Mike’s Movie Goals For the Year 2013

 For those who have been here a while you sure all know that I’ve been obsessively rambling about a particular list of films I’m targeting to complete. Since this list evolves from year to year, around January of each year the fine folks at They Shoot Pictures Don’t They? update the 1000 Greatest Films of All Time list. Every time I more or less gain some positions with the adding of more recent films that I had the luck to have seen before their intrusion. Being at 551, on the day I wrote those lines down, I still have 449 films to catch before calling it a day. It is quite a huge assignment since my number of watches per year is clearly on a downfall since a couple of years. However, I’ve decided to spot my priorities for this quest (just like Kevyn Knox used to call his) and spot films that are grabbing my attention and that might open my viewing tastes.
First, I made a list of films I’ll likely try to tackle down while trying to get rid of my list of Pantheon Directors at the same time. The Pantheon Directors list stands as the foundation of every film enthusiast and or film critics’ theories and views on the cinema. It is quite arbitrary since American author theorist Andrew Sarris first made it in 1968. Anyhow, I still think it holds the road pretty much.

List of priorities:
Stalker (Tarkovsky)
McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman)
A Woman Under the Influence (Cassavetes)
The Travelling Players (Angelopoulos)
The Crowd (Vidor)
Céline et Julie vont en bateau (Rivette)
Satantango (Tarr)
Harold and Maude (Ashby)
Red Desert (Antonioni)
The Sacrifice (Tarkovsky)
Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (Carax)
Gilda (Charles Vidor)
Le trou (Becker)
Angel Face (Preminger)
Assault on Precinct 13 (Carpenter)
Oldboy (Pak-Wok)

Pantheon Directors:
Robert Flaherty (2): Moana (1925), Man of Aran (1934).
John Ford (5): The Informer (1935), Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), Wagon Master (1950), The Sun Shines Bright (1953), Seven Women (1966).
D.W. Griffith (2): True Heart Susie (1919), Way Down East (1920).
Fritz Lang (11): Destiny (1921), Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922), Die Nibelungen (1924), Spione (1928), The Woman in the Window (1944), The Big Heat (1953), While the City Sleeps (1956), Moonfleet (1955), Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956), The Tiger of Eschnapur (1958), The Indian Tomb (1958).
F.W. Murnau (1): Tabu (1931).
Max Ophüls (3): Liebelei (1932), The Reckless Moment (1949), Le Plaisir (1951).
Jean Renoir (3): La Chienne (1931), La Bête humaine (1938), The Golden Coach (1952).
Josef von Sternberg (5): The Docks of New York (1928), Morocco (1930), Shanghai Express (1932), The Devil is a Woman (1935), Anatahan (1953).

After attacking those two goals I am planning on discovering films from many directors I’ve never seen a single picture. Most are names that I know and read a lot about but never grasped. Well, it could be called a blind spot list, one can say.

Blind spot directors:

Claude Autant-Lara
Jacques Becker
Jules Dassin
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Shohei Imamura
Emir Kusturica
Russ Meyer
Ermano Olmi
Sergeï Parajanov
Maurice Pialat
Vsevolod Pudovkin
Jacques Rivette
Glauber Rocha
Ousmane Sembene
Jean-Marie Straub
Béla Tarr
King Vidor
Raoul Walsh
John Waters
Edward Yang

Finally, like every year, an attempt at watching all the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, prior to the event, is another goal I’m imposing to myself. Imposing, it is right because there are not many Oscar nominated pictures that I often have a personal buzz about but I always love to watch the damn show and know the pictures that are nominated.

Here’s a first glimpse of the final films of my quest:
989. Ben-Hur (Wyler)
990. The Damned (Visconti)

991. Lancelot du Lac (Bresson)
992. The Story of the Late Chrysanthemums (Mizoguchi)
993. A Canterbury Tale (Powell/Pressburger)
994. That Obscure Object of Desire (Buñuel)
995. The Passenger (Antonioni)
996. An Autumn Afternoon (Ozu)
997. Juliet of the Spirits (Fellini)
998. Morocco (Von Sternberg)

999. Smiles of a Summer Night (Bergman)
1000. The Misfits (Huston)

So, it is pretty much my plan for 2013. What are yours? Should I add other films to my priorities?


  1. I recently saw both Le Plaisir and La Bete Humaine and I recommend both, especially La Bete Humaine. It might be my favorite Renoir film.

    Among your list of priorities I'd recommend moving Oldboy to the top and Satantango to the bottom (or removing it entirely). Oldboy is the best of the nine films in that list I've seen. Satantango is the worst. The only reason to sit through this seven hour and fifteen minute film is to be able to brag to others that you did it (or to check it off a list you are working through.) Somewhere inside this behemoth there is probably a good hour and a half movie hidden away, but it is obscured by all the filler that is in the finished product. This is the kind of movie that the fast forward button is made for (as the opening 10 minute long shot of cows wandering through a village will let you know.)

    1. I know that Oldboy is a must see. I can sense your hate towards the much praised Bela Tarr film, but I started watching the first hour and I think I might like it a lot. However, it will take me several sessions to pass through it.


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