“123 Movies” begins. 123 films. 15,742 minutes. And, me.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 6 seconds

After months and months of planning, it’s finally here. Day One: Ben-Hur. This 1959 classic starring Charlton Heston, which won the actor the Academy Award for Best Actor, happens to be the 100th film on the American Film Institute‘s Top 100 Movies list, their celebration of cinema‘s centennial. What does that have to do with me?

Well, I decided a few months ago that I am almost completely ignorant of what defines a great film. Many times when a friend asks, “So, Ray, have you seen X?” I have to sheepishly answer in the negative. It’s not that I don’t like movies. And, I have movies that I would consider my “favorites,” albeit I confess that these films were naïvely chosen based on simple emotional responses. Most people who know me know that I usually have a book-in-hand wherever I go, though now my iPhone houses most of my leisure reading when I’m away from home. I love reading! And, in bookworm fashion, movies just never captured my imagination the way the written word does. So, it’s with this perspective I addressed the world day-to-day. The only problem is that at nearly thirty years of age, I’m starting to feel oblivious, irrelevant and/or passé in social circles. So, I’m going to watch all 123 movies that consist of the 1997/98 and 2008 (10th anniversary) lists of the top movies of all time, produced by AFI. And, what does that mean for Ray’s free time, and how can you get in on the fun?

Well, Ray’s free time will be re-prioritized to blog about my experience over the next five or six months, live-tweet from @rayconteur (using #123movies) some of the milestone movie experiences, and then to write reviews of every movie over at my Flixster profile (which I’ll also syndicate here). As far as you are concerned, I’m interested in hearing others’ experiences with the movies I’m about to watch (and no, they won’t color my perspective or “ruin” the movies for me), receiving words of encouragement because this is a fairly daunting project. In addition, I’ve published my 123 Movies gCalendar (which is subject to change) so that if date/time/location work out you can let me know if you’d like to join or host a movie-watching event, and finally, if you have any of the films and are willing to loan them to me, that’d be great!

So, that’s 123 films, 15,742 minutes, about six months, countless hours of blogging (and reviewing)…and me. Let the “Masters in Movie-Watching” begin! Wish me luck!

Email to someoneGoogle+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedIn