Full Disclosure: Twitch Tackles Its Lists Of Shame (A New Year's Resolution)

James Marsh, Asian Editor
Just like opinions and arseholes, everyone's got their List of Shame. Their dirty little secret that they've been hiding from the world, that they fear will ruin their credibility if anyone ever found out, that has haunted them so long they can't even bear to utter its name...

For anyone who considers themselves a cinephile or critic of note, their occupation can all too often become a labour of Sisyphean proportions, and inevitably some bona fide classics get left behind in the rabid desire to stay on top. Be it Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia or Seven Samurai, everyone has their albatross to carry, everyone has that string of titles that makes them fall uncharacteristically silent when the pub conversation turns to their merits and faults. Everybody has their List of Shame.

As 2013 dawns, we at Twitch have decided to make our New Year's Resolution a collective one - we will confront these lists once and for all! Together, as a team - for the greater good! Each of our contributors, from Todd Brown on down, has submitted the 12 biggest titles they know they really should have seen, but until now life has insisted on getting in the way. Every month, each of us will seek out a film from our list and watch it for the first time. We will then report back with our honest impressions on these so-called classics for your reading pleasure. How good a film is The Seventh Seal really? Does 8 1/2 actually make a lick of sense in the 21st Century? Has Gone With The Wind lived up to its title, or does it remain a romantic epic 70 years on?

Our aim here is not to challenge the classics of the artform we claim to love, but to challenge ourselves and open our deepest darkest recesses in the hope of finding some release, some closure, and most importantly...some more awesome movies with which to fall in love. Full Disclosure: Twitch Tackles Its Lists of Shame will appear right here, on the last Sunday of every month, and promises to be an adventure of epic proportions. You will be shocked, surprised and somewhat flabbergasted by some of the films we have managed to avoid over the years, but we ask not for your pity, nor your ridicule, but simply for your support, and perhaps even a dash of envy as we experience these films for the very first time.
Around the Internet:
  • Sean Smithson

    My list -

    LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
    DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
    SOLARIS
    TOKYO STORY
    THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
    LA DOLCE VITA
    RED BEARD
    AMARCORD
    McCABE AND MRS. MILLER
    PIERROT LE FOU
    THE SOUND OF MUSIC
    VERTIGO

    And Phil, I can guarantee I saw METROPLOIS, CITIZEN KANE, M, etc before you. We're talking all before I was 8 years old. I was lucky enough to be raised by film students on the east coast. Ditto MOTHRA, HOUSE OF USHER, MARK OF THE DEVIL, SHAFT and all the Disney stuff up that point.

    So "neener neener go suck your own wiener!" you sad basement dwelling troll.

  • Andrew Mack

    I've piggybacked on some of the same titles in interest of adding a variety of opinions. And laziness. And, "Ooh. Why didn't I think of that one". And cross dressing. ;-)

    Some Like It Hot
    Gone With the Wind
    Scarface (1983)
    The Deer Hunter
    Raging Bull
    Chinatown
    The Day The Earth Stood Still
    The Great Dictator
    Casablanca
    The Exorcist
    Annie Hall
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  • Well here is my list. I've missed most of the early Kubrik and some Hitchcock.

    Some of these I've seen bits and pieces of, like Casablanca and I have M in my collection along with The Pianist but I've never just gotten around to watch them. Too much low brow crap to watch.

    Lawrence Of Arabia
    Rear Window
    North By North West
    Sunset Boulevard
    Paths Of Glory
    Barry Lyndon
    The Green Mile
    M
    Casablanca
    Night Of The Hunter
    The Pianist
    It's A Wonderful Life

  • Kwenton Bellette

    Here is mine...

    Back to the Future
    Hard Boiled
    Seven Samurai
    Gattaca
    Heat
    Le Samourai
    Schindlers List
    8 1/2
    The 400 Blows
    Rosemary's Baby
    Robocop
    The Searchers

    clearly a few people on here that aren't Twitch folk HAVE seen Troll 2

  • hutch

    Back. To. The. Future. ?!?!?!?

  • To me that's easily as crazy as anything on my list.

  • Guest

    Well here is my list. I've missed most of the early Kubrik and some Hitchcock.

