The Best Movies You Haven't Seen (2016)

PopGap #21: Voters' Choice

By dorrk, September 5th 2016
You can pick your friends, and you can pick your movies, but your friends will make you watch anime.

For September I compiled a list of 26 movies that I wanted to watch and posted it as a poll in a Facebook group. the voters in that group added 15 of their own ideas of what I should watch. In the final count, they chose eight movies from my selections and six of their own (including two anime, which I never would have chosen for myself). All but two of this month's movies are within Flickchart's Top 1000, so I'll be getting incrementally closer to that milestone by the end of the month.

September's Watchlist

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

11 votes / Dir: Peter Weir Trailer Amazon iTunes
Akira (1988)

Akira (1988)

11 votes / Dir: Katsuhiro Ôtomo Trailer Amazon
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

8 votes / Dir: Kenji Mizoguchi TrailerAmazoniTunes
Ordinary People (1980)

Ordinary People (1980)

7 votes / Dir: Robert Redford TrailerAmazoniTunes
Castle in the Sky (1986)

Castle in the Sky (1986)

7 votes / Dir: Hayao Miyazaki TrailerAmazon
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

7 votes / Dir: Robert Aldrich TrailerAmazoniTunes
Certified Copy (2010)

Certified Copy (2010)

7 votes / Dir: Abbas Kiarostami TrailerAmazoniTunes
Limelight (1952)

Limelight (1952)

7 votes / Dir: Charles Chaplin TrailerAmazon
Cabaret (1972)

Cabaret (1972)

6 votes / Dir: Bob Fosse TrailerAmazoniTunes
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

6 votes / Dir: John HustonTrailerAmazoniTunes
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

6 votes / Dir: Louis Malle TrailerAmazoniTunes
The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

6 votes / Dir: Krzysztof Kieslowski TrailerAmazoniTunes
Memories of Murder (2003)

Memories of Murder (2003)

6 votes / Dir: Joon-ho Bong TrailerAmazoniTunes
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

6 votes / Dir: Sidney Lumet TrailerAmazon

My thoughts

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) — 11 votes — It's been a long time since I've last seen Peter Weir's lyrical girls-in-the-desert drama, and I've never seen this newer, shorter director's cut.
  • Akira (1988) — 11 votes — Possibly the most popular anime movie of all time? I've been assured by fans who don't otherwise care for these kinds of movies that AKIRA IS AMAZING. I guess I'm being forced to find out.
  • Sansho the Bailiff (1954) — 8 votes — I'm always happy to have an acclaimed Japanese drama on my monthly watchlist. I watched Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu last year and am excited to see another of his beloved classics.
  • Ordinary People (1980) — 7 votes — I watched Ordinary People back in the mid-1980s, on a small TV. It seems like a movie that might work better on a small scale, and some of these older family dramas come off as overwrought and psychologically naive when watched these days. Wary, but happy to revisit it.
  • Castle in the Sky (1986) — 7 votes — Hooray, another two hours of animated nonsense about flying children! See how ready I am to watch this one? Thanks, voters!
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) — 7 votes — This is another one that I last watched back in my teens. I recall finding its broad acting tough to stomach, but I've recently come to better appreciate camp on its own terms, and if it's anything like Spider Baby, I'll be cool with it.
  • Certified Copy (2010) — 7 votes — I watched my very first Abbas Kiarostami movie, Close-Up, just two months ago. He's obviously a thoughtful and skilled director, and I'm hoping this one resonates with as much or even more.
  • Limelight (1952) — 7 votes — Limelight wasn't really on my radar at all until its recent blu ray release was covered on a recent podcast. It seems like the kind of movie everyone should see, and that includes me.
  • Cabaret (1972) — 6 votes — I laid bare my feelings about Bob Fosse when I reviewed All that Jazz last year. I'm open to musicals, however, and have seen Cabaret in the distant past without any lingering ill-will.
  • The Man Who Would Be King (1975) — 6 votes — I tend to enjoy and then forget 1970s action-adventure movies. I've seen this before. I think I enjoyed it, and then I forgot it.
  • Elevator to the Gallows (1958) — 6 votes — Louis Malle two months in a row. No idea what this one is about or will be like.
  • The Double Life of Veronique (1991) — 6 votes — I fell in love with Irène Jacob after watching Krzysztof Kieslowski's Red, and I rented this earlier film of theirs soon thereafter. I remember finding it quite beautiful, but also maybe a little too non-linear. Maybe an additional 20 years of art films will help me out this time around.
  • Memories of Murder (2003) — 6 votes — About 10 years ago I went through a Korean movie phase from which the films of Chan Wook-Park stood out the most, and the rest blended together into an indecipherable morass. I may have seen this one during that binge; I've wondered about it for years, which is fitting.
  • Murder on the Orient Express (1974) — 6 votes — I know how it ends. It's been parodied ad nauseum — most notably, for me, on an episode of Moonlighting. I've heard good things about this film version, so hopefully there's plenty to enjoy with the twist already unraveled.

Trailers for September's Watchlist



More Info:

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

As movies are added to this list, I'll add them to Letterboxd, here:
https://letterboxd.com/dorrk/list/popgap-2016-09-voters-choice/

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

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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