November 20, 2013

Make Your Selections for My 2014 Blind Spots Series!


One of my favorite parts of the film community is the monthly Blind Spots series, which pushes movie lovers out of their comfort zones. We all have films that have sat on our watch list for years, yet they never make it to the top of the pile. This plan forces us to commit to watching 12 of these films and writing about them. Back in 2012, I chose highly regarded classics like Wild Strawberries and Once Upon a Time in the West, and it was a great experience. This year, I tried something different and focused on lesser-known cult films like Morvern Callar and The Fall. It’s time to prepare for 2014, and I’m enlisting your help to choose the new slate. Which movies deserve my attention as soon as possible?

Honestly, this method is hardly a novel one. I’ve stolen borrowed the approach that Ryan McNeil at The Matinee took to choose his 2013 blind spots. He enlisted readers to provide their top selections from a larger group of films that he hadn’t seen. I can’t think of a better way to take advantage of others’ expertise. Therefore, I require your assistance on this important mission. I can’t make this project work unless you’re on board to guide this ship in the right direction. Can I count on you? It’s easy to dig into a specific book or critic’s list, but I’d rather find out which choices have stuck with readers.

I’ve created a list on Letterboxd that includes 50 possibilities for this series. I’m tasking you with checking it out and then choosing 12 movies from that group that stand out as the most essential. This list includes both prestige films and genre pictures from around the world, so the results should create a diverse group. Once you’ve made your choices, leave a comment on this blog (or on Letterboxd) with your selections. After compiling the choices during the upcoming weeks, I’ll have 12 picks to watch and analyze in 2014. If you aren’t able to pick 12, it’s fine to provide a shorter list. The key factor is getting enough responses to develop a strong list. Whether you’re a regular visitor to this site or have just arrived, your input is pivotal to this project.

Are you ready to guide my 2014 movie watching? Let’s do this!

33 comments:

  1. My Neighbor Totoro
    Suspiria
    Night of the Living Dead
    Army of Shadows
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Castle in the Sky
    Funny Games
    Diabolique
    The Dirty Dozen
    The Wages of Fear
    Yojimbo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Brokeback Mountain
    Moulin Rouge
    Saturday Night Fever
    Rosemary's Baby
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    The Great Dictator
    The Deer Hunter
    Outlaw Josey Wales
    Rambo
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    Jailhouse Rock

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  3. I've seen exactly 25 of the 50 on that list. For me, my top 12 would be...

    1. Pierrot le Fou
    2. Hud
    3. My Neighbor Totoro
    4. An American In Paris
    5. The Crying Game
    6. Brokeback Mountain
    7. Nights of Cabiria
    8. Moulin Rouge!
    9. Rosemary’s Baby
    10. Les Diaboliques
    11. Contempt
    12. The King of Comedy

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  4. Quite the array!

    For what it's worth...

    Diaboliques*
    Patton*
    Rosemary's Baby
    The Great Dictator
    The King of Comedy
    Safety Last
    Yojimbo
    Moulin Rouge!
    All Quiet on The Western Front
    Night of the Living Dead
    A Bad Day at Black Rock
    Nightmare Before Christmas
    (8 both previous Blind Spots of my own)

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  5. Battle of Algiers
    Castle in the Sky
    Close-Up
    Harlan County USA
    The King of Comedy
    Moulin Rouge
    My Neighbor Totoro
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Stalker
    The Thin Man
    The Wages of Fear
    Z

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  6. I have to agree that the Blind Spot series is a great part of the blog community. I started doing it this year and it's been a most rewarding experience!

    My choices are:

    The Big Red One (definitely watch the reconstruction version)
    First Blood
    The Great Dictator
    Night of the Living Dead
    Yojimbo
    Johnny Guitar
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    Nights of Cabiria
    The King of Comedy
    Brokeback Mountain
    She's Gotta Have It
    Safety Last

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  7. I am in the unique position of having to watch these with you, so my selections are somewhat selfish.

    My Neighbour Totoro (love this)
    Moulin Rouge
    Jailhouse Rock
    Rosmary's Baby
    Brokeback Mountain
    Nightmare before Christmas
    Castle in the Sky
    The Crying Game
    Harlan County USA

    That's not 12, but those are my picks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You and I are both have similar ideas in our Blind Spots for next year as far as what Miyazaki film to see. I have a list but it's a private one right now as I'm just trying to figure out what to see. I also notice that you also have Playtime which is in my shortlist of possible Blind Spots for next year.

    OK, let's see...

