It always annoys me how perfect the words will flow through my head, but when I sit down to write them, they tend to come out like the dialogue of a PEANUTS adult. I debated skipping this introduction post all together and just starting my ‘Top 100…’ goal, but realized it might be worth letting the interwebs know a little more about the person behind the posts. I’m a mid-twenty-something who has felt stuck somewhere between the generations ahead of me and behind me.
My generation seems to run the risk of being lost somewhere between the pre-computer kids (people who got their first home computer when they were in college or later) and the internet generation (people who never had to deal with dial-up or Windows 95). Most of us didn’t have a computer until we were in our teens and even then, it was in the family room and shared. Downloading ONE SONG could take five minutes or more. I’m sorry, I’m digressing into sounding like a sixty year old man. My point is most people I know my age are just sort of hanging on, myself included, until we can figure out what our true potentials are.
If you were to poll the people in my graduating class, I am positive almost all of them would tell you they wouldn’t have expected to be where they are. For better or worst, we seem the generation of”change of plans”. Most of our plans have been changed, for one reason or another, and we’ve had to adapt. My life has certainly not gone the way I would have expected, but I know it’s gone the way it’s supposed to. Through all the ups and downs (and oh have there been downs), I have always tried to focus on the idea that there are no coincidences.
Please don’t think I’m writing this to request your sympathies. I just want you to understand what has brought me to this moment and why this project is important to me. Ah yes, the PROJECT. I wish I had some brilliant story to describe what made me come to this idea, but really it was just me sitting in my office at work thinking about films. Rather, it was re-listening to the audio book version of Pictures at a Revolution by Mark Harris. Without going into much detail (later post?) it chronicles the making of the five Best Picture nominees from the 1968 Academy Awards. As I listened to all the time and drama that went into making these movies, I began to feel the stirrings of passions. It was like the waking of a sleeping giant. I’ve always loved movies and was lucky enough to be exposed to many of them throughout my life. From classics to indie, most weren’t off-limits. Yes, my parents did keep me away from ‘R’ until they felt like I was old enough to handle the subject matter, but it truly made it all the most sweet when they said I was allowed to watch them. I mean, if they had let me watch Pulp Fiction when I was 10, I’d probably STILL be in group therapy.
I made a few films as a kid (who didn’t?) including a stop motion animation that included my mother’s winter Christmas village, a crazed Volkswagen Bug driver, and some unfortunate little ice skaters. While the making of films has always been of great interest to me, (yes, I am one of those people who buys the special edition dvd for the bonus features) I’ve never had a wish to actually MAKE films. What I love is watching, absorbing, reading, and connecting to films. The idea of watching (or in many cases re-watching) AFI’s (American Film Institute) Top 100 Films list has always been something I’ve wanted to do. It was while sitting in my office that I thought, “What is stopping me now?” Thanks to Netflix, most of the movies are on instant or a day’s mail away from being in my hands.
However, just marking the titles off a list didn’t seem satisfying enough. I searched Google for people blogging about the Top 100 and got a few people trying to do the same. However, the overall idea that most of them seem to be speaking about was “Are these movies still relevant?” I think that is a great idea, but that’s not what I wanted to accomplish. I know that some (if not many) of the movies might feel dated. The slang might be way too old or the stories silly, but that’s not what I wanted to focus on. My goal is to find what is it about these films that people connect to. What is it about them that make people list them, love them, and view them over and over. It’s a lofty goal and one I’m sure to be easy with some films, yet harder with others. I’m not going in any order because it’s not the order that I’m focused on, it’s again the fact that this film made it on the list in the first place.
I’m sure this will become an exercise in building my ego, but regardless I hope that some people enjoy it. I am always open to ideas, criticism, and the such. I have ideas for after I conquer the 100, but one foot in front of the other. I’ve also been known to not complete things I start, but I’m refusing to let this project become dust. There will, undoubtedly, be other posts in addition to my Project 100. From films I’ve watched off the cuff to books I’ve read/listened to about films. I’m always looking for recommendations, so please feel free to recommend a book/movie.
I look forward to what this might be and hope it is enjoyed nearly as much as I know I will enjoy indulging in my favorite thing: movies.
“Every great film should seem new every time you see it.”