More Than a Donkey
Today is a significant milestone in this crazy journey to watch the two-hundred greatest films ever – in one year. It’s Day 75 and I’m still on track.
I literally thought I was going to watch one hundred and fifty great films and write and publish my observations of a hundred, or so. During the voyage I thought I would add significant films by many directors which were also highly regarded.
If there were four respected Ingmar Bergman films, I would watch the two great ones and also watch two others that figured prominently on top ten lists. In addition to Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, I would also watch Goodfellas, Casino and New York New York. I would add Coppola’s The Conversation and The Outsiders to the two Godfather films and Apocalypse Now. I didn’t intend to write a detailed analysis of more than one or two by each major filmmaker.
But I want to.
Instead, I’m watching many films twice, I’m adding more films to the schedule, every week, and I’m having more thoughts going through my brain than 1981 when my brain overflowed with poems, plays and novels when studying Drama, Theatre and Literature. 1981 was the year I thought my brain would explode. That year, over a period of forty-two weeks,
- I read twenty plays, twenty novels and studied the works of six or seven poets
- wrote music for twelve songs for a university production of The Chapel Perilous
- sat for my 8th Grade Musicianship and 7th Grade Piano exams
- wrote film reviews for the NSW University newspaper,
- wrote a film score for The Investigation – a student film
- composed four orchestral pieces – the twelve-minute work Snakes and Ladders, Colossus (my favourite), and two other three-minute pieces, The Rock Pool and They Rode by Night.
2017 is quite different. It’s much more intense.
Engaging the brain does get it working harder than doing nothing. For about fifteen years I didn’t give it much to do other than relying on it to help me write stories, write about my experiences in the film industry, and get me to the supermarket and bottle-shop and home again.