You know that secret list everyone has of films they haven’t seen? Not the list they tell everyone about. I’m talking the one that you don’t ever mention, because no one would ever guess that you hadn’t seen those movies, and it would be really embarrassing if they did. I’m talking the really big stuff. Of course, what constitutes “big” depends on how deep you are into movies. At my level, there isn’t much. Believe me. I tried.
The impetus for this article came when, yesterday, for the first time, I watched Rashomon. For some reason, I made it almost 24 years without seeing it. For someone like me, having seen all the movies I’ve seen, no one would even think to guess that I haven’t seen Rashomon. And that was my big secret. Of course, Rashomon is one of those films where, even if you haven’t seen it, you’ve seen it. Everyone knows the plot of the film because it’s been repeated so often. But I’d never actually sat down to watch the film. And that’s what counts. Kind of like how, last year, until I saw it for the Quest, I’d never actually watched Rear Window. Weird, right?
And we all have that list. That “dirty little secret” list. The films that you’re so embarrassed you haven’t seen, if you even see the title of the film in print, you get paranoid. “Is my face turning red? They’re gonna know. They know I haven’t seen it.” And god help you if it comes up in conversation. You have to stay deathly silent. But not silent enough so as to make it obvious. Because you can live with your friends knowing you haven’t seen Schindler’s List. But telling them you haven’t seen The Dark Knight — out of the question. They’d look at you sideways. “How the hell did you manage to make it this far without having seen that?”
So, in the interest of getting things out in the open, I’m going to give you my list of films that you’d think I’d have seen by now, but in reality, I haven’t. (more…)