'Sight and Sound' Critics Poll, 2212

(London) In a stunning upset, the Alliance's film critics no longer consider Trauma Ride on Energized Obliques (2164) to be the greatest film of all time.  In the just released Sight and Sound poll for 2212, long-time second-place finisher, Morbot's Folly (2091), has at last caught and surpassed Trauma Ride for top honors.

Sight and Sound has been polling critics every ten years since 1952 to name the top films of all time. Once dismissed as a pointless exercise in the privileged self-affirmation of unexamined aesthetic assumptions, the poll has in recent decades become a valued merriment among the general populace for its ability to provoke internecine battles among the Alliance's most pasty and judgmental citizens.

Why has Morbot's Folly risen to the top? 

"Many of the alliance's younger critics had grown weary of Trauma Ride winning decade after decade," observes Dandelos 5c21, film critic for New Canada's Manhattan Chronicle.  "The ascendancy of Morbot's Folly is a welcome victory for the Regressivists over the aesthetic tyranny of the Velociter-7."

"Morbot's Folly" (2091)
Morbot's Folly tells the story of Morbot, a Geniform android who, at the age of 26, refuses to activate his maturation program and assume a functional role in the Alliance, preferring instead to pursue the interests and activities appropriate to a pre-cycle Geniform.  The presumed benefits attending juncture with a Geniform Z/5 convince Morbot to forsake his irresponsible pursuit of pre-cycle pleasures and "settle down" as a tandem ammonia sulfide reclamation unit near New Baltimore.  Critics have long celebrated the film's elegant pacing, sharp dialogue, and knowing references to cinematic legend Paul Rudd.  "Regressivists" also hail the film for emulating the "narrative" impulses thought to motivate pre-cortical cinemas of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

"Movies used to tell real stories about real Geniform androids," notes Dandelos.  "Consumers had an actual investment in whether or not the Geniforms replicated or annihilated one another by the end of the product's initial projection sequence."

It is also a question of style.

"Morbot's Folly was realized by the A-17 Ceeflax Amusement Generator, or the A-Flax as it was known in the industry," observes Joru, Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Extant Dome.  "When programmed with accurate market variables and appropriate psychographics, it could churn them out with the best.  And it did so with only 3-dimensions."

Trauma Ride's supporters are not happy with their champion's fall. 

"Trauma Ride on Energized Obliques is the masterwork of the Velociter-7, the first Amusement Generator to discover and then exploit rendering in the 4th and 5th dimensions," notes Landrix 71b, Professor of Dataform Distractions at West Washegon University and author of A Cinema of Atoms: Transgressions of the Binocular Remainder.   "It is a depressing day when critics prefer the retrograde 3-D horseshittery that is Morbot's Folly over the sleek, oceanic alpha waves and daring temporal dislocations afforded by Trauma Ride." 

Worse, Landrix believes Morbot's victory is the symptom of an unhealthy nostalgia for Geniform rituals of "value." "The Geniform age has been greatly over-Romanticized," he argues.  "Sure, we'd all like to think life and the cinema was better in the three-dimensional age, back before the collective revelation of the Absent One that is slowly inhaling our known universe, but guess what, that horse has left the barn.  Velociter-7 had the courage to move the cinema forward toward our energetic destiny as accelerated dark matter rather than simply wallowing in the same old tired 3-D fables of coherent embodiment."

Believed by some to be a God, Velociter-7's mainframe now resides on the estate of Michael Bay, a 21st century filmmaker thought by many to be the human precursor or perhaps even time-traveling manifestation of whatever Velociter-7 is or was or might be again. 

Gorlax, believed to be the "director" of "Treacherous Rombi"
The 2212 poll is also notable for including the first titles produced by the Visitors, a mysterious lizard-like race that crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2190 and then colonized a nearby archipelago.

"Visitor cinema is notoriously difficult for homo sapiens to see, much less understand," notes Chlorus 62x, generally acknowledged to be the Alliance's leading scholar of Visitor Cinema.  "Visitor films must be projected on an igneous rock formation to achieve their full effect,  and if a human's phosphorous levels are not closely monitored, there is a very real potential for retinal shredding."

Despite these obstacles to human consumption, the most popular Visitor projection, a title that can be roughly translated as Treacherous Rhombi Vibrating at the Edge of the Field of Vision, placed 56 on this year's poll.  The Visitor comedy, Scale Abrasions Produced by Unexpected Shifts in Rock Formations placed 88.

"Even that's too high," argues Welchan 75y, the notoriously geocentric critic at the Mumbai Data Point.  "An earth comedian from the mid-20th century, 'Nutty Lewis,' pioneered many of those so-called "gags" hundreds of years ago.  We of course can not insult the Visitors directly, as there is an outside chance they still might eat us, but in truth their cinema is positively barbaric."

Before this year's "defeat," Trauma Ride had dominated the Sight and Sound poll for four decades, making it the fifth longest reigning champion behind Exploding Superman Dinosaur Attack 3 (2034), Freddie Got Fingered (2001), and The Goonies (1985).  Two films now believed lost, Hertigo (circa 1950) and Chicken Kane (circa 1940), also enjoyed long-runs as the "greatest films of all-time" before being destroyed in the massive Phobos Archive Fire of 2103.

Both films have long been favorite topics of speculation among contemporary film scholars.

"Hertigo and Chicken Kane appear to have been made by rival fat men of the era, each hoping to establish some form of cult worship among the superstitious acolytes of two-dimensional modernism," observes Nortom 21n, critic-at-large for the Van Allen defense perimeter.  "Incredible as it may seem, it was not uncommon for intellectuals of the era to propose entire theories of the cinema based on one or the other fat man's work, in isolation from all the other films and film audiences on the planet." 

Almost nothing is known of Chicken Kane.  However, scholars believe Hertigo was a comedy about a man whose mate is killed and replaced by a Geniform prototype called the Novak-1.

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