Thursday, September 24, 2020

Possible Changes...and a Favor

I'm nearing the end of the Oscars list--I have 10 movies I haven't seen on the list now, and of those, nine are either missing or are virtually unavailable. I'm also close to the end of the "Oscar Got It Wrong" posts. I do have a direction I want to take those in the near future. To do so, though, I'm going to need some help.

On Letterboxd, I have a list of films that have been recommended to me. It's actually a little more and a little less than that. The list is of films that were recommended that were not on any of the lists I have pursued on this blog. There are a few others that I have seen, but have not watched in years, so there isn't a review of them on my Letterboxd page.

The rest of the movies on this massive list (it's close to 900 titles) are movies I haven't seen that have been specifically recommended in conjunction with the Oscar Got It Wrong posts. If you recommended something for (say) 1996 Best Picture that I haven't seen, it's on this list. I'm putting the finishing touches on it now, but I wanted to get this posted today. The list is in order by year of release, and alphabetical within a given year.

So what I need is any additional recommendations you have. I've been compiling this full list for the last few days (hence the lack of activity here). I want serious suggestions--don't offer up Birdemic: Shock and Terror because you want me to watch it (and I already have, so there's that). You can recommend movies that are considered not very good as long as they are movies that you genuinely like. Have a heart here, folks--the list is already close to 900 movies.

Anyway, here's list.


  1. Your knowledge of film has become so encyclopedic and galaxy-spanning that I don't think there's a single thing my puny brain can offer up. For pretty much any movie I might recommend, you've likely seen it, and my own tastes don't lead me far beyond the boringly mainstream and conventional. So asking me to offer you recommendations is like asking a drooling infant to give an opinion on where to go from here with fusion reactors.

    You do realize that, through this blog, you've built a sort of empire of knowledge and critique that really deserves to be turned into its own book or books. That's the project I'm working on, in fact, but whereas I'm going to self-publish a single volume of movie reviews, you could easily publish a series of tomes that would occupy several shelves.

    All of which is to say: sorry, I got nuthin'.

  2. I believe I come from the same place as Kevin. One idea I have had myself and which I want to pass on to you is to go international. The 1001 list goes far and wide (tons of junk included), but the list editors are very focused on specific directors. You have expanded with the Oscars lists, but they are very American. My idea would be to dive into specific countries with a wealth of interesting movies of which the general public only knows a few. Korean movies could be an option. Spain is a lot more than Bunuel and Aldomodovar and what about South American movies? I am certain there is a lot more than telenovellas.
    I decided to explore Danish movies in addition to the list and although that is a very narrow area, I have found a lot more than I expected.
    Just a thought...

    1. I think you both might be selling yourselves short here. Sure, I've seen a ton of movies over the last dozen years or so, but the fact that more than 800 have been recommended to me is evidence that I'm not close to done. Both of you, at the very least, have access to national cinemas that I really don't. I know almost nothing about Bollywood and I don't think I've ever seen a Nollywood movie. There are hundreds of noirs I've never seen.

      One of the most important things I've learned in all of this is to never judge someone else's viewing history. We've all got holes.

  3. So glad you are going to do this, Steve. You have a fabulous list. I will see if there are any gaps I can recommend from the pre-1972 period or after. Will make the comments on Letterboxd. Forgive me if I mention a bunch of stuff that you have already seen or is even already on your list!

    1. Please do! I'm a lot thinner on those earlier years.

  4. So far from your list, I've seen 388 (44%) of the films that is in your list. So far, I've covered some of the films by Kurosawa and Ozu as they're all a must to watch. I hope you get a chance to watch hopefully half of these films in that list (just to be realistic).

    1. A lot of the suggestions on that list came from you, point of fact.

    2. Oh, thank you. There's so many films out there and I feel like you and I have barely scratched the surface of what cinema is.

    3. It's such a validation of Dunning-Kruger. Before I started this blog, I thought I was so damn smart when it came to film. Now, thousands of movies later, I realize just how little I really know and how much there is to see.

  5. I have some, which could have been more but you asked us to go easy so I restricted myself to just a couple/few per era up until the 2000’s because my knowledge gets weaker there. But your list will help me fill some gaps across the decades, though I’m pretty good on those earlier ones.

    You might have seen some of these but as far as I could tell they weren’t up for any awards that would have made viewing them part of your project.

    A Page of Madness-1926
    Beggars of Life-1928

    Madchen in Uniform-1931

    The Sisters-1938-I know you love Bette Davis and this came right between Jezebel and Dark Victory.

    The Mad Miss Manton-1938-Barbara Stanwyck in a comic murder mystery.

    Saboteur-1942-It’s considered lesser Hitchcock and it might not be up to the North by Northwest/Lifeboat/Notorious level but I’ve always loved it.

    The Web-1947
    Le Silence de la Mer-1949

    The Happiest Days of Your Life-1950
    We’re No Angels-1955
    Across the Bridge-1957

    Conspiracy of Hearts-1960
    Blast of Silence-1961

    The Iceman Cometh-1973-It’s grim and incredibly long (almost 4 hours) but it’s powerfully acted by all and contains the final performances of Fredric March and Robert Ryan. You’ll probably never want to watch it again, I know I don’t, but I’m glad I saw it.

