For My Consideration

This past month has been a bit hectic for me, as evidenced by the state of the Hitchcock project, which continues to drop further and further behind. I’ve started a new job, traveled a bit, and helped my wife bring her first year of teaching to a successful conclusion.

As of now, I have an almost completely written entry on Sabotage, which puts me 6 weeks behind and counting. I’m still watching the films on schedule, I’m just not able to keep up with the writing. By the end of this month I will have reached (in my viewing schedule) the halfway mark, which will signal a major difference in the films I will be viewing. Namely, that before this project began I had seen about 15% of the films from the first half of Hitch’s career, while I’ve seen something like 70% from the second half.

I find that each film requires 2, sometimes 3 viewings, plus careful attention to a few specific scenes as I go, but they are much easier to write about if I have seen them before. Length on the last few (having at last entered one of Hitchcock’s better periods) got a bit out of control, and I’m working on finding better ways to discuss the movies with a reasonable word count. Also, naturally, selecting and arranging the screencaps takes time, as well. I have no doubt that, should I finish (rather, when I finish), I will return to each post for revision.

Of course, once I begin grad school in the fall, I can hardly hope to continue the project at even a steady pace (if at all), so I had hoped to get far enough ahead to be able to complete the writing by year’s end. My current inability to even catch up makes that prospect seem bleak indeed. Naturally, I have thought long and hard about how best to proceed under the circumstances, but I am determined, in the meantime, to forge ahead as best I can. I intend to continue backposting my entries according to original schedule for now. I may catch up yet. However, I think I will start each entry as the most recent post for the first few days after publication before bumping it back.

That, however, is not what I really was going to post about . . . the state of the Hitchcock Project is just a side-topic. Roughly four years and one month ago, I began to keep a record of the films that I was watching (a list that is reproduced in the regularly-updated Movielogue on this site). Each time I reached a landmark on the list (generally at 100, 200, 300, etc.) I tried to be aware and select a film that was at least somewhat significant or acclaimed to take the slot. Sometimes I was prepared in advance. Other times I only realized where I was at the last second, and had to go with whatever was immediately available. Twice in particular I blew it entirely. See if you can pick those out of the list below:

100. To Kill a Mockingbird
200. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
300. A Beautiful Mind
400. Madagascar
500. Reservoir Dogs
600. All Quiet on the Western Front
700. Finding Nemo
800. Miracle on 34th Street (the remake)
900. Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Now, I am approaching the thousandth entry on the list, and I’m on the hunt for the perfect film to fill it. I spent awhile this afternoon poking about here and there and came up with a tentative list of nearly 40 films that I haven’t seen which might potentially work. Looking at all of the possibilities, I was reluctant to pick just one, so I narrowed it to a list of 10 which I’m pretty happy with. I’m not quite sure how to go about it yet (watch as movies 991-1000? 1000-1009? 996-1005?), but these are all movies that I definitely want to see.

I’d certainly appreciate some input from anyone who . . . feels qualified to give me some. I have my original list divided into three chunks, so if you have any comments on any of them, or on any that I might want to consider, feel free to make a note. (If you need to know whether I’ve already seen it, all you have to do is search for it on the blog. If a Movielogue entry turns up in the results, then I’ve got it covered.)

The 10

Battleship Potemkin (Russia, 1925)
(Germany, 1927)
City Lights
(USA, 1931)
The 400 Blows
(France, 1959)
Lawrence of Arabia
(UK, 1962)
Winter Light
(Sweden, 1962)
8 1/2
(Italy, 1963)
Andrei Rublev
(Russia, 1966)
Wings of Desire
(Germany, 1987)
Three Colors: Blue
(France, 1993)

Viable Possibilities

The Bad and the Beautiful (USA, 1952)
Ordet (Denmark, 1955)
Mother India (India, 1957)
Yojimbo (Japan, 1961)
Through a Glass Darkly (Sweden, 1961)
La Dolce Vita (Italy, 1964)
The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Italy, 1964)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Italy, 1966)
Persona (Sweden, 1966)
Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Germany, 1972)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (USA, 1975)
Brazil (UK, 1985)
Jesus of Montreal (Canada, 1989)
Spirited Away (Japan, 2001)

Less-Viable Possibilities

The Rules of the Game (France, 1939)
The Magnificent Ambersons (USA, 1942)
Brief Encounter (UK, 1946)
Shane (USA, 1953)
Throne of Blood (Japan, 1957)
The Defiant Ones (USA, 1958)
The Silence (Sweden, 1963)
Deliverance (USA, 1972)
Ran (Japan, 1985)
Three Colors: White (France, 1994)
Three Colors: Red (France, 1994)
Trainspotting (UK, 1996)
Amores Perros (Mexico, 2000)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (Mexico, 2001)
Million Dollar Baby (USA, 2004)

~ by Jared on June 3, 2008.

2 Responses to “For My Consideration”

  1. My $.01:

    Of the films you list, I have seen only two (Cuckoo’s Nest and Spirited Away), both of which were good (and certainly worth seeing), but neither of which strike me as Quite Good Enough for such a momentous event. Perhaps as numbers 995 and 1005, though.


  2. Lawrence of Arabia. Just about the perfect choice, I think.


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