The 2019 Village Voice Film Poll, Reconstructed

Filmmaker Magazine | 1/14/2020 | Mike D'Angelo
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by Mike D'Angelo

When the Village Voice abruptly had its plug pulled by its final, Forbes-ranked owner two years ago, its annual film poll, which had been around since 1999, expired along with it. That needn’t necessarily have been the case—somehow, we still got a Pazz & Jop music survey last February, published on the paper’s semi-defunct website (which otherwise merely cycles through articles from the archives). The film poll was run by less obsessive and/or masochistically dedicated folks, apparently, which means that the task of insisting that it should continue, whether or not some tycoon chooses to bankroll it, has fallen to me.

Year - Ten - Lists - Year - Roster

Last year, I mostly just collected the published top ten lists of the previous year’s roster, occasionally checking Letterboxd lists or pestering critics on Twitter when I couldn’t find something official. The result was thus pretty sparse—just Best Picture, no performances or subcategories (doc, animated, first film, etc.)—and may have only vaguely reflected what a proper poll would have produced. This time, I actively solicited ballots from the regular crew, plus some notable critics who’d been mysteriously absent. Still just the one main category (my own masochistic dedication only goes so far), but 91 people responded, which is more than enough to serve as a reasonable snapshot of the (primarily North American) consensus.

Tabulation rules were taken straight from the Voice poll itself. Each ranked list produced 55 total points, with ten allotted to the film at #1, nine to the film at #2, and so on down the line. Those too cowardly, indecisive or “principled” to engage in strict hierarchy (sorry, I have strong feelings about this) submitted unranked lists, for which every film received five points—thereby totalling just 50, a small but not insignificant waffling penalty. Seems fair. Once all ballots had arrived, it shook...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Filmmaker Magazine
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