Saturday, December 8, 2007

For Shame

Recently, on the IFC podcast, Adam Singer and Allison Wilmore discussed a few of the glaring, shameful omissions from their viewing histories. Some of the films they confessed to having not seen included “The Seventh Seal,” “Seven Samurai,” “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “8 ½,” and “Eraserhead.” These gaps in cinematic experience were shocking to me, particularly coming from two individuals who work at IFC. Prompted by Adam and Allison’s openness, I felt compelled to divulge some of my own extremely inexcusable overlooked films. Don’t be too harsh in your condemnation. I’m only 19!

1. “Gone With the Wind” (1939) dir. Victor Fleming
Although this film is #6 on AFI’s Top 100 list, I’ve never gotten around to it, mostly because it’s nearly four hours long and I don’t care much for melodrama (unless it’s Douglas Sirk). However, this film is certainly essential for cinematic literacy and I plan on getting around to it this Christmas break.

2. “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946) dir. Frank Capra
Many moons ago, I was an avid Jimmy Stewart hater. I experienced a miraculous conversion experience last year and now “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Vertigo,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” rank among my favorite films. I am now anxious to see this warm-hearted classic and hope to catch it during some sort of holiday-themed screening.

3. “Rome, Open City” (1945) dir. Roberto Rosselini
The ultimate neo-realism film has never interested me much, like most neo-realism. It is certainly essential, however, and I plan on taking it in sometime when I’m feeling very chipper so that, by the end, I’ll be at a happy medium.

4. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” (1966) dir. Sergio Leone
I know it’s supposedly the ultimate Western and all that jazz, but I have a good reason for having never seen it. I’ve always wanted to watch the Man With No Name trilogy in the correct order, in a semi-marathon fashion. I really like “Once Upon a Time in the West,” so I anticipate that this film will tickle my fancy. Maybe I’ll have the proper amount of free time soon. Oh, and don’t fault me for having the theme as my ringtone. I can’t help it. It’s just so cool to hear that song in random social settings.

5. “Nosferatu” (1922) dir. F. W. Murnau
I’m not nearly as well versed in German Expressionism as I should be. I’ve seen most of the major works, but this one somehow fell through the cracks. I’m not a huge fan of Herzog’s version, but I really enjoy E. Elias Merhige’s “Shadow of the Vampire,” which is a fictionalized account of the filming of “Nosferatu.” Hopefully, I’ll get the impetus to move it to the top of my Netflix queue soon.

What are some films that you’ve overlooked that you are particularly embarrassed about? If you think of any notable ones, leave a comment detailing your omission.

Also, if you want to hear the IFC podcast, go here.

By Brandon Colvin


Brandon Colvin said...

The link to the podcast doesn't work. Bummer.

It can be found at the following URL:

Also, sorry about the typo. In the "Gone With the Wind" section, "more" should be "for."

James Hansen said...

I think I corrected the two issues...should be set to go.

w. said...

-apocalypse now (does redux count?)
-birth of a nation (fell asleep and was offended within the first ten minutes)
-modern times
-the general
-the lord of the rings trilogy
-mr. smith goes to washington
-battleship potemkin

Nostalgia Kinky said...

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY are two of my all time favorite films so I hope you enjoy both of them...

There are lots of great classics I haven't actually makes me happy to know that I will never run out of great films to watch...

Some major ones I need to see are:
and a bunch more...

Anonymous said...

Tell me you've seen the "Sound of Music". It is my altime favorite!

Anonymous said...

I meant all-time favorite.

Brandon Colvin said...

Yes, Aunt Doo, I've seen "The Sound of Music."

Anonymous said...

The only ones that I can think of offhand which I haven't seen are The Color Purple and the Apu Trilogy. I'm sure there are others, but having worked through multiple lists (AFI, AMPAS best pics, and Facets') has knocked out most of the "must-see" movies for me.

Anonymous said...

Jacob's a jerk. He's seen way too many movies (and by that I only mean, more than me).

I'm by far the worst on this list.
And I am ashamed.

-No pre 90's Altman
-No Cassevettes
-Only half of Broken Flowers, beyond that no Jarmusch
-No Leone.
-Only the first Godfather, Jack, and The Outsiders. Other than that no Francis Ford Coppola (I think that means I haven't seen apocalypse Now and The Godfather II)
- The. List. Goes. On.

I'm not proud of this, but I feel it's important to be honest. More often then not I strut my shit like I know film, but in circles of other film lovers, I am nothing more than ignorant.

James said...

I've been working on not having to be ashamed of not seeing some stuff, but I am still missing a few. Some of which I care about, some I don't. Here are the ones that come to mind...

-Contempt (Godard)
-Nashville (Altman)
-Andrei Rubelev/The Sacrifice (Tarkovsky)
-Anything by Rossellini
-Grease/Footloose/Dirty Dancing

I did see Dirty Dancing Havana Nights though...hmm...

Anonymous said...

Tony, in your Coppola list you left out The Conversation. He's one of the few (if not the only) directors to have two movies nominated for best picture in the same year (Capra and Wilder have probably done it, too). But Godfather II and Apocalypse Now are both sufficient to blow your mind.

A hearty recommendation to everyone: You should check out 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die by Steven Jay Schneider. I think I've seen somewhere around 600 of them. Quite a few to go.

Brandon Colvin said...

I've only seen 309 of those 1,001. I feel like a jackass.

Anonymous said...

I actually own the book.
I'm working on it. My time is spread thinly as is my mind. The plight of a postmodern man. So many goals, so little know-how.