Here at Beak Street, head office of Picturehouse Cinemas, we have compiled a survey of the staff’s favourite films of the year. This is in order to find our Top 5 films of the year and also analyse the diverse tastes at play at the heart of our business. The rules were strict for the survey. Only films released theatrically in 2012 could qualify for votes, which meant ruling out a lot of festival titles, DVD-only releases and artists film and video. We made these rules to avoid confusion and provide clarity.
21 members of the Beak Street staff participated in the survey. A total of 49 films were voted for at least once.* 6 of those 49 films received 2 votes each. 10 of those 49 films received 3 votes each. And 2 films received 4 votes each, which resulted in a difficult tie-break for fourth and fifth place in the top 5 between AMOUR and THE MASTER. Positioning was at our discretion in the end.
Of the 49 films voted for in the survey, five were documentaries (10%), fourteen were foreign language titles (30%), fourteen were saturation releases (30%) and only one was directed by a woman. All of the eventual top 5 films went out on comparatively limited release, and only one was released by a major studio. Three were American films in the English language, only one could be described as a comedy, while three heavily feature children and three are films about large groups of people responding to a crisis.
It is also worth noting that the least financially profitable film in the top 5, THE HUNT, received the most votes of all, catapulting it to first place in our top 5.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Picturehouse Head Office Top 5.
1. THE HUNT (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark)
2. MOONRISE KINGDOM (Wes Anderson, US)
3. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Behn Zeitlin, US)
4. THE MASTER (Paul Thomas Anderson, US)
5. AMOUR (Michael Haneke, France)
To help make sense of all the data, we have designed a helpful visual representation (see below). Fonts increase in size according to the number of votes attributed to each film.
What is perhaps most telling about this poll is that a whopping 57% of films voted for only received one vote each. This would indicate a diversity of taste at head office fitting for our independent spirit, suited to our wide ranging programming, and boding well for a diverse and exciting 2013. Long live cinema.
*An unfortunate slip up resulted in one vote being cast for THE ARTIST, our top film of last year. While the film opened on limited release technically in 2011, it’s wide release only kicked in in January 2012, which is why we let the vote slide and included the film in the analysis.