I’ve got some huge gaps in my film education. Movies I know I’d like that I haven’t seen, movies people tell me I’d like that I haven’t seen and movies that I probably won’t like but should see for educational purposes. Every once and a while, this bothers me and I spend some time thinking about how important it is for me to correct it. And every time it’s never quite that important, so I go on with my life, checking out movies when they come up but otherwise leaving said gaps, um, gaping.
I’ve hit that point in the cycle again. Now, I don’t want to suggest that I’ve gone through life not watching any important or classic films. My mental film library is just spotty. I’ve seen Gone With the Wind and Vertigo but not Citizen Kane. I love 8 1/2 deeply, but didn’t see a second Fellini until this spring when I finally saw La Dolce Vida. I’ve seen a lot of classic Japanese cinema, but have only seen one French New Wave film: Breathless. Like I said. Gaps.
Until the end of this year, I’m going to do whatever I can to fill in some of those holes. Without really meaning to, I started this week. The only “classic” 80’s teen comedy I’d ever seen was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. That was it. No, I’m not kidding. So yesterday I watched Say Anything. And you know what? It was pretty good. Good enough that I might feel safe braving a John Hughes film with Molly what’s her name. I kept it going today with Full Metal Jacket, a Stanley Kubrick film I’ve had on my shelf for at least two years without ever putting it into a DVD player. Though I can’t feel too proud of myself; I’ve still never seen Strangelove.
If you’ve got films that you think are important for someone to watch, drop me a line. Put a comment. Send an e-mail. Whatever. They don’t have to be classic. They can be some 70’s exploitation flick you dig, or some depressing Italian neorealist piece you saw in film school. I’d prefer to stick to things at least 10 years old. Nothing against new movies, that’s just not the point.
Here are some areas I know I need to beef up on, so if you have good suggestions along these lines, you get a bonus star point or something.
- French New Wave
- Non-science fiction 80’s films
- American 70’s cinema
- Ingmar Bergman
- Most anything from China
- German Expressionism
- Classic horror
- Australian films
- Films from developing nations (like Iran, or any African countries)
And if you’ve got nothing to suggest? No worries. I know I’ve got a pile of things I’ve been meaning to watch for a while to keep me busy. Like Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Rules of the Game and Where Eagles Dare. But I’d love to hear what counts as required cinema for you.