Blind Spot Series – 2012

Long-time film buffs like me have seen a whole lot of films, but there are also a whole lot of films we’ve somehow missed…blind spots in our cinematic knowledge, if you will. There’s no way to ever see ALL the things we haven’t seen, or even all the things we “ought” to have seen, since what we “ought” to see depends in great part on who’s talking at any given moment. But even so, there are some omissions that feel more weighty than others, some films we haven’t seen that seem to stand as darker marks on our unseen lists than others. I have entire pages on this site dedicated to films I haven’t seen yet and want to – both a short list and a super long list. Even the short list is pretty long, though, which is why there’s a very short “list of shame” broken out from that, which is basically what this series is based on.

The major impetus for breaking it down to twelve films for 2012, though, is that a bunch of other bloggers are doing this, too, following James McNally’s lead over at Toronto Screenshots and choosing twelve films off their own lists of shame and vowing to watch and write about them over the coming year. Twelve is one per month, but that’s not a restriction – all twelve in December? Sure. Knowing my procrastinatory ways, that may be what happens. But I hope not.

Here are the twelve films I’ve chosen:

The Passion of Joan of Arc
A Place in the Sun
The Virgin Spring
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Cool Hand Luke
Army of Shadows
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Once Upon a Time in America
Requiem for a Dream

Other bloggers I know are participating: Ryan McNeil at the Matinee, David Brook at the Blueprint Review, CS at Big Thoughts from a Small Mind, and I’m sure many others. If you are, let me know! I’d love to keep up with you on this project. I won’t pin myself down to a specific publishing schedule (and some of my ability to finish this series probably depends on whether I subscribe to Netflix discs again or not), but these are twelve films I’d definitely like to have seen by the end of the year.


My 2011 in Film: Favorite Non-2011 Films


One More Mushy Post…


  1. Hey welcome to the yearlong guilt fest that will be Blind Spots! I’m trying to get at least one done a month but January is almost gone and as more and more people come aboard, I’m feeling the pressure! Great list, too. I’ve only seen four of those, so your discoveries will become my discoveries, too.

    • Yep! I’m well-prepared for the guilt – I already feel guilty that it took me almost until the end of January to get this posted. :) I’ll have to double up in one of the months, since I doubt I’ll get to any of these during the next week.

  2. Dan

    I’m doing something similar with my List of Shame marathon, where I watched six movies in January that I needed to see. Those were sometimes silly choices, but they still were blind spots. I’m planning to extend this and do one movie each month in a similar vein for the rest of the year. I haven’t nailed down that list completely yet. Solaris will definitely be on there. From your list, I love the Passion of Joan of Arc, enjoyed Cool Hand Luke, and think Eraserhead is very inventive. Ali was sort of dull, though I saw it a while back so it might seem better now. I wasn’t a huge fan of Once Upon a Time in America, but it’s worth seeing. Should be a fun list of movies.

    • There are a lot of “silly choices” that I haven’t seen, too – I debated putting stuff like The Goonies on here that people my age can’t believe I haven’t seen, but I opted to make this one more cinephile-esque, mostly because I’m finding it harder and harder to make time for these kinds of movies anymore and I want to get back to them. Looking at your list, I’m pretty sure my husband will have me watch Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure pretty soon – he talks about it a lot. I also haven’t seen Stand by Me. Oh, or Animal House, but I have little interest in that one that’s not purely academic. The other three I like very much, definitely good ones to catch up with.

      Eraserhead is the only David Lynch film I haven’t seen aside from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – I want to finish out his filmography. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is mostly because I really want to see some Fassbinder (haven’t seen any), and I don’t know where to start, so I just picked one. Heh. And Once Upon a Time in America is the only major Leone I haven’t seen, and I’m curious to see what he does outside of spaghetti westerns.

      • Animal House isn’t something that you have to see. Fire Walk with Me is intriguing if you’ve seen Twin Peaks. It has a lot of the same characters but really heads into darker territory. I watched some Fassbinder in a few film classes, and I do think Ali (or the Marriage of Maria Braun) are the right place to start. 

        I’m offsetting the lighter picks with my next marathon, which is the three movies I’ve missed from the Sight and Sound Best list from 2002. I’m checking out Tokyo Story, Sunrise, and Rules of the Game, which should be a good way to fill in the gaps from some pivotal directors like Ozu and Renoir. 

      • Dan, I have seen all of Twin Peaks, and I mean to see Fire Walk With Me; just Eraserhead first. :)

        I’ve tried to watch Tokyo Story a couple if times and can’t get into it. It’ll be on my Blind Spot list in a year or so, but I want to get more Japanese and other Ozu films under my belt first. I watched Good Morning as my first full Ozu experience last year, and it was much more accessible. I’ll be ready for Tokyo Story eventually. Sunrise is amazing, and absolutely gorgeous. Rules of the Game I’ve seen, but I literally don’t remember anything about it. It’s on my rewatch list. Good stuff you’ve got coming up.

  3. I considered doing this too, but my list ended up looking just like your super long list, and my blog is pretty much one endless blind spot series anyways so I’m not officially taking part but I’ll be closely following your progress, since I’ve only seen half of your picks.

    • Yeah, I think you cover blind spots pretty much all the time! I always like to start series like you have (with the Czech New Wave or French Extreme, etc.), but I don’t have nearly the follow-through that you do. Hoping with just twelve over a whole year, I can manage.

  4. I think I’m going to participate, too. I made this decision approximately 2 minutes ago, so I’m off to decide what my 2012 movies will be and will post on my blog as soon as I’ve decided. I’m student teaching this semester so I suspect I won’t end up watching any of them until after my graduation in May. But we’ll see!

    • Awesome, Hannah! Can’t wait to see what you pick. Which blog are you going to use?

      • I think mostly Unpublished for a Reason. I’ll write my little mini reviews as usual on the movie blog, but won’t differentiate them from any of the other reviews. On the main one, I’ll categorize them all together and post a slightly expanded version of my take on it, including talking about what made me choose the movie in first place, how it compared to my expectations, that kind of thing.

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