A common game many film bloggers like to play is "Who has the biggest hole in their film viewing?" In other words, what is the film that you have not seen that any "self-respecting" film buff really should have seen.
It's a silly game (especially when you're with a group and each revelation is greeted with feigned shock followed by taunting jeers), but it goes to show a couple of things: 1) we film geeks sure know how to party! and 2) we all have this immense desire (as misguided as it may be) to see "everything". In reality, none of us actually believes they can do this nor do we really want to. There are many "classic" films we all know about that simply (for whatever reason) don't have any major pull. The thought of watching them is similar to the feeling you might have had while putting off doing a particularly dull essay assignment in school. If watching a film feels like homework, then it may not be the best use of your time...
However, there are far more of the important films that are on all of our lists that have somehow simply eluded us over the years. Like many other folks, I have a list of movies I want to see, but it's so big now that I subdivide it up into the ones I REALLY want to see along with those that I not only want to see, but feel I NEED to see. From this latter list, I've chosen 12 that I will commit to viewing during 2012 and about which I will hopefully write. I expect to cross even more than just these 12 off my list next year, but let's start with a one a month commitment.
There are two distinct driving forces behind doing this...The first being Edgar Wright's recent request to his blog followers to help him pick his next screening series - a set of movies he's never seen and is quite "embarrassed" that he hasn't. Though his initial post occurred months ago, the screening series at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles is now primed and ready to go (Dennis Cozzalio has all the scoop on it here). However, it was during his initial open request that I started seriously compiling my own list of top "I can't believe I haven't seen these yet" films.
Fast Forward a month or so and my good friend James McNally of Toronto Screen Shots challenges several of his local film blogging friends to join him in the Blind Spot Series - a commitment to view and write about 12 films over the course of next year that we feel are classics that we've never seen before. Fellow Toronto blogger (and inspiration for the #ryaniswrong hashtag) Ryan McNeil at The Matinee has already posted his own set of 12 (beating James to the punch even), so I throw my own hat into the ring with the following list:
- *Amadeus (Milos Forman, 1984)
- *Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
- City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)
- Day Of Wrath (Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1943)
- Kramer vs Kramer (Robert Benton, 1979)
- *La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
- *Our Hospitality (Buster Keaton, 1923)
- Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
- Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
- The Tin Drum (Volker Schlondorff, 1979)
- *White Heat (Raoul Walsh, 1949)
- *Yankee Doodle Dandy (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
Whether I'll have anything interesting to say about movies that have been dissected a thousand times is yet to be seen. I expect I'll simply stick to personal reactions and avoid any in depth "analysis". By the way, films with an asterisk have been in my possession (ie. owned) for years. Yes, I meant to make "years" plural.