Cinephilic urges

Because I’m slightly neurotic, I’m in the habit of putting together lists of 15-20 films that I badly want to see within a relatively short span of time—say, two weeks—and then plowing through them as though it were my job (because, in a sense, it is). But I almost always find myself feeling the urge to revise the current  “to watch” list before I’ve had time to put a significant dent in it. Yes, this tends to undermine however much progress I’ve made toward finishing said list.

Last night marked such an occasion: I decided to put my plans to work through the oeuvres of Elia Kazan, John Ford and Rainer Werner Fassbinder on the backburner in favor of a more prolonged engagement with the work of UW alum Michael Mann and Godard imitator/indie auteur Hal Hartley.

Call me capricious but I seriously doubt that I’ll come to regret my decision. I’m not so much interested by my sudden desire to see as much Mann and Hartley as possible; rather, I’m curious to know what it was that precipitated this abrupt shift in plans. I can’t think of anything more useful to the 2010 cinephile than “to watch” lists, but maybe that’s just me. Anyone else dorky enough to make “to watch” lists?

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