September 10, 2008

What AREN'T You Watching?

Here's a great piece from Slate about those Netflix movies you never get around to watching:
Slate readers, I'm afraid I've got some bad news: You don't care about Africa as much as you think you do. Last week, I asked you to reveal what Netflix rental has languished on your coffee table the longest without getting watched. More than 1,000 of you sent in e-mails confessing to having sat for days, weeks, months, and even years on everything from All About Eve to Z, the Oscar-winning French drama starring Yves Montand. Renee from North Carolina has conceived and carried a child to term in the time since Fracture, the Anthony Hopkins thriller, arrived in its red envelope. ("I'm sure it's very good, I really want to watch it," she writes.) But the movie you had the most trouble actually watching is Hotel Rwanda. Grant from New Jersey captured the predicament best: "What could be worse than the agony of having Hotel Rwanda stare at me from on top of the DVD player everyday for two months? Oh ... right."
The list is great fun, and I must confess to similar failure. I can tell you each of the movies that I returned to Netflix unwatched. And this isn't even counting the 50 or so films that have been sitting in my queue since I began Netflix 3 years ago. For three years, 8 films isn't too bad. What are yours?

1) Searching for Bobby Fischer: I actually ended up watching this film, but it took me three months. Which is a shame, because it is truly delightful, and I would watch it in a second now. What hindered me? I have no idea.

2) Last King of Scotland and Letters from Iwo Jima: Like Hotel Rwanda, too serious for day to day watching, I still really want to see these, but I suppose I'll borrow them form the library when I am in the mood.

3) The Comedians: Based on a Graham Greene novel, this movie stars Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness and Lillian Gish. If it has such a great cast, why doesn't anyone watch it? I kept asking myself that, and not watching it.

4) The Misfits: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and yet...

5) The Black Robe: Sounded like The Mission, without Ennio Marricone doing the score, so I couldn't be bothered.

6) Pollock: I decided I had to know more about Pollock's work before I delved into a bio-pic. Oddly, I didn't decide that about Ray Charles or Johnny Cash.

7) The Conversation: I've seen this before, and just love Gene Hackman, but never got around to watching it. Which is too bad, because a good thriller is such a cathartic thing to watch after a long day.

8) Shoot the Piano Player: This obscure and avant garde French film is a family favorite. So, I'll watch it with the family, I think.


  1. That's a shame about Hotel Rwanda, it's a fabulous movie.

    I feel too guilty about those red enveloped lying there on top of the TV to keep them too long, but there are a few (I just can't remember what they are right now).

  2. kbeer3:56 PM

    you HAVE to watch Shoot the Piano Player. I know, I know, foreign films are hard to get motivated about, but you won't regret it, I promise!

  3. Ha! ok, I'll rent it again. I knew someone other than Mom must know about that film. Not surprised it is you! :)