I don't really do New Years Resolutions. No particular reason, but it's just one of those many social phenomena I've never really subscribed to. I do, however, have a ludicrous amount of 'important', acclaimed or cult films I have shamefully yet to get around to. 2012 proved a fruitful year for working through some of these films - from shameful omissions (I had only seen the first half of The Searchers until a month or so ago) to theatrical re-releases (from Laurence of Arabia to Husbands) and belated DVD / Blu-Ray restorations (from Passion of Joan of Arc to The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums).
With 2012 drawing to a close, however, I still find myself with hundreds of titles I need to find time to get through. With that in mind, I've decided to set myself a modest challenge: watch and blog about twenty of these titles in 2013. Twenty may not seem like a lot, but given my general level of uncertainty (an uncertainty that is, by the way, kind of exciting) about how the year will play out, twenty seems like an achievable, realistic goal. Also, many of the films on the list are not exactly the most readily accessible. Some are out-of-print or only available as expensive box-sets. Others require importing (Yi Yi, for example, is disgracefully unavailable on Region 2 DVD, so Criterion it will have to be). Two of the films breeze past the 400 minute mark. Twenty films are only a fraction of my personal watchlist, but hopefully the films chosen will prove moderately challenging to track down, watch and write about.
So without further ado, I present the twenty titles I intend to work through over the forthcoming 365 days. I've tried to pick a diverse bunch, from the earliest cinema to much more modern titles, and traversing a wide geographical range in the process. Some of these films have been ones I've been meaning to get around to for years, others more recently flagged by the handy checklists that are the Sight & Sound Top 100, academic / critical articles and film reference guides. Fingers crossed in a year I'll be back confirming success or failure, and preferably with twenty extra blog posts backing me up (plus, of course, your regular programming). Hopefully see you then!
- La Règle du jeu (Rules of the Game) - Jean Renoir
- Attack the Gas Station! - Kim Sang-jin
- Yi Yi (A One and a Two) - Edward Yang
- Ordet - Carl Theodor Dreyer
- Close-up - Abbas Kiarostami
- Sátántangó - Bela Tarr
- Shoah - Claude Lanzmann
- Le Jette / Sans Soleil - a Chris Marker double bill!
- Come and See - Elem Klimov
- Barry Lyndon - Stanley Kubrick
- Greed - Erich von Stroheim
- Intolerance - D.W. Griffith
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles - Chantal Akerman
- Pather Panchali - Satyajit Ray
- Battles Without Honour and Humanity - Kinji Fukasaku
- The Naked Island - Kaneto Shindo
- Tabu - F.W. Murnau
- Nashville - Robert Altman
- The Killing of a Chinese Bookie - John Cassavetes
- I Was Born, But... - Yasujiro Ozu