    Some of these I've seen bits and pieces of, like Casablanca and I have M in my collection along with The Pianist but I've never just gotten around to watch them. Too much low brow crap to watch.

    Lawrence Of Arabia
    Rear Window
    North By North West
    Sunset Boulevard
    Paths Of Glory
    Barry Lyndon
    The Green Mile
    M
    Casablanca
    Night Of The Hunter
    The Pianist
    It's A Wonderful Life

  • Less Lee Moore

    This is cool because there are a lot of these I haven't seen either, despite lots of film classes. It's always fun to discover a classic for the first time and be absolutely amazed by how you ever got along without it.

  • hutch

    Never went to film school. But I sat in a film 101 class once and they were watching 'Crash' (2004 or whatever), so I excused myself.

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    David Cronenberg's Crash is pretty awesome though.

  • Oh god!

  • BtoFu

    you didn't include your list phil :, ( :, ( :, (

  • That's because he's seen everything ever made.

  • phil

    the hubris and jerk-offery required to proudly post such a list initially revolted me. But after nausea subsided i began to pity you, rather than detest your vanity, because as a product of the times, you are in no way atypical. Like 99% of your generation of self-annointed 'film fans', you have never, with a few token exceptions, been in the slightest bit interested in cinema, outside of the tiny window (1980s onward) of your teenage years weaned on vhs rentals. Like untold other contemporary film reveiwers and bloggers, you anoint yourself as scholarly by having cast a tiny net out in the pond and draggging in a few outre obscurites (usually foreign horror or sex oddities) outside of the mainstream to foster your snobbery. Your strawman response "I may not have seen these classics from the 1920s onwards, but i DID watch AT PLAY IN THE FIELDS OF THE LORD! in 1991" is pure puffery.

    So you gorged on mainstream junk throughout your formative years and couldnt be bothered watching stuffy, old classics cos the contemporary stuff was more exciting. Fair enough for a kid. But whats been your excuse in the intervening years ( or is that decades?). Its not like the classics were unavailable, ( like in Paul Schraeder's day, when he talks of driving miles to see an 8mm print of NOSEFERATU projected on a wall in a distant fleapit). Everything is a click away these days, and has been for a decade at least, so whats your excuse, film fan?

    No excuse- you're just lazy. Bone fucking lazy. You have zero interest in the foundations of the medium in which you make your living, you're like a Subway 'sandwich-artist' who tells people he's a Michelin chef. You should hang your head in shame, rather than poke yr face up with yr cringe-inducing "gee, aw shucks, dont hate me ya'll...i've bin busy" b.s.. Irony died last decade, didntcha hear?

    Your list is a fucking disgrace to cinema lovers, and further proof of yr ego is why you assume anyone would give a rats-hole as to whether such an ignoramus will actually get around to watching these films ("gee i guess i HAVE TO now), let alone your reaction to them,

    p.s. to those commenting how 'brave' it is to admit utter ignorance and laziness in the medium that this stain doubtless proclaims 'passion' for...just stop, ok. He deserves to be shamed, not proclaimed.

  • *hugs* Smile more, Phil!

  • jedi4life2003

    I have met a lot of hard-boiled eggs in my time, but you're twenty minutes.

  • Niels Matthijs

    So you've seen em ALL? Wow, you're like the true Pokemaster of cinephiles!

  • marshy00

    Paul Schrader is spelled like this - information that's only a click away. What's your excuse for getting that wrong?

  • Guest

    But pretty cool Armond White reads Twitch, no?

  • phil

    u got me, grammar nazi. awesome job. Personally,I woulda used 'spelt' over 'spelled'...but each to his own.

    Btw, Is 'Paul Schrader' really spelt like '-'? weird.

    God I love grammar nazis when they get basics wrong. information only a click away, indeed! or should that be '-'?

    oh, bravo guest! another classic!

  • marshy00

    So, just to confirm, you're just here to get riled up and make trouble, right? Or did you actually want to discuss movies?

  • Guest

    Phil? Phil Connors?

  • phil

    why adress the nitty gritty when theres typos to rotflyas?. But seriously, if a misspelling causes you to almost snot a beverage, then i pity you. Tip: Avoid EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND...it may prove fatal to your hyper sensitive funny bone.

