As the Kubrick-inspired subject title suggests, there is an ongoing dilemma that us cinephiles must come to terms with - we will most likely never intake as many films as we would like to.
1, We could catch up with all the supposed classic and great pieces of cinema from days of yore. We all have gaps in our film history knowledge but assuming one leads a long and healthy existence, could this target be just about manageable?
2, Witness specific aspects of cinema we favour such as screening our most revered actors' filmography and/or complete a worthy auteur's works. Although it will not necessarily lead to great cinema, another specific target numerous film admirers chase is to view as many pictures nominated by the Academy Awards. Targeting specific branches of cinema may seem achievable but to actually implent such a feat is made all the more difficult due to lack of availability of many of these titles. For example, Truffaut's Day for Night (1973), Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) and the appraised American documentary Hoop Dreams (1994) have yet to receive a European DVD release.
3, Stay on top of seeing all the latest worthwhile cinema. This may appear like the most acquirable goal but this is muddied by local distrubution and release date issues. Furthermore, work, social lives, relationships and families all challenge this aim and thus the latest great cinema slowly becomes (and adds to) that list of classics and points of interest you need to absorb.
4, Watch many of these titles again! After gazing at a half-decent quality film, this is a thought that often springs to mind. A repeat viewing often helps in establishing and reaffirming an opinion, especially if your original screening was many moons ago.
5, Be able to watch those beloved films you turn to and know oh so well, when a certain mood or level of comfortabilty is required.
6, Have the time for other arts and hobbies such as music and indeed other aspects of the visual medium like all those great television series'.
7, Lead a life! Those social lives, relationships and families which distract us are also fundamental in shaping who we are and indeed shaping our cinematic tastes.
Perhaps this impossibility of balancing so many interests and watching so much cinema can be viewed in a different light. Personally, when I have completed a great director's filmography or a favourite music artist's work, an emptiness enshrouds my mind, as I recognise there is no more of this magic to appreciate. Not being able to do and watch everything creates an eternal hopefulness and as with music, there will always be a plethora of past and future classics to anticipate.
So...is this a healthy or difficult dilemma for you or not even an issue you (or I should) think about?
And which apparent classic cinema you have always wanted to see do you appear to be constantly anticipating?