Friday, January 22, 2010

The Return of the Great Unwatched

When I started this blog 11 months ago, it was devoted to a project called "The Great Unwatched," the goal of which was to watch 400 movies, all of which I owned and none of which I had seen, in a year. That project fell through in a month, even though I found parts of it extremely gratifying.

The goal was noble, but the pace was... well, stupid. It amounted to 1.1 movies a day, which might have worked if I wasn't the type of guy to balance two or three other projects alongside it (not to mention my 40-hour-a-week job and my social life).

Here's the thing: I seem to find all sorts of time to be movie fan, but I put aside less and less time to actually watch movies. I find making the simplest viewing choices excrutiating, as I try to balance a million questions -- Will I be able to sit through this movie, given my ADHD? Will I be able to review this movie for Classic-Horror? Can I watch this movie with my wife, who has aversions to films without strong plots and, well, pretty much all horror? Most importantly, what will this film add to my existing understanding and apprecation of cinema?

The last question is both the most important and the least relevant. Over the last week I've watched several films, letting my id choose whatever looked interesting in my Netflix Instant Watch queue. The films have mostly been horror (Strait-Jacket, The Cat and the Canary '27, Pin...) with exceptions like the Singapore-based Cyber Wars (original title, no joke: Avatar). Not every film has been a masterpiece -- some I didn't like very much at all -- but they've all added something to my filmgoing experience. Looking back on the single month of The Great Unwatched's first iteration, I realize this is generally true. Even the films that were really terrible like The Dark and Pick Up have stuck with me in some form or another (not so much Las Vegas Lady, but I did watch that with my then-girlfriend/now-wife, so it's not a total loss).

I figure it's time to revisit the experiment, but as a matter of quality over quantity. Every other week, I'm going to have a PHP script randomly select three films in my collection that I have not seen. I will watch at least two of them and publish my thoughts here. This new Great Unwatched will alternate with B-Sol's 52 Perfect Movies feature, so there will be new content here on a weekly basis. I'm looking forward to seeing the best and the worst my collection has to offer me in a variety of genres.

1 comment:

Joe Monster said...

I couldn't help but laugh when you described your film-watching woes. I find myself going through exactly the same thing when I decide to pick something from my collection. I try to find something I hope I'll enjoy (Oh, this looks good... wait here's something better! No, they both suck), I try to pick one that my girlfriend will hopefully not hate me for (I don't think she's forgiven me for Eraserhead) and, of course, trying to decide if it's something I could write a review for. Blessing or curse?