Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Movie Birthday Present to Myself

I know some may consider it uncouth, but every year I get myself a present for my birthday. It's my own special version of RuPaul's "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else!" maxim (can I get an AMEN up in here?). Usually it's something that either doesn't cost anything (taking the day off work is a popular favorite) or that doesn't cost much (splurging for a peppermint mocha from Starbucks as opposed to my usual Dunkin Donuts french vanilla coffee in the morning).

This year, I choose to give myself the gift that keeps on giving: Participating in The Matinee's Blindspot Series!


The idea is, every month you watch a cinematic staple that you really should have seen by now, and write it up. Realizing that my "Watchlist" on Letterboxd is well over 700 titles(!), I figured that giving myself the gift of knocking off one a month was the least I could give myself this year - it's like joining the Fruit of the Month Club or something!

So, with some help from my bookshelf full of Criterion DVDs and Blu-Rays that I bought during 50% off sales - most of which I haven't watched yet - I have finally whittled it down to this year's 12.

Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)

Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio di Sica, 1948)

The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)

Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954)

Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 1955)

Diary of a Chambermaid (Luis Bunuel, 1964)

In The Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison, 1967)

The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)

The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985)

The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)

I went through many iterations of this list. I tried to vary the genres, time periods, and countries as much as I could - and limited myself to only one per director. You may have noticed a slight lack of comedies on this list, and the thing is, I've seen a lot more of those. But it bothered me, so I swapped out Persona for Smiles on the Bergman front. But the truth is, no matter what films I ended up choosing, I'll watch all the ones I want to watch someday. I will. Maybe even this year. But these are the ones which will "officially" be a part of this project.

And to start, very soon there will be a post on the first one I watched: Woody Allen's delightful The Purple Rose of Cairo.


  1. I've seen 8 of these...and they're all amazing! You are in for a treat. So glad you're playing along this year. So much fun!

    And you're starting with one of my favorite films EVER and my absolute favorite Woody Allen!

  2. I've only seen two and liked both! Some of these are on my watch list as well (though not necessarily my Blind Spot picks). Looking forward to your thoughts about them!