PopGap #21: Voters' Choice

PopGap #21: Voters' Choice

Written by dorrk
05 September 2016

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your movies, but your friends will make you watch anime.

For September I compiled a list of 26 movies that I wanted to watch and posted it as a poll in a Facebook group. the voters in that group added 15 of their own ideas of what I should watch. In the final count, they chose eight movies from my selections and six of their own (including two anime, which I never would have chosen for myself). All but two of this month's movies are within Flickchart's Top 1000, so I'll be getting incrementally closer to that milestone by the end of the month.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Dir: Peter Weir Trailer
11 votes
Akira (1988)

Akira (1988)

Dir: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
11 votes
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Dir: Kenji Mizoguchi
8 votes
Ordinary People (1980)

Ordinary People (1980)

Dir: Robert Redford
7 votes
Castle in the Sky (1986)

Castle in the Sky (1986)

Dir: Hayao Miyazaki
7 votes
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

Dir: Robert Aldrich
7 votes
Certified Copy (2010)

Certified Copy (2010)

Dir: Abbas Kiarostami
7 votes
Limelight (1952)

Limelight (1952)

Dir: Charles Chaplin
7 votes
Cabaret (1972)

Cabaret (1972)

Dir: Bob Fosse
6 votes
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Dir: John Huston
6 votes
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Dir: Louis Malle
6 votes
The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

Dir: Krzysztof Kieslowski
6 votes
Memories of Murder (2003)

Memories of Murder (2003)

Dir: Joon-ho Bong
6 votes
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Dir: Sidney Lumet
6 votes

My thoughts

  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) — 11 votes — It's been a long time since I've last seen Peter Weir's lyrical girls-in-the-desert drama, and I've never seen this newer, shorter director's cut.
  • Akira (1988) — 11 votes — Possibly the most popular anime movie of all time? I've been assured by fans who don't otherwise care for these kinds of movies that AKIRA IS AMAZING. I guess I'm being forced to find out.
  • Sansho the Bailiff (1954) — 8 votes — I'm always happy to have an acclaimed Japanese drama on my monthly watchlist. I watched Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu last year and am excited to see another of his beloved classics.
  • Ordinary People (1980) — 7 votes — I watched Ordinary People back in the mid-1980s, on a small TV. It seems like a movie that might work better on a small scale, and some of these older family dramas come off as overwrought and psychologically naive when watched these days. Wary, but happy to revisit it.
  • Castle in the Sky (1986) — 7 votes — Hooray, another two hours of animated nonsense about flying children! See how ready I am to watch this one? Thanks, voters!
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) — 7 votes — This is another one that I last watched back in my teens. I recall finding its broad acting tough to stomach, but I've recently come to better appreciate camp on its own terms, and if it's anything like Spider Baby, I'll be cool with it.
  • Certified Copy (2010) — 7 votes — I watched my very first Abbas Kiarostami movie, Close-Up, just two months ago. He's obviously a thoughtful and skilled director, and I'm hoping this one resonates with as much or even more.
  • Limelight (1952) — 7 votes — Limelight wasn't really on my radar at all until its recent blu ray release was covered on a recent podcast. It seems like the kind of movie everyone should see, and that includes me.
  • Cabaret (1972) — 6 votes — I laid bare my feelings about Bob Fosse when I reviewed All that Jazz last year. I'm open to musicals, however, and have seen Cabaret in the distant past without any lingering ill-will.
  • The Man Who Would Be King (1975) — 6 votes — I tend to enjoy and then forget 1970s action-adventure movies. I've seen this before. I think I enjoyed it, and then I forgot it.
  • Elevator to the Gallows (1958) — 6 votes — Louis Malle two months in a row. No idea what this one is about or will be like.
  • The Double Life of Veronique (1991) — 6 votes — I fell in love with Irène Jacob after watching Krzysztof Kieslowski's Red, and I rented this earlier film of theirs soon thereafter. I remember finding it quite beautiful, but also maybe a little too non-linear. Maybe an additional 20 years of art films will help me out this time around.
  • Memories of Murder (2003) — 6 votes — About 10 years ago I went through a Korean movie phase from which the films of Chan Wook-Park stood out the most, and the rest blended together into an indecipherable morass. I may have seen this one during that binge; I've wondered about it for years, which is fitting.
  • Murder on the Orient Express (1974) — 6 votes — I know how it ends. It's been parodied ad nauseum — most notably, for me, on an episode of Moonlighting. I've heard good things about this film version, so hopefully there's plenty to enjoy with the twist already unraveled.