Here we go again, and I have to admit, these dumb lists are pretty fun. I was made aware by WordPress of the demographics of the readers of this site, and I have to say I’m shocked and flattered to see that people all across the world have been reading some of these. Half the time, I feel like I’m not even writing complete sentences, much less constructing eloquent and persuasive cinematic arguments, but if people enjoy reading these little ditties then I’m happy to keep writing them, and hopefully they can assist someone in finding some new movies they might like.
I got a little carried away with my categories and sub-categories this year, but without further ado, here’s my half-assed summary of the stuff I saw this year.
Favourite movies: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Cuba, The Trip to Italy, Mr. Turner, Noah, Trance, Meet Me in St Louis, Mad Max: Fury Road, Touch of Evil, The Rover, Oldboy, Guns of Navarone, Snowpiercer, Panic Room, Wings of Desire, M, Birdman, Non-Stop, Jaws, Remember, Dial M for Murder, Wild Strawberries, The Last Command.
Favourite musical: Meet Me in St Louis.
Favourite funnies: Peep Show, City Lights, The Trip to Italy.
Favourite Performances: Emil Jannings in The Last Command, Ray Milland in Dial M for Murder, Robert Shaw in Jaws and Battle of the Bulge, Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner, Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes, Brooke Adams in Cuba, Bruno in Downfall (and everything else I saw him in this year), the weird Scandinavian guy in Mr Robot, Welles and Dietrich in Touch of Evil, everybody in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Best thing I had to see for a real publication: Meru.
Biggest surprises: Meet Me in St Louis, Noah, Cuba (and discovering Brooke Adams), Trance, Junjun
Proof that maybe I’m too hard on lady actors: January Jones in Unknown, Rebecca Hall in Closed Circuit.
Best Moustache: Gene Hackman in Night Moves (honourable mention to Charlton Heston in Touch of Evil).
Most handsome leading man: Tie between Mads Mikkelsen and Timothy Spall.
Best use of CGI rock monsters in a bible story: Noah.
Best use of Saskatchewan psych-rock soundtrack: WolfCop.
Things that I don’t know if I actually liked them, but I think I liked them: Gone Girl, Interstellar, True Detective Season 2.
Best Thing in a TV show: Ian McNeice playing the animated and fully jowelled newsreader in Rome.
Best Thing in a Movie: The Doof Warrior in Mad Max: Fury Road (pictured above).
And now, the stats:
In 2015, I saw 101 things, 11 of them TV series.
As usual, the vast majority of them, 53, were from the USA. Next highest is the UK with 11. I saw 9 USA/UK co-productions, 3 each from France and Australia, a whopping 3 Canadian (a new record for me!), 2 American/French co-productions, 1 from South Korea, 1 from Weimar Germany, 1 from Sweden, and a shit ton of co-productions: 1 USA/Australia, 1 France/Germany, 1 France/West Germany (it was technically another country, so I count it), 1 USA/Germany, 1 USA/UK/France,1 USA/UK/ Italy, 1 UK/France/Romania, 1 Germany/Italy/Austria, 1 UK/France/Germany, 1 USA/UK/Canada/France/Germany, 1 UK/Netherlands/Spain/Japan, 1 USA/UK/France/Canada/Germany/Japan.
I saw quite a few current releases from this year, way more than usual: 24. The next highest was 20 from 2014, 9 from 2013, 14 from 2000-2012, 4 from the 90’s, 5 from the 80’s, 3 from the 70’s, 6 from the 60’s, 5 from the 50’s, 4 from the 40’s, 4 from the 30’s, and one from 1928.
I think my percentage of foreign-language films plummeted this year (but it probably would have skyrocketed if I’d actually watched all 9 hours of Shoah instead of just the first 2 1/2, so maybe I’ll carry it over to next year). There were 3 films in French, 3 in German, 1 in Swedish, and a few tough calls. Snowpiercer is basically English, but with two Korean leads speaking Korean, and a Korean director, so that counts right?; Narcos is, as mentioned, at least 50-80% Spanish depending on the scene; Cave of Forgotten Dreams had a lot of interviews with French people, but maybe that doesn’t count; and Junjun had a bit of Hindi (or one of the other hundreds of languages in India that I’m too dumb to differentiate?) but mostly English, so it probably doesn’t count either.
I saw 11 TV series, 10 documentaries, 4 musicals, 5 works of what I would generally call dystopian fiction, 3 films by Orson Welles, 3 by David Fincher, 2 Hitchcock, a walloping 6 Liam Neeson movies, 2 silent films, only 2 superhero films, and I only succeeded to write 1 Overview feature (and it definitely wasn’t the Superhero one, which I lose steam on every day that passes).
As for resolutions for 2016, I’m not sure. There are an awful lot of big classics I ought to see, which will increase my foreign-language film, and I’d like to pick up the silent films, dip further into early (say pre-70’s) Hollywood, and dive deeper into my director studies, specifically Hitch and Welles. And, come to think of it, more comedy would be welcome, as long as it’s actually good comedy.