January Prompt: The Shame Statement

Hallelujah! Holy Shit! It’s 2020.

Did any of you actually believe we’d get here? I know I didn’t. But since we’re all still around we might as well watch some great movies.

A new year means it’s time to renew your vows to Cinema Shame. It’s Shame Statement January once again and that means you have to come up with a brand new list of 12+ movies you plan to watch in 2020. If you didn’t finish last year’s list, carry them right on over. (But can you do some goddamn extra credit this year to make up for your past malfeasances?) Stick out a sexy leg and see what shows up in your queue.

That’s It Happened One Night from 1934. If you don’t know it, there’s a good place to start.

Do you have a dusty to-watch pile sitting next to your television? Pick some of those.

Do you have a favorite director? Do a deep dive. Is there a director or actor you’ve somehow avoided all these years? Give them a sample. Maybe more. Maybe you’ll fall in love.

Each month we’ll provide a new prompt that helps direct your viewing in new and exciting directions. Maybe you don’t like the cattle prod, but we like doing the prodding. Okay so maybe it’s less than prodding.

Create your list, post it and Cinema Shame will share it (by yelling your shame from atop of the watchtower — but in a loving manner). Feel free to add some background details for your picks, such as why you are picking it or the reason you haven’t had to chance to view this film. The more eccentric the better.

(That’s another movie you should have seen by now.)

If you need ideas, you can check the clan’s Shame Statements from prior years. Contact us by email cinemashame@gmail.com or tweet at us @Cinemashame.

Remember to listen to the last episodes of the Cinema Shame podcast, available on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher Radio. If you like what you hear, please leave a review and share the episode on social media. We don’t even work for peanuts — just fleeting moments of appreciation on the Interwebs. What can we say? We’re easy.

I don’t know about you but this feels like the most Shameful year yet.

The Shame of a Film Archivist

So, by day I work in a film archive which specializes in saving old theatrical films. Silent movies, international cinema, animation, classic Hollywood, etc. I have been working with film since I was in college getting my Economics degree and wondering how could I follow my passion for cinema. What happens to them after they play in the local theater?

Fast forward 22 years and here we are. Growing up in the days where I purchased my first VCR for $450 (yes, I still have it and it works) and the cable channel AMC had a ‘Film Preservation Festival’ to raise money and awareness for restoring movies (does anyone remember that?) I found my way to a career that allows me to work with celluloid every week and gives me access to lots and lots of movies. For this, I am very grateful.

Yes, I have seen a lot of movies. But mostly these are from the early year’s of movies to about the 1950’s. Why? Well, that is what I normally work on all day. Nitrate film, that flammable stuff that can burn when mishandled (more on this another time). My viewing then picks up again around 1991 to the present, but I have to admit it is mostly American Cinema with some of the big International titles thrown in if they can be easily found and conveniently watched.

So my friends, this leads to a large gap, where my list of 2020 Cinema Shame films mostly resides. Please comment and let me know what you think. Some will be easy to find (a few of those large DVD box sets at home where I purchased it for two titles and the other five are still sitting there, unopened, are listed) others will be a bit harder. Yes, it is a long list, but winter here in Western New York is long and I can always say I am improving my work skills instead of cleaning the house, right?

In order by decade:

Within Our Gates (1920)

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Destry Rides Again (1939)

Le jour se leve (1939)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Secret Beyond the Door (1948)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Forbidden Planet (1956)

The Defiant Ones ( 1958)

Jalsagher [The Music Room] (1958)

Meghe Dhaka Tara [The Cloud-Capped Star] (1960)

Hanyeo [The Housemaid] (1960)

One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

Lolita (1962)

Closely Watched Trains (1967)

Easy Rider (1969)

Mean Streets (1973)

Annie Hall (1977)

My Brilliant Career (1979)

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Diner (1983)

The Big Chill (1983)

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

The Natural (1984)

Out of Africa (1985)

The Fly (1986)

Broadcast News (1987)

Reversal of Fortune (1990)

Boyz ‘N The Hood (1991)

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Xi yan [The Wedding Banquet] (1993)

The Last Seduction (1994)

Dead Man (1995)

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” Makes History and Our February Prompt

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Happiness

 

History was made on Sunday night at the 92nd annual Academy Awards when Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” became the first non-English film to win the coveted Best Picture award. It was an exciting event to watch, especially for me who thought that the front runner would fall short when it came to the Academy voters. I was wrong and in order to celebrate this milestone, for the month of February we will be focusing on films that have won or been nominated for Best Foreign Language film. I’m not saying the Academy is the end all and be all of selecting foreign cinema but as with the other Oscars categories, I believe they can be a good starting point when diving into the vast world of cinema. Prior to 1956, the 29th Academy Awards, there was no official Foreign Language award, only some honorary/special awards had been giving out in the past, this included classics such as “Rashomon” and “Bicycle Thieves,” two previously conquered Cinema Shames. 

Below are my selections for the month of February.

  1. Roma – 2018 (91st Academy Award Winner)
  2. 8 ½ – 1963 (36th Academy Award Winner)
  3. The Battle of Algiers 1966 (39th Academy Award Nominee)

BattleofAlgiers

     4. Betty Blue – 1986 (59th Academy Award Nominee)

     5. Cinema Paradiso – 1989 (62nd Academy Award Nominee)

 

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Let us know your selections this month by emailing us at cinemashame@gmail.com or on twitter @Cinemashame.

