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My shelf of constant reproach

Da na na na na … boom boom, boom boom … da na na na na.

Yep, this sad white girl approximation of rhythm means there’s no getting around it — I got the “I’m a big, fat, shameful fraud of a movie buff” blues.

This, however, is only 80 percent my fault. I blame NPR and Lynn Neary for the remaining judgmental, snippy percentage. See, for years I’ve been able to coast by on my uncanny ability to remember random dialogue and snippets from films I’d never seen. No one ever called me on it (except for one certain person, but pay no attention to him; it only encourages him), and so I kept right on coasting, knowing deep down I was — gulp — a poser, an imposter, a hypocrite, a mimic, insert your own synonym here. 

Then Neary went on vacation and decided to unburden her soul about classic books she never got around to reading. While there are plenty of books I could name-drop here, I won’t, because I only have the time and energy and inclination to upbraid myself for one set of failings. One closet at a time, my friends, one closet at a time.

But the time has come to — to slightly mangle the catchphrase of the seminal show of my generation, “The Real World” — stop being fake and start getting real. So bring on the public shame, I say, and the more the better. (I own every CD Hanson has recorded and nearly every Godzilla movie ever made, including “Godzilla Vs. Megalon,” so I’m accustomed to weathering storms of scorn.) Here are the classics I intend to see before the ball drops on 2010:

  • Almost anything by Alfred Hitchcock
  • “9 1/2 Weeks”
  • “2001: Space Oddysey” (done)
  • “Bonnie and Clyde”
  • “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” … or nearly everything else starring Audrey Hepburn
  • “Casablanca” (done)
  • “Chinatown” (done)
  • “A Clockwork Orange”
  • “The Crossing Guard”
  • “Gone with the Wind” (done)
  • “The Graduate” (done)
  • “La Dolce Vita”
  • “The Maltese Falcon” (done)
  • “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
  • “Raging Bull”
  • “A Streetcar Named Desire” (done)
  • “Taxi Driver” (done)

But enough talk of my abject failings as a movie reviewer. Let’s hear from you, readers. What movies are you ashamed to admit you haven’t seen? Are there more I should add to this list? I’m open to suggestions, since I’m on a kick to improve the core of my very being.