52 Weeks / 52 Movies with Megan….the beginning

If you know me, among the things you might know is that I am a huge film person. While my resolution to work on the huge part has begun, my Dinner&AMoviegirlfriend has decided to work on becoming more of a film person. That feels like asking someone to become left-handed, but it is definitely a task we are undertaking together. More than all of the Intro to Film classes I have taught, this experience will be about explaining my window onto the world along with a few detours to show what else exists in the world.

Anyone that tells you that your past doesn’t matter is wrong. If only because everything that has ever happened to you, how you reacted to it and how it was presented to you then colors everything about you. I can’t full explain how my life fundamentally changed the night that I chose to got to the International Film Festival and see LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA over running the scoreboard at the Boys’ Basketball game – but making that choice shines a light onto who I am. Sometimes seeing similar lights help people get through the darkness.

Every week this year, I’ll be sitting down with Megan and watching a movie (two if I can get her to sit still long enough). Something that means something to me. Something that might help her understand me better. Something that she might enjoy. But mostly the first two. Then I’ll share that experience with you and anyone else that’s paying attention.

It’s interesting to note the films that I have already required her to sit through – Annie Hall & Bull Durham with a jaunt through Fight Club and Dancing Outlaw – along with the films she had seen before we met – she owns and loves Pans Labyrinth and the entire Ab Fab collection. When I brought this up, a few other folks talked about doing a regular film night as well. I’m a little curious where there’s overlap.

So what do we watch. For every AFI list of requisite film classics, there are hundreds of “cult” films that more accurately inform our conversations and perceptions of the world. With a cursory view of my DVD collection, I jotted down 60 films that fit my criteria. With a quick Facebook post, my dear friends suggested 130 more. Some I’ll collect from Amazon, and some we’ll find on Netflix or Hulu or one of the many other sites.

Who’s to judge what is cannon and what is cult? In this case, I guess I am; so, here are the two lists combined with notes:

Megan’s Seen
Jason’s Seen
Cannon Cult Other Original
List (week#)
Facebook Suggestions
8 1/2 **
2001 ##
12 Angry Men ##
400 Blows *
Aguirre The Wrath of God *
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore **
Alien *
All About Eve *
Almost Famous ##
Amarcord *
American Beauty ##
American President *
Angel Heart *
Annie Hall
Badlands ##
Basketball Diaries *
Batman Begins *
Bicycle Thief ##
Big Trouble in Little China *
Blade Runner ##
Blazing Saddles ##
Blood of a Poet *
Blood Simple ##
Bloody Sunday *
Blue Velvet **
Bonnie & Clyde **
Boogie Nights ##
Breaking the Waves *
Brick **
Bringing Up Baby *
Broadcast News ##
Bug *
Bull Durham
Burden of Dreams ##
Caddyshack ##
Casablanca # *
Children of a Lesser God *
Chillers *
Chinatown #
Citizen Kane #
City of God *
City of Lost Children *
Clue *
Clueless **
Coming Home **
Crumb ##
Dancing Outlaw *
Dangerous Liaisons *
Dark Knight *
Dark Passage *
Day for Night ## *
Days of Heaven *
Dazed & Confused *
Deliverance *
Do The Right Thing ##
Dog Day Afternoon *
Dr. Strangelove *
Duck Soup *
Easy Rider ##
Eight Men Out ##
El Topo
Eraserhead *
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ##
Exterminating Angel **
Fargo ## *
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas *
Fight Club *
Four Eyed Monsters ##
Frailty *
Frida **
Gates of Heaven **
Gone With The Wind #
Goodfellas **
Goon *
Groundhog Day **
Harold & Maude *
Heathers **
High Noon ##
Hoop Dreams *
House of Yes *
Hurt Locker **
Idiocracy ##
Ikiru *
In Search of a Midnight Kiss ##
Interiors *
Intouchables *
It Happened One Night *
Jaws #
Junebug ##
Kill Bill 1 & 2 *
L’atalante *
LA Confidential ##
La Dolce Vita *
Leaving Las Vegas ##
Life is Beautiful *
Like Water For Chocolate ##
Little Big Man *
Lives of Others *
Made in Heaven *
Maltese Falcon *
Marnie *
Matewan ##
Mean Girls *
Memento *
Miller’s Crossing *
Modern Times *
Monty Python and the Holy Grail *
Mulholland Drive *
My Man Godfrey *
Network ## *
Night of the Hunter ## *
Night on Earth ## *
Norma Rae *
Notorious *
O Brother Where Art Thou *
Oldboy *
Pan’s Labyrinth *
Paradise Park *
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure *
Persona *
Phantom of Liberty *
Philadelphia Story *
Picnic at Hanging Rock *
Planet Terror / Death Proof *
Primer ###
Psycho **
Pulp Fiction *
Purple Rose of Cairo *
Raising Arizona *
Rashoman ##
Requiem For a Dream ##
Reservoir Dogs **
Riding Giants ##
Scarface *
Scenes from a Marriage **
Schindler’s List *
Seconds *
Secretary ***
Seven *
Seven Samurai **
Seventh Seal *
Shawshank Redemption **
Sideways ##
Singin’ In the Rain # *
Singles ##
Six String Samurai *
Some Like It Hot **
Stalag 17 *
Sullivan’s Travels *
Sunrise *
Sympathy for Mr. Vengence *
Synecdoche New York *
Taxi Driver ##
The Apartment ## *
The Bad News Bears *
The Commitments
The Conformist *
The Fog of War *
The Frisco Kid *
The General *
The Godfather # *
The Godfather II # *
The Good, The Bad & the Ugly *
The Graduate ## *
The Howling *
The Hunt *
The Incredibles *
The Lady Eve *
The Muppet Movie *
The Parallax View *
The Piano Teacher *
The Player ##
The Right Stuff ##
The Searchers **
The Shining *
The Thin Blue Line ##
The Third Man **
The Three Amigos *
The Women *
There Will Be Blood
To Kill A Mockingbird **
Tootsie **
Trainspotting **
Trust ##
Umberto D *
Valley Girl **
Vertigo *
Visionquest *
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf ##
Wild Strawberries *
World According to Garp ##
Y Tu Mama Tambien *
Young Frankenstein *
Zelig *

Each week, I’ll check back here and let you know how it’s going along with some unnecessary introspection. I’m a couple weeks behind on my introspection, but you’ll get all of that soon enough. If there’s anything here of value, I’ll cobble it together and make a Kindle out of it, too.

I’d like to think that sharing this might inspire some people to share with their partners or just think back on how some movies affect their lives. Either way, talking about movies is a great way to spend my life.



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