So this was a pretty good year for movies, by which I mean, I was able to see a bunch of stuff I’ve been meaning to see, I saw a bunch of cool things that I didn’t know about before, I stepped (a little bit) outside of my regular, modern Hollywood bubble, and I caught up on my TV (good Lord did I ever catch up on my TV), and I don’t think I saw too many things that were blood-curdlingly awful. This year, due to technical issues with the photos, I combed through every single entry, replacing photos where I had to, and I re-read all the entries for proof-reading, so now everything should have a nice picture show up on the main page, and every post should have complete sentences that make sense (more or less).
And now, the Judgements:
My Favouritest Movies I saw This Year: Locke. Read the review, it fucking ruled. But it’s so recent, I should temper it by including Only God Forgives, which didn’t blow me away the way Locke did, but it’s so disjointed and slow and serene and abstract that it leaves me wanting to see it again. Plus, it’s got an amazing performance from Kristin Scott Thomas (above), and the fucking lighting and set design are absolutely irresistible. And I also watched Carlos all the way through this year, and it’s a pretty great achievement. I really enjoyed Inside Llewyn Davis, and I’ll have to watch it again to see if my fond memories of it hold up.
Technically Very Good/Great Things That I Liked but Weren’t My Personal Favourites: The Big Red One, Meek’s Cutoff, The Counterfeiters, Behind the Candelabra, Sympathy for the Devil, Stoker, Her, Stagecoach, The Grandmaster, Ben-Hur, Leon the Professional, The Up Series, Medium Cool, Meeting People is Easy, Brick Lane, Atonement, The Notebook, The Homesman, Pride and Prejudice.
Visually Gorgeous Things: Let’s Get Lost, Only God Forgives, Locke, the intro of True Detective, The Grandmaster, Brick Lane.
Things That Were Both Surprisingly and Unsurprisingly Antisemitic and Unnecessary: The Passion of the Christ.
And now, the Stats:
I saw 85 things this year, of which 15 were either a miniseries or a season of TV, and the other 70 were movies. (A note on classification: the Up series was a weird one, since it’s still ongoing, but I counted it as 8 discrete films, whereas a miniseries like Carlos I counted as one big film. Completely on a whim, don’t care.) This is actually up a bit from last year, which is pretty cool.
46 American (down from 50 last year); 14 British (including the 8 distinct movies in the Up series); 7 American/British co-productions; 3 French; 2 French/German co-productions; 2 French/American co-productions; and 11 others including 1 Canadian (meeting my goal from last year), 1 Australian, 1 Dutch (a first for me), 1 Hungarian (another first), and some co-productions.
As usual, the majority of the things I saw were recent. The majority—18—were ones from 2013 that I was catching up on, and current 2014 movies made up a close second with 17. I saw 25 things from between 2000 and 2012, 8 things from 1990-1999, 5 things from the 80’s, 5 things from 70’s, 5 things from the 60’s, 1 thing from 1959, and 2 things from 1939. I saw nothing from any earlier than 1939, so maybe I’ll make that resolution for next year.
13 were documentaries (including all 8 Up movies), and that’s not including Sympathy for the Devil or Medium Cool, which both skirt with the genre but to me didn’t count as being actually documentaries in a straightforward way like the others.
5 of them were superhero films; 3 of them were war movies (or at least war-related—any ambiguity with The Notebook is more than made up for by all 10 episodes of Band of Brothers); 3 of them were Muppet movies; 2 were biopics; 2 were post-westerns; 2 were animation and 2 for kids (meeting my goal from last year); only 1 was a musical; and 2 were Re-View segments of stuff I’ve already seen. Still no long-form Superhero post but maybe in the New Year.
Predictably, the vast majority of them were not foreign films or films where English is not the predominant spoken language, but I had few that kind of straddled the line. Hannah Arendt had plenty of English but also plenty of French and German; Only God Forgives had Anglo characters at its center, but they barely talked, and a lot of the dialogue (and the opening credits) was in Thai; Brick Lane was also mostly English but had significant chunks in Bengali; and the globe-trotting miniseries Carlos was mostly in French, German, English, Spanish, and Arabic, with a bit of Russian, Hungarian and Japanese. And besides these, The Grandmaster was in Mandarin/Cantonese/Japanese; The Counterfeiters was all German, The Heineken Kidnapping all Dutch, The Notebook was all Hungarian, and The Passion of the Christ was—obviously—split between Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin.
Resolutions for 2015 : More silent films, more older films in general (older than, say 1960), more foreign films, more canonical “classics” that I still haven’t seen, more animation (not modern kids CGI stuff), more musicals, more challenging “art” cinema, more independent film, and finish my research and post for superhero stuff.