#50 Watch the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.
Update #91: #10 The Wizard of Oz (1939)
I think this is the third time I've seen The Wizard of Oz in the past couple years. First I watched it when I got my medical marijuana card and had never tested the Dark of Oz. I'm not a big fan of Pink Floyd and up until about five years ago I wasn't a big fan of pot.
Turns out, I'm still not a fan of Pink Floyd but it turns out I'm a fan of pot and while high I saw a YouTube video that mention The Wizard of Oz in connection with the movie Southland Tales. Being that I had been watching Southland Tales once a week to write a new review falling each viewing at the time, I just had to watch the two movies back to back and compare and contrast them.
Click here to read that review.
This viewing was rather dry. I've been cramming in a lot of AFI movies over the past couple days to make this resolution's deadline. I'm getting a little burnt out on these classics but I can see why most were included on the list including The Wizard of Oz. Though I feel I've had my fill of this movie I don't seem to be able to escape it so I'm sure I'll see it again at some point in my life.
Update #92: #9 Vertigo (1958)
Up until last night I always thought I had seen Vertigo before but apparently I was wrong. It turns out I've only seen the iconic falling scenes from documentaries and clip shows. At first I was excited to be watching an Alfred Hitchcock that was new to me. Not only that but it was also a new James Steward movie to me.
If there's one thing that I've learned from watching the movies on the AFI Top 100 Movies of All Time list, is that I'm a fan of Jimmy Stewart.
I had high expectations for Vertigo.
Then about a half hour into the movie I found myself getting bored. The movie is fine, I just found myself getting lost in thought as I tried to follow along.
The problem was not the movie but the fact that I've been marathon watching the last of the movies on the AFI Top 100 Movies of All Time list to finish the resolution on time. I'm getting tired of the style of these old movie. I'm sure if I were to take a break from watching movies and watch Vertigo again as a casual viewing I would be a big fan but as it stands I found Vertigo to be an alright movie.
Again, an alright movie that I know I would have found great under different circumstances. Other than the fact that I don't think Vertigo is the best of the Hitchcock movies I do see why it made the list. As far as whether or not I will give this movie it's needed second chance, I doubt that'll happen but wouldn't be surprised if I did.
Update #93: #8 Schindler's List (1993)
This is my second time watching Schindler's List. I don't know if there is a right mood to watch this movie in but last night I wasn't in it. Thought it's a great movie that deserves to be on the list I don't have much to say about it.
To me, Schindler's List is one of those movies that you watch once and now that I've seen it twice I think I'm good. This has more to do with the fact that I'm burnt out on the worlds history with war, and has nothing to do with the quality of the film.
Update #94: #7 Lawrence of Arabia (1971)
All I knew about Lawrence of Arabia going into this viewing was that it's long. When I sat down to start the movie and saw that the timer went up to around three and a half hours, I was almost instantly sent into a funk.
I'm burnt out from the movies on this list.
Lawrence of Arabia seemed to be a perfectly fine movie but I just never really got into it. Though I watched the entire movie I must have only been there in body. My mind was definitely somewhere else because I can barely tell you what this movie is about and I just watched it this morning.
That said, I don't think I'm the right person to gauge whether or not Lawrence of Arabia belongs on this list. Being that the movie didn't win me over on this first viewing I doubt I'll ever return for seconds.
Update #95: #6 Gone With the Wind (1940)
I would have probably given Gone With the Wind a better chance if I hadn't just finished watching Lawrence of Arabia. When a three and a half hour movie is the shorter of the two in a double feature then you've got a problem.
I knew the movie was long but I didn't realize how long. When I saw it was almost four hours long I knew the viewing was going to be a chore. Hell, I wasn't looking forward to watching this movie regardless of it's length.
But I did what I had to and fired up the movie. I was happy to see that the movie follows the structure of Taming of the Shrew, my favorite of the Shakespeare plays I ad to read in high school.
I was happy not because I was looking forward to this telling of the Taming but because I was familiar enough with the Shrew's storyline that if I zoned out I wouldn't be that lost when my attention returned.
The movie was fine and fun at times and I can see why it made the list. I doubt I'll ever watch it again because of it's length alone, but then again I'd probably never watch Gone With the Wind again even if it was short.
Update #96: #5 Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Going into last night's viewing of Singin' in the Rain, I was under the impression that I had never seen the movie and that all I knew about it was the song and dance about the rain. Then as the story began to progress I started to remember that this is the comedy about the introduction of sound to cinema.
The invention of the talky.
