Ben Stark’s Shelf of Shame 2015

Thanks to a new baby and a film project, it’s already been a busy year for me. This post is several months late, but the shame of having not seen certain cinematic classics is too great not to attempt to quell. Here are the titles I vow to see in 2015.


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JanuaryThe Jerk

FebruaryGroundhog Day

MarchThe Passion of Joan of Arc

AprilOn the Waterfront

MayThe Verdict

June Malcolm X


AugustA Man Escaped

SeptemberRichard Linklater’s Before Trilogy

OctoberThe Blair Witch Project

NovemberThe Hustler / The Color of Money

DecemberThe Red Shoes


So far, I nailed January and totally messed up February and March. The Jerk (8/10) is an excellent absurdist comedy and it’s no wonder it’s become the classic it has. Steve Martin is a genius and the movie is a clear influence on one of my favorite stretches of creative work ever, the first decade of The Simpsons.

I am about halfway through my February title, which I stupidly should not have tried to coordinate with a holiday on the second day of the month, as it was branded a failure within 48 hours.

I did get a chance to see The Passion of Joan of Arc (9/10), which absolutely blew me away and will most likely end up a 10 the more I think about it. Yes, Falconetti is incredible and Dreyer’s use of close-ups are somewhat revolutionary, but what has really shaken me up is the film’s ending, specifically the last shot of Joan. What a movie.