Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Answer to the Most Recent Criticwire Survey Question: Blindspots

This week's question is a repeat of one already asked - about cinematic blindspots. It's understandable that this question would be repeated - it was asked over a year ago, and Criticwire now has a new editor. Since I answered this question recently - sighting Claude Lanzmann's Shoah as my biggest blindspot, and I still haven't seen it (I mean to get to it this year, but it is 9 hours, so I have to admit it may not happen this year), that is still my answer.

But let me add a few more. While I have seen two Bela Tarr films - The Turin Horse (2012) and Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), I have never seen his most acclaimed film - Satantango (1994). Again, I have an excuse - it's 7 hours long! I will get to it one day. I also have never seen Jean Eustache's The Mother and the Whore (1973) - but I have a good excuse on that one - as far as I know, it's not available in North America in any form. The same goes for two of Jacques Rivette's most acclaimed films - Out 1 (1971)and Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)- although I have no excuse for not seeing ANY of Rivette's films, so I should correct that. Another big one also not available is Abel Gance's Napolean (1927) - they did a restoration of it last year, but only showed it in a select few theaters, and are not releasing it on DVD, so again, I have no idea when I'll have a chance to see it. At some point, I hope they will released Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day (1991) on DVD so I can see it - I am a huge fan of his Yi Yi, so I looked forward to it.

So those are the ones I have a built in excuse for. Now for some films I have no excuse for not having seen - Claire Denis' Beau Travail (1999), Elem Klimov's Come and See (1985), F.W. Murnau's The Last Laugh (1924), anything by Andrzej Wajda - particularly Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Vincente Minelli's Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Robert Hamer's Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Fei Mu's Spring in a Small Town (1948), anything by Rainer Werner Fassbender not titled Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988), Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes (1964), Marcel Orphus's The Sorrow and the Pity (1969) and Frank Borzage's Seventh Heaven (1927).

I will correct all of those at some point in my life - when I don't know, but I want to see them all and many, many more older films. I've said before that exploring cinema history is a lifelong pursuit - no one can possibly see EVERYTHING they should. I just keep trying to see as much as possible - one film at a time.

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