The Best Movies You Haven't Seen (2016)

PopGap #16: Spring Cleaning

By dorrk, April 1st 2016
Spring Cleaning: There's too many of them... There's too little of me... Get out!

Every Spring I put the brakes on adding a bunch of new movies to my Watchlist and try to catch-up on a few of the titles that have been lingering in its cavernous nooks for ages.

Because the last two months — which used the new Movie Slot Machine to dictate PopGap's programming — have yielded a lackluster slate of movies, I've tinkered around with the Spring Cleaning mechanism this time around as a course correction. Last April, I simply watched the 20 movies that had been on my Watchlist for the longest time (with some slight adjustments made for variety). However, last year's Spring Cleaning was one of the weakest PopGaps of 2015, and 2016 needs something more exciting to happen ASAP.

So, for this year's Spring Cleaning, I first created a pool of 60 movies by combining:

Twelve movies were picked at random from the resulting lot, and this new recipe did just what I hoped it would: preserved the eclectic nature of the mix while injecting a real promise of quality.

April's Watchlist

All About Eve (1950)

All About Eve (1950)

Dir.: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Trailer Amazon iTunes
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai... (1984)

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai... (1984)

Dir.: W.D. Richter

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali (1955)

Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali (1955)

Dir.: Satyajit Ray

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Apu Trilogy: Aparajito (1956)

Apu Trilogy: Aparajito (1956)

Dir.: Satyajit Ray

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Apu Trilogy: Apur Sansar (1959)

Apu Trilogy: Apur Sansar (1959)

Dir.: Satyajit Ray

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Freaks of Nature (2015)

Freaks of Nature (2015)

Dir.: Robbie Pickering

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Human Nature (2001)

Human Nature (2001)

Dir.: Michel Gondry

Trailer Amazon iTunes
I Stand Alone (1998)

I Stand Alone (1998)

Dir.: Gaspar Noé

Trailer Amazon
Late Spring (1949)

Late Spring (1949)

Dir.: Yasujiro Ozu

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Men Don't Leave (1990)

Men Don't Leave (1990)

Dir.: Paul Brickman

Trailer Amazon iTunes
The Seventh Seal (1957)

The Seventh Seal (1957)

Dir.: Ingmar Bergman

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Swing Time (1936)

Swing Time (1936)

Dir.: George Stevens

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Touch of Evil (1958)

Touch of Evil (1958)

Dir.: Orson Welles

Trailer Amazon iTunes
Yi Yi (2000)

Yi Yi (2000)

Dir.: Edward Yang

Trailer Amazon

When the initial draw of 12 included both the first and last movies from Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, I threw in the middle chapter as well, and am considering this revered series to be a single one of the 12 entries on this month's list. I filled the newly vacant slot with the top runner-up, making the final count of movies for April a fat baker's dozen of 14.

The movies on this month's list that I'll be giving long overdue re-watches are:

All the rest will be first-time viewing experiences, and I'm excited to finally see more from Ray and Ozu, especially since their films on the list this month are considered their masterpieces. I've previously seen Devi (The Goddess) and Tokyo Story and loved them both. I've also been meaning to watch more from Gaspar Noe after seeing his most recent, Love, a few months ago and really liking parts of it, but I'm still expecting I Stand Alone to be a tough watch, as that is just what he does. Both Human Nature and the recent Freaks of Nature could be fun, and will hopefully provide some levity in an otherwise heart-wrenching schedule. I have somewhat mixed feelings about Edward Yang's Yi Yi, which actually looks wonderful, but I repeatedly endured a terribly narrated trailer for it several times leading up to its theatrical release, and it left a potent impression.

With that group on the docket, I am expecting a severe uptick in my film appreciation this month, and hopefully, after a tune-up, the Movie Slot Machine will start spitting out some picks of similar distinction.

Trailers for March's Watchlist



More Info:

I post reviews for all the movies on this blog, and live-tweet most viewings here:
https://twitter.com/popgap

This list is posted to Letterboxd, here:
https://letterboxd.com/dorrk/list/popgap-2016-04-spring-cleaning/

You can keep track of my Flickchart here:
http://www.flickchart.com/Charts.aspx?user=dorrk

Tags

The Top 20 Movies of All-Time

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#2: The Godfather (1972)

#2: The Godfather (1972)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#3: West Side Story (1961)

#3: West Side Story (1961)

Dir: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
#4: Manhattan (1979)

#4: Manhattan (1979)

Dir: Woody Allen
#5: The Graduate (1967)

#5: The Graduate (1967)

Dir: Mike Nichols
#6: Tootsie (1982)

#6: Tootsie (1982)

Dir: Sydney Pollack
#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Dir: Irvin Kershner
#9: Star Wars (1977)

#9: Star Wars (1977)

Dir: George Lucas
#10: The Exorcist (1973)

#10: The Exorcist (1973)

Dir: William Friedkin
#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Dir: Peter Jackson
#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

Dir: Martin Scorsese
#13: Annie Hall (1977)

#13: Annie Hall (1977)

Dir: Woody Allen
#14: Vertigo (1958)

#14: Vertigo (1958)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Dir: Steven Spielberg
#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Dir: Tobe Hooper
#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

Dir: Frank Capra
#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Dir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
#20: Zodiac (2007)

#20: Zodiac (2007)

Dir: David Fincher