    Stevie-1978-A small film that provides a great showcase for Glenda Jackson as poet Stevie Smith.

    The Belle of Amherst-1976-Not sure if it was ever released theatrically and it doesn’t quite capture how great Julie Harris was on stage as Emily Dickinson (I saw her and can attest that she was spellbinding) but this is as close as you can get to seeing someone in full command of their craft in a part that allows them to use so much of it.

    The Grey Fox-1982
    Veronika Voss-1982

    Beautiful Thing-1996

    Hope these help!

    1. Hugely helpful! I'll add all of these but a couple. A Page of Madness is on the They Shoot Zombies list, and both The Web and Le Silence de la Mer are already listed, but the rest I will add.

    2. Oops with those two but as you said it's nearly 900 titles! My eyes started to cross at certain points!! Anxious to see what route you take with them all.

    3. It's a huge list, and "mego" (my eyes glaze over) is extremely easy to have happen. I appreciate your even attempting to scroll through it!

  6. Here are some suggestions (sorry if you have already seen them. I did check, but might have missed them). Some are "love them or hate them" films.

    Loveless (2017)
    God's Own Country (2017)
    Beast (2017)
    Wild Rose (2018)
    The Love Witch (2016)
    Tickled (2016) - documentary that is best watched knowing as little as possible going in
    Our Little Sister (2015)
    The Duke of Burgundy (2014)
    Girlhood (2014)
    In Bloom (2013)
    Like Father Like Son (2013)
    Beyond the Hills (2012)
    This is Not a Film (2011)
    The Arbor (2010) - a documentary/ dramatisation
    Summer Wars (2009)
    4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (2007)
    The Circle (2000)
    Shame (1988)
    Patrick (1978)
    Getting Straight (1970)
    Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
    King and Country (1964)
    Charulata (1964)
    The Big City (1963)
    Kanal (1957)
    The Court Jester (1955)
    The Big Clock (1948)
    I Was Born, But (1932)
    The Lodger (1927)
    The Cat and the Canary (1927)

    Many on your "To Watch" list are on mine too. Unfortunately international film copyright laws makes it nearly impossible to watch some of the films in Australia (legally at any rate).

    1. Strongly second Charulata, The Big City, Kanal, I Was Born But ..., an The Lodger from Julia's suggestions.

    2. The Lodger, The Cat and the Canary, and Patrick are all on the They Shoot Zombies list. I've seen Tora! Tora! Tora!, but not recently enough to have a firm opinion on it. I do not know the rest at all, so on the list they go. Thank you!

  7. To eliminate the riff-raff I limited my recommendations to movies that made my "10 best of the year" lists (of which I have only published 4 so far - 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 - so I may come back with more recommendations in the future!).

    I did my best to check that these are not already on your to-watch list and you have not seen them before, but apologies if you have already watched or listed the following:

    From 2010:
    Sarah's Key
    The Town
    Love And Other Drugs
    The Debt

    From 2014:
    Edge Of Tomorrow
    What We Did On Our Holiday
    The Drop

    From 2015:

    1. I've seen Edge of Tomorrow and Fury--both worth the recommendation. The others I shall add. Thanks!

  8. Some movies I really love:

    The Green Ray (1986) (My favorite french film)
    Pauline at the Beach (1984)
    A Summer's Tale (1996)
    Two English Girls (1971) (A very underrated Truffaut film).
    Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)
    Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
    Tower (2016)
    Imitation of Life (1959)
    The Driver (1978)
    Silence (2016)
    The Daytrippers (1996)
    What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
    Love Streams (1984)
    Exotica (1994)
    Hardcore (1979)
    Mustang (2015)

    1. A couple of these (Mustag, Imitation of Life, Bunny Lake) have been suggested, so I'll take this as additional endorsement. The rest I shall add.


    2. Strong second for The Green Ray/Summer. I think if you are going to watch the 1959 Imitation of Life you might consider also watching the 1934 version which is excellent.

    3. I've seen the 1934 version and enjoyed it quite a bit. I've heard the 1959 version is better, so I'm looking forward to it.

  9. Hate to keep piling on but I really loved Kurosawa's Dodesukaden (1970), having zero expectations going in.

  10. I only have one suggestion, simply because it might be my personal favorite movie of all time and you don't have it either in your list or your "watched movies" on Letterboxd...

    Backdraft (1991)

    1. I have not seen it--thanks for the recommendation!

  11. I do have two more to suggest both starring my girl Clara Bow, one silent and one sound.

    It (1927)-Which was tailored to exploit her nickname and special quality.

    Call Her Savage (1932)-A wild pre-code where Clara goes through incredible tumult in its short running time. It posits some ridiculous reasoning but it contains a lot of things that would vanish within a year because of the Production Code and you get Thelma Todd too! Clara's penultimate film and she gives it all she's got.

    1. I've considered watching It before based on reputation. I really should pull the trigger on it.

      They're both going on the list. Thanks!