Cinematic Blind Spots

Let’s face it, we all have movies that it’s assumed we’ve seen but we actually have not.  For someone in my position, it’s a bit more of a notable thing, because I’m expected to have as wide a knowledge of film as possible.  I’d like to think that I’ve got a  good handle on a wide variety of film, but I’ve got my blind spots, like anyone else.  This got me thinking, and it turned into an article/discussion piece.  What films have I yet to see that I really feel like I should have seen, or just people would be surprised that I’ve yet to see, and are they really as essentially as people make them out to be?  Honestly, I’d argue that no one has seen EVERY film that’s out there, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a big blind spot or two on the list of films they’ve seen throughout their lives.  It’s all but  unavoidable, but it’s sometimes hard to know just which films those blind spots are made up of.  Consider this my cinematic blind spot confession.  As a guideline I’ll work off of the IMDb Top 250 films of all time list, though it’s not the only thing I’m using.  I’ll mention it again later, but definitely take the time to let me know where your cinematic blind spots are.  As for the list, here are 10 of my most glaring omissions, both in terms of films and filmmakers:

The Harry Potter films- I’ve been told I’m missing out, and I likely am.  I didn’t like the first book in the series, so when the films started coming out, there was no urgency on my part, and by the time the third film was out and word on the street was that the franchise was gaining steam…I just didn’t care.  Once the series concludes this summer, I’ll likely wait till the last movie is out on DVD and do a
marathon viewing.  Perhaps it’s fodder for an installment in our Historical Circuit?  Stay tuned.

 

Paths of Glory- Stanley Kubrick is a director I greatly admire, so it’s strange that I’ve never seen his World War I opus.  It’s definitely a blind spot, as I’m a fan of war movies as well.  I’m going to get around to it, it’s just a question of when, not if at this point.

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The Thin Red Line- I debated including this one because I technically have seen it, I just haven’t seen all of it.  For some reason, I can never make it through Malick’s war epic, and it’s not for a lack of trying.  Trust me, now that I managed to make it through The Tree of Life, I’m sure I can get through this.  Very soon, this will no longer be on the list, since I’m anxious to finally make it the whole way through.  Perhaps an asterisk should be placed here for this particular one, but screw it…it’s my article after all.
The films of Hayao Miyazaki- The director is a legend and responsible for some of the most loved animated films of all time, but to date I’ve only seen Spirited Away, and honestly…I didn’t love it.  I’m not opposed to diving in deeper to his filmography, but I’m not certain that I’m going to love what I see.
All the King’s Men (1949)- It’s pretty sad that I’ve only seen the mediocre remake, and not this Best Picture winning original.  I’ve read the book, so that’s something though, right?  In any event, I’m certainly a big enough political junkie to want to see this superior version, so I’ll definitely get around to it.
The films of Pedro Almodovar- For some reason, I always manage to miss Almodovar’s films.  Until recently, I’d drawn a complete blank on him.  Aside from Broken Embraces and Volver, it’s all a blind spot.  Now, I’m not in love with those films, but I recognize his talent and would especially like to see a few more of his flicks before his latest work The Skin I Live In comes out this year.
A Man for all Seasons- Another Best Picture winner overlooked by me.  The story of Thomas More is one that I’m familiar with from school, and I’ve always wanted to see this movie, but never remembered to seek it out.  Honestly, I was last reminded of it when filmmaker Kevin Smith cited it as one of his 5 favorite films of all time.  If it’s good enough for Silent Bob, it’s good enough for me.
The Lives of Others- A big recent blind spot for me is this Best Foreign Language Feature winner.  I’ve heard nothing but raves, and even saw it on DVD cheap in a drug store once, but for some reason I never picked it up.  I will soon though, if only to remind myself after The Tourist that director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck knows what he’s doing behind the camera.
Touch of Evil- Orson Welles is a filmmaker I’ve always been fascinated with.  One of the biggest films of his that I’ve yet to see is this particular noir.  I’ve seen Me and Orson Welles though…does that count for partial credit?
M- Fritz Lang’s thriller is regarded as an all time classic, but for some reason, I’ve just never given it a chance.  As with most of the films on this list, it’s mostly just laziness and a focus on newer films that’s prevented me from rectifying this blunder.

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There you have my cinematic confession ladies and gentlemen.  There are plenty more that I’ve managed to miss over the years, but those were some of the biggest ones.  Now is the point where everyone gets to chime in and purge their cinematic souls…expose your blind spots!  We can all get through this trying time together!  I kid…it’s not a big deal, but it’s a great way to see what you should look to catch up on.  If nothing else, it’ll make for a great discussion.  Have at it!

 

-What are your cinematic blind spots?

About Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of Indiewire's Criticwire Network as well as the Internet Film Critics Association.