I acquired this useful and entertaining book a few years ago, but only this summer did I open it up and have a closer look at it.
After a careful, recent review of this book (and I’m referring to the 2003 edition) it turns out as I post this entry that I have seen at least 467 of the 1,001 films you “must see before [I] die.” I say “at least,” because there were definitely some films covered in this canon that I was aware of, but I’m honestly not sure if I had seen them. It’s possible I saw them – but it’s also possible I saw only scenes from them in a class, or portions of them on cable, or in clips shown at the Oscars every year… So, I count 467 for sure. Not bad, right?
I am bringing this book to your attention because I not only like the contents of it, but also its philosophy. I think I’m going to start noting at the bottom of posts whether or not the film covered is one of these on the “1,001 list”. The thing I like about the book’s philosophy is covered in its foreword, written by its general editor, Steven Jay Schneider. His question is, how can you possibly narrow down an entire medium to the “top 10” or even “top 100?” Well, he and a team of 70 critics assembled a list of about 1,300 films, then culled it down. Then, they revised the list over the past ten years as most incredible films are released. Anyhow, Schneider makes clear, the goal of the book is not only to raise awareness of some of the best films ever made and prescribe them to you, but also to motivate you to see them!
That’s what we here at ronhamprod.com have been striving to do since 2010. We don’t post these commentaries for money or for ourselves – we write them for you… And, as I’m sure you can tell by now, we don’t limit ourselves to today’s features. Or Westerns only. Or shorts. We, like the 1,001 book, try to give you a sampling of the entire medium, from action-adventure to foreign films, from shorts to “films you should skip.”
I like that our coverage of the medium seems to share the same motivation as the editors of the 1,001 book: we want to broaden your perspective of the cinematic medium and discuss films that maybe you’ve never heard of – while covering those that you’ve seen 10 times, too! While some might think of this reference to the “1,001 list” as just an academic exercise, we prefer to think of it as fun with a purpose.
What I mean is, everyone has their “favorite film,” and sometimes you just want to cue it up and watch it one more time to see your favorite scene, or see that character do what you love to watch them do. I feel like “favorite films” are like mix tapes – you just have to share them with the hopes that whoever you’re sharing them with understands how great they are. But, what about when you’re ready for a new movie experience? Close your eyes and think about your DVR queue. Now, think about that Netflix menu. Or the latest Redbox display. Do you ever say to yourself, “Which to choose… which to choose… I wish I knew which one of these is actually GOOD.” Well, ask us if you like!
Having watched nearly half of the movies covered in this 2003 edition, I can vouch that the editors have good taste. They know what they’re talking about and when you see “Member of the 1,001” noted at the bottom of a ronhamprod.com post, I hope you’ll earmark that film as one worth watching!
Thanks, as always, for reading…. and stay tuned for a review of one of those films on this list from the 1950s!
More info on this book here: Wikipedia Detail – 1,001 Movies Book
And I’m sure you can find a copy to buy on Amazon.com or another online destination…