The shame list: an explanation

May 25 2008 at 4:26 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a teenager but my passion for film was sparked when I was a child. I never thought until fairly recently that I could put the two together.

I used to consider myself to be pretty clued up when it comes to films. I may know an awful lot about films but that knowledge is actually quite superficial. Until recently, I rarely ventured out of my comfort zone to brave what I thought to be the no man’s land of black and white, foreign and silent films. The truth is that if I want to be good enough to write about films for a living (because that is the ultimate goal), then I have to watch more films. A lot more.

Last Christmas I was given a book called 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider). I went through the list and discovered that I had only seen 188 of them. Less than one fifth. An embarrassingly low total for someone who calls himself a film buff.

So I decided to do something about it.

Armed with four TV channels, a video recorder (yes, I know I’m probably the last person in the western world to still be using one of those rather than Sky+) and a subscription to Love Film, I started to watch those films that I really should have seen by now. I know books like this are not meant to be taken seriously and the list is surely not comprehensive but it’s as good a basis to form a list as I can think of.

This is my shame list. All will be watched.

It’s been five months and my total figure has increased to 220. 32 films in 5 months. There are still 781 films left to see. I’m 28 now. If I watch two of these films a week, I’ll have completed my mission by the time I’m 35, by which time there will almost certainly be an updated edition with more films I have to see.

Despite this daunting task, I’m not planning on restricting myself solely to the list. This blog will include cinema and DVD reviews, general rants and probably the odd top ten.

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