Thursday, 9 June 2011

Again with the 1001 Movies List? (And other bits'n'bobs)

Yes, again with the 1001 Movies List. That has been my recent decision, in order to segue back into regular film-viewing. I need a project, of sorts, to help me portion time out of life to view cinema, and I got it in my head to complete something I set out to do years and years ago - watch everything in the 1001 Movies dum de dum book. For some reason, I want to complete this before the baby is due, at the beginning of December. So I have six months to watch the remaining 65 films from the book that I've yet to see.
A-ha, no it's not 65. Bugger. Y'see, there's been 7 editions since the first came out in 2003, and films have entered and dropped with dull regularity. Even though I still only own the earliest edition, I've kept up with the additions and deductions in order to geekishly claim, at some future stage, that I've seen EVERYTHING that this book has thrown at me. Boy, won't the kids be proud of me. I mean, that must be one of the key reasons that people are obsessively devouring this list of films - a casual browse on the interweb reveals scores of punters all eager to tick everything off from this list. And, hello, i'm one of them. The obsessive nature of list-devouring kind of irks me, but the world is my mirror and hey look that's me in the mirror. But, here's where I defend my habit - this list is not the be all and end all of my film-viewing. I get the vague feeling that some punters are addicted to completing this list only, and once its done it's back to normal transmission. 1001 films is barely a scratch. At best, the book should be a trigger to source other films, to challenge the list by finding your own personal canon. Use it as a launching pad to explore the terrain of directors newly discovered. I'd heard of Bruce Conner, Ken Jacobs, Harry Smith prior to flicking through this book, but the obsession to view everything pushed me to see their work, and viewing Report, Blonde Cobra, and Heaven and Earth Magic has lead me to wander freely through a host of incredible experimental films. I'd never heard of Jean-Daniel Pollet's Mediterranee or Forugh Farrokhzad's The House Is Black, but I feel my cinema-viewing life is all the richer for actively seeking them out and seeing them with epiphany-stricken eyes.

Anyway, I wandering off track. So, there are a handle of films from the most recent editions that I haven't seen - 8 in total. that makes a total of 73 films to see from this list. So, there's my project. See all of these films before the baby is due in early December.

But, this project alone will drive me nuts, and I can't run the risk of hating cinema by the end of it. So, I've got a couple of other ideas to keep me cinema-sane over the next few months. I'd got a loose idea at the mo to focus on unheralded/ little-known documentaries, maybe make a regular series out of reviewing these kinds of films. There's a horde of intriguing documentaries I've come across recently that I'd love to absorb. Maybe I'll even post a Top 100 Docs list....hey, everyone else seems to be having a crack at it, who's it going to hurt?

One last little point - my blog-posting time seems to be quite constrained, due to other commitments, and in the past this has meant that if I haven't got a lot of time, i won't post. The bummer with this way of thinking is that I go weeks without posting. And then my blog looks kind of anaemic and pale. So, I'm going to throw this 'all-or-nothing" attitude out of the window, and just....ramble. The writing might be a bit loose and sloppy. I don't know. Maybe I'll free up a little more and get into new grooves. I've tried to hone and sculpt my posts, but sometimes I think I'm losing something in translation when I'm doing that. Perhaps the need to just get the thoughts out will free up the writing style. Dunno, don't know, je ne sais pas. The blog might finally start swerving closer to the actual title of this little shindig, become a ramble on cinema. I choose the term 'ramble' because it connoted a tumbling casual chat as well as a pleasurable idle walk, and I sometimes see my appreciation of cinema from a psychogeographical point-of-view, wandering across new terrain, stumbling across new sights, heading down a path and seeing all there is to see down that path before roaming off down another lane. The term 'ramble' ties together chatting, mapping, pleasure, and discovery. So, perhaps there'll be a bit more rambling from this point onwards.

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