This blog primarily serves as a repository for two projects. One is a short-term project (est. finish 2008), one is long term (i.e. lifelong).
The short-term project is to view every film on the list of 1000 greatest films of all time, as compiled by They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They? The compilers used lists drawn from “1,193 critics, reviewers, scholars, filmmakers and other likely film types, ” and therefore they believe that the resulting list is “quite possibly the most definitive guide to the most-acclaimed movies of all-time.” Who’s to argue?
When i first heard about the list i had already seen about two thirds of the films on that version of the list. (The list undergoes occasional revisions). I started using the list as a viewing guide, and i enjoyed most of the films i saw. Next thing I knew, I was in the 800s, and quite possibly within range to complete the damn thing. So as I wind down my quest, I thought I’d share my progress with the world!
Moreover, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t just make a mad dash for the finish, and actually savor the experience of watching these movies, one at a time. So having this blog is a way of encouraging myself to take time and thought with each viewing and post my viewing experiences here.
The long-term project fulfilled by this site is to chronicle my ongoing and evolving relationship with cinema. I expect to continue my regular screening journal as I have for the past 6 years. I will also post occasional musings on cinema in general, and link to my articles that have had the fortune of being published elsewhere on the web.
Going back to the TSPDT 1000, in my desire to be thorough, I was able to approximate the year in which I first saw every film I’ve seen on the TSPDT 1000. With films I saw from 1999-2000, I was even able to get the month (though there was a stretch in the first half of 2001 where I was not keeping a log, but I remember which films I saw during that time). Some milestones:
The first film I saw from the list is The Empire Strikes Back. I saw it in 1980 with my father at an AMC theater in Colma, CA, which is now a giant liquor store.
The 100th film: The Third Man, seen in 1988 on TV at 1AM one Friday night after reading about it in Roger Ebert’s Movie Home Companion.
#250th: Farewell My Concubine, seen in 1993 with my high school friend Paul Tognetti at the AMC Kabuki in San Francisco.
#500: The Travelling Players, seen July 2002 on VHS borrowed from the NY Public Library at home in Astoria, Queens.
#750: The Saga of Anatahan, seen December 2003 with my college friend Eric Sommerfeld at the Film Forum in New York City.
#900: Wild at Heart, seen January 2006 on DVD at my mother’s house in South San Francisco, CA.
To see which films on the list I have seen and which I have not, and to track your own progress — visit this site.
Here is a spreadsheet which I have used to track my chronological progress through the list.
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