  • Guest

    I think "narrow poertal" in the comment below is even better. It almost made me spit out my coffee all over the keyboard. I want to play that game, POERTAL 2

  • "Proudly"? I think close reading may uncover the word "shame" used somewhere in this article... Can you spot it? Can you?

  • phil

    do u know wot 'hubris' is?

  • Something that you're showing significantly more of than anyone else on this thread.

  • phil

    no, Todd, no one, ever, on this thread could ever out-do yr hubris in posting yr utterly shocking and embarressing list. Ever. seriously....get a job as a publicist for a studio. u aint a lover of film.

  • And a 'serious' answer to this - not that it really deserves one - is that I was ever so lazily educating myself on a completely different canon of classics. The complete Kitano. The complete Von Trier. Golden age Hong Kong. You'll notice most of my list is American. That's because I've been far more focused on international film for most of the time. Plus I watch 300 or so new films every year for both personal interest and work of different sorts while having a wife, two kids and a life outside of this stuff. They're only movies and there are only so many hours in the day.

  • Hiroaki Johnson

    Unrelated, what's considered the golden age of HK? "Touch of Zen" and "Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan" or like "Police Story" to "The Killer" and "Iron Monkey" era?

  • hutch

    I'd say 'Touch of Zen' and it's contemporaries are classic era, 'Police Story' and it's brethren are 'Golden era'.

  • Fully agree.

  • As a general rule people talk about the Golden Age of Hong Kong being the (roughly) decade following the decline of the Shaw Brothers, which had dominated so much until then. Young John Woo, young Tsui Hark, young Jackie Chan, etc. They've never really had an injection of fresh talent that comes even close to matching that period since.

    That era was pretty much my gateway to Asian film in general. I went from there to 70s Japan, current (at the time) people like Kitano, who was just coming off Sonatine (still my favorite of his) etc. Korea came later and the SE Asia region is a current obsession ...

  • Hiroaki Johnson

    Gotcha, while I've seen quite a few things from that time period, it's a little spotty. Sadly preservation has never seemed like HK's strong suit... Vast chunks of Jackie Chan and Tsui Harks catalog still await some decent Blu transfers.

    As an aside, I know Shaw brothers was in the toilet around then, but "Secret Service of the Imperial Court" is one of my favs from that early to mid 80's stuff.

  • phil

    lol. wot a response. Von Trier...Golden Age Hong Kong...Kitano...oh, plus 300 new films a year. Thanks for proving my exactly. Your film 'education' (sic) is a tiny window of the total history of cinema. You are a phoney and a fraud. Eos. "They're only movies and there are only so many hours in the day." Yup. brilliant. Bravo...

  • Guest

    You're entitled to your opinion, however violently you like to word it. However one thing - Todd ain't lazy. He actually manages to do more with his time that just about anyone I know.

  • Hell, even =I= haven't seen THE BOSS OF IT ALL...yet. :)

  • Oh, the shame of catching up on some classics and encouraging others to do the same! However shall I live with myself?!?

  • phil

    the fact you reduce never having watched the foundations of the art which you think you are an expert in with 'catching up with some classics' just shows you up for how wilfully ignorant you are. Seriously quit while yr ahead. But as the lists from fellow posters prove, you arent alone in the narrow poertal that you veiw cinema from.
    You really should never of posted that list of your shortcomings. It'll hang around your neck forevermore.

  • marshy00

    "You really should never of posted that list of your shortcomings. It'll hang around your neck forevermore." Boy, have you totally missed the point of this feature.

  • phil

    nope. u have.

  • Guest

    Haha, this is truly comedy gold, given James wrote the feature!

  • phil

    anyway, I'm gonna leave this lil' circle jerk to 'catch up' on some 80s 'classics', thanks for the laughs. Todd...hope you dont find the old ones too dull. But never mind, HOBBIT 2's not too far away....so you can tweet about that during all the 70 yrs of cinema you previously havent bothered with.

  • Mattsuzaka

    Wow, someone's a pathetic elitist who spends way too much time trying to make them self feel better about being a sad, lonely troll. No "real/respectable" fan of cinema would ever disregard another because they haven't seen a handful of classics. It only outs you as a pretentious jack-off who thinks he knows it all.

