Features

Blind Spots

Blind Spots

The title of our publication, what with its casually pejorative second person case, asserts an air of authority. This aspect is, I imagine, continually underlined in our output: coverage of uniformly older and often underappreciated films we resolve to elevate, however infinitesimally, within the critical canon. In this practice – which, as of this year, approaches a full decade – such an air of authority has become appreciably pretentious.

In response to this thought, we present “Blind Spots”: a compendium of reviews of popularly or critically renowned films that – for whatever reason and with some amount of shame – we haven’t seen. These are the most glaring omissions in our respective histories as film enthusiasts or scholars, the canonical films with reputations so impenetrable that to watch them would be like chewing an ice cube. These are films that have been in our Netflix queues for years because we’re never in the right mood to watch them. These are films that taunt us obnoxiously with their collectively presupposed and unequivocal quality, sneering downward at us from a well-worn shelf in some video store.

A blind spot is fascinating as a concept for two reasons: one, for its potential in facilitating a pure response, one unencumbered by contemporaneous criticism; and two, for what it communicates of its viewer’s tendencies and preferences. The result of our experiment, which commences today and will continue for the next three weeks, entertains results both expected and unexpected, and contains films that span a half century.

In addition, our reviews for this feature will be uncustomarily autobiographical. They are written with foreknowledge of a film’s revelations, iconic quotes or sequences, and record an experience that’s peculiarly different from those of us who saw these films when they were contemporary. Each review will be preceded by an introduction by a fellow contributor, which will serve to contextualize each respective film’s appeal or renown. Herein, you’ll be reading as much about us as you will the classic and popular films we include, many of which you’ll have seen before, and some, I suspect, you haven’t.

Introduction by Rumsey Taylor

Reviews

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