' Cinema Romantico: Twelve Movies I Need To See

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Twelve Movies I Need To See

Andrew O'Heir on salon.com recently indicated he was "tagged" by colleague Glenn Kenny to make a list of twelve movies he had not seen but needed to see. The first thought that popped into my head, naturally, was: Oh, I'm ripping off that idea.

Okay, it was actually termed twelve hard to see films that he had not seen, but I'm not a film historian and so I don't have all day to lounge around, drinking coffee, and getting up to speed with every film the Danes churned out in the sixties. I have seen a great deal of old classics but, even so, my list will have some pretty well known names on it and I'm not sure how they fell by the wayside. On second thought, I kind of am. See, the problem with my netflix account is that I can't stay out of the damn thing. I'll put a classic film I haven't yet watched at the top of my queue except, for instance, I'll then watch the new Coen Brothers movie "Burn for Reading" and leave the theater with a thirst to rewatch "Intolerable Cruelty" and so I'll immediately move that to the top of my queue and so on and so forth. These things are happening all the time and, before you know it, some 1940's masterpiece I really do need to witness has dropped from #1 in the queue to #18, never to be heard from again. Hence, the list.

Twelve movies I need to see. You may need to see different ones and so consider this me tagging you to make your list. I thought it would be difficult but, honestly, it took about four and a half minutes. The twelve rolled right out. I put them in my queue (in the exact order listed here) and, so help me God, I won't touch it until I'm done with my dozen.

1. Sullivan's Travels. My most classic case of simply assuming you'll see something one day but never actually following through.
2. Out of the Past. Long ago I went through an obsession with film noir and I've seen most of the classics but this one, with Robert Mitchum, always eluded me.
3. Claire's Knee. I've only seen one film from famed French filmmaker Eric Rohmer (a man whose fingerprints, it has been said, are all over the "Before Sunrise/Before Sunset" films) and here's the one I've always yearned to watch - about a man who sets in motion a plot to do nothing more than touch the knee of a beautiful woman.
4. The Long Goodbye. Robert Altman tackled this Raymond Chandler story in the 70's with Elliot Gould as Phillip Marlowe.
5. Marty. Of all the names on my list I'm most sad to report this one. Not just because it seems like it's totally up my alley but because my mom always said her dad's favorite movie was "Marty".
6. Eve's Bayou. An exceptionally critically acclaimed film from 1997 that I remember making a mental note to see lo those eleven years ago and then....never did.
7. The Philadelphia Story. Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart doin' what they do.
8. Detour. This one pops up on just about every greatest films list there is and is partially famous for being so poorly made because it was made on the exceptionally cheap. The esteemed Roger Ebert has written that it would "not earn the director a passing grade in film school." But also that "it lives on....an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir." Time Magazine has written, "Film noir? No film is noirer." In fact, maybe I'll move this to #1. No, no, no, no! I'm not tampering with the list!
9. Bridge on the River Kwai. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, get off my back.
10. Tokyo Story. Ebert has written that "Sooner or later, everyone who loves movies comes to (Japanese director Yasujiro) Ozu. He is the quietest and gentlest of directors, the most humanistic, the most serene." I hadn't come to him yet. But, damn it, I'm about to.
11. Shoot the Piano Player. I recall reading about this Francois Truffaut film - though I can't remember where - and making yet another excited mental note to rent it and then I....never did.
12. To Catch a Thief. I'm sure there are more important, bigger movies I need to see than this supposedly lightweight Hitchcock piece about Grace Kelly and Cary Grant cavorting through the French Riviera but this is the dessert of the project and all I want is some chocolate mousse.

1 comment:

Rory Larry said...

Marty is very pleasant. You would enjoy it a lot I think. Your kind of feel good movie.