The DVD rental queue has changed my movie-watching life, sort of. In the days of the video store, I would browse the aisles thinking that I’d always planned to rent Ingmar Bergman’s Persona or Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water, but then decide after a hard day at work, Bring It On was more the ticket for the evening. I can now fill up my queue with virtuous choices like Nashville and Rashomon (films I really do want to see), but I keep moving things like the Firefly television series to the top of my list. At this rate, I’m going to be far from “movie-literate” according to a list made by film critic Jim Emerson, but my queue makes me look like I’m getting closer.

He's come up with a list of 102 movies that he claims aren’t the best movies of all time, or even the most influential, but are ones that everyone should know “to have any sort of informed discussion about the movies.” His point being, to understand fully the (contemporary) variations, you have to know from the themes.  

Scanning the list, I feel relatively at peace. I’ve seen maybe a little more than half of the movies listed. I’ve never even heard of 1934’s It’s a Gift by Norman Z. McLeod, but I’ve seen D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance (for a film class in college, but still). I’ve probably watched GoodFellas and Annie Hall too many times to count. Lists like these are always controversial, but for me, they give me a few more options for my endless queue. And how "movie-literate" are you?

categories Cinematical