A new year is beginning and with that comes a whole new slate of movies to be excited about. But this week’s top 5 isn’t about movies we’re anticipating seeing in a theater (that episode is coming soon), but the movies we want to see that are already out. Every year Kristen vows to watch a least 30 movies she’s never seen and she
coerced convinced the rest of the Dames to follow suit. So, here are our five movie resolutions for 2019!
I’ll be the first to admit, I have A LOT of blindspots. Up until this year the biggest movie I’d never seen was Citizen Kane, and while I had a list of movies I’d hoped to get to by the end of this year, it didn’t happen. In fact, at least two of my resolutions aren’t films at all, but things I’d love to change about my viewing habits and someone I love who I really need to see more from.
Finish John Garfield’s Filmography
It wouldn’t be a top 5 from me if I didn’t include at least one thirst-related element here. In 2018 I discovered the unmitigated sexiness of John Garfield and I’m hooked. I’ve been working through his filmography but I intend to ramp things up in 2019. Hell, he made a quasi-sequel to Four Daughters (1938) that I’m dying to see! If anything it’ll just make me sadder that he’s been dead for 70-odd years.
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Next to Citizen Kane (1941) this is considered my other most egregious miss. I’ve seen the first Godfather film. I even own the box set with all three movies. I’ve tried to see this in theaters a few times, too, when the local theaters inevitably trot it out as part of their classics series. I’ve just never gotten to it. Maybe it’s because it’s long, or I know that the hype train will leave me thinking I don’t slaver over it that something’s wrong with me. Either way, I do want to finally hold my head high and say I’ve seen this!
Don’t ask me why I have Dreamgirls on this list. Maybe it’s because I’m a big fan of musicals and Broadway and this is considered one of the great ones. Or maybe it’s because I hear the songs all the time and when I wonder where it’s from someone says “Dreamgirls” and I feel bad I didn’t know. Either way, this is a film I want off my list.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
I love Robert Redford and yet I’ve never seen the movie most people adore him for. This is one of my mom’s favorite movies and she regularly gives me shit for not seeing it. Thankfully, this year the TCM Classic Film Festival is screening it, and if you have to watch a movie that’s one of the best places for it.
Watch One TCM Movie a Month
When i watch TCM it’s usually a movie I’ve seen before that I can watch while I work, but this year I want to make a goal to watch one TCM movie, live, that I’ve never seen before.
The Best Pictures
I write about the Oscars, and yet there are 35 Best Pictures I have never seen. Including Wings, Grand Hotel, Tom Jones, The Deer Hunter. This year, I’m plugging away at that list and yes, my goal is to see them all.
I’ve seen most of the big stuff, of course; Psycho, Vertigo, Read Window, North by Northwest. But there are a lot of Hitchcock films I’ve never seen and will seek out like The Lodger, and Sabotage, and (gasp!) The Lady Vanishes.
After undertaking a major writing project recently about the extent to which female-directed films have been shut out of the Oscars, I was faced with my own blindspots. For example, the first female-directed film ever to score an Oscar nomination was Dorothy Arzner’s Sarah and Son (pictured above) in 1930. I’ve got a lot of work to do in this area and it starts now.
I have this mental block where Roman Polanski is concerned. I have seen some of his films (Rosemary’s Baby, The Pianist, etc.) but I am always so reluctant to watch anything with his name on it. My biggest Polanski blindspot is Chinatown and I promise to fix that in 2019.
After getting the opportunity to see a Bollywood movie in a theater in India, I was ready for more. And yet, I haven’t made much effort to seek these out. Outside of Hollywood, India has the world’s largest movie industry. Big, crazy, audacious films full of color and random dancing, but there are also moving dramas and heartfelt romances. India’s film scene is woefully overlooked here in the States and I vow to do better.
As a very well educated film viewer, there are (obviously) no films that I have not seen. Nope. Not a one.
I’ve done better on this in the latter half of 2018, but Bergman is still one of my major blindspots. The Scandinavian darkness and existential despair just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m trying to do better, though, and hopefully by the end of 2019 I’ll have watched more, if not all, of Bergman’s copious oeuvre.
I have a contentious relationship with silent film (yes, I know that’s a general term, encompassing a lot of cinematic history, but hear me out). Silent film in general can be hard to get into, due to the difficulty of obtaining decent or even complete prints, and the sometimes jarring camera and acting techniques. But there is so much available, and so much to study, that I wish I’d spent more time on it as a student. Better late than never, though – watching some of the films from Kino’s Pioneers collection has inspired me to delve deeper into silent film as a whole and to resolve on watching some films that are lesser known in canon, and some directors that I’ve never spent much time on.
The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema
Mexico had an expansive film industry from the 1930s to the 1960s, and I’ve always known that it was worthwhile to look into it. But aside from the occasional Mexican-era films from Luis Bunuel and Sergei Eisenstein, I haven’t paid much attention. So I shall make it one of my goals in 2019 to watch more films from this period of Mexican cinematic history.
Again, a very general category but one I’ve sadly neglected. I’ve done better this year, thanks to paying attention to recommendations of films released outside the last ten years, but I’m still woefully underinformed about the great female filmmakers. This is especially true of early and independent female filmmakers, both in the United States and abroad. I just want to be certain to give my fellow women their due.
Early Indian Cinema
Do you see a pattern? Most of my studies in undergrad and grad school focused on Hollywood and sometimes European film, but very little on other world cinemas. While I’ve seen some of the essential works of Indian cinema, I have not seen nearly enough. I shall try to remedy that.
Franchot, Franchot, Franchot
My Franchot Tone thirst watch started in earnest in the summer of 2018. While it continued throughout most of the year, it didn’t get as far as I wanted. So, in 2019 I aim to continue diving into anything and everything Franchot Tone!
Bright Star (2009)
This is a double sided miss. I have long been familiar with this film thanks to my running in Ben Whishaw fan circles. The thirst and love for this movie runs deep in many a person I’ve spoken with. Furthermore, it is directed by director extraordinarie Jane Campion. How have I missed it, you ask? I have no idea! However, that will be fixed, and soon. (Thank you, Mary Poppins Returns!).
Mary Poppins (1964)
Yup. *Hides face*. I’ve never watched it. I’ve seen Mary Poppins Returns, and I’ve watched Saving Mister Banks. I’m a vintage Disney fan who’s never sat down for Mary Poppins. That will get remedied this year.
Study Classic Era Female Filmmakers and Writers
I think this is a topic which is legitimately under explored in contemporary film studies and desperately needs to be remedied. I really want to grow more familiar with Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino, and to expand beyond the top two. There weren’t many women present during this era in the film industry and those who were deserve to be recognized.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
I was trying to find something else to put on this list, but I’m stumped for another option. And, when thinking about it, this film (and the 1970s for that matter, represent a large hole in my film knowledge which I would really like to address). Somehow I missed this movie in film school, and it’s an important blindspot I’ve never managed to fix.