Having completed my museum bucket list, I have been searching for a new one. For a while, I thought I would settle on visiting all the National Parks, but that seems a) impractical and b) does not fill me with passionate excitement. It’s interesting, but not compelling. But now…
I just bought a book, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (Seventh Edition), Steven J. Schneider, general editor. They chose movies with a wide range of cultural impacts, from silent Great Train Robbery to Raging Bull to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (The book goes up to 2107: Moonlight is the latest entry.) They even include movies with problematic content but which are important culturally and aesthetically, without glossing over their evil: Birth of a Nation and Triumph of the Will. (Indeed, one of the reasons to watch such movies is to see how horrible, oppressive ideas are glorified and how beautiful propaganda can be.)
So now, I am going to try and see as many of them as I can. Thanks to having somewhat selective moviegoing habits and a subscription to both Turner Classic Movies and Netflix, I have already seen 165 of them. (When I first looked at the list, I counted about 200, but then realized that I had counted some films such as Un Chien Andalou under both its foreign and English titles. Un Chein Andalou, by the way, is the most disturbing film I have ever seen, although I suspect that will change.)
The movies I have seen range from beloved (e.g., A Room With A View, Spotlight) to detested (Terms of Endearment, one of the most manipulative movies I have ever seen, Best Picture Oscar be damned). I realize that in subsequent editions new movies will be added and some current ones dropped, but you have to start somewhere.
So yay! New goal!