The Motion/Captured Must-See Project: The List Of Duh, Vol. 1

02.28.09 9 years ago 10 Comments

Kino International

In case you’re just joining us, what exactly is “The Motion/Captured Must-See Project”?  Check out this article, and then come back here.

Today is our preliminary piece, in which we get the List Of Duh out of the way.  Although, technically, this is just volume one of what I’m sure will be an occasional updated piece.  I know methodology is least interesting part of all of this, but let’s get some of this out of the way up front so that we don’t have people constantly yelling at us, “Is that it?  That’s everything you ever plan to discuss?”

No.  Of course not.  And I’m not saying that we’ll never ever talk about any movie on this list, either.  I’m just saying that my goal with this series is to gradually review films from my personal collection that I think are significant, a tip sheet on what exactly made me into the film geek I am today, movies that I think every good film geek should see for one reason or another.  It’s something I hope you’ll enjoy both as a resource and a read.

[more after the jump]

For this first batch of titles, the stuff I’ll be chipping away at for the first few months of this project, I took the first four binders in my collection and drew only from them.  That’s 1200 discs to start with.  There are another 19 binders after that as well as closets and bookcases packed with discs, so I don’t think we’ll run out of material to discuss here any time soon.  From those 1200 titles, I selected about 500 titles that are eligible for this column, and another 150 that are so deeply ingrained in active film geek culture that there’s really nothing I’m going to bring to the conversation.  Does anyone on the planet really need a review of “The Godfather” at this point?  Do you need to be told that the film is considered important?  These are the basic titles that I would expect you to have seen if you’re spending the energy to read online film criticism

Or, god forbid, write it.

I’d say this List of Duh should be considered a given.  This is by no means a list of the “best” films of all time… in fact, I’m not even going to say that all of these are movies I like… these are just the ones that are omnipresent.  This is the foundation from which some sort of common ground in film knowledge can be built.  If film is a language (and I would argue that it is), then consider this list basic vocabulary.

Somewhere in the future, when we pull from the next few binders, you can expect the List of Duh Volume 2.  But for now…

“Rebel Without A Cause”
“Taxi Driver”
“Mean Streets”
“Boogie Nights”
the “Friday the 13th” films
“Apocalypse Now”
“A Nightmare On Elm Street”
“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”
“Cool Hand Luke”
“Raiders Of The Lost Ark” and the Indy films
“The Exorcist”
“Triumph Of The Will”
“E.T. – The Extraterrestrial”
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)
“The Shawshank Redemption”
“A Hard Day’s Night”
“Dawn Of The Dead” (1978)
“American Graffiti”
“Annie Hall”
“Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”
“The Wolf Man”
“Creature From The Black Lagoon”
“The Invisible Man”
“The Mummy”
“Planet of the Apes” and the sequels
“The Blues Brothers”
“This Is Spinal Tap”
“Blazing Saddles”
“The Wizard Of Oz”
“King Kong” (1933)
“Reservoir Dogs”
“Pulp Fiction”
“Kill Bill,” volumes 1 and 2
“First Blood”
“Rambo: First Blood Part II”
“The Deer Hunter”
“The Fly” (1986)
“Shaun Of The Dead”
“The Nutty Professor” (1963)
“Peter Pan”
“The Lost Boys”
“Beauty And The Beast”
“Forbidden Planet”
“The Pink Panther” films
“Dog Day Afternoon”
“Dazed & Confused”
“The Little Mermaid”
“Lady And The Tramp”
“Mary Poppins”
“Alice In Wonderland”
“Sleeping Beauty”
“The Lion King”
“Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”
“Grizzly Man”
“Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan”
“Pink Flamingos”
“The Dirty Dozen”
“The Great Escape”
“Fast Times At Ridgemont High”
“Singin’ In The Rain”
“Steamboat Bill Jr.”
“The General”
“The Magnificent Seven”
“The Wild Bunch”
“Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?”
“Harold & Maude”
“Blue Velvet”
“Leon” aka “The Professional”
“Scarface” (1983)
“The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre”
“Raging Bull”
“All The President’s Men”
“Easy Rider”
“The Bridge On The River Kwai”
“Point Blank”
“A Streetcar Named Desire”
“Nat’l Lampoon’s Animal House”
“Fight Club”
“Seven Samurai”
“An American Werewolf In London”
“To Kill A Mockingbird”
“The Evil Dead”
“Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn”
“Young Frankenstein”
“Alien” and “Aliens”
the “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy
“2001: A Space Odyssey”
“Dr. Strangelove”
“A Clockwork Orange”
“The Shining”
“Full Metal Jacket”
anything from the “Star Wars” series
“Ed Wood”
“Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2”
“Saving Private Ryan”
“The Graduate”
“The Big Lebowski”
“The Good The Bad and The Ugly”
“The Breakfast Club”
“Sixteen Candles”
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
“Lawrence Of Arabia”
“Glengarry Glen Ross”
“Up In Smoke”
“Duck Soup”
“The Adventures Of Robin Hood” (1938)
“Jurassic Park”
“Touch Of Evil”
“There’s Something About Mary”
“The Thing” (1982)

I don’t think there’s anything on that list, even the Buster Keaton silent films, that could be considered obscure or elitist.  These are all movies that have been digested not only by film geeks but by the mainstream, thoroughly assimiliated into other movies and pop culture.

Like I said… it’s not a comprehensive list, but it does give you an indicator of what we won’t be talking about.

Monday, we’ll kick off the regular series, and for the first month or so (26 days, to be exact), we’ll be going through the alphabet, picking one must-see for every letter.  And as you can see from the list above, the grouping in these binders is fairly random as far as era and genre, so don’t expect just one type of thing.  We’ll be covering a lot of varied ground over those first 26 entries, and by the end, I think we’ll have worked out what the format for the series will be, and just what you guys are getting from it, if anything.

I think it’s going to be fun.  I hope you agree.

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