The Film Comment Podcast: Lists and the Documentary Canon
The leaves are changing color, and there’s a chill in the air. That means, of course, that List Season is upon us. This year is special: Sight & Sound is publishing their Greatest Films of All Time list. Every decade since 1952, the British magazine polls critics, programmers, and filmmakers from all over the world to compile a definitive ranking of the best movies ever made.
At last month’s Getting Real conference, organized by the International Documentary Association, Film Comment co-presented a critics panel exploring the relevance of such lists especially when it comes to documentary films. FC co-deputy editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute were joined by critics Nick Bradshaw, Emerson Goo, Girish Shambu, and Kelli Weston to ask questions like: Are lists still useful in an age of democratizing cinema? What is the relationship between list-making and canonization? How can we collectively remake a more diverse and inclusive canon? And, of course, the fun part: which documentaries are likely to make this year’s Sight & Sound list? Listen to the end to hear our panelists’ best guesses!
Read a transcript of this panel discussion here.