Every ten 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 ten. 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?