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Showing posts from October, 2014

The Film List Project #4: Anatomy of a Murder

in this day and age, with so many books, magazines, blogs and other media covering film, it's easy to read about a film before seeing it. This is especially true of classic films like the ones I've been writing about, many of which I have read so much about over the years that I feel like I have already seen them.

There are other films, however, that people recognize by an iconic image. With  Anatomy of a Murder, the poster immediately popped into my head. I knew nothing of the plot, the actors, or the filmmakers, but the black crude paper cutout of a body that was #1 in Premiere's 25 Best Movie Posters came to mind.

To say this film was influential is an understatement. I didn't realize that, though, until I did some research.

Anatomy of a Murder, about the trial of a man who fatally shot his wife's alleged rapist, plays out to the modern audience like a well-acted, black and white, long episode of Law and Order: SVU. But to an audience 55 years ago, the film'…

The Film List Project #3: On the Waterfront and The 400 Blows

I said in my last post that I was going to watch something lighter this week. I lied.

I struggled when thinking about how to write about these two films side by side. While On the Waterfront and The 400 Blows are both classics, they have very little in common on the surface. The come from two different countries, the minds of two very different directors, and deal with protagonists in very different times in their lives.

Once I got past those differences, though, I did begin to see some similarities. Both deal with family trouble and crime. Both male protagonists are grossly misunderstood and wear plaid. Both movies have water in them...this is where my ideas run out...

The differences these movies have don't stop anyone from calling these movies classics. Watching both (and agreeing with the title of classic for both) made me think about just how wide the range of classic movies is.

Every genre and subgenre has its own set of classics. Both movies I watched this week are classic …

The Film List Project #2: MASH

Did you know MASH was a movie before it was a TV show? I didn't. Maybe that's a well-known fact. Maybe I'm very out of the loop. Anyway, I watched MASH this week.

I'm just discovering Robert Altman, the director of the film. He made a movie in 1975 called Nashville, which I sort of felt obligated to watch since that's my hometown. I loved the film, especially because it had so many interesting characters mashed together.

MASH charmed me for the same reason. I've never been one for war films (this is set during the Korean War), but I was fascinated by the band of arrogant, witty surgeons in the film. It really didn't feel like a war film, to be honest. It felt like the Korean War was just where they happened to be.

That feeling makes sense when you realize that these men and women are just trying to feel that way themselves. I don't have any personal experience with war, but I have read a few books about the subject, fiction and nonfiction, and the genera…

The Film List #1: The Godfather: Parts I & II

Welcome to the first official Film List post!

This past week, I knocked out two movies on the list: The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. I'm pretty surprised that it's taken me this long to watch these films, especially considering how often they're referenced in pop culture. I mean, these movies are everywhere. When I was in high school, they sold t-shirts with the poster on them that had our principal's face in place of Marlon Brando's. Now that I think about it, I wish I had bought one.

I think two things kept me from watching The Godfather earlier. First off, it's a mob movie (well, the mob movie), a genre I've never really been interested in exploring. I always assumed that mob movies were hours of mindless violence, with quick scenes of someone eating spaghetti mixed in. Some of them are. Clearly, though, these movies are different.

The other thing that turned me off was the length. The Godfather is 175 minutes long, and its sequel spans 202 minu…

The Film List Project

It's been a while since I've written on this blog regularly, so let me introduce myself. My name is Abby. I'm 20 years old. I go to UT. I'm excited to start writing again.

This time last year, I found out that I was going to be able to major in Cinema Studies. I was excited to finally get to study what I love, but I was intimidated. I really know nothing about movies. I've seen the same ones I love about 30 times each, but I haven't seen many of the movies that were actually considered good.

So, over the summer, in order to educate myself, I composed a list. I did some googling and, by looking at three "best of" lists online, I created mine. I eliminated any movies that showed up twice, movies I had seen, there are 190 movies on the list, yadayadayada...This is the boring stuff.

Here's what I'm going to do with the list: I'm going to chronicle it here. I'm not going to do reviews or try to analyze anything (like I said, I really know n…