Thursday, June 16, 2005

To me, the most interesting film lists are the personal ones, like Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1000 Essential Films at the end of his book Essential Cinema, or even Ebert's Great Movies books.

And even though they have their uses, I'm not so wild about the big bland committee-produced lists like the book The A List: The National Society of Film Critics' 100 Essential Films, or the endless AFI 100 Movies lists. (They actually have a special coming up on "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes." Can you say dregs?) But when I was flipping through a copy of Time Magazine the other day at the gym (ppbhf! do you think I got to the gym for my health?), I got sucked into a teaser for their online list of the All Time 100 Movies. Richard and Richard's list is fairly routine as these things go, but it's not quite as dull as the AFI's. And, in keeping with my preference for the more personal lists, I prefer Schickel's list of films that didn't make the final cut more than the finished product.

Anyway, I count around 30 films on this list that I haven't seen, give or take a couple I can't remember for sure. There are films on the list I've never even heard of, or barely remember hearing of: Closely Watched Trains, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, It's a Gift, The Last Command, Nayakan, Pyaasa, and A Touch of Zen. Oh, and you've heard of--or seen!--every film on the list, I suppose?

Here are the films I haven't seen:
Aguirre: the Wrath of God
Berlin Alexanderplatz
Children of Paradise
Closely Watched Trains
The Crime of Monsieur Lange
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
The Fly (1986)
It's a Gift
Kind Hearts and Coronets
The Last Command
The Man With a Camera
Mon oncle d'Amérique
Olympia, Parts 1 and 2
On the Waterfront
The Singing Detective
Smiles of a Summer Night
A Touch of Zen
Ulysses' Gaze
Umberto D
White Heat

Many are films I know I should see and often have intended to see but just...haven't yet. I'm not a huge Kurosawa fan. To me he's one of those directors that serious straight guys always gush about, like Scorsese. I admire both more than I enjoy them. With some of these I've been holding out for a big screen showing (hello, Psycho). I've been on a Cagney kick lately, so I'll have no problem getting interested in White Heat. Léolo I think I saw a few minutes of years ago and wouldn't mind finishing. Mouchette's one of the Bresson films I haven't seen but will. You just don't rush out and see everything by Bresson once you discover him. Doesn't work that way. The Bunuel, well obviously I want to see it, have missed many chances. Smiles of... I recently missed a chance to see but want to very much. I haven't seen any Mizoguchi, but one of these days they'll do a retrospective in town and I'll do some catching up. A Touch of Zen sounds excellent. King Hu! (Someday in heaven: Hu, meet Vidor...Vidor, Hu).

On the bright side, that leaves around 70 I have seen!

Love the inclusion of Sunrise, Talk to Her, Finding Nemo, The Good The Bad and the Ugly, His Girl Friday, Decalogue, The Awful Truth, Meet Me in St. Louis, Sherlock Jr. City of God? That's a cool and gutsy choice.

But Kandahar? In a Lonely Place? Notorious? (There are so many better Hitchcock films.) Is 8 1/2 really Fellini's best?

Where's Playtime and Bringing Up Baby (to name just two obvious omissions)? Could go on about this all day...

Song: "Rub You Wrong" by De Novo Dahl Rub You Wrong



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