2020 Shame Statement

Will I ever get to the point of not having some Cinema Shames to discuss? Probably not, too many films, too many distractions and too little time. It is still fun to prioritize a list of films to watch over the next year. Even as I’m writing this, Martin Sheen is staring me down from the cover of “Apocalypse Now,” daring me to watch. I’ve decided to cast aside previous entries and start fresh, you know the whole “new decade, new me” process. 

 

  1. Apocalypse Now – Picked up the 4K release last year. 
  2. Philadelphia – Watched the “Silence of the Lambs” Criterion release two times last year and then saw “Something Wild” last month. I’m looking forward to those Demme’s close-ups.
  3. Inherent Vice – PTA release that I’ve had since it’s release on blu-ray but have failed to watch. 
  4. The More the Merrier – Jean Arthur
  5. A Foreign Affair – I need more Jean Arthur in my life and throwing Billy Wilder begins the camera cannot be a bad mixture 
  6. Danger Diabolik – two film opinions I trust on the interwebs  James Patrick and Jay Cheel speak highly and with the upcoming blu-ray release sounds like a perfect addition to this list
  7. Fail Safe – finished Sidney Luke’s Biogeapby by in January, a strong director where I have a  large gap in his filmography
  8. Serpico – Sidney Lumet film
  9. Dog Day Afternoon – Sidney Lumet film
  10. Cinema Paradiso 
  11. Zardoz – Sean Connery in red suspenders has been around in my mind too long without context
  12. The Hospital – I got this signed by Diana Rigg over a year ago and have yet to watch the movie
  13. Lone Wolf and Cub series
  14. Lady Snowblood
  15. Any film by Akira Kurosawa

Let It Ride / Brian Saur

Podcaster, cinema tastemaker and documentary filmmaker Brian Saur watched Let It Ride (1989) and stops by to discuss Richard Dreyfuss, Joe Pytka and our individual connections to cinema.

Subscribe on iTunesStitcher Radio / Spotify

Direct download (right click, save as): http://traffic.libsyn.com/cinemashame/LetItRide_CinemaShame_1.mp3

CREDITS:

Talking Heads:

James David Patrick (@007hertzrumble) – Is having a very good day.

Brian Saur (@bobfreelander) is also having a very good day.

Music Contained in this Podcast:

Preacher Boy – “Shamedown”

Frank Loesser – Fugue for Tinhorns

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Recorded in December 2019. Copyrights are owned by the artists and their labels. Negative dollars are made from this podcast.

December Prompt: Festive Shaming

It’s December, which means you only have one month to wrap up any of those last unwatched movies on your Shame Statement. Even if you didn’t make a Shame Statement this year, just go ahead and pick that one movie you haven’t watched. We all have that one nagging outlier that just won’t get watched and it won’t go away. Rather than let it haunt your dreams like Jacob Marley, you should probably just go ahead and put it to rest before Christmas Eve.

I’ve spent the entire year focusing on my #Watch1989 marathon (60 1989 movies and counting) so I’ll finish as many of those as I can, but I’ll also finally watch The Night of the Hunter. I watched the last thirty minutes on TCM many years ago and never brought myself to do a full viewing.

I won’t even get into how many movies on my Statement I actually watched. Between #Watch1989 and Cinema Shame podcasting… ugh. Just brutal. I am shamed.

I see you, Robert Mitchum.

Whatever your measure of Shame, take it down a notch. Start your new year with a brand new batch of unseen movies. After all, ’tis the season to be jolly, eat well and watch a lot of great movies. You have no excuse. Not the weather (more time to watch movies). Not imposing out-of-town family members (share your Shame!). Make each of these viewings an event. You’ll never regret watching a classic that’s been nagging at your conscience.

Now a little housekeeping…

Start thinking about your 2020 Shame Statements. The new decade is right around the corner.

Be sure to check out the latest Cinema Shame podcast featuring Julia Ricci (@julsrich) talking about her first-time watch of Lawrence of Arabia. Subscribe on iTunes / Stitcher / Spotify. If you enjoy what you hear, leave us a present under the Shame tree in the form of a review on your favorite listening platform.

Happy holidays, happy movie watching and may 2020 be your most Shameful year yet.

JDP

Lawrence of Arabia / Julia Ricci

Film programmer Julia Ricci (@julsrich) confesses her palpable Lawrence of Arabia Shame!

Subscribe on iTunesStitcher Radio / Spotify

Direct download (right click, save as): http://traffic.libsyn.com/cinemashame/CinemaShame_Lawrence_112k.mp3

CREDITS:

Talking Heads:

James David Patrick (@007hertzrumble) – Newly obsessed with camels

Julia Ricci (@julsrich) – Blinded by the light

Music Contained in this Podcast:

Preacher Boy – “Shamedown”

Maurice Jarre – “Lawrence of Arabia Overture”

The Match Game Theme

Maurice Jarre – “The Voice of the Guns”

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Recorded in November 2019. Copyrights are owned by the artists and their labels. Negative dollars are made from this podcast.