Watch: 1001 Essential Films to See Before You Die
Let's address possibly the most serious problem affecting filmmakers and cinephiles today.
With the average worldwide human lifespan being approximately 71 years, how on earth do we decide which of the 317,596 feature film titles currently in existence to take up the precious 622,373 hours of our lives?
Okay, I know. Technically, the math's all wrong. This problem is actually far, far worse. First of all, if you're reading this, chances are you've already lived a great many of these hours. (Our 0 to 1 demographic is minuscule unfortunately.) Second, 317,596 is a flawed piece of data, because it only accounts for "feature" titles (1874 - 2021) currently on IMDb's database, which doesn't account for all international, lost, destroyed, or unreleased films. However, let's say that, fine, there are 317,596 films in the world -- the average film is 2.16 hours long. This means that there are 698,711 hours worth of cinematic goodness out there to experience, which means that there are more hours of film than there are in the average lifespan to watch them.
I want to cry.
"Gawd, who cares." Okay, elaborate conceit over. I'll get to the point. If you're as anxious as I am about missing out on all of the great movies in cinematic history, it might comfort you to know that there is a supercut out there made by Jonathan Keogh that reveals all 1001 films listed in Steven Jay Schneider's book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die -- . Not only does it take the guesswork out of choosing something good to watch (maybe that's less fun), but it's a beautiful reminder of why we work in this industry, demonstrating the beauty and power of cinema a few seconds at a time. Check it out below:
Any list of films that has a limit is going to be incomplete, because there's always one more that should've been included. However, Schneider's list includes films of all important genres, filmmakers, movements from all over the world. If you couldn't recognize something from the supercut, you can find the titles of all of the films in Steven Jay Schneider's list here, or you can always pick up one of the editions of his book.
Just in case you're curious and craving more math, if you watch just one of these films every day starting today, you could watch them all by August 4th.
Two and a half years well spent!
How many films on the list have you seen? Which films do you think are essential viewing at some point in one's lifetime? Let us know in the comments below!