Well let me try and explain this fascination.
A long time ago I started to take recomendations for movies. Not so much from friends and family but from critics and people of some credibility. Well a quick list would be films that won the best picture Oscar. So I started watching these films and went through them fairly easily. Around this time I found a book from Danny Peary called Alternate Oscars. I had read his Cult Movies and Cult Movies 2, and these books were a great help to what I was checking out. Now after a few years of being into film, I started to run through lists, and was needing some more films to watch. Always being a fan of Peary's style, and appreciating the lay out of the book, I started to think. Long before I thought about the films that I would have given a best picture Oscar to, and this book started to let the parasite loose in my brain.
So I started watching films that Peary picked, and thought about my choices for picture, actor, actress, and director (a separate thread). Now around this time a separate germ started to take route. If I were going to offer my choices for best picture, I had to have a decent frame of reference. Even more specific how could I bitch about the Oscar's choices if I hadn't seen the films they nominated? For example, most people can look at 1952 and say "High Noon is by far the best film nominated". This is a fair assumption, but can you say this with complete conviction if you haven't seen The Greatest Show on Earth, Ivanhoe, Moulin Rouge, and The Quiet Man? In my opinion, no hence the reason I can say with little doubt that High Noon is the best of this bunch. That said I still wouldn't give it an Oscar nomination, but to bitch about the films nominated, I need to have seen them right?
So this to put it plainly is an attempt to see everything. I can not call myself an expert, and I can certainly not go to press with my own Alternate Oscar choices until my frame of reference is adequate. Hope that explains some of it, and I shall be patting myself on the back when I finish this extremely long process.