What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…? 2019

A new year, a new challenge… or, rather, an old challenge with new components.

Yes, for a seventh year I’m setting myself the goal of watching 12 specific films I really should have seen but haven’t.

And, because I’m a crazy madman, I’m doing it twice — i.e. 24 films.

I’ve been doing two of these lists since 2017 (separated as “Blindspot”, which you may’ve seen on other blogs, and my own version, “What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…?” (aka WDYMYHS), which is the same thing by a different name), but previously only put ten films on the second list. Well, I got into such a rhythm of watching these films during 2018 that it felt weird in November and December after the WDYMYHS list had run out. So, I thought for 2019 I’d go all-in and do two full lists of 12.

“Why do you have two lists of 12 rather than one list of 24?”, you may ask. Fortunately for you (or unfortunately, if you don’t care), I’m happy to answer. I started doing WDYMYHS as a 12-film challenge before Blindspot came along, but for my 10th anniversary in 2017 I decided to do ‘both’ — the regular 12-film challenge, plus a ten-film one, marking my blog’s 10th anniversary by selecting one film I really should’ve seen from each of the previous ten years. That went well, so I repeated it in 2018; and that went well too, so I’m making it that little bit trickier this year (9.09% trickier, to be precise).

The exact difference between the lists is that Blindspot is a ‘free choice’ of 12 films I personally feel I should’ve seen, whereas WDYMYHS is selected by analysing lists of great and/or popular movies to try to determine a consensus view of what I’m a fool to have missed. I vary which lists I consult, and how much value I put in them, year by year (to some extent, anyway). This year, the formula to calculate these picks was based on the three Top 250 lists that are tracked on iCheckMovies — the ones from IMDb, Reddit, and FOK! — plus They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?’s 1,000 Greatest Films. These lists were factored with various weightings to give the films a score. Then I applied a couple of rules: films had to appear on at least two of those lists, including at least one out of IMDb and TSPDT; I had to already have access to them (either on DVD, Blu-ray, or if they’re currently streaming on Netflix/Amazon/etc); and, as usual, no repeat directors. That led to a load of high-scoring films being passed over (I had to go as far down as #32 for my 12th pick).

After all that, this is what I ended up with, in the order they finally scored (from highest to lowest)…


Ikiru
Ikiru


Untouchable
Untouchable


The Gold Rush
The Gold Rush


Life is Beautiful
Life is Beautiful


All About Eve
All About Eve


Sherlock, Jr.
Sherlock, Jr.


The Thin Red Line
The Thin Red Line


Eyes Wide Shut
Eyes Wide Shut


The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes


Cool Hand Luke
Cool Hand Luke


The Royal Tenenbaums
The Royal Tenenbaums


Memories of Murder
Memories of Murder

Some noteworthy exclusions…

  • To Kill a Mockingbird actually made the list (in 6th), but it was on my list in 2015. I once had the rule that a film only had to sit out one year before being available for reinclusion, but, I dunno, I like mixing it up. But if I don’t watch it anyway during 2019, I might let it back in for 2020.
  • If I hadn’t ruled out films I don’t own, the “true top 12” (i.e. based on score alone) would’ve included In the Mood for Love, , Cinema Paradiso, Andrei Rublev, Come and See, and A Separation.
  • If I didn’t rule out repeat directors, Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid would’ve been in 8th place.
  • If I’d kept the “must own/have access to it” rule but allowed films that were only on one list, it would’ve included Dangal, Taare Zameen Par, Ordet, Ugetsu Monogatari, and Fanny & Alexander.
  • Finally, if I’d had to own it and have it on multiple lists, but it didn’t have to be on IMDb’s or TSPDT’s, then Scott Pilgrim vs. the World would’ve been the 12th film.

Of course, just because something got cut out of my WDYMYHS, doesn’t mean I couldn’t choose to include it in my Blindspot picks…

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2 thoughts on “What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…? 2019

  1. Well, here’s what I’ve seen that’s on your WDYMYHS list (for what it’s worth)-

    Ikiru- had this on DVD, a Criterion disc no less, back in those heady days of buying loads of R1 DVDs thinking I was building up a film collection to last the ages. What an idiot, I didn’t see another two formats in the future. Nice film, though I only saw it once, which rather made a mockery of buying it (ah the wisdom of hindsight). I remember it was very good though.

    The Thin Red Line – at the risk of ruining it for you by saddling it with too much hype that it could never live up to, this is one of the greatest films ever made and surely Malick’s masterpiece. Not as mind boggling as Tree of Life but having a much more comprehensible plot, its damned near perfect. There. You can’t help but be disappointed. But here’s a hint- it’s not a war movie.

    Eyes Wide Shut – a guilty pleasure which, like most Kubrick films, gets better everytime I watch it. There’s something endlessly fascinating about his stuff, how he structured and paced his films. Now there is some distance from the Cruise/Kidman real-life romance/marriage thing that rather overshadowed the fascination of this film, it can stand on its own merit.

    The Red Shoes – a very strange one, this, but beautiful on Blu-ray. I’m not entirely sure I knew what to make of it at the time, it is very arthouse, perhaps a rewatch is in order.

    Cool Hand Luke- yes very cool this one, as the title would suggest. Haven’t seen it in years. They really don’t make ’em like they used to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should’ve guessed Malick’s war movie wouldn’t really be a war movie!

      I’m fascinated to see all of them, of course, but perhaps none more so than Eyes Wide Shut — I’m certain I remember it going down quite poorly when it was released, but nowadays it seems to be increasingly regarded as a classic.

      Like

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