I recently started a competition with a friend as to which of us could watch one movie a total of 100 times the fastest. The maximum time allowed would be one calendar year, 365 days, and the prize would be a customized trophy, crafted at the loser's expense. Each of us would be able to pick the other's movie, and when both had received our selected films, the competition would commence.
There were naturally parameters that governed what movies were available for selection. We deliberated for a few days and came up with the following restrictions: No X-rated movies, no musicals, no anime, no sequels, no dubbed films, and no foreign-language films that lacked a subtitle option. In addition we were each allowed 4 "actor vetos", a list of 4 actors whose films would be exempt. My adversary selected Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves and Rene Zelleweger. I black-listed Matthew Broderick, LL Cool J, Jimmy Fallon and James Franco. The movie also could not be one that we knew our counterpart had seen before. The aim, remember, was to become the world's greatest authority on a potentially obscure film in a short amount of time (and of course to see what effect watching one movie 100 times within 365 days would actually DO to a person).
I selected Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie Mcdowell, for Nicole because I knew that a movie that repeats itself already would eventually become unbearable when repeated in entirety itself. I was feeling quite confident until I received my "prey". Flashing her whit and movie pretension she had gifted my with the 1957 classic black and white The Seventh Seal, a Swedish production by Ingmar Bergman. It was subtitled, 97 minutes long, and featured not only a dubbed audio option but also an audio commentary by an European film critic. The plot? A crusader knight and his squire return home from 10 years of fighting only to discover that the Black Death has overtaken Sweden. Additionally, Death has come for them, a fate that the knight attempts to postpone by engaging him in a deadly game of chess as he makes his way home to his castle and long-abandoned wife.
My blood boils in anticipation...