For those who are not aware, the Blindspot series is where you set a pre-determined list of 12 films that are particular blindspots (go figure) in your viewing history. I suppose they don’t have to be famous films, but they generally turn out to be. Posts are released on the final Tuesday of every month. It was started on The Matinee and I’ve seen a bunch of blogs doing it since.
Last year was my first year participating, and I think it went pretty well. I did not get to reviewing all of the films (8 1/2, The Host, and City of God), but I watched almost all of them. The only one I didn’t get to was The Host, which is a shame because it was one of the ones I was most excited for. I’m sure I’ll catch up with it at some point. Without a doubt, the biggest stumbling block was 8 1/2. I knew I was supposed to love it, but honestly, I really did not get that movie at all. I didn’t really fall in love with any of the movies from last year, but I did enjoy and appreciate a good amount of them.
This year, I’m keeping the international theme. It’s part of what makes the films so hard to get through, but also it’s something I feel is important to work on and other than a few exceptions, this is the only way I can get myself to watch more foreign cinema. I only have one US entry this time around, and instead of making sure to get an animated film I got a documentary instead (and two silents!). A lot of the European countries that have had a more established national cinema for a longer period of time (France, Germany, Japan) are here again in full force, but I also included some different countries this time around. I also became aware of a recommendation for the Blindspot series and that’s to try and keep it all 20th century. That lead me to a few unexpected choices (and three films from the ’90s ha ha), as a lot of national cinemas have only become relevant relatively recently. So I looked more back into the past, and some of these Blindspots are films that happen to fill a type rather than titles I have always been aware of and wanted to see.
Without further ado, here’s the schedule of international films for 2016:
William Wellman’s Wings (US, 1927)
Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (USSR, 1929)
Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game (France, 1939)
Emilio Ferrandez’s Maria Candelaria (Mexico, 1946)
Yasujiro Ozu’s Tokyo Story (Japan, 1953)
Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (Italy, 1960)
Claude Jutra’s Mon Oncle Antoine (Canada, 1971)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Germany, 1974)
Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (Australia, 1975)
Abbas Kiarostami’s Close Up (Iran, 1990)
Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Veronique (Poland, 1991)
Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express (Hong Kong, 1994)
You’ll notice that I didn’t explain why I picked these films or designate a specific month for each of them. I started to, but I thought maybe with less structure I’d get more of them done. I started to explain each one of them as well, but it was just too many words. Not all of them speak for themselves, but hopefully they will in my subsequent reviews! I hope we’re in for another good year of The Blindspot Series, or at least a more punctual and complete one.
Look for my first review on one of these titles on Tuesday, January 26th. Thank you all for reading and I hope to see you then!