks
  • Bill Douglas: A Film Artist
  • Strangers Within: Documentary as Encounter