    Also, next time you attempt to anonymously (or cowardly) belittle someone in a public forum, you might want to look at your grammar and spelling before you hit post.

  • phil

    Q:You know wots lower than a troll? A: a grammar nazi, a 'pathetic elitist' is a grammar nazi who makes up words. Look up "them self' you 'pretentious jack-off". Also , you missed a colon after "anonymously". you might wanna check that before you hit your post. Double fail: Have nice day....

  • Mattsuzaka

    Ha ha, a colon actually wouldn't go after anonymously, but if you say so you adorable little creature, you!

  • phil

    oh yes it would, you adorable grammar nazi, you. Hows the 'them self' search coming along?

  • Mattsuzaka

    Oh Philip! I dance whimsically to the tap of your every eloquent keystroke, continuously being taken aback by your effervescent charm and wit. I think we're at the point where we can hold hands, so long as you keep your colon to yourself.

  • phil

    thanks, douche...keep dancing around the main point of my original comment. u were wrong on both of your pathetic grammatical 'scores'. thats all u got? go back under yr rock. 'them self'? grammar nazi? anyone?

  • Mattsuzaka

    Phyllis, I thought we were already beyond all that nonsense?! You can’t blame the fisherman for throwing out such a deceptive bait. Fish are stupid, Phyllis, but it’s difficult to see that when you have all that saltwater in your eyes.

    This is all really unfortunate because, quite frankly, I thought our relationship was growing at a nice pace, but it’s clearly going in the wrong direction now. I’ll be going back to my “yr” rock where I’ll be better appreciated. And by me I mean “u,” because apparently I’m a vowel.

  • phil

    the truth hurts, huh?

  • Mattsuzaka

    It must if you felt the need to respond twice to the same comment, Phillip. I think I might love you.

  • You've got the best email address ever, btw, Mattsuzaka.

  • phil

    Todd, today's top tip...if you cant handle mockery, dont ask for it by ending your article with the sentence "you may mock accordingly".

  • I reserve the right to mock in return, should the opportunity present.

  • hutch

    This dude is taking his venom to an absurd level...but I do have to admit, Todd, your list was an eyebrow raiser. I'm with you in that individual paths can take you down more obscure roads, mine did too, but somehow I always managed to get to the classics-and they're so much more satisfying than most contemporary offering no matter how clever this generation thinks it is.
    Anyway, the worst of it will be that you reprimand yourself for waiting so long to check these films. You're going to enjoy the majority of them. I would give a list of shame, but my list of shame is usually just plain ignorance to a film's existence rather than knowing of it but not viewing. So my list of shame is of classics I've never heard of. Can't name 'em cuz I don't know 'em. Have yet to see 'Wings of Desire', but I do own and love 'Wings' (1st Oscar winner).

  • I'll happily vouch for Wings Of Desire. It's my favorite Wenders.

  • phil

    tragic. where did you , in your original post, 'reserve the right to mock in return'? honestly, you aint giving me anything to refute my mockery of your list of inadequacies.

  • Mattsuzaka

    Ha ha, thanks!

  • J Hurtado

    Um, sorry?

  • sitenoise

    I dunno. Not sure what exactly is to be gained from watching a bunch of old movies. I hope someone waxes philosophically on the night and day between seeing these when they came out and watching them now ... especially now that you're all seasoned film critics. j/k

  • Eron Sheean

    You Twitch folks should all be tied to a cinema chair, eyelids propped open
    and forced to watch all films on the shame list back to back. Beer can be
    administered intravenously.

  • I'm game.

  • J Hurtado

    Not sure about the intraveneous beer, though, I prefer it the old fashioned way

  • VyceVictus

    Butt chugging? Bold.

  • bewar3them00n

    Wow Todd that's a rather weighty list of shame!
    I've seen all on your list at least once. Apart from M..
    7 Samurai and Yojimbo, oh what delights await you!
    Sometimes finding the time, and the mood to sit down and invest in "classics" can be difficult, but you will find a whole new world of filmic references speaking to you once you familiarise yourself with your list of shame...

  • P.w. Shelton

    I'm also astonished at the amount of those here who haven't seen The Searchers!

