My ‘Citizen Kane’ List — Round 1


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Note: this article was also published on Tea & Fiction.

I have a list of movies I’ve started calling my Citizen Kane list. I’m sure it’s something that we all can relate to: movies (as well as other media, for that matter) that, while we’ve never actually seen, are such a part of our cultural landscape that we may as well consider them watched. Funnily enough, Citizen Kane is no longer on my list as I finally saw a few years ago.

Here are five from my current list of movies that I’ve never actually seen from beginning to end, but I know all about them. And yes, the goal is to eventually take these off the list. Maybe when I invent that 48 hour day.

First is my genre shame: I have never seen Blade Runner. Even worse? My partner and I even own a copy. The problem? It has both the original and the director’s cut, and so I don’t know which one I want to watch first. I’ve seen arguments for both being the one to watch, and while I will definitely watch both, I know the first one I watch will be the one I will relate to more. The idea of replicants, the cyberpunk elements, the performance of Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, and the concepts behind it have colored the visual world of science fiction since 1982, so there isn’t much here I won’t already know. With the sequel coming soon, I plan on watching it. I just need to decide which one to watch first.

Now to turn in my theatre geek card as well. As I hinted in my review of the Unicorn Theatre’s A Very Joan Crawford Christmas back in 2010, I’m not very familiar with the movies of Joan Crawford. While I did go through a period of watching older films, I mainly focused on the musicals and tended to stay away from the dramas. When the first season of Feud decided to focus on the Crawford/Davis one during What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, I started hearing much more about this movie lately as well as the history behind it. I’m a little leery about seeing it, in all honesty, because so much has been made about it that I’m afraid that coming to it now I’ll only be disappointed by it.

Photo from the finale of ‘Stayin’ Alive: a Grammy Salute to the Music of The Bee Gees’, by Angie Fiedler Sutton.

Back in February, I was lucky enough to get tickets to the taping of Stayin’ Alive: a Grammy Salute to the Music of The Bee Gees. As John Travolta presented a special tribute to the movie that made him a star, it dawned on me that I have never seen Saturday Night Fever. That doesn’t mean I don’t know almost everything about this movie. Whether it’s the parody of the dance scene in Airplane! or that disco is pretty much synonymous with this movie, I have a feeling there’s not much that’s going to surprise me when I actually sit down and watch this film. Still, part of me is curious if it holds up in 2017.

With my love of so much British media, combined with my interest in Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, and Danny Boyle, it may come as a surprise that I’ve never actually seen Trainspotting. Still, it’s not hard to see how much the movie has become a part of our cultural landscape. In all honesty, that’s kind of what’s taken me so long to see it. While yes, on the positive, supposedly we get to see McGregor do the Full Monty, on the negative, I also know the violence and vomit discretion shots are plentiful in the movie, neither of which I’m a big fan of.

It’s a scene so well known that Improv Everywhere did a prank about it. The movie Spartacus is so talked about in media when it comes to great movies and so many clips have been shown that I probably have actually seen the full movie – just not necessarily in the correct order. This story of a slave revolt in Rome may be a little too male and white for me to watch without intense social criticism nowadays. I also have to admit I am not a big fan of Stanley Kubrick so far (sorry, folks: I hated his Shining and Clockwork Orange is the only movie I’ve ever seen as an adult that ever gave me nightmares). As a result, while the film lover in me definitely wants to check it out, I want to make sure I’m in the right frame of mind when I watch it.

Now, this is obviously not a complete list of my Citizen Kane list, hence the ‘Round 1’. There are still books and theatre to consider, and I still have other movies on this list as well. And, of course, the point of this list is to take things off of it, so the list is constantly evolving. What movies have you not seen but still feel like you know enough about it to consider it seen?

See all my 5 Fandom Friday posts here.

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