Tuesday, January 14, 2014

10 Classics for 2014

Hey there, did you miss me? I spent most of December stressed out and on the verge of an anxiety attack so I took some time off from blogging (and from other things) to recuperate. However, my blogging break did not keep from working on a blog project. I've been watching as many Fritz Lang movies as I can in an effort to do more deep viewing and expand my knowledge of film history. I hope to do similar projects with directors and actors/actresses in the future. So far I've watched 14 Fritz Lang films, including all of the silents I could find on DVD, Netflix Instant or on YouTube. I won't be reviewing each film but I'll be doing two posts on the project. Stay tuned.

Another project I want to work on is inspired by Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings. For the past couple of years she's been doing a 10 Classics project in which she picks 10 major classics that she has yet to see and commits herself to watching them and reviewing them on her blog before the year end. Check out her list for 2014. I was impressed by her commitment to broaden her film viewing horizons and decided to jump on the bandwagon. I came up with my own list of 10 major classics to watch in 2014. My list is a combination of American, British and Foreign films. I almost made two lists (one American and one Foreign) but decided to keep it just to 10 for now.

Norman Lloyd told me to watch this film. Well not me directly but to the audience at the TCM Film Festival last year. Leonard Maltin was interviewing Lloyd about another early Hitchcock masterpiece The Lady Vanishes (1938), which we were about to see, and Lloyd waxed enthusiastically about The 39 Steps. He said, "if you want to know how to shoot a film, watch The 39 Steps. Every shot, every camera set, every movement is perfection." (Here is my transcript from his interview) He recommends The 39 Steps to every film student he meets. I own a Criterion Blu-Ray edition so there is no excuse for me not to watch it.

My husband purchased the Blu-Ray of this some time ago and while we usually keep our DVDs and Blu-Rays separate, I put this one in my collection and have been eying it ever since. It's time for me to watch this classic! It's also time for me to stop calling it The Bridge OVER the River Kwai.

 I adore Sidney Poitier and he's my top choice for my next "deep viewing" movie project. It's embarrassing that I haven't seen this one yet and now I will finally get why everyone loves to repeat the famous quote "They call me Mr. Tibbs".

I've watched the first 20 minutes of this film on TCM once but haven't gotten around to watching the whole thing. Which is a shame because this is a much beloved classic. Jill of Sittin' on a Backyard Fence adores this film and I often see her tweeting about it whenever its on TCM. Her enthusiasm for the film makes this a top candidate for me!

Touch of Evil (1958)
The other day my husband asked me if Touch of Evil was a good film and I replied that I hadn't seen it yet. My husband was quite shocked. I took his response as a gauntlet thrown and the challenge was accepted.

A shout out to one of my readers Greg who recommended this film to me a long time ago. He emailed me after I had reviewed the film Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) which inspired Tokyo Story. My very emotional reaction (i.e. sobbing uncontrollably) to Make Way for Tomorrow made me put off Tokyo Story because I wasn't sure if I could handle it. But this year I want to watch it once and for all.

Gun Crazy (1950)
A classic, gritty film noir. I've seen parts of it but I need to sit my butt down and watch the whole thing. I have owned a copy for years so I have no excuse.

This was sort of a blind add. I saw it on the Sight and Sound list of best films and it's a film I missed at the last TCM Film Festival. Plus its got George Sanders so why wouldn't I want to watch it?

It's the film Fritz Lang was supposed to direct but didn't so in a way this would fit into my Lang project. I'm really loving German silents and Nosferatu has been screened with live musical accompaniment numerous times in my area and I have managed to miss every single one of those events. If it happens again come Halloween, I'm committing myself to going! If it doesn't, I'll just rent it on DVD.

The Wild Bunch (1969)
This film has three of my favorite actors: Edmond O'Brien, Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan. And I'm gradually warming to Westerns thanks to Robert Mitchum and the plot of this one sounds right up my alley.

What do you think about my choices? Do you think I'll like them? What would you pick as your 10 classics for 2014?

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