It was a glorious spring day today—not too hot, not too cold, full sun shining, a warm breeze—the perfect out-of-doors sort of day, even for those of us who aren’t very out-of-doorsy. And so I went on a bike ride with my parents (or, an ice cream trip justified by a bike ride, take your pick) on a nearby path, enjoying the weather and the birds and the flowers. Which means, I believe, five days in a row now that I haven’t read a word of any of the four books I’m currently reading, nor am I likely to read any tonight as my eyelids are already drooping. I do hope to do better this coming week, if for no other reason than impending library due dates, but I seem to be so scattered in my approach to everything lately, that I won’t hold my breath. However, I’m enjoying all my books, so I have no good excuses. Do feel free to hold me accountable…
I haven’t felt very bloggish of late either, despite a backlog of possible posts. (Nor have I been good at keeping up with my feed reader.) But I thought I should just behave a little and finally introduce a new project I’ve been thinking about since January. (Yes, January. I really do depend upon deadlines.)
This isn’t bookish, not exactly, although The Invention of Hugo Cabret provides much of my inspiration. If you are unfamiliar with the book, movies—especially early silent films—play an important role in the story, as one of the main characters is Georges Méliès, an early French film maker credited with a number of developments in the history of cinema. At the end of the book author Brian Selznick lists a number of early films, by Méliès and others, which were either mentioned in the novel or inspirational to its development. A light bulb went off, and I found myself ordering all the various films from the library. A short time later, Richard of Caravana de recuerdos introduced his Foreign Film Festival, and I knew a project was in sight.
Cinematic Treasures: A Viewing Project
Inspired by Hugo and reminded by Richard’s “festival” of my enjoyment of foreign film, I wish to attempt to watch more of two categories of films: 1) Movies that are deemed “classic” or “important” in the history of film and 2) foreign films. For me, “foreign” means anything not (originally) in English; I suppose I could classify British movies as foreign to me, but I watch so many British dramas on PBS that I can’t think of them as foreign even though from another country than I. As for “classic” or “important,” well, we all know what a can of worms that is involving books, so I suppose I mean those movies that can be pointed at as specifically influential or that are the ones everyone mentions over and over again. Or for that matter, just those movies that I particularly want to see. I’m not fussy about definitions. (Although, if it’s from the last say, 15 years or so, I probably won’t be talking about it.)
I mean this as an informal project. I don’t have a list of movies to see that I intend to post, and I may not blog about all the movies that I watch. There are no deadlines, no set goals, just a written reminder that I really want to see more of these films.
I do wish to request recommendations, especially for classic foreign films. What are the can’t miss movies from outside of the US? I’m particularly interested in Spanish- and Italian-language films, but I’ll take recommendations from anywhere, so long as I can find the movie without too much difficulty or expense. (I have a pretty nifty library system, so I can find a lot through it.) Don’t worry about what you think I might or might not like, as I’m not too picky if I think something’s worth it.
The biggest challenge for this project will be learning how to talk about movies, at least beyond “I liked it/I didn’t like it.” But as I said, it’s informal and meant to be entirely fun. Now, to find all those extra hours I’ll be needing…