Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles has topped Sight & Sound magazine’s Greatest Film of All Time Critics’ poll 2022, becoming the first woman director to do so.
Akerman’s 1975 French-language film was previously 36th place when the poll was last conducted in 2012.
The number one spot at the time, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, has now fallen to second place with Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane - which was previously number one for 50 years - at number three.
Sight & Sound’s ’Greatest Film’ poll has been conducted every 10 years since 1952.
This year it was voted on by over 1,600 film critics, academics, distributors, writers, curators, archivists and programmers.
The full 100-title list features 11 films from female directors, up from two in the 2012 list. New entries include Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire in 30th place and Jane Campion’s The Piano at number 50.
Other recent films that have made it to the list are Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight at 50, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite which sits at number 90 and Jordan Peele’s Get Out in joint 95th place.
The number of Black directors included in the list has jumped from one in 2012 (Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Touki Bouki at 93) to 11, with Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing ranking highest at 24.
A record 480 filmmakers also completed a director’s poll on the greatest films of all time and voted Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as number one.
Directors that took part included Martin Scorsese, Barry Jenkins, Sofia Coppola, Bong Joon Ho, Lynne Ramsay and Mike Leigh.
On the critics’ poll, Mike Williams, Sight and Sound editor, said: ”Jeanne Dielman challenged the status quo when it was released in 1975 and continues to do so today. It’s a landmark feminist film, and its position at the top of list is emblematic of better representation in the top 100 for women filmmakers.
“While it’s great to see previous winners Vertigo and Citizen Kane complete the top three, Jeanne Dielman’s success reminds us that there is a world of under-seen and under-appreciated gems out there to be discovered, and that the importance of repertory cinemas and home entertainment distributors cannot be overestimated in their continued spotlighting of films that demand to be seen. What currently undervalued masterpieces might emerge in ten years thanks to this tireless work?”
The BFI will screen the 100 greatest films across at its Southbank location across January, February and March.
Critics’ Greatest Film of All Time
1 - Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), Chantal Akerman
2 – Vertigo (1958), Alfred Hitchcock
3 - Citizen Kane (1941), Orson Welles
4 - Tokyo Story (1953), Ozu Yasujiro
5 - In The Mood For Love (2001), Wong Kar Wai
6 - 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stanley Kubrick
7 - Beau Travail (1998), Claire Denis
8 - Mulholland Dr. (2001), David Lynch
9 - Man With A Movie Camera (1929), Dziga Vertov
10 - Singin’ In The Rain (1951), Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
Directors’ Greatest Film of All Time
1 - 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Stanley Kubrick
2 - Citizen Kane (1941), Orson Welles
3 – The Godfather (1972), Francis Ford Coppola
4 - Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), Chantal Akerman; Tokyo Story (1953), Ozu Yasujiro
6 - Vertigo (1958), Alfred Hitchcock; 8½ (1963), Federico Fellini
8 - Mirror (1975), Andrei Tarkovsky
9 - In the Mood for Love (2000), Wong Kar Wai; Persona (1966), Ingmar Bergman; Close-Up (1990), Abbas Kiarostami