The Method (aka how to watch all of the 1001 films sooner than you die)

So, goals and challenges set, now how to actually start? Hmm, that actually turned out to be a challenge in its own terms (I mean… take if from the cat).

the method

First, I thought, being the ‘perfectly organized everything’ freak, I will simply go through the index with all the films, tick off the ones I’ve seen and then simply start with the films I already own, but didn’t get to watch yet. From there, I thought, I will take it chronologically, leaving out the films I cannot get hold of at this point. Sounds pretty easy right? Well.. if only…

The first challenge was determining which films I have actually seen and which I have not.. of course I know this in most cases… but most being the operative word here. Like when it comes to silent movies – don’t get me wrong, I do have a great respect towards the very creation of moving pictures and towards the fathers of film, but unfortunately, unless it is Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune), D.W. Grifiths’ Intolerance, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari) by Robert Wiene, and alike – films that really do stand out, for me it’s always been more like “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”. And the idea of revisiting this era, actually made me weep a little.

I honestly believe I’ve seen enough of silent movies, even if they did not exactly made it into this book – although who knows? I really can’t tell one from another, especially some ten years later and after seeing so many. And I truly believe, unless you are genuinely interested in the very history of filmmaking or you become hooked by seeing few and want to explore this era more, you can die without seeing too many of them. So, silent era was pushed at the very back of my list in an instant. Sorry.

Right – silent era, that’s where the real struggle laid. But unfortunately not exclusively. I know, that films I’ve seen but don’t remember seeing, probably didn’t make much of an impression – like just yesterday, I caught A Chorus Line on tv and only when I started to watch it, I realized I actually seen it aaaages ago! Just did not appreciate it back then, I guess. And this will probably happen again and again – so god only knows, how many films in total have I actually seen!  But that’s all part of the journey.

There definitely are films, that I remember well enough, but still want to revisit because I loved them too much but never had a chance to watch them again. Then there are those, that are already my personal favourites and which I’ve seen ten times over. And nothing will stop me from seeing them again. But I promise to try to focus on the ‘new’ ones, as much as possible. Among those, there are some that make me super excited to watch right now. Like more of the old musicals – so happy to find out I have not seen them all just yet 🙂 And some, that I’ve been wanting to see for such a long time now but never got to do it. So finally, I will.

And then there are those, that I have been so incredibly happy to tick off to never have to watch again. Come on! You all know them – the love or hate movies! Despite being considered classics, you will always hate some of them… But being the polite person I am, not gonna name them. Not at this point, anyway 😉

And then, there is Godfather. The one film that dominates most of the “Best films of all times” lists. Well. I know you will probably not believe this, but I have never seen it. I might be the only person in the entire Universe – yes, I do realize that. Not so long ago, I read a quote by Jim  Jarmusch somewhere, that he wants to die the only person in the world that has not seen Star Wars in his life. Well, I have seen Star Wars, but I have not seen Godfather despite my best intentions. Honestly, just some six months ago, I wanted to give it a go, yet again, as it was to be shown on tv once again… but first film from the saga was on right when I left for my US vacation. Seriously?! Call it fate or whatever, but I missed it yet again and I just don’t think I am supposed to see it. And the truth is, over the time, I kinda began to enjoy people’s reactions when I told them I have not seen Godfather and yet I am still alive. So, I might just enjoy dying the only person on planet Earth who has not seen it, since I cannot join Jim in the club of Star Wars (thank god for that though, cause I would ruin it for him).

…are you still with me? After all I’ve said? Great! As you can see, I have no intention of fooling you in my tastes. Nor do I have any intention of not saying exactly what I think about each of the films no matter how celebrated they are. Truth is, no film is to be loved by everyone. And I hate people who pronounce some super acclaimed movies to be their favourites just because it makes them look smart or because they simply don’t dare to voice their opinions.I have absolutely no problem to tell you I hate Once Upon a Time in the West. Yes. I JUST DON’T GET IT. I mean, ten minutes long shot of a fly irritating Charles Bronson’s character. The only good thing about it is Ennio Morricone’s music. For me – that is.

BUT I have no intention to write reviews of any sorts here. There are too many reviews being written in the world and way too many people voicing their opinnions often in very rude ways and I don’t have the slightest desire of being one of them nor to try to put down any of the films.

I don’t even expect to write about all the films here. Mostly, I just tend to write about films that inspire me, speak to me in some way, fascinate me… simply give me something to talk about, some experience that I want to share. And it’s those feelings, emotions and ideas they provoke, that are usually in the center of my writings. It’s gonna be more about the experience of watching these films than about the films themselves – definitely as far as the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die are concerned.

This whole blog is about love for movies. Being good, or bad, so much effort is being put into every single one of them. And every single one has somebody who loves it, even if most people don’t – and that person is not to be laugh at either. We are all entitled to our own opinion. Because we all love movies. And there is no such thing as good or bad taste. But I do believe some films deserve to be pointed out more than others.

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