Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Weekly Column: Film Ignorance

Everyone outside of Roger Ebert has some famous or important films that they haven't gotten around to. Believe it or not, literally dozens of Americans are walking around, going about their everyday life, without having ever seen Gone With the Wind, On the Waterfront, Rebel Without a Cause, Vertigo, M, MASH, King Kong, Nosferatu, Amadeus, Deliverance, All About Eve, et al.

Furthermore, I didn't choose those films randomly. I haven't seen a single one of them.

So I'm starting a new weekly column: Film Ignorance. It has two goals. First, to celebrate film ignorance. Everyone has tons of films they haven't seen; many more people don't even care. And this leads to awkward conversations, such as when one of my professors expressed disbelief that anyone could reach college without having seen
All About Eve. And I just had to keep my mouth shut. So, in honor of that, I'm putting my film ignorance on display for all to see. Film ignorance, as far as I'm concerned, should be shared, not hidden.

The second goal is to alleviate my own ignorance. I compiled 8 Lists: The original AFI Top 100 Films, the new Top 100 Films, The BFI Top 100 Films, the Oscar Best Picture Winners, three Top 100 lists from Filmsite.org, and finally Movieline Magazine's Top 100 Foreign films for some international flavor. I removed all overlap and the films I had already seen, and the result is 320 films I should have seen but haven't.

Each week, I'll try to watch one of these films and then tell you what I thought of them, whether they deserve to be classics, and if I've got any excuse at all for not having seen them. I'm including the whole list now for your perusal, with one caveat: I'm not watching #297 . I intend to die without having seen it. So my goal is to reduce these 320 films down to 1, or at least, 1 + whichever of these movies aren't available on DVD.

Finally, I intend to rate each film with one of five phrases.

  • Best. Film. Ever.
  • Yep, It's a Classic.
  • A Good Movie.
  • Meh.
  • But...This Movie Sucks!

