Cinematic Education


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(rough draft)

my plan is to systematically make my way through the significant films of each year, beginning ~1887 till the the present day. i will keep track of my progress in this thread. i want to use all the lists available, box office results, imdb rankings for each year, wikipedia's years in film as well as suggestions from people like you.

as the number of films produced each year increase rapidly between the first known film to the studios of the early 20th century, i will be limiting myself to at most ~20 films a year before moving on to the next year. the precise number will vary year to year depending on the densities of the lists and suggestions i will be using.

the point is to progress through the history of film from roughly its beginning to present day, witnessing its development like a time traveler. it is a prototype for a lifelong project of systematically appreciating works of all kinds. the rules and expectations of the system will hopefully emerge through time.


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I've been thinking about it for a year. A more comprehensive way to watch films, that is. I came up with an idea of dividing all the films I already have, but haven't seen into decades and watch one film from every decade and then make circles. Like, you know, one from the 20s, 30s, 40s and so on all up to 2010s and then all the way back to 20s (and 1910s). I also thought it's a good idea to thrown in some additional categories with director names. Like, say, I just watched Murnau's Nosferatu and loved it, so I create another category "Murnau" and incoporate it into a circle, so I'll watch next Murnau film soon. Now that I think of it, your idea is pretty good too, but I like me some diversity and watching only silents for the first couple of weeks isn't as exciting as randomly picking up movies. Now that I think of it it would make a lot more of sense to take two or three film genres/movements/directors and try to discover them like, say, German Expressionism, Japanese New Wave and New Hollywood and then watch only movies of this type for a month. So far all my attempts and categorized movie watching have failed and I just pick a movie I'm gonna see minutes before I'm watching it, but who knows... I have so many to see from the silent era.
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Good job Daniel, it is certainly a preferential list rather than a culturally significant list, but still pretty comprehensive, for the direct links:

I find the best way is to wander through the history of cinema aimlessly.
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Keep Turner Classic Movies on, all day, every day, and watch it as often as you can, if not more.

That'll get you a lot of the way there.
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra