Day 42: Watching is Easy, Thinking is Harder

Watching is Easy, Thinking is Harder

Over and over, the hard part of this project is not watching an average of two films a week so I can view the 100 Best Films Ever or watching four films a week so I can embrace another 100 films which are also considered to be amongst the 100 Best Films Ever. What’s difficult is finding a balance between watching the films and having the time to think about how good, or brilliant, the films are. Today I researched The Cotton Club and found Pauline Kael’s damning review; as well as her celebration of the greatness of Taxi Driver.

Falling Behind, But I’ll Pick Up Again

If today is Day 42, then I am seven weeks into this crazy schedule. Crazy because I’m trying to do an analysis of the films I’m watching, but I’m also bringing more and more films into the project, because I have them in my collection. The idea of looking at a significant number of films by the one filmmaker while viewing the one or two great ones, is so appealing and intoxicating, I can’t help myself. And this leaves less time to analyse them. So far, I have watched eight of the 100 best films as voted by critics and ten of the 100 best films as voted by directors. There is a crossover of seven films the critics and directors liked but there are three films in the directors vote not in the critics’ vote: Hour of the Wolf, Man with a Movie Camera and Persona. And for the critics: Wild Strawberries.

This statistic is quite bizarre. Three out of the four films which don’t feature in the top 100 of both critics and directors are by the same director, Ingmar Bergman. Only two films by Ingmar Bergman are agreed upon, Fanny and Alexander and The Seventh Seal. but that means that five films by that one director are represented on the two lists.

What is most interesting to me is that once I get into Godard, Tarkovsky, Kurosawa and Fellini, Bresson and Welles, I’ll knock three films off each week from the two lists. Hitchcock and Kubrick will be big weeks also.

I need to look at my schedule to see what is in week eight.