    Stalker
    The Battle of Algiers
    Yojimbo
    Close-Up
    Johnny Guitar
    & Les Diaboliques

    And now for the ones I haven't seen...

    Contempt
    Man with a Movie Camera
    Harlan County USA
    Safety Last
    Army of Shadows
    & the Big Red One (make sure it's the reconstructed version which is the one most Sam Fuller fans prefer).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks to everyone who's replied so far! I'm also getting some great choices on Letterboxd and have started counting the votes. I'll leave this open for a while for other selections before listing the final tally.

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  10. My choices are a mix of what I have seen and what I am interesting in hearing more about:

    She's Gotta Have it
    Brokeback Mountain
    Faces
    Yojimbo
    Playtime
    Night of Cabiria
    My Neighbour Totoro
    Moulin Rouge
    Contempt
    Bad Day at Black Rock
    Pierrot le Fou
    Harlan County U.S.A

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  11. I'm limiting myself only to films that I've seen. Here's my 12:

    The Thin Man
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Les Diaboliques
    Z
    The Man with the Movie Camera
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    Safety Last
    Night of the Living Dead
    Rosemary's Baby
    Wages of Fear
    Brokeback Mountain
    The Crying Game

    Lots of good ones I didn't include, though.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've seen 47 of the 50. With only a few exceptions I consider all of them worth watching. I have narrowed it down to 12, though.

    Must See:

    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Les Diaboliques
    My Neighbor Totoro
    Safety Last!
    The Wages of Fear

    Other fine films:

    The Battle of Algiers
    Close-Up - my favorite Kiarostami film
    The Crying Game - but only if you've somehow managed to avoid knowing the twist
    My Man Godfrey
    Nights of Cabiria - my favorite Fellini film
    Patton
    The Thin Man

    ReplyDelete
  13. As with Steve Honeywell, I've only picked from the one's that I've seen (which is less than half). Here's my choices:
    My Neighbour Totoro
    Moulin Rouge!
    The Deer Hunter
    Yojimbo
    Night of the Living Dead
    Rosemary's Baby
    Brokeback Mountain
    The King of Comedy
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Great Dictator
    The Dirty Dozen
    First Blood

    And if I can throw a negative vote against a film, I'd say don't watch Man with a Movie Camera, I really hated it.

    Oh, and you've inspired me to do something similar myself for next year too, so thanks for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to help! Of course, I took this from Ryan at the Matinee, so he's really the source of this approach.

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    2. *cough*which I did before him in the 60/60 Project but who's counting?*cough*

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    3. Nice. I feel like your approach with months for each person was even more intense and well beyond what I'm doing. Also, it was awesome.

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    4. Well, that was the 50/50. The 60/60 the year before that (well, technically, started at the end of 2011) was similar to this where a bunch of people offered suggestions on must-see films, which I tried to divide up by genre.

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    5. *End of 2010 (sorry to spam your comments... had to correct myself).

      To make this comment otherwise worth something, when will you announce your list?

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    6. Gotta disagree with your distaste for MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA. Its only a short, experimental film - but considering the time it was released, in many ways it is the groundwork for music videos today. My analysis is here: http://screeninsight.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/man-with-movie-camera-dziga-vertov-1929.html

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  14. Dammit Chip, you beat me by two...I've seen 45. There's some great stuff here for sure. Instead of trying to whittle it down to the most essential, I'll list my 12 favourite:

    My Neighbour Totoro
    Battle Of Algiers
    Suspiria
    Johnny Guitar
    Kiss Me Deadly
    Army Of Shadows
    Man With A Movie Camera
    Diaboliques
    Dirty Dozen
    Z
    Nights Of Cabiria
    Playtime (do this for sure!)

    Damn, I want to pick another ten!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen The Outlaw Josey Wales, Jailhouse Rock, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

      You?

      Delete
  15. My Neighbor Totoro
    Yojimbo
    Night of the Living Dead
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Great Dictator
    Castle in the Sky
    Funny Games
    Moulin Rouge
    Wages of Fear
    The Crying Game
    Les Diabolique
    Rambo: First Blood

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lot of good stuff on here, but picking 12 was actually pretty easy for me. I consider these must see films that I also count as personal favorites...well, except for one:

    My Neighbor Totoro
    Stalker
    The Battle of Algiers
    Suspiria
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Close-Up
    Army of Shadows
    The Man with a Movie Camera
    Nights of Cabiria
    Funny Games
    Triumph of the Will (It's one you need to see just for your film education. The blind spot series is a great motivation to see this film.)
    Playtime

    You've got a lot of awesome in front of you. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on whatever films end up making the series next year.

