shamefilms copyI’m not good at watching films. In this modern era, where everyone seems to watch everything online (legally or illegally) I seem to have been left behind. The legal services are full of the latest forgettable rubbish, few to no classics and not enough half-decent nuggets.

Don’t even get me started on illegal streaming. How do you people do it? I fall at the first hurdle every time, screaming in anger and throwing the laptop across the room as videos fail to buffer, are clogged with ads, don’t load, or look like they were uploaded in 2004 (with resolution to match).

I’m also not good at going to the cinema. It’s expensive and invariably dull. I dont have a ‘significant other’ or large enough circle of willing mates to talk me into going. On top of which, I’m an insufferable cynic. “It’ll probably be pish,” I tut and cluck, lazily unwilling to gamble 2 hours and less than one hour’s pay.

In January 2015 I decided to put together a list of films I haven’t seen but feel I should have. The list twelve titles on it and I promised myself I would watch one a month for one year. Surely I could beg steal or borrow them all from somewhere, I reasoned, so it wouldn’t even cost a penny.

The idea was in part stolen from Stephen Fry’s The Liar, in which some school boys attend a reading group and are forced to admit which classics they have not read with the intention of embarrassing each other into righting this shameful wrong.

The naysayer might see this as a way for the defenders of High Art to maintain the status quo and reinforce the ‘official’ cannon of the medium. The positive-thinkers amongst us could see it as a method to make you get off your bum and do something you never got round to but should have.

Whatever the case, I decided to adopt the idea for films and thus my list was born. I called it Shamefilms and told some people I care about who I knew would hold me to ploughing through it. As an afterthought I decided to resurrect my dormant blog, Old Rope, and write twelve posts about the films, documenting the viewing process and offering some thoughts on each flick.

If you have found yourself in this backwater of the internet then you have only yourself to blame. Don’t judge me for not having seen them. Invest the time instead and do something you wish you had already done.


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