Filling the Holes

This week I finally got around to watching Singin’ in the Rain. A classic movie that is one of those, “you’ve never seen THAT!?” titles. After finishing it, as delighted as I was with the film, I was more just pissed off at myself for not having watching much sooner! Well this sort of thing will not stand, man.

So I’m taking a page from The Matinee and have decided that I am going to fill a lot of longstanding (and deep) holes in my filmography; most (not all) of which are inexcusable as a film fan if I want to consider myself a cinephile. So throughout 2013, I will be filling said holes with celluloid (or the digital equivalent) one by one on a monthly basis. But I need your help.

Each month I’ll scratch off one of the movies on my list and mention it here in the third row with its own brief (or possibly lengthy) post. This will give everyone the opportunity to discuss my enjoyment or lack thereof of each title. I think it will definitely be more fun for me and you the readers if you’re involved with this. Or you can just lurk and laugh from the shadows.

So to prepare for this thing a month in advance and potentially make it even more interesting for visitors, I’ve put together a list of 80 titles that I’ve never seen and that I think (for the most part) are essential viewings in a person’s movie going repertoire. Take a second to look these titles over and then vote for the TEN you think I should watch.

I’ll cull the ten highest voted titles down and then pick an additional two of my own choosing. Then in no particular order, starting in January, I’ll view and write about each one on a monthly basis.

The full poll is under the seats, thanks for your help!


  1. What I seen (and remember):
    1. Wings of Desire–Masterpiece. My favorite film from the 1980’s. Dude, it has Nick Cave, Peter Falk playing Peter Falk, Angels, Pre-Berlin Wall Berlin, Bruno Ganz, gorgeous black and white cinematography, and existential, humanist message. What more can you ask for in a film?

    2. The 400 Blows — An accurate, powerful slice of life of adolescent life in mid-century Paris.

    3. An American Werewolf in London — The special effects in this film are still mind blowing — the best werewolf transformation scene ever. I do have problems with the films, mainly I am not a big fan of the humor. Also, if you are like Matt Gamble, stay away from this film due John Landis involvement.

    4. Au Revoir, les Enfants– Yeah, it is a Nazi occupation film–but what a film! It still works like gangbusters.

    5. Halloween III– It has interesting visuals, but that’s about it.

    6. Mean Streets — Fuck Goodfellas, this is Scorsese best crime film! It feels so European.

    7; Midnight Express– A bit racist, but it still a solid film. The main theme by Giorgio Modero is fucking amazing, though.

    8. The Saturday Night Fever–It is not what you expect. It deserves its classic status. Travolta gives a tour de fource performance.

  2. Wow, you’ve got some good watching coming your way. I’ve made my choice of 10, although I could have easily picked out 20 or more. There are a handful I haven’t seen either though.

    With your hard on for beautiful visuals I’d definitely get Wings of Desire and Manhattan in your list.

    I joined in with the Blind Spot series at The Matinee but I’m way behind – I’ve still got 6 of the 12 titles to watch. I’ll try to catch up in the holidays, but it’s doubtful. I just don’t have time to watch my own collection these days – I’m too greedy with screeners and I’ve been visiting my new little indie cinema more often instead. This year I’m trying again though.


      The Long Goodbye I didn’t put on the list because I’m going to be watching it anyway – I have the DVD sitting on my shelf just waiting.

      (not tonight though. tonight is all Assassin’s Creed 🙂

      • Still, is there much of a point to this? If you know of the movies, and have known but haven’t watched them yet, demonstrated preference proves you don’t have THAT much interest in seeing them.

        Why not list some of your favorites and take recommendations? For example Alexander Nevsky — it’s Eisenstein’s most fun film and the battle scenes are badass. And a Stewart Granger movie — Scarmouche, ideally.

        And I forgot to mention this a while ago, but some German porn from the ’70s/’80s I understand incorporates a horse.

        • Well mostly the point is to have interaction with other movie lovers and let other sort of take part. Another part is there are just so damn many I haven’t seen it’s to get the community (of which I belong) opinion of which of these titles are most “important.”

          And I do have interest in seeing them as part of fulfilling my need to cover the blind spots. But I always find myself usually watching the newer stuff or rewatching an old favorite partially out of laziness. This gives me incentive to get through these in a more timely manner.

          PS – nice job on the homework this week. Uniquely taking advantage of the new visual element of the show.

  3. This is somewhat along the lines of what I’m doing with combining all the lists to make the definitive list which will force me to finally sit down with many classics that I should have seen already.

    I just added my votes

  4. I got to 10 picks by the time I got to the letter H! But I spread it out more than that, don’t worry. I think all the ones I ended up voting for may be in my personal Top 100. There are a bunch on your list I haven’t seen, either, though.

    I tried to do this along with Ryan and others this year, but between negotiating TV time with roommates and pregnancy tired, I only managed four or five of my list (and only wrote full posts about two or three of them). I would say I’d do it in 2013, but I’m not committing to very much for next year besides keeping an infant alive. 😉 Still, I do have Netflix discs again, so tracking down films won’t be as big an issue as it was this year, and one film a month doesn’t seem like too much… I dunno. Maybe a goal without a commitment.

  5. I voted most enthusiastically for Rocky Horror, not because of any superiority, but because to me its a massive cultural touchstone.

    ANd if you do see it, please see it on blu ray. The job they did on it makes it look new, which makes it seem all the more strange and alien. Clockwork Orange also has this effect.

    • I’ll probably shouldn’t have put Rocky Horror on the list as I’m sure to catch up with it at some point anyway. It plays once a month in the cinema here. I’d like to see it with “the crowd.”

  6. I should note that Andrew lives in Minneapolis and has never seen Purple Rain. I’m pretty sure that means he’s on the short list for being deported to a Dakota.

    • I was too young to care when it was on HBO/Showtime. And then there’s the fact that Prince creeps me out. Now I appreciate his music (and he’s close to a damn genius actually) and really I just want to see my neighborhood as it looked 25 years ago.

  7. Looks like the front runners after the bulk of voting is over is as follows:

    The 400 Blows
    Bicycle Thieves
    His Girl Friday
    Mean Streets
    On the Waterfront
    Some Like it Hot
    Sunset Boulevard
    Enter the Dragon
    The Last Picture Show

    Those last two are tied for last place. I’ll give this a few more days of voting and then call it.

  8. My love of martial arts movies (and the fact that I haven’t seen Last Picture Show yet) makes me biased, but you HAVE to watch Enter the Dragon. James Bond with kung-fu fighting action. What more do you want? 🙂


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