Sunday, June 30, 2013

Month 42 Status Report

June has come and gone. I managed my goal of 25 films off the list, barely, but I made it just the same. This leaves me with 85 films to review, which will almost certainly not happen in the 92 days leading up to the release of the next edition of The List.

That's okay, though. My plan was to leave a film or two back anyway. I didn't want to finish only to have to restart again a week or two later because more films were added. No, I'll still be done by the end of the year, but I won't finish up before the 10th version arrives.

June was a good month--I got through a few films I was worried about, for one thing. I also took out the longest film I had left, which always feels like an accomplishment.

The summer months await. July will see another 25 (at least) going down, and with luck, I'll do a couple more than that. The issue I'm starting to face is films that I've simply avoided up to this point. There are still some I'm excited to see and others I'm excited to see again. But there are still a couple that worry me or that I know I dislike. More troubling, though, are the films that I simply have no interest in. I'll need to work through as many of those this coming month as I can. The good news with those is that they also tend to be the films that surprise me the most.


  1. How different is the newest edition of The List from the previous edition? Is each successive edition always larger (in terms of the number of films) than the previous one? How many more films do you think might be added to the newest edition? Surely not that many... right?

    1. Kevin - Amazon says that there will be 50 new entries in the next edition, as well as extensive changes to the pictures, posters, etc. There's been some discussion on what we hope will happen here:

    2. The hope, or at least my hope, is that this will be an extensive rewrite. There's a lot of chaff in the early years that can and should go away.

  2. Well, figure that in eight updates, they've added 102 films (which includes the listing of the LotR Trilogy as a single film). Typically, each volume adds about a baker's dozen. However, there is some speculation that the 10th edition will swap out as many as 50.

    We'll see. Last year, it was no trouble to get through all of the additions in a couple of months. Even with 50, I'm looking at about two months' work.

  3. Here's to the nice surprises. I hope you will get a few of those.

    1. Let's hope. I'm certain there are a few gems tucked into what's left.

  4. Congrats on getting down under 100 left this last month. I'm right there with you on having to now watch some I've been avoiding and some I don't care about. This might have been what led to a slightly higher than usual number of 1 star movies for me from the list in June.

    Of the movies you have left, you could do a pairing of Kiarostami movies - The White Balloon and A Taste of Cherry. Another pairing might be The Butcher Boy and Cria Cuervos for the different ways children are presented. Another pairing might be Happy Together and Taboo.

    My opinion on the best ones you've got left that you haven't seen are: Paths of Glory, Real Life (just saw it in June; laughed out loud), The Thin Blue Line, and The Barbarian Invasions. I won't list the worst since I don't want to make you dread them even more than you might already (although I am curious to see what your reaction to Tetsuo is - other than WTF).

    1. Tetsuo is one of the ones I'm a little leery of. Perhaps in July...perhaps. You won't have to wait long for The Barbarian Invasions because that one is going up today.

      What do you still have left? You've got to be under 50, don't you?

      I'm finding that my time simply isn't allowing for double features any more. I could probably still manage one now and again--but these days, director double features are probably the easiest (I've got two Hitchcocks left, two Zemeckis, and a few others like that). It's possible. I'd love to take out a bunch in July/August and spend a little time in September preempting some of what I think will be in the new edition.

    2. I would call Tetsuo an attempt to do a live action movie in the same genre as the animated Akira...except a lot weirder (really.) At least it's only 70 minutes.

      "You've got to be under 50, don't you?"

      Yes, since you've replied on the status post at my blog you now know I have 22 left.

      "I'd love to take out a bunch in July/August and spend a little time in September preempting some of what I think will be in the new edition."

      Well, some "low hanging fruit" for you would be to watch the 9 Oscar nominees from 2012. All are available (or will be - Amour is coming in late August). I'm sure not all will be in the new list, but they are ones you can check off your Watching Oscar list, too. When I decided to actively work on the 1,001 Movies list I checked to see which ones were also on the Best Picture Nominees list (then later on the AFI list) and watching them gave me a little psychological boost from the feeling that I was getting more done because I could check things off on more than one list at once.

    3. I have a review of Beasts of the Southern Wild sitting in the "I didn't have time to watch something today" file.

      I responded to you here before I looked at your latest status, so yes, I know now what I didn't know then.

      In terms of the next edition and the most recent Best Picture nominees, here's how I rate them in terms of likelihood:
      Amour: Best Foreign Language always makes it in. Guarantee.
      Argo: Best Picture always makes it in. Guarantee.
      Beasts of the Southern Wild: Everyone's indie darling. Very likely.
      Django Unchained: Wild card. The book loves Tarantino. Moderately likely.
      Life of Pi: On the cover. Absolute lock.
      Lincoln: Very, very, very likely.
      Les Miserables: Another wild card. It's a modern musical, lush sets, period costumes. Moderately likely.
      Silver Linings Playbook: Nominated for everything, so very likely.
      Zero Dark Thirty: The least likely of the Best Picture noms. Doubtful.

    4. I'm figuring Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook are the most likely to be on the outside looking in. It's critics who pick the movies in the book. Les Mis had audience support (although I was lukewarm on it), but much less critical support than the other nominees. As for Silver Linings Playbook it's really nothing more than a romantic comedy with mental illness thrown in to the mix. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but critics don't tend to go for rom-coms. I think the illness aspect leant it a sheen of "respectability" with critics initially, but that was wearing off by the time the Oscars were done.

      Having said all this, I would have said the same about War Horse last year. I was flabbergasted that it made the book. Other than the fact that it was directed by Spielberg, I see no reason whatsoever for it to be on any list. And I would have figured Midnight in Paris to almost be a lock to make it - director they like (Woody Allen), European setting (most of the pickers are European), many references to other famous creative people, etc.

    5. Silver Linings Playbook may have risen and fallen, but it got a ton of nominations, so I think it has a chance. Critics may not go for rom-coms, but they often go for really good rom-coms, and by all accounts, SLP is a really good one.

      And boy, do I agree with you on War Horse! That's one I can't imagine will stay in the next edition.

    6. I'm assuming Lincoln will take the place of War Horse.

      I liked SLP quite a bit. It just missed my Top 10 for the year. My favorite among the nominees was Django Unchained and I'm not a Tarantino follower. I feel he's had hits, but also had misses. Django is actually my favorite of all the films he's done.

      Here's how I ranked the nominees, if you are interested:

      And if you're curious about my Top 10:

    7. FWIW, the Amazon listing for the new edition updated a little while ago with the inside jacket cover quote, which (along with Life of Pi on the cover) mentions Amour, Argo, and Django Unchained as making it in. Not surprising, any of the three of them.

    8. @Chip--I'm figuring the same. War Horse should've never been on the list in the first place.

      @Adol--Yeah, that sounds about right. Life of Pi, Argo, and Amour were all pretty much locks to begin with. Django surprises me not at all.