December 7, 2012

2013 Blind Spots Series - Cult Films Edition!

Samantha Morton in Morvern Callar

This year, I've enjoyed catching up with an excellent group of classic films that had eluded me until this point. I called the monthly series the List of Shame and covered modern gems like In the Mood for Love alongside big-time Oscar winners like The Best Years of Our Lives and West Side Story. In 2013, I'm going to watch a blind spot each month once again but will take a different route. Instead of looking at classics from film history, I'm going to check out 12 cult films that cross a wide spectrum. The picks come from Scott Tobias' The New Cult Canon at the A.V. Club and should give me plenty to discuss. I tried not to focus too much on any particular genre or time period and am thrilled to check out each one.

The Fall

Here are the 12 movies (in alphabetical order) that made the final cut:

Battle Royale
Black Dynamite
Code Unknown
The Fall
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Irma Vep
King of New York
Millennium Actress
Morvern Callar
Mr. Brooks
Road House
Series 7: The Contenders

Battle Royale

Another fun part of this year's series was getting the chance to participate with other film bloggers in filling in their blind spots. Ryan McNeil at The Matinee does a great job compiling everyone's post on the last Tuesday of each month. It's exciting to read others' choices for the upcoming year, particularly younger writers delving into some of the all-time great films. While my direction is a bit different, I'm intrigued to check out movies with a lot of originality. There are some sillier picks like Road House and Gremlins 2, but I feel it's my duty to check out those campy gems. I've offset them with more serious choices like The Fall and Morvern Callar. The most anticipated selection is probably Battle Royale, which rose to prominence again this year with comparisons to the big-budget Hunger Games adaptation.

12 comments:

  1. So you are taking a very different route. I have seen only two of your list. Battle Royale, which is good but I don't get all the praise and Code Unknown which is...very Haneke. It depends on you whether that is good or bad.

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    1. I know what you mean by "very Haneke". The jury's still out for me on what I think of his work. Cache was interesting but also sort of maddening at times. I watched a lot of classics last year during some marathons and the blind-spots series, so I figured it would be fun to try something different. I expect these movies won't be boring, if nothing else.

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  2. This is a cool direction to go in. I think a lot of people would reach for the more obvious classics, but there's a lot to be said for these cult classics. I could certainly brush up on these. I've not seen:

    Gremlins 2: The New Batch
    Irma Vep (I really want to check this one out)
    King of New York
    Mr. Brooks
    Road House
    Series 7: The Contenders

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on the films I have seen. I won't tip my hand but some of those films are very interesting and I'm curious what you make of them. Some I love, others, not so much.

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    1. Glad to hear it, James. I figure with the way my blog is set up, I have plenty of opportunities to check out classics throughout the year. I imagine that I'll have plenty to say about these movies, no matter if I like them or not. I know very little about some of these, so that's an exciting part of it too.

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  3. Great idea for a project, Dan! I love the New Cult Canon series, and there have been more than a few films I checked out thanks to their inclusion in it. Some were duds, but all have at least been interesting. Out of your choices, I have seen three. Battle Royale and Black Dynamite are both great films, and Series 7 is an interesting spin on reality TV. Will be fun to follow your progress!

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    1. Thanks Eric! I don't know a ton about a lot of my picks, so it's going to be interesting. I tried to mix it up with some fun ones in there too. I've heard so many good things about Black Dynamite and Battle Royale that those were easy choices. Being a fan of shows like Survivor, Series 7 has been on my list for a while.

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  4. I absolutely adored The Fall. I think you'll like it.

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    1. That's great to hear. It looks visually stunning, and I've heard mostly good things. Tarsem definitely has a unique style, and I've liked Lee Pace in TV work like Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls.

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  5. I've seen five of these films on that list. Morvern Callar, The Fall, Gremlins 2, Mr. Brooks, and Road House.

    One of which is among my favorite films. 2 of these are 80s movies I love. One I thought was alright and one that was OK but very flawed.

    I hope you enjoy as I too will be participating in the Blind Spot Series.

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    1. It's cool that you're also going to join the Blind Spots series. I just went and checked out your list, and you've got some pretty amazing titles on there. I'm trying to guess which one of the movies you thought was very flawed. My money is on Mr. Brooks. It's hard to say without seeing them, but those seem mostly likely.

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  6. I wasn't able to keep up the pace with the reviews. I think I watched a lot of movies this year I intended to cover for the Blind Spot films, but some were really tough to write about. I'll be looking forward to your next year films.

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    1. Max, I totally understand about having a hard time keeping up with watching them. I've had a few instances where I've watched the movies a day or two before the post and have been scrambling. This month, I'm watching Fitzcarraldo, and the day is quickly approaching. I need to get moving!

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