I told you last week that I was headed to a press screening of Ridley Scott’s new, final director’s cut of “Blade Runner,” and I said my secret shame was that I’d never seen the film before. I asked what your secret shames are, and you responded!
Now, a lot of people didn’t answer the question. A lot of people instead told us what films they were proud not to have seen, which is sort of the opposite of what I asked, and which is kind of silly anyway, especially if the reason you’re proud of not seeing it is that lots of other people saw it. I mean seriously, what?
But anyway, there were some recurring titles among the films people said they’d never seen but felt like they should have. The “Godfather” trilogy, “Casablanca,” “Citizen Kane,” and “Schindler’s List” were all mentioned by multiple people. I bet if you took a poll of average film-lovers and asked which films they were embarrassed to admit they’d never seen, those would be among the top answers. Really, the only reason you would watch “Citizen Kane” is that you’ve heard it’s the Best Movie Ever Made. And after you watched it, I bet you’d wonder why anyone thinks that.
One commenter referred to “The Princess Bride,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Three Amigos” as the “Mormon trilogy,” due to their popularity among BYU students. I’ll vouch for “Princess Bride,” which seems particularly beloved by American Mormon families (although I never saw it until I got to BYU). I never noticed any more affection for “Three Amigos” than you see generally, but maybe it’s different at BYU now. Monty Python in general is beloved by all freshmen males at all universities, a phenomenon whose explanation will require a separate discourse.
When I was at BYU, the girls watched the Colin Firth “Pride & Prejudice” constantly. But maybe that was big for girls everywhere, at all schools, like Monty Python is with the boys.
One commenter said he hates it when people say, “You haven’t seen [name of movie]?? Really???”
ME TOO. People are especially incredulous when they know you’re a film critic. I guess they figure once you graduate from Film Critic School, either you’ve seen every significant movie ever made, or the school implanted them into your head.
I got kind of a late start because I seldom went to the movies as a child. There were six kids in my family, and we were poor. Also, the nearest movie theater to my dumpy little town was 20 miles away. We would go when there was a new Disney cartoon, or a re-release of an old one, and that was about it. The few other theatrical films I saw were with friends or cousins. It wasn’t until I was 16 and had a driver’s license that I started going to the movies regularly, and that was in 1990, so I had totally missed the ’80s. I’ve still never seen a lot of the quintessential “’80s movies” like “Pretty in Pink” and “Sixteen Candles.” So in some ways, I’m still catching up.
Oh, yeah. “Blade Runner”: meh. It looks fantastic, especially with digital projection, but it’s a slow movie without a lot of content. Great to look at, though.