December 26, 2010

My movie-related resolutions

Let me preface this by saying that I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. They're doomed to fail because you're picking an essentially arbitrary date to change something in your life. If you have not been able to make that thing happen previously due to any combination of guilt, rewards, punishment or ambition, then a day on a calendar isn't going to do jack. So really, the following are just movie-related goals that, due to the year being nearly over, I will almost certainly accomplish next year.  

- I need to see The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. I have no excuse. My boyfriend owns it, even. I realize that not having done so makes me a wretched human being unfit to interact with most of society. But I want to make amends! Let's set this right!

- I would like to continue my exploration of Westerns, a genre I had previously avoided whether intentionally or not. I've made good progress this year, seeing essentials like Stagecoach, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Once Upon a Time in the West, Red River and Unforgiven. With those down, I have more room to "play" and explore lesser-known Westerns that appeal to me. Shane and The Wild Bunch still loom over me unseen, though.

- I'm afraid I've been rather Eurocentric in my exploration of foreign films, but this year I dipped my toes into Kurosawa and knocked out some of the biggies (Seven Samurai, Ikiru, Ran). Ikiru didn't really work for me, but it encouraged me to seek out more Kurosawa with a modern setting, so I'm going to make Stray Dog, Drunken Angel, The Bad Sleep Well and High and Low priorities in 2011. Also Ugetsu - not a Kurosawa but an Asian classic I need to see.

- This year, for the first time in my life, I achived the dream of getting Turner Classic Movies. It's been fantastic. However, since it was a prized commodity that we would have for a potentially limited time, it took priority over other ways of viewing films - notably Netflix Instant. I want to make more use of that feature in the coming year (which shouldn't be difficult, since they're trying to switch to an all-streaming format) because they have all kinds of great stuff. That said, we'll probably get TCM again at the first possible opportunity!

- I need to see Tootsie and Harold and Maude. Progress has been slow in this arena because my boyfriend doesn't want to see these films but feels that he must, and somehow responsibility for making this happen fell on me. He said I need that I hold him hostage and use all kinds of bullying and threats to force him to watch them (and I can't watch them by myself because then he'll NEVER see them). Needless to say, that's not a very appealing proposition, so we've hit a stalemate. Hopefully there is a peaceful resolution to this in the future. (LOVE YOU BABE!)

- As detailed in a couple of earlier posts, I have been working on seeing all the films that everyone but me saw in their youth. I've made good progress this year, but Raiders of the Lost Ark (well, all Indiana Jones movies) and Return of the Jedi still elude me.

- I've missed going to repertory screenings this year, since I lived in a city that had very few of them (Portland, OR). But after my move to the City of Angels in the new year, I plan to absolutely gorge myself on the repertory scene!

- My movie-watching guide is an ever-expanding Google Doc of several hundred titles I've collected over the years that I want to see. Its primary purpose is making sure I don't forget about any of them, but as an unfortunate byproduct I sometimes feel stressed that I'll never get to them all. This need to catch up on numerous decades of cinema history often pushes any desire to rewatch a film to the back burner, and consequently I'm pretty much a single-viewing gal. So in 2011, I will try to discover and indulge in the joys of the multiple viewing. (Is it a step forward or backward that a section of my list is "films to rewatch?")

What are your movie-related resolutions?


joem18b said...

I'm trying to figure out how to eliminate from my everyday life the idea that there are a lot of movies that I should watch, or should have watched by now, so that I don't have that burden to bear from day to day, especially when picking something for the evening. I'm telling myself that for me, movie watching is a slacker activity to be enjoyed in the moment, and not much more than that.

So I'm not making any must-see lists or reading anybody else's.

Though those 1000 movies to see before you die, and those top-100 lists, and that 1000 movies that you REALLY ought to see and that aren't on that 1000 movies to see before you die list, jeez, I don't know... I've never even heard of most of them... I ought to watch some of them, I guess... force myself... feeling a little guilty here...

Valerie Troutman said...

Just a tad off topic, but I can't stop laughing at the all streaming idea. I look at the Netflix Top 100 and only 9 of them are available for streaming. That's a big red flag for me.

Simon said...

Watch movies in subtitles other than English. So.

Kelly said...

...I love the fact you will be expanding your horizons in the westerns category. For some bizarre reason, years ago, I told myself I wouldnt dabble in this genre, that it wasnt for me. How mistaken I was. Thankfully I was made to watch 'The Searchers' as part of a uni assignment and now it is up there in one of my faves of all time. Your resolution surrounding more westerns hit home with me and I felt inclined to comment :) I think going forward my resolution would have to be not be so dismisssive of a genre. That said I think I need to go off & start watching more world cinema.

Julie said...

Kelfalfa, it's all about finding your own personal niche in any genre. I was having trouble with the larger-than-life Westerns that portrayed their characters as categorically right folk heroes, but I found my groove with the more morally ambiguous ones like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Red River. Similarly, world cinema can be daunting but just keep in mind that with any genre/country/director, there's an "in" for you. I was really turned off by the first few Godards I saw, and was about to give up altogether when I saw his less famous Vivre sa Vie and loved it.

Kelly said...

I will keep that in mind when getting a grasp of a genre. I suppose the moral is that within any field there is a body of work that we favour more than the others. This is something that is so great about the world of filmaking and story telling there will be a theme that appeals to each type of person. :)

Sohaib said...

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