It turns out that not only have I seen this movie before but I think about it every time a new piece of technology is introduced to filmmaking. I often say there was a movie about how sound was at first thought to be a fade and that there was an awkward transition between silent film and the talky as the technical team had to figure out the best way to implement sound recording devices.
It turns out, the movie I was often thinking about is Singin' in the Rain, and I'm happy to have seen it again. I really needed a comedy to break the mood of the last three movies I watched. I can fully see why Singin' in the Rain made the list and again, though I would never seek it out to watch again, I would have no problem sitting through this movie again if someone else were interested.
Update #97: #4 Raging Bull (1980)
Raging Bull turns out to be another great movie that I thought I had already seen only to find out that... nope... other than the greatest hits, this movie was a whole new venture for me. I hate to admit it but even though I saw moments of a great film I didn't give Raging Bull the attention it deserved.
Again having watching a little over 20 AFI Top 100 Movies of All Time Movies in a little over a week I've been burnt out on movies in general, let alone older movies with slower paces that I would normally love if I weren't watching them so close to one another.
Even though I wasn't giving it my all, I was paying enough attention that I know that I liked the movie, see why it's on the list, and would actually like to see again sometime in the near future.
Update #98: #3 Casablanca (1942)
Today I watched Casablanca for the very first time. I've avoided this movie for the longest because I was pretty certain that it would live up to my expectations, and those expectations were to disappoint.
I don't think Casablanca is necessarily a bad movie, it's just not a movie for me. It's an obvious classic that won't be effected at all by negative opinion but I openly admit a majority of the movies on this list are not really for me due to my peculiar taste.
Though Casablanca made the AFI list, it didn't make mine and I doubt that I will ever see this movie again.
Update #99: #2 The Godfather (1972)
As I've said before, I've gone to two film schools for writing, and worked in the film industry for a few years. In that time the response usually range from shock to disgust when people find out I've never seen The Godfather. I've been told time after time that I have to see this movie.
Well I finally have and I'm pleased to announce that I was right all the time. There was no need for me to watch this movie.
It's not that I'm being hard headed. There is nothing I love more than discovering things that I love when I go in with expectations of hatred. The Godfather did not win me over. I just have no interested in Mafia Culture and never will be.
The viewing wasn't all that unpleasant though. I did find it very entertaining that due to The Godfather's influence on Pop Culture it felt as if I've seen the entire movie through references, homages, and parody. I didn't know the order of the scenes but I definitely knew the lines or at least the gist of every single scene.
Since The Godfather is relevant enough for me to have seen the movie without actually seeing it is a sign that it belongs on the list. I'm fine with seeing it once but wouldn't mind if I never see The Godfather again.
Update #100: #1 Citizen Kane (1941)
I'm not sure if I agree that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made but I was happy that it's the top of the AFI list. I'd already gone through the battle of expecting to hate this movie only to find that I was a surprised fan.
I was actually looking forward to this viewing and am happy Citizen Kane finished off my AFI experience.
Luckily this experiment was more about me watching the movies than me writing reviews because I don't have much to say other than I really like Citizen Kane and even though it wouldn't be my number one I can see why it made the top of the list that I'd be happy to watch again some time.
Update #101: The Conclusion.
I knew going into this resolution that this was going to be more of a chore than a treat. Over the past several years I've been growing more and more frustrated with traditional structure. Most of the movies on this list made the list because they are jump off points for genre trends and story conventions in film. These fresh at the time, trends and conventions are now the standard to the point where they seem cookie cutter and cliche.
They say that there are ten different plotlines. It seems to me with cinema the closer the story sticks to one of these familiar ten the more likely it will land on a list. As someone who enjoys more experimental cinema it's frustrating to see more of the same be rewarded as much as it is.
The frustration caused by recycled plots and standardized structure was enhanced by the fact that most of these classic spotlight how little we've actually progressed in the past 100 years because of the worlds inability to escape the same plotlines in reality.
Every single movie on the list that had a satirical slant, or a political jab, or even a flat out warning of global concern; pointed out problems that are still plaguing us to this day. It seems like other than technology and who we're discriminating the world doesn't seem to have changed all that much in the past 100 years.
Part of me blames concept of ten tales and standardized structure. As long as we stick to the structure of the narrative written by the writers of history all roads lead to Armageddon. Both history and the film industry are going to continue on this path of self-destruction until new plotlines are implemented to get us out of our current narrative.
Hm, this got a little weird here at the end, but keep in mind...
I'm kind of high.