Good Morning: Still in search of good cinema

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

In recent days, I've been trying a new strategy in my long search for good movies to look beyond simply the classics and explore what truly makes for a good movie.

Over the past week, I've been using the Library of Congress and the National Film Registry as a guide to important or otherwise quality films.

Those who don't regularly read my columns, I consider myself something of a movie buff, but over the past two years I've been working on expanding my tastes by watching movies I've never seen. In short, I want to see many of the movies that are considered among the best of the best.

 Early on, I tried sticking primarily with classic movies, but changed my strategy when I realized many of these films didn't resonate with me. I need modern classics.

Now, my new strategy combines both ideals while also exploring other aspects of what makes for a good movie. Each year, the registry chooses up to 25 films to perserve as a way of capturing our national culture through film. These films can be chosen based on their historical, cultural or aesthetic importance.

What brought my attention to the registry was that a favorite film — The Dark Knight — was chosen last year for preservation. The batman movie certainly isn't a Citizen Kane, but I think it has value in and of itself. 

As I looked at the list, I saw many films that I've already seen. Jurassic Park is preserved. The Breakfast Club has made the list. Many films that were made in my lifetime have been deemed important enough to preserve throughout the ages. 

So, I decided to dig deeper in the list and found many films that I knew about, but had never seen. I decided to change that.

So, that is how a few of my friends and I got together late last week and watched The Big Lebowski — a cult favorite film about a hapless loser known as the "Dude" who is looking for a replacement rug and a good game of bowling. Culturally, it made its impact, and that's enough reasoning for me to want to see it.