At one film a week, this should take me about 6 years. If I can cut a year off that, I'll have eliminated my ignorance by the time I'm 30. Wish me luck!
  1. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  2. 1900 (1976),
  3. 42nd Street (1933)
  4. A Nous la Liberte (1931),
  5. A Place in the Sun (1951)
  6. A Room with a View (1986)
  7. A Star Is Born (1954)
  8. A Taste of Honey (1961),
  9. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972),
  10. All About Eve
  11. All the King's Men
  12. Amadeus 1984
  13. Andrei Rublev (1969
  14. Around the World in 80 Days
  15. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
  16. Atlantic City (1981)
  17. Baby Doll (1956)
  18. Badlands (1973)
  19. Battleship Potemkin (1925
  20. Being There (1979)
  21. Belle de Jour (1967),
  22. Ben-Hur (1959)
  23. Billy Liar (1963
  24. Blue Velvet (1986)
  25. Boudu Saved From Drowning (1932),
  26. Brassed Off (1996
  27. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  28. Brief Encounter (1946)
  29. Brighton Rock (1947
  30. Broken Blossoms (1919)
  31. Bull Durham (1988)
  32. Bus Stop (1956)
  33. Cabaret (1972)
  34. Cabin in the Sky (1943)
  35. Camille (1936)
  36. Caravaggio (1986
  37. Carry On Up The Khyber (1968)
  38. Cat People (1942)
  39. Cavalcade
  40. Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974),
  41. Cimarron
  42. Cinema Paradiso (1988).
  43. City Lights (1931)
  44. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  45. Crash
  46. Cria! (1975
  47. Dark Victory (1939)
  48. Darling (1965
  49. Days of Heaven (1978)
  50. Deliverance (1972)
  51. Diary of a Country Priest (1950), a
  52. Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988),
  53. Dodsworth (1936)
  54. Don't Look Now (1973)
  55. Dr. Mabuse, Parts 1 and 2 (1922),
  56. Dracula (1931)
  57. E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  58. Earth (1930), aka Soil or Zemlya
  59. East of Eden (1955)
  60. Easy Rider (1969)
  61. Educating Rita (1983
  62. Elizabeth (1998)
  63. Enter the Dragon (1973)
  64. Europa '51 (1952),
  65. Fanny and Alexander (1982
  66. Far From the Madding Crowd (1967)
  67. Fires Were Started (1943
  68. Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  69. Floating Weeds (1959),
  70. Footlight Parade (1933)
  71. Forbidden Games (1951),
  72. Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994
  73. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
  74. Gandhi (1982)
  75. Genevieve (1953)
  76. Gentleman's Agreement
  77. Gertrud (1965),
  78. Get Carter (1971
  79. Giant 1956
  80. Gigi
  81. Going My Way
  82. Gone with the Wind
  83. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939),
  84. Grand Hotel
  85. Great Expectations (1946
  86. Greed (1924)
  87. Gregory's Girl (1980
  88. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 1967
  89. Gun Crazy (1950)
  90. Halloween (1978)
  91. Henry V (1944
  92. Hope and Glory (1987),
  93. How Green Was My Valley
  94. If... (1968
  95. Ikiru (1952),
  96. I'm All Right Jack (1959
  97. In a Lonely Place (1950)
  98. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  99. In Which We Serve (1942)
  100. Intolerance (1916)
  101. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  102. It's a Gift (1934)
  103. Ivan the Terrible (1944, 1946)
  104. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
  105. Jezebel (1938)
  106. JFK (1991)
  107. Kes (1969)
  108. Key Largo (1948)
  109. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949.
  110. King Kong 1933
  111. Kings Row (1942)
  112. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
  113. Koyaanisqatsi (1983)
  114. Kramer vs. Kramer
  115. La Belle et la Bete (1946),
  116. La Chienne (1931),
  117. La Notte (1961),
  118. La Roue (1923),
  119. La Terra Trema (1948
  120. L'Age d'Or/Un Chien Andalou (1930)
  121. Lamerica (1994),
  122. Landscape in the Mist (1988)
  123. Last Tango in Paris (1972)
  124. Last Year at Marienbad (1961),
  125. L'Atalante (1934),
  126. Laura (1944)
  127. L'Avventura (1960),
  128. Le Boucher (1969),
  129. Le Jour Se Leve (1939),
  130. Le Million (1931),.
  131. L'Eclisse (1962),
  132. Les Diabolique (1954),
  133. Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948)
  134. Life is Sweet (1990.
  135. Little Caesar (1930)
  136. Local Hero (1983
  137. Lola (1961),
  138. Lola Montes (1955),
  139. M (1931),
  140. M*A*S*H (1970)
  141. Marty
  142. Masculin Feminin (1966)
  143. Metropolis (1927)
  144. Midnight Cowboy
  145. Mildred Pierce (1945)
  146. Million Dollar Baby
  147. Mona Lisa (1986
  148. Monty Python's Life of Brian
  149. Mrs. Miniver
  150. Murder, My Sweet (1944)
  151. Murmur of the Heart (1971),
  152. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
  153. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985
  154. My Left Foot (1989
  155. My Man Godfrey (1936)
  156. My Name is Joe (1998
  157. Napoleon (1927),
  158. Nashville (1975)
  159. Nil By Mouth (1997.
  160. Ninotchka (1939)
  161. Nosferatu (1922),
  162. Oliver Twist (1948
  163. On the Waterfront
  164. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
  165. Ordinary People
  166. Pather Panchali (1955
  167. Passport to Pimlico (1949),
  168. Paths of Glory (1957)
  169. Patton
  170. Performance (1970
  171. Persona (1966),
  172. Playtime (1967),
  173. Poltergeist (1982)
  174. Queen Christina (1933)
  175. Raise the Red Lantern (1991
  176. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
  177. Repulsion (1965)
  178. Rocco and His Brothers (1960),
  179. Roman Holiday (1953)
  180. Room at the Top (1958
  181. Sansho Dayu (1954),
  182. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960
  183. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  184. Scarface: The Shame of the Nation (1932)
  185. Secrets & Lies (1995
  186. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
  187. Senso (1954),
  188. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  189. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964),
  190. Shame (1968),
  191. She Done Him Wrong (1933)
  192. Shoah (1985),
  193. Small Faces (1995)
  194. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955
  195. Solaris (1972),
  196. Sons of the Desert (1933)
  197. Sophie's Choice (1982)
  198. Spirit of the Beehive (1973),
  199. Splendor in the Grass (1961)
  200. Stairway to Heaven (1946) (aka A Matter of Life and Death (1946))
  201. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  202. Strike (1924),.
  203. Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971),
  204. Sunrise (1927)
  205. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
  206. Swept Away...(1975)
  207. Swing Time (1936)
  208. Terms of Endearment
  209. The 39 Steps (1935
  210. The Apartment
  211. The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
  212. The Battle of Algiers (1965),
  213. The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954)
  214. The Best Years of Our Lives
  215. The Birds (1963)
  216. The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
  217. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972),
  218. The Blue Angel (1930),
  219. The Broadway Melody
  220. The Burmese Harp (1956),
  221. The Children of Paradise (1945),
  222. The Commitments (1991
  223. The Conformist (1970),
  224. The Conversation (1974)
  225. The Crowd (1928)
  226. The Cruel Sea (1952)
  227. The Crying Game (1992
  228. The Dam Busters (1955)
  229. The Day of the Jackal (1973)
  230. The Decalogue (1988),
  231. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
  232. The Draughtsman's Contract (1982),.
  233. The Earrings of Madame de. . . (1953)
  234. The English Patient (1996),
  235. The Eyes Without a Face (1960),
  236. The Four Hundred (400) Blows (1959
  237. The Freshman (1925)
  238. The Full Monty (1997.
  239. The Go-Between (1970),
  240. The Golden Coach (1952),
  241. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
  242. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964),
  243. The Great Dictator (1940)
  244. The Great Ziegfeld
  245. The Greatest Show on Earth
  246. The Heiress (1949)
  247. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
  248. The Ipcress File (1965)
  249. The Italian Job (1969
  250. The Jazz Singer (1927)
  251. The Kid (1921)
  252. The Killers (1946)
  253. The Killing (1956)
  254. The Killing Fields (1984)
  255. The King of Comedy (1983)
  256. The Kingdom (1994),
  257. The Lady Vanishes (1938
  258. The Ladykillers (1955)
  259. The Last Emperor (1987)
  260. The Last Picture Show (1971)
  261. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951
  262. The Letter (1940)
  263. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943
  264. The Life of Emile Zola
  265. The Lion in Winter (1968)
  266. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
  267. The Long Good Friday (1980
  268. The Lost Weekend)
  269. The Madness of King George (1994
  270. The Man in the White Suit (1951
  271. The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
  272. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
  273. The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982),
  274. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
  275. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928),
  276. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
  277. The Railway Children (1970)
  278. The Red and the White (1967),
  279. The Red Desert (1964),
  280. The Red Shoes (1948)
  281. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  282. The Rules of the Game
  283. The Scarlet Empress (1934)
  284. The Servant (1963
  285. The Shining (1980)
  286. The Spider's Stratagem (Strategy) (1970),
  287. The Terminator (1984)
  288. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
  289. The Thing (From Another World) (1951)
  290. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964),
  291. The Wicker Man (1973
  292. The Wind (1928)
  293. The World of Apu (1959
  294. Thelma & Louise (1991)
  295. Throne of Blood (1957),
  296. Through a Glass Darkly (1961),
  297. Titanic (1997)
  298. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
  299. To Have and Have Not (1944)
  300. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
  301. Tom Jones (1963)
  302. Top Hat (1935)
  303. Tristana (1970),
  304. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  305. Two English Girls (1971),
  306. Vampyr (1931),
  307. Vertigo 1958
  308. Viridiana (1961),
  309. Way Out West (1937)
  310. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  311. Whisky Galore! (1949
  312. White Heat (1949)
  313. Wings
  314. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
  315. Women in Love (1969
  316. Written on the Wind (1956)
  317. Wuthering Heights 1939
  318. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  319. Zero de Conduit (1933),
  320. Zulu (1964


