100 Films in 100 Days

April 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm (AFI Top 100 in 100 Days)

Lately, the only time I’ve used this blog is as a repository of published writing credits, or at Oscar time. The American Film Institute released its 100 Best Films of the Past 100 Years list. A Moviephile and a film student, I had only seen 57 of them. So my goal will be, by the end of summer, to watch all 100 of these films and report on them in some fashion.

Some of the films on this list that I haven’t seen are going to surprise people, because they’re ones you’d think I as a movie-watcher would have seen. In some cases, like “Apocalypse Now,” I can recognize the iconic moments and references to it in pop culture, without ever actually having watched the entire film. There are a lot of films on the list I haven’t seen only because of my age, and the act of reporting on them, I hope, will not just improve my film criticism but also act as a service to those my age and younger who for whatever reason have not gotten around to seeing these.

Each time, I’ll tell you why I believe the film was placed on the list, and whether I agree.  If I do not agree, I will attempt to offer a title I feel should be there instead. In cases where I’ve already seen the film, I’ll watch it again, now having had the benefit of a year of film school through which to newly interpret the film.

I may not go in order because that might prove difficult. Dreaming Ant only has so many copies of older films. At first glance, I find it dubious that so many of these films contain Humphrey Bogart, and that so many of them are Westerns. I have to remind myself that this is the AMERICAN Film Institute and that Westerns are probably a uniquely American genre (with or without spaghetti). But…I don’t get the Humphrey Bogart thing. That’s one of the things I hope to understand, because, unbelievably, I have never actually seen a film with him in it.

Some films (think, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Toy Story,” “Titanic,” etc.) I already have in my DVD library and will be all too happy to see again. Others, like “Sophie’s Choice,” I am not looking forward to watching again. I think I could have withstood that one a lot easier before becoming a mother, but unfortunately, I saw it just as I’d become a young mother with a little girl and a little boy, and it gave me nightmares. For years.

Anyhow…off to the AFI’s Top 100 movies, hope you’ll come with me!

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