We’ve talked before about an informal Solute canon–how the hell have we not somehow spontaneously generated a Paterson podcast yet?–and we also all have our own personal essentials, things that go beyond “works of art I think are really, really good” into the territory of “this one cracks me open and gets straight at my head or heart; this bugs me or stays with me in a life-shaping kind of way.” (Drunk Napoleon wrote a great article about this last year, and it’s a terrific essay that has a likewise terrific comment section.) And we’ve had series like The Women’s+ Canon/Intersectional Femivision that have put other picks forward in a cool and invaluable way.
But today’s Taco Break is on the canon that gets handed down to us, so to speak: the one we have to receive before we can add or subtract. You know, other people’s movie lists. Do you ever work your way through these? Watch things because they’re part of the culture or general cultural conversation? Watch one film to aid your understanding of another? Are you, in effect, an amateur film student, getting the fundamentals down just out of love? And what’s the value–or lack thereof–in consuming at least a good chunk of someone else’s canon alongside constructing your own?