The title of the book is 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Must. Not Could. Not Should. Must. These are films that, according to the people who collated the list, are required viewing for anyone who wishes to live a satisfactory and fulfilled life, cinematically at least. They are essential for making you a complete person. Presumably this is because these films will impart some kind of life-affirming information, or perhaps they have some noteworthy impact upon modern cinema; a legacy to earn them a place in the annals of movie history. Or maybe, just maybe, the makers of the list are just fucking with us all, imparting some sadistic punishment for daring to think that watching far too many films results in anything other than a waste of time and a flabby midriff. Continue reading
I recently appeared on the LAMB’s second podcast, The Film Pasture, hosted by Pat of 100 Years of Movies. We, along with Steve from 1001Plus, spent the episode discussing that most illustrious and time-consuming of movie goals, the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, that both Steve and I are working our ways through, although o course Steve is both much faster and further along his quest than I am. As it stands, I have around 800 films still to watch and review from the list (which, including all the films that have been added or removed over the years, stands at 1103 films), however many of the reviews I have written didn’t necessarily give the film a fair chance, or they’re just not very good reviews, so I may well go back and re-review some of them – something I intend to do shortly with 1903’s The Great Train Robbery.
I started working through the List to try and gain a better understanding and appreciation for film, and there are many films amongst its pages that I am genuinely looking forward to watching. For many it will be a re-watch of something I’ve loved before, or possibly something that’s fallen from my memory, but for others I long for the experience of seeing a bonafide classic for the first time – something I experienced last year with the likes of Casablanca and Brief Encounter. However, the compilers of the List are a bunch of stuck-up, pompous, cruel sadists, who have taken it upon themselves to pepper the List with some of the most tedious, aggravating and downright grotesque productions ever made, and they even go so far as to claim that these outlandish qualities are the very reason they’ve been included. As such I thought I’d exacerbate my apprehension for eventually watching these films by looking into the List and picking out those films that I’m least looking forward to. I’ve tried to separate the films out into specific categories, and given the most egregious entry from each. As I haven’t actually seen these films yet, this is all based upon rumour, reputation and reviews from others in the 1001 club.
Honourable Mentions The Color Purple
There are some films on the List that I know a little bit about, or that I’ve read the book of. I’m quite looking forward to watching To Kill A Mockingbird, because the book is great and I hear only good things about the film. The Color Purple, on the other hand, is the worst book I’ve ever read, possibly because I was forced to read it in college, but also because it’s thoroughly depressing and downright difficult to read, given the unintelligible vernacular with which it was scribed. Therefore, I’m really not looking forward to watching it unfold on screen, even if it is directed by Steve Spielberg. The fact that it stars Whoopi Goldberg and features Oprah Winfrey may have something to do with it too.