Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shamefully Unseen

Even though I consider myself a major fan of film, I'm always hesitant to describe myself as a connoisseur. You see, no matter how many films I watch, there will always be thousands that go unseen. Of course, there are those films for which I simply don't have an interest. I could live my entire life without seeing Dude, Where's My Car? and be perfectly content. But, then there's also a large list that I've wanted to watch, only to remain unseen for one reason or another. Some of these films are well-known, award-winning hits like Ghandi and Malcolm X. Others are smaller, more off the beaten path such as Paris, Texas or The Saragossa Manuscript. Whatever the level of popularity, I think everyone has at least a few films that they've always wanted to see.

When I think of the areas in which I'm most deficient, I'd have to say foreign films top the list. Although I attempt to watch a fair number of them, I know there are plenty of quality titles I've yet to experience. I've seen a few from the likes of Renoir, Kurosawa, Bergman, and Truffaut, but zero from other often-named greats like Ozu, Almodovar, or Ray. I'm certainly not averse to these types of films, but I do sometimes wonder what holds me back from seeking out more than I do. Perhaps it's the sense of familiarity; or ,rather, the lack of it in some instances. Without a full understanding of other cultures, it's impossible to grasp everything a foreign film presents to you. The sense that there will always be something missing from my experience might, therefore, cause me to shy away at times. In any case, foreign films only account for one area of lacking film knowledge.

Some of the other types of films I don't watch as much of include a number of the more lengthy bio-pics, such as the aforementioned Ghandi and Malcolm X. I'm not opposed to longer films either; they just require a little more committment and preparation. Also, I don't get around to watching many musicals. It's usually just not my genre - although, again, I'm not averse to them.

And then there are some films simply fall through the cracks...

Here's a small sample of films on my "to see" list:
Destry Rides Again
The Magnificent Ambersons
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Red Shoes
The Man with the Golden Arm
Elmer Gantry
High and Low
Band of Outsiders
Take the Money and Run
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Barry Lyndon
Opening Night
Empire of the Sun
The Last Temptation of Christ
Leaving Las Vegas
Big Night

What are some of your "shamefully unseen" films?

1 comment:

  1. From your list, I recommend these four to rent or buy the DVD:
    Destry Rides Again
    The Red Shoes
    Ikiru (Japan, 1952) 10*
    High and Low (Japan, 1963) 9*

    My list of films to be seen (or to buy the DVD):
    Mafioso (Italy, 1962)
    You Can't Take It With You (1938)
    Nazarin (Mexico, 1959)
    Diary of a Country Priest (France, 1951/1954)
    Stray Dog (Japan, 1949)
    Guns of Navarrone (1961)
    Factotum (2005)
    La Strada (Italy, 1954)
    Space Balls (1987)
    An Inspector Calls (UK, 1954)
    Come and See (USSR, 1985)
    Serenity (2005)
    Ucho aka The Ear (Hungary, 1970)
    In a Lonely Place (1950)
    Three Women (1977)
    Zerkalo aka The Mirror (USSR, 1975)
    A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
    Seventh Heaven (1927)
    A Brighter Summer Day (Taiwan, 1991)Unavailable!
    Waking Life (2001)
    The Tarnished Angels (1958)
    The Small Back Room (1949)
    Two for the Road (1967)
    The Lady and the Duke (2001)
    I'm Going Home (Portugal, 2001)
    Nijushi no hitomi aka 24 Eyes (Japan, 1954)
    Okaasan (Japan, 1952)
    Deconstructing Harry (1997)
    Happiness of Us Alone (Japan, 1961)
    When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Japan, 1960)
    The Trial (1967)
    Seduto alla sua destra (1968) aka Black Jesus (Italy, 1968)