I’ll admit it. I’m stubborn. A bit of a rebel. When people tell me to do something, I mostly do the exact opposite. Because I’m an adult, damnit. Only I was like this as a kid, too.
When people tell me I just have to do this or that, I mostly just roll my eyes. I’ll do what I want, okay?
So, this way of being has led me to a lifetime of watching really obscure, bizarre movies or hopeless romantic comedies (that are really quite bad) while missing all the “classics” of my generation. I also attribute my lack of exposure to certain films to my sheltered childhood. Growing up with very little, we never got to see films in theaters. I can only really remember watching Crocodile Dundee. Most of the time, we were stuck with what was on TV. Basic TV, at that. (I think we had cable for 3 months during all of my childhood). By the time I was a teen and could rent movies, I had pretty weird taste in movies. And well, everything.
Now that I’m 35, I’ve realized that I kind of missed out on some pretty fun stuff. Or seemingly fun (since I haven’t seen these things, I can only assume…people look like these things make them happy). I’ve also found myself in many conversations where I have no idea what the Hell people are talking about.
I have a thing called a Mighty List, and–at some point–I decided that I wanted to watch a bunch of movies. I really wanted to expose myself to new things and get out of my comfort zone. So, this is part of that. My list is mostly based on other people’s shock when I tell them that I have no knowledge of said films.
Without further ado…
Labyrinth (1986) – I attempted to watch this once, back in 2004. My then-fiance was completely perplexed that I hadn’t seen this movie. He was a big science fiction geek who tried and tried to expand my horizons. (He once gave me every Kurt Vonnegut book ever simply because I’d never–gasp–read anything from that guy). I was actually trying really hard to watch the movie–even though I had a hunch I probably wouldn’t like it. I’m not much of a science fiction/fantasy person, to be honest. But it was weird, and there was David Bowie–and ooh, Jim Henson. Yea…totally fell asleep ten minutes in. Like dead to the world asleep.
ET – The Extra Terrestrial (1982) – This is another one my ex-fiance tried to get me to watch…that I tried to watch. I passed out about 15 minutes in. This one really took some doing to get me to agree. I’ll admit–I avoided it on purpose my entire life simply because people said it was an Alma film.
Star Wars Original Trilogy (1977) – I think this is the one I get crap about the most. I’ve had past boyfriends try to convince me to watch it, telling me all about the mythology (which does seem cool). But I always refused. I had to draw a line somewhere, and I just couldn’t go there. I guess I am now a bit more curious about all the fuss.
Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – It just never occurred to me to willingly watch this movie.
Inception (2010) – Another movie that all my friends said was an “Alma” movie. I just could never go there.
The Matrix (1999) – I once had a friend who would talk for hours about this movie, and I had no clue what they were even talking about.
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – Absolutely no excuse. They do midnight showings every weekend at the theater in my neighborhood.
The Godfather (1972) – I have absolutely no good reason for avoiding this one all my life. I actually love a good mob flick.
Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) – I actually think I’ll like this one.
Bull Durham (1988) – I adore Susan Sarandon, so I pretty much have to see this one.
Road House (1989) – For me, Patrick Swayze began and ended with Dirty Dancing.
Die Hard (1988) – I still have no clue why this is a Christmas movie.
There you have it. Make fun of me. Share awesome romantic comedies. (I swear I’ve seen all the good ones, and everything else is just terrible). I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
So I’m late getting to the party. Hopefully I’m still fashionably late without being embarrassingly late. But isn’t that the point of Cinema Shame? We’re all a little late getting to a party that we believe is worth attending for some particular reason, and the embarrassment of our tardiness has evolved to…shame.
I’m thankful my hosts were gracious enough to not only extend the invitation, but to open the door about a month after the party started, and to allow me to enter, shamed, but with style.
The parties I’d like to attend (yes, I made it to the January and February bashes, and they were swell):
January: To Catch a Thief – 1955 (Saw this on Cary Grant’s Birthday)
February: The Great Race – 1965
March: Midnight – 1939 (Highly recommended by my host @007hertrumble)
April: Lawrence of Arabia – 1962
May: City Lights – 1931
June: Breakfast at Tiffany’s – 1961
July: Birth of a Nation – 1915
August: Rififi – 1955
September: Cabaret – 1972
October: Blade Runner – 1982
November: Sunset Boulevard – 1950
December: Dr. Strangelove – 1964
Viewed at the Alamo Drafthouse for their Alamo 100 series, I even got a cool little pin with Dr. Strangelove’s face on it! It was projected in 4K, and my wife got a pizza while I got a burger. It was a perfect evening with a perfect movie. It really doesn’t get any better than classic cinema at the Drafthouse.
I don’t know what took me so long to see this film, but I’m glad I finally did. Take two parts hilarity, one part ‘straight from the headlines,’ and one part ‘snap-shot of a time and place in our history’ and that’s Dr. Strangelove. Yeah that’s a lot of varied parts but it’s that kind of film.
Endlessly watchable and constantly surprising, it’s a classic film with a modern mentality, with a subversive sense of humor that I’m sure must’ve been quite shocking for it’s time. I really enjoyed this and it gives me great hope for the rest of my CinemaShame list.
LIAR. I am a BIG. FAT. LIAR. I don’t know that the movie is great, because I’ve never seen it. But how could I admit that to you? How could I possibly admit that to myself? Well enough lies. Enough with the ambiguous talking points based on what I’ve read from other critics. It’s time to make myself more knowledgable on the films that define modern and classic cinema, and it’s time to step out from the darkness into the light.
This is my list of shame…
January – Dr. Strangelove
February – Sabrina
March – Enter the Dragon (to celebrate The Raid 2 coming out)
We’ve all done it. Nodded along to a conversation about a movie or album that you’ve never seen or heard, the beads of nervous sweat gathering in your palm, heart rate slightly elevated. You don’t want to be one of ‘those people’.
Until Cinema Shame.
A place where I can declare heartily “I’VE NEVER SEEN GREASE” and not be judged too harshly (I hope).
Picking the list of 12 was tough. My initial list of 18 has three Tom Hanks movies on it and, as you can see below, only one made the final 12 and I’ve put that off until November. Dear God, let’s hope this doesn’t spill over into 2015…
It’s a mix of genres but I’m starting in my happy place – sci-fi. So here goes: