My Blind Spot list for 2013

BlindSpotGrease

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Though I missed a month in my quest to do a year’s worth of Blind Spot posts last year, I still managed to squeeze out 11 posts on the subject. Those scribblings covered 22 movies that I felt I really should have seen by this point in my film-watching career. The operative words there, of course, are “should have”…The whole idea behind the Blind Spot series (kicked off last year by top notch Toronto blogger/writer dudes James McNally and Ryan McNeil) was to poke and prod us to finally get around to those films we feel are not only classics we should see, but ones we really want to see. So it was the perfect vehicle to push us to get to those titles that, for whatever reason, we just hadn’t got to yet.

Instead of me going on and on blathering too much in depth on movies that have been written about by far better writers, in each post I tried comparing and contrasting two films I was seeing for the first time. It not only made for more interesting things for me to write (and I’d like to think to read as well), but also helped take a bigger chunk out of that loooooong list of need-to-sees. It was also kinda fun to try to tease out similarities in a couple of parings that were somewhat random.

Considering the “voluminous” amount of posting I’ve been doing of late (sigh), I figured that I should try to tackle the task yet again. Anything to kick my heinie into gear every once in awhile is not a bad thing, so below is the list of parings I’m looking at initially for 2013 – I feel I need more foreign movies in there (Wajda, Ozu and Dreyer made the short list), but these choices felt right and the pairings seemed to be a good mix of obvious, tangential and random.

 

Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Grease (1978)

Aside from the obvious, this pairing is appropriate because they both feel like movies I’ve seen – I know the songs, I know the big scenes and I know the stories – but I’ve never actually sat through them from start to finish.

 

Breaking The Waves (1996)
Shanghai Express (1932)

Almost 65 years separate these two stories of women and their sacrifices – though it takes one film exactly twice as long as the other to tell its version.

 
 

BlindSpotDeliverance

Deliverance (1972)
The Lost Weekend (1945)

Two very different nightmarish scenarios told (I’m assuming) in very different ways with different degrees of subtlety.

 

The Reckless Moment (1949)
This Gun For Hire (1942)

These probably aren’t as “big” as some of the others in this list, but as a fan of Film Noir, I really should have seen both of these by now. As well, I need to add more Ophuls to my diet.

 

Sans Soleil (1983)
Dog Star Man (1962)

An easy pairing of two avant-garde films, but the comparison of approach and style might prove interesting.

 

Moonstruck (1987)
Fatal Attraction (1987)

Two big blockbusters from a quarter century ago. Again, I feel like I know them both. To be honest, it’s my least anticipated paring of the bunch.

 
 

BlindSpotGrapesOfWrath

Grapes Of Wrath (1940)
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)

Classic Americana as Henry Fonda and Jimmie Stewart both fight for their survival, their beliefs and what their country stands for.

 

A Star Is Born (1954)
Cabaret (1972)

Neither of these musicals is your typical “joy of life” sing-a-long since each touches on some darker themes. Both also show that life in showbiz ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

 

The Phantom Of The Opera (1925)
Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

Likely to be my October post. I’ve caught up on a lot of the classic horror, but these two have eluded me.

 

From Here To Eternity (1953)
Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)

Two films about World War II that don’t actually take place (at least from the U.S. perspective) during the war – one during the lead up and the other just afterwards.

 
 

BlindSpotLaDolceVida

La Dolce Vita (1960)
Farewell My Concubine (1993)

With their epic running times (each just shy of 3 hours) and promises of lavish sets, this seemed like an interesting pairing. Whether the story of the mid-century “good life” of an Italian journalist has any other comparison points to a century of Chinese politics filtered through the Beijing Opera is yet to be determined…

 

In The Heat Of The Night (1967)
Absence Of Malice (1981)

Two Oscar nominated crime pictures with moral tales at their hearts. At least I think they are anyway…They each also have the towering presence of some damn fine acting talent.

 
 

BlindSpotRecklessMoment




9 comments

  1. Saturday Night Fever is something I saw over the holidays and it was not what I was expecting. I thought it was a relatively lighthearted and campy movie but it has a lot of nasty stuff going on.

  2. I always think it’s fascinating to see everyone’s Blind Spot lists. I always assume people like you, Bob, have seen everything I’ve seen and more, and I’ve seen more than half of these. Of course, I’m sure you’ve probably seen more than half of the list I’d make up if I were doing one this year (I kinda still want to make one, even though I barely dented last year’s and I’m unlikely to have time/energy for anything really attention-worthy with an infant). I dunno. It’s just interesting to me that cinephiles all over the web can all have such vast viewing histories that end up not having as much overlap as you’d think.

    These all sound like really good matchups (the ones where I’ve seen both films definitely are, and the others seem pretty spot-on double features, too), so I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with on them.

    • Don’t worry, I’ll be able to do Blind Spot lists for years to come – even with doubling up every month. I’ve certainly seen a lot of the classics, but plenty have escaped me. Just going through the Oscar nominees would take me awhile (though I must admit, much of that would seem like homework – there are plenty of nominees through the years I just don’t have much interest in watching).

      Now go make your list and allow me to come back at you with “You haven’t seen that yet?!?!” B-)

      • I buckled to peer pressure already – check out my blog for my list (carefully chosen for a year with little free time and lots of distractions!). :)

  3. I’m planning on trying again this year after failing abysmally last year (only watched 7). Although January is almost up and I’ve not even attempted to watch anything yet. I’ve come up with a list though, just not publicised it.

    Here it is:

    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Cabaret
    Gojira (Godzilla)
    Jules et Jim
    Les Vacances de M. Hulot *
    Rio Bravo
    Seven Samurai
    Short Cuts
    The Fly (1986)
    The Great Dictator
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    THX 1138

    * – I got a Tati boxset last year and haven’t seen any yet. Les Vancances… was my random pick from the set to go on the list. I wasn’t sure which one was classed as his most ‘have to watch’ title.

    • M. Hulot’s Holiday is a popular one, David, but I liked Mon Oncle and Playtime a lot more, if those are in your set. I would say of the five or six Tati films I’ve seen, Playtime is the most “have to watch” one, but I don’t know if it’s the right one to start with. Maybe Bob or someone else can weigh in. That’s a really solid list overall. I’ve still got Cronenberg’s The Fly on my own list – been there for several years. I need to get on that.

      • Thanks for that – maybe I’ll do a switch for Mon Oncle then. So long as I watch one of them I’ll be happy! The set I’ve got has all of his feature films except Traffic so I’ve got plenty to choose from.

        • I’d probably stick with M. Hulot’s Holiday…Though I’m in agreement with Jandy in that I like Mon Oncle better and absolutely adore Playtime, I think it’s best to see those three in order – the first is a gentle comedy set in the country, the second is a bit more satirical as modern technology encroaches and the third looks at the sterility of the modern city after it has pushed out the country style of living. Not necessary to see them in order, but I think it adds something (even if the first is the weakest IMO). I’ve had Jour De Fete on the PVR for over a year – I really should get to it…

          Great list – I’ve seen all but the first two (All Quiet almost made my list this year). Like Jandy said, it’s funny how I can have seen most of your list, but then have gaping holes in my own…

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