7 comments:

Cinexcellence said...

Awesome idea. I've been slowly picking away at the AFI list for a while now.

Welcome to the LAMB!

Rachel said...

Good luck in your project.

I thought I was going to start a riot in my theatre history class my junior year of college when I said I hadn't seen Gone with the Wind. Apparently it's just a downright sin here in the South to never have watched a BRIT play the world's most iconic Southern Belle.

And welcome to LAMB.

Jess said...

Wow! That's quite a list. There are some really great movies - good entertainment value, place in history, etc. and there are definitely some that I just don't get being on the list. I love Gone with the Wind, but I've definitely missed most of the classics from the 70s.

Enjoy the LAMB.

Ibetolis said...

Welcome to the LAMB!

Good luck with your film education, I'm going through something similar as well. I realised that there were so many great films I had somehow not got around to watching them. So, like you, I've been blogging the experience.

Have to agree with the consensus on Gone with the Wind, I've just seen it and it's great, massive in every feasible way.

Nick said...

Welcome to the LAMB, as they've said.

Number 1 on that list is, indeed, an amazing film. It has to be one of my favorites. Both that one and the remake with Jack Lemmon are equally amazing (mostly because they're nearly the exact same film, but just with updates due to a year difference).

Graham said...

It's great to hear from you guys! Yeah, I've had lists like this in the back of my mind, but I'm using the blog to help motivate me. I actually watched the first half of Gone with the Wind once, but never finished it...

Nick, I've actually seen the Jack Lemmon 12 Angry Men remake - we watched it in civics class in 9th grade. But I'm looking forward to Fonda.

Nick said...

The Jack Lemmon version is seriously almost exactly the same as the Fonda version. If the dialogue is any different, it's because they had to update it to fit with the times (such as having an air conditioner instead of a fan). And the Lemmon version plays more with racism than the original did (especially since the remake has ethnic people in it and the original doesn't). But both are brilliant anyway, and there's just something about the intensity of the actors in the Fonda version.