Monday, 1 December 2008

My Week in Film: It's all about Closure


1001 days ago I came up with a list of 101 things I wanted to do in 1001 days ranging from things like drawing a self portrait to trying new foods to going to the zoo. Many of the items were film related and one of them was to see 101 films I can't believe I haven't seen. With the time coming to a close I spend a lot of this week catching up with the last few films and reflecting on the list as a whole.

I finished up by watching Gone with the Wind, which ended just before midnight. I had a few close calls along the way like having a heck of a time tracking down John Woo's The Killer, or Un Zoo la Nuit not having English subtitles, the tracking on The Wicker Man being so bad I could barely watch it and then almost loosing my lunch watching Un Chien Andalou.

Some insights that I had along the way:

It would have been a great idea to note the reason why I chose all the films somewhere. Lots are from the IMDb top 250, Genie winners, critically acclaimed films, genre favourites, etc. But there were times where I was sitting there going "Why am I watching this?"

I love Yul Brynner. From Anastasia to The Magnificent Seven to The King and I. Love everything I've seen him in, even Westworld which totally scares me (and wasn't on the list)!

I do not love comedies, but I seem determined keep trying. Annie Hall and Rushmore left me underwhelmed. Working through this list also reaffirmed that comedies don't always hold up to the test of time, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Grosse Pointe Blank I'm sure I would have enjoyed if I watched them closer to their release but 10 years removed, not so much.

The 100 titles represents a seventh of the films I've seen over the 1001 days (100 films out of 702 films total).

I'm glad I included so much CanCon on the list. There are many new favourites with Eve & the Fire Horse, The Saddest Music in the World and Seducing Dr. Lewis / La Grande Seduction.

I included some films that I knew I might not like, such as Raging Bull and The Graduate. I didn't like them. Yes, I know they are classics but I still didn't like them. There were also films I had no idea I would love so much include Gandhi, The Seventh Seal, The / Det Sjunde Inseglet and Lawrence of Arabia.

The films I left to the very end were all ones I owned. Two were VHS tapes still sealed in plastic that I've had for over 13 years. One of the weirdest things I came across was finding out that I'm the same height as Linda Hunt from The Year of Living Dangerously (which was awesome). It's totally weird to think "If I was standing beside Mel Gibson, that is how tall I would be".

Out of all the films I saw, two had an enormous impact on me. First was The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo I had no idea how freaking awesome this film was. It's three hours long but I watched it twice in the same weekend. It also led to an exploration on westerns last November which was a lot of fun and I ended up making my own list of favourite westerns.

The second film that had a huge impact was Rashômon. How had I not seen an Akira Kurosawa film until 2007? What a brillant and beautiful director. I instantly went on a search to track down and see as many of his films as I could.

Overall I'm thrilled to have made it though and that I saw all of these films. Kudos to the Toronto Public Library for having a vast collection of films, I saw roughly half the films through the library. I will definitely make more lists of films I want to see. However, after that many days of tracking down films, making time to see them, taking notes and updating my film database I'm looking forward to a bit of a list break.

See the complete list of films here.


Sacred Suzie said...

Way to go Shannon! I knew you could do it. That's a lot of movies and you saw them all. Isn't the movie Ghandi wonderful? I loved it and think about it all the time. I adored Annie Hall but it isn't for everyone. Yule Brenner rocks. I can see why Westworld would scare you. I find 70s movie very freaky to watch.

Congratulations Shannon, this was a huge challenge and you did it!

gmanreviews said...

Should I let you know how much I love Raging Bull [another one we will disagree on], I can understand why some people don't like it, and it isn't the best Scorsese movie, but it definitely a movie that I had to go out and get the special edition DVD for.... I still enjoy watching it on occasion seeing the great performance from Joe Pesci and great scenes like "HIT ME" and watching De niro with a big belly running a night club.,.. anyways... that was so awesome how you made your mark so far... keep writing and we'll keep reading

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Thanks Suzie! I really did love Gandhi, it was so inspiring. You liked Annie Hall? I'm beginning to think I like no comedies. Westworld totally freaks me out.

Ah, Gman... the disagreement continues! I know Raging Bull is a film people truly love but I was so bored watching it. I have liked some boxing films over the years but this one didn't do it for me.

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