Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Year at the Movies

Carol Reed's The Third Man

Unfortunately, I don't really prioritize cinema-- it's very rare that the movie I watch is the last thing I do before sleep. If too comfortable I don't make it through the film (it took three sittings to make it through Brewster McCloud).  It might seem then that I watch movies in order to relax-- that is partly true, but that doesn't mean that I don't love movies-- I'm just getting to the point where they are a luxury of time and I am getting older.

That said, I did blow my share of hours on TV series including multiple seasons of Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Californication, and Homeland. I don't consider these hours lost-- as interesting as real life might be it's important to lose ourselves in something larger than life, albeit in vicarious thrills of fictitious plots. Today's Breaking Bad was yesterday's serialized Dickens' novel. Between the two, I'll take Walter White over Oliver Twist, at the end of the day, anyway.

Following are the films watched in 2013. Those marked with an * signify a multiple viewing, an & means watched on the road, and $ means a visit to the movie theater:

Gimme Shelter (1970) *
Oceans 11  (2001) * &
Rocky 3 (1983) * &
Top Gun (1986) * &
Commando (1985) * &

Crossfire Hurricane (2012)
Searching for Sugarman (2011) *
Stomping Ground  (1972)
Wanderlust (2011) * &
Flight (2012) $ &
Closer (2002) * &
Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1968) *



The Last Movie (1970)
The Great Gatsby (2013) $
Duel (1971) *
Religulous (2007)
The Bank Dick (1940) *
My Man Godfrey (1936) *
The Last Man on Earth (1964)
The Running Man (1987) *
Paper Moon (1972)
0Dark30 (2012)
In the Year of the Pig  (1968)
Underground (1976)
Sans Soliel (1982)
World War Z (2013) $
Before Midnight (2013) &
The Bling Ring (2013) &
Sideways (2003) * &

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) &
The Killing Fields (1983) * &
Stardust Memories  (1980) * &
Spring Breakers (2013) &
The Limey  (1999) * &
Guilt Trip (2013) &
Django Unchained (2013) &
Before Sunrise  (1995) * &
A Scanner Darkly (2006) &
Now You See Me (2013) &
Walkabout  (1971) &
Wild Strawberries  (1957) * &
Empire of the Sun (1987) &
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) * &
Elysium  (2013) $ &
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) &
No (2013) &
Dr. Strangelove (1964) * &
March of the Penguins (2005) &
The Internship (2013) &
The Wickermen (1973)

Brewster McCloud (1971) &
Cries and Whispers  (1972)
Gravity (2013) $
200 Motels (1971)
Blank City (2011) *
The Third Man (1949) *

There are 56 films on the list.  23 were multiple viewings, and five of them were watched on the big screen where movies are designed to be watched. Five were documentaries, five were foreign language films, and interestingly, seven were related to music.

Of the films watched on the road (outside home), there were 31. To better quantify that, 23 of them were watched at a stretch staying at mother's for three weeks this summer (seven of those 22 watched on transoceanic flights). Obviously, there were stretches where I was too busy to watch much of anything, particularly last spring.

I loved discovering Gravity, Sans Soliel, and Cries and Whispers. It was a joy to revisit The Third Man, Smiles of a Summer Night, and Gimme Shelter. I loathed Django Unchained, 0Dark30, and Baz Luhrman's The Great Gatsby for various reasons. And I still have no idea what to make of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels.

Comments, debate, subjectivity welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Good list Sean! Not sure why you hated 0Dark30 so much but to each their own. I'm glad to see that you're watching good flicks and was surprised how many of them were mainstream last year. While I haven't put up a list I watched a ton of foreign flicks last year (many of them were awful). I will have to check out Cries and Whispers. Never even heard of it!