Blindspotting 2013: The List

I‘m joining the Blind Spots folks (seems like most bloggers I know are doing it!) this year, but that’s because I’d nearly decided not to even make a list this year. I mean, it’s pretty foolish of me to try, for two major reasons. One, I did terribly on last year’s Blind Spots list. I only managed to watch four of my twelve, and I only managed to write full posts about two of them. Two, I’m having a baby in five weeks, and if I thought I had little time to watch movies LAST year, this year finding time promises to be even more challenging. But I ultimately decided it never hurts to at least have a list of films I’d like to watch ever-present in my head, so when I do have time to sit down for a movie (whether it be a nice two-hour block when my baby actually does decide to sleep or in 20-minute chunks while feeding her at 2:00am), I don’t have to cast about for what to watch. So that’s what we’ll call this list. It would make sense to just carry over the eight films I didn’t watch last year, but I’m not going to do that. I’m going to make this easier on myself by only choosing films that are available on HuluPlus or Netflix Instant (or that I own) so availability is never an excuse, and by choosing films that I expect to be entertaining and not too heavy. In other words, this is not the year for 4-hour epics about the human condition.

The List

Our Hospitality / The Navigator

1923/1924 USA. Director: Buster Keaton/John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton/Donald Crisp. Starring: Buster Keaton.
Truth be told, I’ll probably try to get through a bunch of the Buster Keaton Blu-ray set Jonathan got me for Christmas, but these are the two main features I haven’t seen and definitely want to.

Pandora’s Box

1929 Germany. Director: G.W. Pabst. Starring: Louise Brooks.
I’ve only managed to see one Louise Brooks film ever, and not one of her more acclaimed ones. Time to fix that.

Vampyr

1932 Germany. Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer. Starring: Julian West, Maurice Schultz.
This one’s been on my horror list for several Octobers now. I started watching it on my lunch break a while back and was captivated by the imagery within a few minutes, so I decided to put it off until I could watch it at home on a larger screen.

Island of Lost Souls

1932 USA. Director: Erle C. Kenton. Starring: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen.
I own this one one Criterion Blu-ray, even, and didn’t manage to watch it last October. I’ll get to it sometime this year.

Zero de Conduite / L’Atalante

1933/1934 France. Director: Jean Vigo. Starring Jean Dasté, Robert le Flon/Dito Parlo, Jean Dasté.
I’ve never seen any Vigo films, but I was highly intrigued reading about them when Criterion released The Complete Jean Vigo disc. Since both films together barely top two hours, I’ll try to get to both of these.

The Stranger

1946 USA. Director: Orson Welles. Starring: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young.
I’ve a long way to go before I catch up with all of Orson Welles’ directorial projects, but knocking a noir film also featuring Edward G. Robinson in the cast seems like an easy place to start.

Wild Strawberries

1957 Sweden. Director: Ingmar Bergman. Starring: Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin.
I can’t say the synopsis of this Bergman film grabs me all that much, but intricate plots is not exactly what Bergman is about, and this one always ends up high on everybody else’s Bergman lists.

Sanjuro

1962 Japan. Director: Akira Kurosawa. Starring: Toshiro Mifune.
Kurosawa can be a surprisingly tough nut to crack for me, and there are literally dozens of his films I haven’t seen. But I really enjoyed Yojimbo, so I’m hoping Sanjuro will be an equally easy one to knock off my lengthy Kurosawa to-see list.

El Dorado

1966 USA. Director: Howard Hawks. Starring: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan.
Rio Bravo is one of my all-time favorite westerns, so a reteaming of Hawks and Wayne sounds right up my alley.

Cool Hand Luke

1967 USA. Director: Stuart Rosenberg. Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin.
According to Flickchart, this is the most highly-ranked film that neither I nor Jonathan has seen. It was on my list last year as well, but this year we’ve got the disc out from Netflix RIGHT NOW – we just have to watch it.

Serpico

1973 USA. Director: Sidney Lumet. Starring: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe.
Sidney Lumet has been steadily growing on me as a filmmaker, knocking it out of the park with Dog Day Afternoon, which I watched for a New Hollywood marathon a while back. Time to get to some more Lumet.

Days of Heaven

1978 USA. Director: Terrence Malick. Starring: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard.
I should be able to 100% Terrence Malick’s filmography without too much difficulty, and once I finish this one (which I own on Criterion Blu-ray), I’ve only got The Thin Red Line left. And the umpteen films he’s got in his suddenly prolific production schedule, of course.