Okay, confession time. I haven’t been abroad since I was 11. In fact, my passport expired long ago, and the last holiday I went on was to a seaside town in the UK. Which was hardly what we would class as exotic. So I must admit that haven’t seen much of the world, which I know is a shame. And being a struggling millennial I don’t think I will be travelling around the globe any time soon.
But, the wonder and power of film is that it can transport you to foreign lands, and faraway destinations. It can also show a country that is inaccessible to many because of war and conflict. Films can show you another side to a country which many tourists don’t get a chance to see. We can see behind closed doors, and witness old customs which tourists may never get to see. And this is a fascinating way to see how others live, without invading their culture. Films can also be a way to go back in time to see a country that has changed dramatically over the years, and looking back at how societies were at these certain points of time.
Films are a fantastic way to travel the world, in the safety and comfort of your living room. The filmmakers can capture the beauty of their country, and their people, showing the viewers from outside what makes their home a place to be admired and recognised. There’s a sense of pride in depicting your home country on film. Or you can use the power of film to make a political comment, perhaps criticising the government or the elite of this countries. Film has the power to speak louder than any written word, to transcend language barriers, even if it is recorded in a language that isn’t English.
I know that there are many films from World Cinema that I have neglected to watch. I am not one of these types who find it hard to concentrate on reading subtitles or dismiss a film because it’s set outside a western country. And I do know people who won’t watch a film that isn’t made by Hollywood or American filmmakers.
I have always meant to watch critically acclaimed films such as Belle du Jour, L’Avventura and Diabolique, but for some reason I just haven’t got around to it. I know if I set myself a plan (like I did with the Bergman diary), I will stick to it.
Now, this is going to be my most ambitious challenge yet. I am going to travel the world in 80 films, and I am going to watch a whole range of different films. From Yorgos Lanthimos’ taboo filled family drama Dogtooth, to Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, from Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible to Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love.
My list has been chosen by editor Robin, which I am very grateful for because I trust his opinion and I know he’s got good taste! This is going to be a really interesting experience, and I am really looking forward to being challenged by certain controversial films (Dogtooth, Irréversible and Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs). And finally getting around to watching those classics I have always wanted to watch, like Picnic at Hanging Rock, Solaris, and The Conformist, which will really be a delight to see whether these films do live up to their hype. I will, of course, document my viewing experience, and I hope people will find my reviews and reaction entertaining and informative to read.
You can join in too with the challenge. Click the image below for the full list. Let us know what you think about these films, and whether you agree with my opinion or not. Now, where did I put my suitcase?