Jesse Ataide

Current grad student, keeper of the sporadically updated, (hopefully) soon-to-be-resurrected Memories of the Future

A Few Scattered Thoughts, Explanations and Justifications

So an attempt to get beyond "the Canon"... an admirable effort, a daunting effort, perhaps ultimately a futile one. Where does one even start? With a few guidelines, of course, and here were mine: not only exclude the "officially restricted," but the ones I also thought should have been, ones that need no help from me ("In the Mood for Love," is one of my dozen or so favorite films, but you won't find it listed here), and certainly no quota-per-director (I've never understood such reasoning—why would I penalize the artists who speak the most to me?).

The list that began forming were favorites, of course, with the possibility of exposure haunting the edges of the reasoning. Quite a few I imagine will only get their single vote from me—but how many of them did I discover myself because somebody at some point bothered including it on their own similar type of list? Personal focuses and strengths inevitably dominate (French cinema, 1960's European cinema), pet obsessions (female auteurs, queer visions) are granted special pride of place, embarrassing gaps of knowledge are showcased (my continued apologies to Asia, anywhere non-West, really).

Ultimately, when the winnowing process for the final count came, a single criterion dominated: if I had to turn in a five page paper in three days, would this film be one I'd consider writing on? Below are a few of the films that came to mind.

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