Movies. Everyone loves them and everyone watches them. Whether it’s watching an escapist form of entertainment, where you’re given a chance to check your brain at the door and just enjoy the movie for what it is, or you seek out a more artistic endeavor that has you thinking and feeling deeply, there’s no denying that movies are a big part of our culture and lives.
As an avid movie watcher though, the 100+ years of films can seem rather overwhelming. With millions of movies to choose from, it can become a difficult task when it comes to picking a movie for your Friday night movie nights. Especially if you’re trying to play catch-up and watch the classics, revisiting films from the past to expand your Film Buff Knowledge.
Thankfully for all of us, Steven Schneider brought together a list composed by film critics and historians that encompasses a wide variety of genres throughout film history just for us as a starting point for either culturally/historically significant films or movies that changed the game and broke the rules for the better. This was published in a book called “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”. Depending on the version you‘ve seen it might be a different list as a new edition is constantly being released, updating the list to include newer movies.
Now, 1001 movies might still feel like a lot of movies to sit through and once again you might be faced with the dilemma of where to start? Should you start from the beginning and make you’re way through chronologically? Should you pick at random? Should you start with the one you know or pick completely obscure and unknown films you’ve never heard of?
No need to fear anymore as I, Jonathan, have decided to take on the challenge of watching every single movie off this list for you and write about them to give you an idea of what the movie is (especially for those really unknown ones). For those who do not want to sit through every single 1001, I will be watching them for you and talking about them to give you a flavour of each movie so you can decide whether it’s one you want to watch or not.
Before I get into it though, I do have a few pointers I need to go through so I don’t get any comments. It’s explained here.
- I am using the unedited version of the list, meaning there are about 1,100 movies to sit through. This is because there’s a lot of movies taken off just to include new ones that are most probably still as important or need to be watched. Plus, depending which version of the list you’ve seen, I want to make sure I do a thorough watching of every one. No movie left out.
- I will be watching the movies at random. This is mainly due to keeping the genres and decades fresh as I crank out each post and to make sure we’re not stuck in the same decade for an extended period of time. It will allow me to explore every decade and genre much quicker and hopefully give you recommendations from all across history in a spontaneous way rather than slowly making my way through to it.
- It’s important to note that whatever I do say about the movie is purely my own opinion and does not reflect the opinions of everyone else. Although there is an objective way to critique films, it still boils down to subjectivity in a lot of ways. Two critics can each like or dislike a film for the exact same reason. If I do express an opinion you do not agree with I highly encourage a reasonable debate and discussion about it. It’s great to have open discussions of everyone’s opinions and feelings, especially towards works of art, and doing so in a respectable environment. If I have a viewpoint that doesn’t line up with yours, you have to remember it is not a personal attack on your viewpoint and in no way means yours is wrong, no one is wrong or right, that’s the beauty of reviewing art. If you have a disagreement, I highly respect your opinion and would be more than happy to read an article you write expressing that!
- Some movies are incredibly difficult to find. Whether they aren’t in print anymore or unavailable for renting, it may be incredibly difficult to find a good handful of these films. I will do my best, but there may be sometimes I will have to skip a film to not waste time and wait until I find a copy of it. Hopefully, that will be the exception to the rule and not the rule itself.
- I WILL sit through the entire film. I will not skip scenes, fast-forward or stop a film halfway. No matter what, I will complete every single film to its end.
So that’s all I have to say as an intro to my newest quest and endeavour. I step forward into this journey with an open mind and excitement for what this list has to offer.
Here’s to 1001 movies!
(Or rather 1,100, but that’s a technicality)