CATEGORIES Awards, Home Entertainment, Lists, Oscar Watch, Features, Oscar News, Awards, CinematicalEarly this morning I was watching a piece of classic cinema that I'd seen several times before. (It was Resident Evil.) And since you need something else to do while a movie like that dances across your television screen, I found myself checking the list of the Academy Awards Best Picture winners to figure out which ones I'd never seen. Or ones I couldn't remember seeing. Or ones I saw in my college film classes and disliked because I bristle when told what to watch -- especially by lazy professors who just hit PLAY and then walk out of the room.
Turns out that of the 82 films that have won the Best Picture Oscar, I need to see (or revisit) only 24 of them. Perhaps I'm a little more cultured than I thought. (Unlikely.) And since I believe chronology is vastly overrated as a method for list-making, I'd like to ask you, the Cinematical reader, to direct me towards my next film. Here are the 24:
Wings (1927), Broadway Melody of 1929 (1929), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), Cimarron (1931), Cavalcade (1933), It Happened One Night (1934), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), The Life of Emile Zola (1937), You Can't Take It With You (1938), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Going My Way (1944), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Hamlet (1948), All the King's Men (1949), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Marty (1955), Gigi (1958), Tom Jones (1963), My Fair Lady (1964), A Man for All Seasons (1966), Gandhi (1982), Out of Africa (1985), The English Patient (1996).
At least half of these films were shown to me in various film classes -- usually broken up into two or three classes. I do not consider that a "real" way to watch a film, so for the purposes of this project, I count those flicks (Marty, for example) as not officially seen yet. The other half ... I just plain old haven't seen. Yep, even Gandhi.
Do I risk ridicule by admitting these holes in my filmic knowledge? Perhaps, but I don't care. Lord knows I've seen more than my share of motion pictures, and perhaps my rampant immaturity and my obsession with genre cinema has prevented me from appreciating some of the true classics. But more important is this: I'm making up for it now. And once I'm done with the Best Picture winners, I may actually do it all over again ... with the Best Screenplay winners.
If you'd like to try the experiment on your own, all you need is this list and a DVD player. (Also, Netflix might help.)
So if you were me, where would you start?