Around the World in 25 Movies
British film magazine Empire is widely considered one of the best mainstream film magazines in circulation today. In 2010, writers for the magazine put together a list titled “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema.” For the record, world cinema is defined here as any and all non-English films. Now, I’m a film and media studies major at Wash. U. (We have a Film and Media Studies department?) Yeah, I watch movies for credit, and I know your major is harder than mine. I’ve seen a lot of movies, ranging from 1980s slasher films, to art cinema along the likes of François Truffaut and Terrence Malick, to the time in junior year of high school when I exclusively watched movies from the “List of films considered the worst” Wikipedia page. Hopefully I’ve gained something from all of this. This feature, in some ways, is as a way for me to see what I’ve learned and to share it with you loyal readers.
The premise of this feature is that, starting at #25 on the “Best Films of World Cinema,” I will watch every film until I get to #1. I will give my honest opinion and hopefully put some of the film knowledge that I’ve learned at Wash. U. to good use. Some of the films I have seen before, and I am expecting to revise my opinion of these films as I hopefully garner a greater understanding of their social and historical context. Others are films that I have actively avoided due to intimidating running times or general fanboy overenthusiasm. This will be an exercise in gaining a better understanding of the incredibly broad concept of “world cinema” as well as in trying to gain a better understanding of my nebulous taste in movies. Feel free to follow along with me on a weekly basis.
First up is Germany’s 1981 film Das Boot, a film that falls under the category of movies I have actively avoided. With a daunting running time of 209 minutes, this film is a marathon, to put it simply.