“Everything I learned I learned from the movies.”

It’s September 2016. I’m in my third year of undergrad work. I’ve never seen Taxi Driver. I’ve never seen Apocalypse Now. I’ve seen Little Miss Sunshine probably ten times, but I don’t know if Scarface is as vulgar as I’ve heard, or if Schindler’s List will make me cry, or if I give a shit about John Wayne.

I started Beyond Rosebud as a challenge to myself to see these films I’d heard so much about, and to watch cinema grow and develop across its lifetime, from a sideshow gag to a cultural behemoth.

The films selected come from two main sources: those featured in the anthology 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), and films released by the Criterion Collection, a company that specializes in the distribution of “important classic and contemporary films”. There are a select number of films that don’t come from either source, but were films I felt contributed to the same idea that 1001 and Criterion based their selections on: that these films hold some kind of cultural or aesthetic significance, or in some way helped frame other films (in terms of a director or actor’s artistic progression, for example.)

I’m excited to see where this project goes. If you, the reader, choose to watch along (which I hope you will, at least on special occasions), that you’ll let me know what you thought. There’s nothing quite as magical, I think, as talking about a film, because film itself is magic.

“We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls. They allow us to enter other minds, not simply in the sense of identifying with the characters, although that is an important part of it, but by seeing the world as another person sees it.”