Looking Back, Looking Ahead, 2007-08

Movie-wise, I’ve too many goals lately. Original quests to see every movie by Samuel Fuller (still got 1 or 2 left) along with as many films as possible from the IMDB list (206/250) and Rosenbaum list (about 340/1000) got a bunch more quests added to them:

Fritz Lang films (just two left)
Joe Dante (watched six this year, bought The Burbs and got some TV episode he did)
Stuart Gordon (a spur of the moment thing for shocktober, just two left, not counting his new one)
Jacques Rivette (saw seven great films, and got some more all lined up)
Luis Bunuel (just three this year, plus a half-hearted screening of Land Without Bread)
Alain Resnais (watched or re-watched eight of his earliest films and the recent Coeurs)
Chris Marker (watched/loved his first six films this year, up to the rocky 60’s-70’s period where everything’s either super-rare or untranslated on video)
Films from 1977 (watched maybe three features and a bunch of shorts)
The Criterion Collection (about 205/450)
“They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?” top 1000 list (about 460/1000)
NOTE: they updated the list in December so now I’m closer to 450.

For 2008 I’ve got a new movie quest, one which will help all the above-listed movie quests as a side-effect… to watch movies I already have… as many as possible!

The “just two left” films by Fritz Lang mentioned above? Got ’em. Same for Stuart Gordon. Probably around 40 Criterion movies, everything available by Marker and Resnais and Rivette, and tons of titles on the Rosenbaum list. But more importantly, I find myself buying treasured DVDs (how much longer can I hold off on Kino’s second avant-garde collecton and Criterion’s Days of Heaven?) and filing them carefully on the shelf unwatched amongst all the other unwatched discs, then going off to rent Saw III. It’d make more sense to save this particular quest for some time when Videodrome has burned down or Katy has gotten a job and moved us both to Nebraska, but it seems like a good thing to start now.

That said, there are still plenty of 2006-07 films that I’d love to see on video, or when they finally roll out to Atlanta theaters, such as:
Syndromes and a Century
– Guy Maddin’s Brand Upon the Brain and My Winnipeg
Belle toujours
– Whatever Miike has been up to
Don’t Touch the Axe
Klimt, in its original cut
My Blueberry Nights
The Man From London
Paranoid Park
Go-Go Tales
There Will Be Blood
– and the Coens’ missing short from Chacun son cinéma

JR Jones:
“And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown much less tolerant of movies that waste my time, a development I call the Finding Forrester effect. By most accounts Gus Van Sant’s 2000 drama about a reclusive literary icon is a listless hack job; I’ve never been able to watch it myself because it was the last movie my father saw before he took ill, went into the hospital, and died. When I’m sitting in a press preview I sometimes think, “If I had only a few days left, would I want to spend two hours watching this?” That may seem like an absurdly high bar for a filmmaker to clear, but whoever said a filmmaker is entitled to two hours of your life? Anyone who wants those two hours has a responsibility to make the movie meaningful in some way.”