Thursday, February 1, 2018

My Cinema Shame

On her blog Out of the Past my dear friend Raquel wrote about her Cinema Shame. If you are wondering what Cinema Shame is, the concept originated with Nick Britt and James David Patrick. Quite simply, Cinema Shame is the feeling of regret with regards to those films one has not seen. There is even a website for the concept, fittingly called Cinema Shame. Anyway, Raquel's post inspired me to write my own blog post about my own Cinema Shame.

That having been said, I had some trouble coming up with films that I have not seen. A good part of this is because I am not exactly young (although I am not particularly old either) and I have seen a whole lot of movies in my lifetime. I came of age when local television stations, particularly independent stations, still showed movies on a regular basis. I reached adulthood just as VCRs were becoming common and as a result I saw a ton of classic films (both foreign and domestic) through 9th Street Video in Columbia (AKA the Greatest Video Rental Place of Them All).  Before Turner Classic Movies went on the air in 1994, then, I had already had seen a good deal of classic movies.

That having been said, there are those few movies that, for whatever reason, I have never seen. The Cinema Shame website encourages people to submit lists of twelve films that they haven't seen. I honestly could not think of that many without including movies of recent vintage (I have never seen Marvel's Avengers, for instance). That having been said, I did come up with a list of six classics that I have never seen but really would like to.

Der blaue Engel (1930): Literally in English, The Blue Angel. This film is best known as the movie that brought Marlene Dietrich to the attention of English speaking audiences. Even though I have seen plenty of early German films and plenty of Marlene Dietrich movies, this one somehow slipped through my grasp.

The Life of Emile Zola (1937): I have seen pretty much every winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture from 1927 to 2001 except this one. And I have to admit that I really regret never having seen The Life of Emile Zola. It is not simply that it won the Oscar for Best Picture, it is that it has maintained its reputation over the years. To this day many not only consider it the best film of 1937, but one of the best films ever made.

Ladri di biciclette (1948): Also known in English as Bicycle Thieves and The Bicycle Thief, this is my biggest Cinema Shame.  Given just how many classic foreign films I rented from 9th Street Video, one would think I would have seen it by now. This is one of those movies it seems as if everyone has seen, even classic film buffs who aren't particularly fond of foreign movies. It is also counted as one of the greatest movies ever made. In fact, in 1952 the magazine Sight & Sound named it as the greatest film ever made.

This Island Earth (1955): Given I was a huge science fiction fan as a kid, one would think I would have seen this long ago. As hard as it may be to believe, I never have. An edited version of the movie was parodied in Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie (1996), which I have avoided like the plague because I really want to see the original first.

Frenzy (1972):  I am a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan. In fact, I have seen the vast majority of his films (all of them from 1938 to 1969). For whatever reason, however, I have never seen Frenzy. That is a shame for me as it was the last film that Hitchcock made in Britain, as well as his penultimate movie. Frenzy also received good reviews upon its release and is still highly respected to this day.

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974): Just as I am a huge Alfred Hitchcock fan, I am also a huge Martin Scorsese fan. Outside of some of his more recent films, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore is the only Martin Scorsese movie I have not seen. It received a good deal of acclaim when it was first released and it is still well respected to this day. It also inspired the classic sitcom Alice (which I have seen).


Dan Day Jr. said...

I can highly recommend "The Blue Angel", "This Island Earth", and "Frenzy".

Daffny Laurito said...

Great list! I really need to make one too. I recently saw Alice doesn't live here anymore and it happily surprised me by its awesomeness.

Caftan Woman said...

I have a great fondness in my heart for This Island Earth. I hope you find the same.