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The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
January 27th, 2008
06:30 pm

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The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool.

As I've mentioned, I've got this list of movies I need to see. Some of them are black and white classics, stuff that the American Film Institute considers landmarks of cinema. And I'm not disputing their right to that claim - I'm just not as entertained by Bogart and Welles as audiences were when the films came out.

However, there are some movies on my list that are more contemporary, and these begin to shade into the "how can you not have ever seen Jaws" territory. Well, I finally got around to seeing Jaws within the past year, so I'm not ashamed of missing that piece of pop culture anymore.

Even more current, and a movie I should have gone to see in the theaters, was Almost Famous, which I finally got around to watching today. I knew that Kate Hudson was in it, but the rest of the cast surprised me - Jason Lee, Billy Crudup, Zooey Deschanel, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

I'm probably the last person in my generation to have seen the movie, so I don't need to describe that it's a semi-autobiographical story of Cameron Crowe's coming of age on tour with a fictional band, writing a story for Rolling Stone. I wasn't listening to Zeppelin or The Who in 1973 (hello?!), but the movie still felt fresh and relevant today.

And, with that movie crossed off, I only have another 128 movies remaining on my list.

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From:brandifer
Date:January 28th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
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Almost Famous was one of the most unexpectedly fabulous movies I ever saw. Serious love for that one, and I'm realizing I haven't seen it for a while, thanks! :)

PS - Hope the cold's better!
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From:tsmaster
Date:January 28th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
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You know I'm a fan of the AFI classics, but there's a reason I still see contemporary movies -- they have value too.

Yeah, the text file that I've been using to keep track of my movie list still has evidence of where the various pieces came from. A bunch of my list came from IMDB's top 250 movies as of 2003 or so, and that pulls in a different selection than the AFI list from 2007 and the earlier list (from 1999?) that I had looked at.

For a while, I was almost apologetic for stooping to the IMDB list, as it was assembled from the votes of IMDB visitors instead of more authoritative voices on film. I think it's turning out that the authorities aren't doing a good job of giving me enjoyable movies, just significant or possibly influential movies. Which is fine, and I don't mind seeing influential movies, even if they aren't enjoyable.

Huh. That's an odd thing to say.

Anyway, my current plan is to work from the most recent movies and work backwards. My aspiration is that by the end of 2008, I'll have seen all the movies on my list that were released in my lifetime. I have some misgivings with that approach, because it strips out the movies I'm most likely to enjoy and gets them out of the way all at once. We'll see, I might change my mind.
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From:tsmaster
Date:January 28th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
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film isn't just art that should say something, it's also entertainment

Totally. I've been taking my "must see" movies as similar to broccoli - it's good for me to see them, and I feel more virtuous somehow watching these movies as opposed to a number of other things I might be doing. Certainly watching Schindler's List is a better investment of my time than Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader or Password Plus.

I'm not sure I know what's going on in the AFI judges' heads, whether they intend to make a list of influential films, and in so doing, they're consciously ignoring the entertainment value of the films. I just read a review of the 1933 King Kong movie which describes it as a special effects showcase; the acting and story are pretty minimal. And, unsurprisingly, the special effects lose their impact over the years. It's on my list, so I will see it, but I don't expect to be amazed.

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