  • P.w. Shelton

    Ah, this is amazing. Thanks for this article and confessions. Whenever I admit to having never seen any of the Godfather trilogy, I wait for the inevitable gasps and dropping of jaws. Speaking of Jaws, I'm along the same lines as you, Todd. I've seen bits and pieces but never in its entirety. Don't let those lofty expectations get in the way of a good viewing either. Your list of shame contains some of the greats and rightfully so. I do hope you enjoy them, especially Citizen Kane and Lawrence.

  • Guest

    My ET is your Jaws. I've seen bits and pieces on TV, enough to equal most of the movie, but never the whole thing in one go. As a result I constantly confuse it with Flight of the Navigator.

  • P.w. Shelton

    I had completely forgotten about Flight of the Navigator. I used to love that flick. In my oh so humble opinion, ET is worth one viewing. I'd say give it a go. However, not having seen your list of shame, you may need to put that one off for a while, eh?

  • Simon de Bruyn

    ET isn't on my list. I wasn't going to publish mine until the viewing, but here goes. I'm Australian, so there's a few local films here that I've felt pressure to watch over the years:

    Lawrence of Arabia
    Gone with the Wind
    Babe
    On the Waterfront
    Planet of the Apes
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    Rashomon
    Walkabout
    Shine
    Stand By Me
    Ben Hur
    The Piano

    Also, Flight of the Navigator is awesome. It gets time travel right.

  • Marc

    I've seen nearly every film that most of these lists feature, with a few exceptions on the foreign film front, and many of them I've seen over and over again and count among my favorites (Seven Samurai, Wild Bunch, Jaws, etc). There are plenty of "essentials" I haven't seen, I'm sure, but the one that always gets people (and at present I have no plan on ever watching just so I can be the one guy in the world who hasn't seen it) is E.T. Never seen it in any version...

  • I'm not really an advocate for avoiding a particuar film, but I say that in fully hypocrisy mode, mildly chuffed that I've missed SOUND OF MUSIC and GONE WITH THE WIND until now (despite the fact that I think I can probably do novelizations of both). Still, ET doesn't even rate that high on Spielberg's works for me save for its historical interest. If you haven't seen SPR, SCHINDLER'S, RAIDERS, JURASSIC and even LINCOLN, well, get on it! :)

  • Guest

    I've always been glad to have missed chick flick classics like Grease, Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, Ghost, this sort of thing.

  • Dave Canfield

    Yours truly will be chiming in on the following

    The Long Goodbye
    The Bicycle Thieves
    The Last Temptation of Christ
    The Deer Hunter
    Pandora's Box (1929)
    La Dolce Vita
    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
    8 1/2
    The 400 Blows
    Ugetsu
    Ben Hur
    Persona

  • J Hurtado

    If we're all sharing, I'm down:

    1. Lawrence of Arabia
    2. Gone With the Wind
    3. Bonnie & Clyde
    4. On the Waterfront
    5. The Gold Rush
    6. Chinatown
    7. Rashomon
    8. 8 1/2
    9. 12 Angry Men
    10. Once Upon a Time in the West
    11. Singin' in the Rain
    12. The Bridge on the River Kwai

    All twelve of which have seen sitting on my DVD shelves for years.

  • Less Lee Moore

    ON THE WATERFRONT made me realize why people talked about Brando in rapturous tones. Stunning film. And daaaaaamn ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. Wish I could see that one again for the first time. You've got some great movies ahead of you on this list.

  • Kurt

    AGREED on the Leone picture, if I were voting for BEST FILM OF ALL TIME, it would be ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST...

  • jedi4life2003

    Absolutely agree

  • BtoFu

    I've literally just hit the intermission on the Lawrence 50th Anni Blu, came away for a breather and ran right into this. I trust you have a nice setup at home, Todd. The transfer is glorious - I'm only halfway through and can confidently say this - FINALLY - is what I've been waiting for with HD discs. You're in for a real treat.

    I also don't feel so bad about never having seen M anymore. =)

    A Touch of Zen
    The Treasure of Sierra Madre
    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    Yojimbo
    Eraserhead
    Straw Dogs
    Ben Hur
    Le Samourai
    Wings of Desire
    Grave of the Fireflies

    ^_^

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