Friday, May 8, 2009

The True Jaw Dropper - Films I Have Yet to See

by Julia Smith

The shock value criteria for this list:

First - that half of the films on this list are in my longing-to-see category.

Second - as a graduate of Ryerson's film program in Toronto (14 years ago) most people assume I've seen all the great films. (LOL!)

Third - my husband works at Blockbuster, takes home 10 free rentals a week, and has seen almost every film ever made. Example - he's seen The Duchess with Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes. I have not. It's a film I will love - once I get a minute...

1 - Taxi Driver (1976) by Martin Scorsese

with Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster

A classic. Cutting edge, character-driven, Scorsese in top form, a hotbed of cultural references - everything I could want. Why do I deprive myself?

2 - Cinema Paradiso (1990) by Giuseppe Tornotore

with Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio

"Every Filmmaker's Favorite Film" says caspian1978 on IMDB. "The ending answers all of your questions and completes the missing pieces to all movies. If the musical score doesn't put you in tears, the amazing visuals will push you over the edge."

This one really is a puzzle.

3 - A Christmas Carol (1951) by Brian Desmond Hurst

with Alastair Sim and Mervyn Johns

The 'definitive' film version of one of my favorite all-time stories. My big problem is that I love the 1984 version with George C. Scott so much. I also love the 1999 version with Patrick Stewart.

I like thinking there's a Christmas delight still waiting for me.

4 - Singin' in the Rain (1952) by Stanley Donen

with Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds

This one was doubly hard to miss, as it was screened at film school. I was working a matinee that day at a performing arts theatre, which was a total drag because I'd been looking forward to it.

5 - The Red Shoes (1948) by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

with Anton Walbrook and Moira Shearer

Torn between the love of dance and her passion for her lover - is that not the perfect film for a ballet freak like me? "Personal relationships are fragile; a dancer's active career can be short. If you have a gift, service to it must come first. Domesticity can wait," writes Silverwhistle from Glasgow on the IMDB. After watching the documentary on the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo a few years ago, I must watch The Red Shoes as all the stars of that company dance in the film. In their prime!

6 - Cold Mountain (2003) by Anthony Minghella

with Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger

My former critique partner's favorite film. The late 1800's, battle footage, a tragic love story - why am I doing this to myself?

7 - The Seven Samurai (1954) by Akira Kurosawa

with Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune

My husband is a huge fan of samurai films and Japanese manga like the Lone Wolf and Cub series. My hero George Lucas named this film as an influence to my beloved Star Wars films. And still I've never seen more than clips of this masterpiece.

8 - Breathless (1960) by Jean-Luc Godard

with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg

A landmark film that ushered in the French New Wave. "With fast editing and unresolved camera movements, Godard disseminated the very essence of his hero's lifestyle," says Spiros Gangas of the Edinburgh University Film Society.

About time I saw it, then.

9 - An Inconvenient Truth (2006) by Davis Guggenheim

with Al Gore

Preaching to the converted, but I know I'd love it.

10 - School of Rock (2003) by Richard Linklater

with Jack Black and Joan Cusack

There's no good reason why I haven't seen this yet.

11 - Sleepless in Seattle (1993) by Nora Ephron

with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

Actually, I'm not that much of a contemporary romantic comedy fan. I like them quirkier than this. Like Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! by Pedro Almodovar.

12 - Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) by Audrey Wells

with Diane Lane and Sandra Oh

The people who love this film tell me how gorgeous it is. So maybe one of these days...

I can vouch for the shock value of this list. If you could have seen the look on my mom's face when I mentioned I hadn't seen Casablanca. We remedied that, by the way, my mom and me.

Or on my sister's face when I told her I was putting Taxi Driver at the top of this list.

Are there similar films waiting impatiently for you to watch them?