Luckily, I was only minoring in film studies, so I am still able to wring considerable joy and entertainment out of even the most insipid crap — or out of the most pretentious experiments (except for that one video where it’s just a shot of a stereo speaker with some guy talking about misunderstood communications as the speaker is slowly buried with sand, until what he’s saying can’t be understood at all — I get it; a noble message — did it need to take so long to deliver?). Finally I got to sit down and watch Werner Herzog films, all the old epics I missed, silent films I’d always wanted to see. I even learned to love Godard and the French New Wave. But a man only has so many hours in the day, especially when he has to devote a substantial amount of his time to solving murder mysteries in exotic locales while wearing a tuxedo and armed with nothing but a flashlight and boundless wit. So there still remain substantial gaps in my resume, even within the genres in which I consider or am consider by others to be something of an authority. And in some cases, the films I have not seen in those particular genres aren’t just major films; they are the films. The cornerstone. The one everyone should see and from which all intelligent discourse flows.

Case in point: I love Mario Bava movies. I love giallo. And while making a claim for any film as “the first giallo” will only degenerate into an unresolvable debate akin to naming the first punk rock band, a lot of people tend to agree that it’s Mario Bava’sBlood and Black Lace — which I’ve never seen.