A New Project

It has been a couple of years since I challenged my movie viewing with a project. Last time, the obstacle was the list of 400 films nominated on the AFI 100 Years, 100 Movies list. This year, I am going even further out of the comfort zone thanks to the recently released list from the BBC of the 100 Greatest Movies of the 21st Century.

Now, either my personal belief that movies are getting continually worse is true or this list is an attempt to troll people with pretension, as it is populated with no comedies, numerous foreign films, and several experimental movies that I refuse to believe people actually like and only say they like to make themselves look smart. Nonetheless, this list of 100 movies only had 39 I had seen before, so how can I really pass too much judgment on it? Sure, of the ones I have seen, several are (IMO) legitimately awful movies, like Moulin Rouge, A.I., and Wolf of Wall Street, but others like Stories We Tell, the works of Wes Anderson, and Amelie are delighful, often overlooked, works. While I am guessing I am going to hate a lot of these, the act of pushing myself to watch something out of my comfort zone is worthwhile in its own right and just might lead to more undiscovered gems in my future. So, the new challenge for the rest of the year is as follows:

Watch as many of the following list as I can. If I find a movie unbearable, I have to give it at least 30 minutes of my undivided attention before turning it off, which I already did with my first attempt on this list, an unbearable film from Jean-Luc Godard (more on that later). I will update my progress here and let you know which are hidden gems and which should just stay hidden.

Here is the list. The ones in bold are the ones I have seen. All the rest, with the exception of one or two that aren’t available have been added to my Netflix queue, Amazon queue, or will be sent via DVD/Netflix.

Take a deep breath and get ready for one haughty list:

100. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
100. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
100. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)
99. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
98. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
97. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
96. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
95. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
94. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
93. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)
92. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
91. The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
90. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
89. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
88. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
87. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
86. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
85. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
84. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
83. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
82. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
81. Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
80. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
79. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
78. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
77. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
76. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
75. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
74. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
73. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
72. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
71. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
70. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
69. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
68. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
67. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
66. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
65. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
64. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
63. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)
62. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
61. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
60. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
59. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
58. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
57. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
56. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, director; Ágnes Hranitzky, co-director, 2000)
55. Ida (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013)
54. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
53. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
52. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
51. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
50. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
49. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
48. Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
47. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
46. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
45. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
44. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
43. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
42. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
41. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
40. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
39. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
38. City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
37. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
36. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
35. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
34. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
33. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
32. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
31. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
30. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
29. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
28. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
27. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
26. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
25. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
24. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
23. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
21. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
17. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
16. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
14. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
13. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
12. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

Any insights on where to start? What to avoid? How many you’ve seen? Give a shout in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “A New Project

  1. I’ve only seen 18 of this list. But then again, I’m a pretty mainstream movie guy. Out of those you haven’t seen, I absolutely loved Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. It was breathtakingly beautiful in its artistry and choreography. And the acting crossed over the language barrier. One of the rare foreign films I’ve seen multiple times; its in that category of “if I see it while flipping channels I’m sucked in until the end”.

    One movie I think ought to have made the list is 3:10 to Yuma. Then again, I may well be the only person who liked that film.

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  2. I have seen a few u have not seen- liked Inglorious Bastards and I do not like war flicks .. #92 – painfully boring and slow did not finish it…#11 – it seemed funnier in the previews but was disappointing and I watched it all!! #17-liked it but it was a bit scary/edgy it was kind of like a train wreck once I started watching could not stop…#61 -WTF & waste of time !! Maybe lasted 20 min and could not watch it any longer !!! #44 watched it in parts as it was good but very intense and I was having hateful feelings toward so many characters. I was not in the right place mentally to watch it…#19-waste of time!!!good luck I will have to watch some of these on ur list I have not seen… Great idea- Aimee

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