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Written by: Sam Fragoso on June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012 | 8 comments | Editorial, Featured

My good pal Steve Honeywell who writes over at 1001 Plus reminded me of something Roger Ebert once proclaimed: To paraphrase, they’re films out there, like Gandhi, that are great and sprawling and meaningful, and you’re happy to have seen them, but yet you have no desire to see them again.

I suspect everyone who watches movies — whether it be a normal person or a cinephile — has experienced such feelings. It’s a sentiment for a piece of art that you can appreciate, admire, and respect, but ultimately contain no lingering intentions to seek it out ever again.

Thus the topic of Gandhi Films has spawned today’s question:

What are some films that you would classify as “Gandhi films” & Why?


There are 8 comments for this post.

  1. Nikhat on June 12, 2012 8:33 am

    I would never watch Gandhi again because I hate it, but anyways, my most recent “Gandhi film” is A Separation. It is easily one of the best films that I have seen, but it’s so emotionally taxing and after having seen it, I thought about it for weeks on end. I don’t think I have the mental stamina to go through that again.

    Other “Gandhi films” will be most of the war movies like Saving Private Ryan or Apocalypse now because as much as I like them, I don’t really enjoy watching them.

  2. SJHoneywell on June 12, 2012 9:59 am

    When I put films in this category, my first thoughts are American History X, The Last King of Scotland and Requiem for a Dream. All three films are great, and all three are ones I don’t relish watching again. They’re the sorts of films that I think, “Why would someone want to own this?” A lot of Lars von Trier appears to hit this category as well.

    Evidently, my “Gandhi” films are those that depict severe human suffering, so I guess Shoah qualifies as well (although that’s partly from length).

  3. QuinnB on June 12, 2012 10:07 am

    Perhaps its A Curious Case of Benjamin Button. As much as the critics ( and everyone else) put the movie down, i thought the story and cinematography were simply amazing, but I would NOT see it again. Too long. Too Slow.

    Also of course is the uplifting family comedy that we all know and love, Blue Valentine. God, it was great when I saw it but you would have to pay me to watch it again. I don’t think I have enough mental stamina to watch a “loving” couple’s relationship spiral down the inevitable drain of despair again.

  4. James Blake Ewing on June 12, 2012 12:50 pm

    Most films I find meaningful are films I plan on revisiting. I guess I understand what the effect is, but I just don’t have a film like that. If I don’t have the desire to revisit it, I probably need to reevaluate whether or not I think the film is great.

  5. Sam Fragoso on June 13, 2012 1:17 am

    I see your view James. But I’ve found a few films that I deeply respect and found substance within, but have little desire to revisit them again.

  6. Pete on June 13, 2012 10:42 am

    Great question! Requiem for a Dream instantly springs to mind. I’m afraid a lot of older classic films fall into this category for me; Bridge on the River Kwai, Night of the Hunter both great but unlikely to ever watch again. Interesting someone else mentioned von Trier. Don’t think I’d want to watch any of his films again even though I appreciate many of them.

  7. John on June 13, 2012 8:40 pm

    I find that I’m mostly in Steve’s camp. It mostly has to do with how ugly the film is, emotionally. If there’s something more I might get out of it, I might give it a 2nd look. But generally speaking, I’m not going to revisit stuff like, say, Happiness. I thought it was a fine film but there’s some really repulsive stuff in there. Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible and Enter the Void are two I’d put in there, too, although there’s a fighting chance I might see them again. I wouldn’t seek them out for a re-watch.

    Of course, the flip side is that it takes a lot to get to that point. There aren’t a ton of films I’d put in that category.

  8. Sam Fragoso on June 14, 2012 12:43 am

    Sometimes it’s possible to find great beauty and depth within the ugliness. But I understand where you’re coming from. I still haven’t seen Enter The Void.

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