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear it! I'm hoping to check out some of the others during the year in marathons. From the votes and comments, it sounds like it's hard to go wrong.

      Delete
  17. A few of these are blond spots for me to, but I guess when I look at the most essential ones that I've seen, I'd go with:

    The Battle of Algiers
    The Deer Hunter
    Yojimbo
    Brokeback Mountain
    Pierrot Le Fou
    The Thin Man
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    Faces
    Saturday Night Fever
    Z
    Harlan County, U.S.A.
    Playtime

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great idea! I have considered crowd-sourcing my next project, but I'm not sure very many will be interested in picking 50, heh. Anyway, here are my choices from your list:

    My Neighbor Totoro
    The Battle of Algiers
    The Wages of Fear
    The Deer Hunter
    Yojimbo
    Night of the Living Dead
    Rosemary's Baby
    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
    Saturday Night Fever

    And then three I haven't seen but would like to read about:
    The Great Dictator
    Rambo: First Blood
    Les Diaboliques

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  19. Thanks again to everyone who voted! I'm going to keep this open for another week and then announce the winners in early December. It's extremely close, so a few more entries could change a lot of them!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Dan. Great idea, I might have to "borrow" this and do it myself!

    Off the bat, I cannot recommend The Outlaw Josey Wales enough. It's my favorite western of all time and it's one that I used to watch constantly with my father. Over the years we've bonded over that film and we quote it to each other constantly. It's loaded with great lines like "sing out, slap iron to it" and "I ain't your paw, now shut up!" It's a classic that NEEDS to be seen.

    My second big recommendation is Pierrot Le Fou. It's the film that introduced me to Goddard and the 60s French New Wave of cinema. It's my favorite film of Goddard's and probably my favorite french foreign film ever. It's a film that once I'm done watching it, I have no problem hitting play and watching it again and again.

    My third big big recommendation is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and that's coming from a guy who runs and hides from horror! I'm really in love with this movie to an almost disturbing point. I recently got the blu-ray for my birthday and let's just say, she's been getting plenty of use.

    Just had to get that out of the way before I recommend the other nine. Listed below are the 12 I think you should watch, in no particular order except for the three I mentioned above.

    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    Pierrot Le Fou
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    Yojimbo (FUN FACT: This film was the "inspiration" for A Fistful Of Dollars) (Also, if you haven't already, you should check out Sanjuro, another Kurosawa film that features a similar main character)
    Suspiria (Lindsay got me to watch this film and it's a delight)
    The Deer Hunter
    The King of Comedy
    The Dirty Dozen
    Rambo: First Blood
    Moulin Rouge
    Triumph of the Will (I watched and review this film as part of my Versus the Scarecrow series, and it's a short and interesting document if you're into WW2 History films. Lot of music and parades. Like, a LOT)

    Solid list, I look forward to seeing what you watch!

    -Nick

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    Replies
    1. Nick, thanks for the detailed comment and the votes. Sadly, there hasn't been much love for the Outlaw Josey Wales in the choices. It probably won't make the 12 picks, but I'm hoping to check out a lot more of these in some marathons during the year.

      Delete
  21. Deer Hunter
    Night of the Living Dead
    Saturday Night Fever
    Funny Games
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    Crimes and Misdemenours
    Rosemary's Baby
    Stalker
    Rosemary's Baby
    Moulin Rouge
    Suspiria
    Man with a Movie Camera

    (Had trouble towards the end because I have so many of them to watch myself!)

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  22. First things first, I need to see Close-Up as much as you. We will rectify this together!

    After that...I would personally say The Thin Man is essential. And after that....

    Outlaw Josey Wales
    Jailhouse Rock
    The Deer Hunter
    Yojimbo
    My Man Godfrey
    The Crying Game
    The Big Red One
    Kiss Me Deadly
    Faces
    Saturday Night Fever

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  23. Great idea (even if you did admittedly find it somewhere else). I'm doing something similar at GuysFilmQuest, but I made all my own selections. I like the way you set it up better, though. Perhaps I'll do it that way for 2015!

    Here are my picks from your LetterboxD listing:

    My Neighbor Totoro*
    Outlaw Josey Wales
    Moulin Rouge
    Patton
    Yojimbo
    Night Of The Living Dead*
    Rosemary's Baby
    Contempt
    The Thin Man
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    The Crying Game*
    Rambo: First Blood

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the picks! I did end up setting up the final selections based on the votes earlier this week. A bunch of your choices made the list. Totoro, Moulin Rouge, Yojimbo, Night of the Living Dead, Rosemary's Baby, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre all made the cut.

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