Every 10 years, the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine runs a poll that asks film critics and directors to vote for the films that they think are the examples of cinematic excellence. It's a storied tradition that goes back 50 years and is highly regarded by filmmakers and journalists alike, with classics like The Godfather, Citizen Kane and 2001: A Space Odyssey winding up in the top 10.
As far as lists of great cultural works goes, the Sight & Sound poll gets taken very seriously.
And then, this year, someone voted for that Hitman movie.
The 2007 film — directed by Xavier Gens and starring Justified's Timothy Olyphant — only got one vote from Slovenian cultural critic Slavoj Zizek. Tastes differ, yes, but a movie gets 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's safe to say that a lot of people don't like Hitman.
In the note that accompanies a breakdown of his votes, Zizek says:
This time, I opted for pure madness: the list contains only ‘guilty pleasures', from two screen versions of Ayn Rand to a top Nazi melodrama, from David Lynch's greatest flop to height of musical kitsch, from a low-budget Hollywood action thriller to a Chinese big-budget historical spectacle, plus a half-forgotten Western and two marginal noirs. This is what I really enjoy — no compromises for high quality or good taste.
You know, I can't hate on Zizek for wanting to represent what he actually enjoys, over what seems to be the safe or mutually-agreed-upon canon. Taste is subjective, right?