Happy New Movie Year! Here is a look back at the movie year that was.
Strong showing from television this year. Favorites:
1. Parks & Recreation seasons 5-7
2. Rick & Morty season 1
3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 1
4. Inside Amy Schumer seasons 1-2
5. Over The Garden Wall
6. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
7. True Detective season 1
8. Girls seasons 2-3
TV series abandoned in 2015: Sense8 (watched three episodes), Always Sunny (one episode), M*A*S*H* (most of season one, I think), and Transparent (half of season one).
It’s not fair to expect the horror movies to compete with the others.
Here are eight really good ones.
The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)
Crimson Peak (2015, Guillermo Del Toro)
Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen) (1968, Ingmar Bergman)
The Hunger (1983, Tony Scott)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, Don Siegel)
Let Us Prey (2014, Brian O’Malley)
The Nightmare (2015, Rodney Ascher)
Proxy (2013, Zack Parker)
The Year In Bad Movies
I didn’t much enjoy watching Godard’s Film Socialism, but I enjoyed trying to figure it out afterwards, reading articles about it, writing it up. I feel like there’s value in watching Godard movies, that Film Socialism gave me more of a sense of his late work, tying together threads from Eloge de l’amour and Histoire(s) du Cinema, and that his movies contain unique ideas. Here instead are some movies I watched this year (each out of obligation to a favorite filmmaker or critic) that I wish I hadn’t, containing nothing of interest.
MacGruber (2010, Jorma Taccone)
Maps to the Stars (2014, David Cronenberg)
Story of My Death (2013, Albert Serra)
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011, David Fincher)
Willow Creek (2013, Bobcat Goldthwait)
Burying the Ex (2014, Joe Dante)
and I’m still mad at The Martian, but won’t go as far as calling it a bad movie.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972, Luis Buñuel)
Also watched/enjoyed for the first time in years (in no order):
Nightbreed (1990, Clive Barker)
Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)
Our Hospitality (1923, Buster Keaton)
Jackie Brown (1997, Quentin Tarantino)
A Bug’s Life (1998, John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton)
Monsoon Wedding (2001, Mira Nair)
Viewing Projects & Lists
I made a bunch more must-see lists and made serious progress on none of them. But hey, I finished my Chris Marker project after a decade, which seems pretty tremendous. As ever, I’ve got big plans for exciting stuff to watch in 2016, which I’m not mentioning here because I’ll inevitably change those plans, make a ton of new plans, then feel foolish when I go back and read this.
“It’s more pleasant to work in such a way that things multiply instead of dividing.”
– Jacques Rivette
No particular progress on this blog itself, other than to keep it going (for nearly ten years now!). Sometimes I mean to work on improving my writing, but I have little motivation for doing so. Inspiration from hero blogger and accomplished filmmaker and horror writer David Cairns: “I think it’s all creative work, or I try to make it so. When I write about a movie, it’s never ‘How can I express my opinion?’ it’s ‘What fun can I have with this?'”