It's a burden every film fan must carry - no matter how many movies we see a year, no matter how much we tried to educate ourselves in the history of our beloved medium, so matter how much we identify with being a film geek, there are always a few shameful omissions from our viewing past. Unless you're David Ehrlich. I'm fairly certain he's seen every movie ever made. My roster of not yet seen films is a bizarre one. Although I've seen numerous screwball comedies and noirs, from popular to obscure, and have tackled the 30s and 40s fairly handily, there are fairly huge gaps when it comes to things like Dramas from the 80s and James Dean. So I'm hear to admit to you three movies I haven't seen that shame me to admit - and the reasons why.
Schindler's List (1993)
When I tell most people I haven't seen Schindler's List, they react somewhere between offended and amused. When I add to the fact I'm a Jew, they no longer want anything to do with me. The 1993 Best Picture winner is widely known as one of the best and most heart wrenching films of all time, it's directed by one of my all time favorites (Spielberg, for the precisely two of you who might not know that), and, oh yeah, it's about events surrounding the Holocaust and I'm a big ol' Jew who even went on Birthright. And yet, I've never seen it. Why?
When it came out, I was 7 years old. In grilling my parents as to why they didn't take me to see it, despite having almost no censorship in our home (save Clerks when I was 10 and Aliens when I was 5), the answer explained a lot. My dad was working with Spielberg at the time, so he and my mother got invited to a screening. There was no "bring your kids!" option, just my dad plus one. They went, they loved it, they went through some insane emotions - it was an experience. Were they really going to make a point of taking their seven year old daughter who didn't really care much to see it (I made my parents leave Phantom of the Opera on Broadway when I was the same age, I had very little patience for things that moved slowly), a week later? After just seeing it?
The year after, my dad was admitted into AMPAS, so from then on, I watched most everything up for Oscar consideration, making a point to go home for the Holidays every year if only to watch 50 free movies.
The reason I haven't pursued watching Schindler's List on my own since then? When exactly *is* the right time to sit down and watch a depressing (or uplifting? I don't know! I haven't seen it.) Holocaust movie for no reason other than "I haven't seen it"? Certainly not at 1am on a weekend and certainly not at 1pm during a weekday. Alone? If with people, who? It becomes awkward. So I am simply waiting for the right time and place to put myself through something I know will be emotionally taxing. Hopefully that day will come soon cause I'm sick of this being on my "haven't seen" list.
I know, this one might be even more shocking than Schindler's List. But check it out. When I was a kid, for whatever reason, Ghostbusters II was constantly on TV. So naturally, I watched it all the time. It disturbed me on a deep deep level, so it's possible I only watched it once, but it stuck with me so much so that I think I've seen it over and over...in any event, I remember it. Well. What I don't remember is how exactly I never managed to see the first one during this same childhood. I have theories, for sure.
1. I was so bothered by part two, I never sought out part one. 2. I thought there was only one Ghostbusters movie and this was it or 3. It was never on TV and my parents didn't own or like it.
As to why I haven't seen it since? I think my reasoning is quite sound, personally. Why watch Ghostbusters on my small screen by myself or with one other person in an age when classic cult films of all kinds are constantly screening at places like The New Beverly, the Vista, the Downtown Independent in LA, the Landmark Sunshine in NYC, or the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin? Ghostbusters is the *perfect* movie, (I imagine), to see for the first time in a crowd full of people who love it, on a giant screen, at midnight, drinking a beer. And I simply don't care to experience it any other way. Considering it's the pretty much the only fun nostalgic genre movie left that I haven't seen, what choice do I honestly have?
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)
What? Miss obsessed with Westerns hasn't seen The Good, The Bad and The Ugly? Listen. For most of my life I didn't care too much for Westerns, though I watched most of the classics anyway, even seeing The Searchers with my dad in middle school when it was screening at The Chinese for a special event. It's always been my father's favorite genre, so boy did he try to get me interested.
But leave it to Read Dead Redemption of all things to get my motor running for ponchos and cowboy hats and banditos. In the midst of logging 50 hours on my favorite video game of last year, I got on a Western kick and started watching all the best ones I could get my hands on. When I mentioned I hadn't seen The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, the reaction I got from my entire family (whose house I clearly go to for movie watching...it's an 82 inch screen) was "So?" Bear with me.
My family LOVES Westerns. So when I, the only daughter, professed a desire to catch up, they weren't about to start with me the most "overrated" and "too long" of the bunch. They said if I really wanted to see it, I had to at least watch the first two in the trilogy beforehand. So I watched A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More. And I loved them. They deepened my affection for Westerns in a very intense way. In such a way that I didn't necessarily want to ruin it just yet. So The Good, The Bad and The Ugly went to the bottom of my Western list, after The Outlaw Josey Wales, Red River, Cat Ballou, Ford's Cavalry trilogy, My Darling Clementine, Rio Bravo, Shane, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Ride The High Country...you get the idea.
The Sound Of Music (1965)
I cant stand the music, it's 87 hours long, from what I've seen, it's the epitome of hokum. Eh. I've yet to be convinced.
So, what's the verdict? Are these forgivable or do I lose my movie lover's license? Should I say screw my reasons and schedule screenings of all of these films immediately? Which huge movies are people surprised to hear you haven't seen? Sound off below.