Many years ago when I first started my Netflix account, I found myself overwhelmed by the thousands of choices. I'd always meant to see Brazil, but if I was going to watch a Gilliam film maybe I should start with The Fisher King. I'd heard Charles Laughton was the greatest actor of his time, but which of his scores of movies should I put at the top of my queue? Are any of the Police Academy movies worth watching? Lost in a sea of choices and swimming in the free time afforded by college, I decided to try to see every film ever nominated for an Oscar in every single category. While this goal was perhaps more than a bit insane, and while something more attainable probably would have been a better idea, I made a spreadsheet of every nominated film I had not yet seen along with the number of wins and nominations it had received. Since that time, I have dutifully removed every nominated film upon viewing it.
This task is sisyphean for a number of reasons: many of the earliest films are considered "lost," as no remaining prints of the film exist; many of the short films are virtually impossible to find; and many of the nominated films have never been released to consumers. While I don't expect to ever finish this task, it's an adventure that has exposed me to countless films I would have otherwise never seen. Since the Academy often misses nominating some truly great films, I still see lots of movies that aren't part of this project, and I sometimes go several weeks or even months without crossing a film off my list. I'm hoping that this blog will encourage me to keep the project progressing, expose myself to excellent movies I would have otherwise missed, and give me the enjoyment of writing about the movies I've seen.