Happy New Movie Year!

Again we didn’t go to theaters often enough, again I made a letterboxd list of all the must-see movies released during the year, and again I managed to nearly catch up with blog posts before year-end.

The blog will go down for maintenance as soon as I figure out how to fix the character encodings. It currently hurts to look at old posts since all my old apostrophes have turned into letter-a-with-carat, musical-notation-symbol-maybe, trademark-sign. Maybe I can fix https while I’m at it! Anyone with smart ideas, drop me a line.

The 2023 Lists:

2023 Favorites: New and Recent Movies

2023 Favorites: Older Movies and Rewatches

2023 Favorites: Shorts and TV

Happy New Movie Year!

This year we returned to theaters, but not very often. The blog is more-or-less caught up.
I’m catching up with my own letterboxd list of all the must-see movies released in 2022, which does not include many titles on the year-end critics lists, since I don’t live in NYC so those will be 2023 movies here in the sticks.

Speaking of lists… just made myself a list of 1000+ titles to watch next year, which sounds impossible, but at least a hundred of them are shorts, so I’m feeling optimistic. I’m not putting it online, you have to guess.

Major movie projects in 2022 included the usual – SHOCKtober, Locorazo, True/False. Nothing innovative, just balancing work/life, and movie/music/reading, and moving to a new state.

The 2022 Lists:
New and Recent Movies
Older Movies and Rewatches
Shorts and TV

Happy New Movie Year!

Again I kept a letterboxd list of all the must-see movies released in 2021, though I’ve removed a few because my definition of “released” keeps changing.

I did not make a list of streaming concerts and such, but enjoyed watching Clipping, Deerhoof, Mary Timony, Decemberists, Waxahatchee, Jon Langford, and everyone at Gonerfest.

Trying to prioritize watching the new releases I think I’ll like, and the older ones I keep telling myself I need to watch – and that sounds like an obvious and stupid statement, but in past years whenever I’ve chosen titles I simply must watch next, there is no way in hell I’m gonna be watching those next.

I want to see more classic experimental stuff, so I’ve started going through Amos Vogel’s book and watching the titles within, from Storm Over Asia to The Goalie’s Anxiety – still many more chapters to go. I also want to watch more recent experimental stuff and not get hung-up in the 1940’s thru 70’s forever. Been collecting lists of less-commercial works assembled by a few writers – spending more time organizing the lists than watching the films, but that led me to Fauna this year, and shorts by Lertxundi and Asili and Nishikawa.

Also got some larger must-see lists, an ever-growing pile of favorite directors, a few animated shorts collections, True/False docs, rock docs, various projects with Katy, rewatches of favorites, the Criterions, and the blu-rays I keep renting and buying (most recently World of Tomorrow). Thinking of swinging the other way than usual (seek out the most popular/acclaimed stuff I haven’t seen) and choosing the weirdest title from each list to have a Weird 2022. But I know I’ll just keep watching whatever I feel like.

Happy New Movie Year!

Again I kept a letterboxd list of all the must-see movies released in 2020 – I’ll finalize it next week. I’ve currently seen around a third of those, which isn’t so bad considering home life and work life were weird, we moved cross-country, I stopped watching current films at all for a while, and Shocktober lasted two months.

Early in the year I scoured the year-end and decade-end lists of some less commercially-minded film critics and tried to watch those… that’s where my interest in Lois Patiño and Arthur Jafa came from, for instance… got through about 20% of that list, not bad, and I’ll see if there are more titles I can add this year.

And other projects and lists, which I’m not getting into, and didn’t do so well on, but the whole point is to keep watching good movies, and feeling good about them, and that’s been going alright.

I also watched a bunch of online concerts and livestreams and archival shows, and bought audio concerts and things on bandcamp… these shows helped the time pass, though they all place a distant third to actual concerts we attended pre-lockdown by Sloan and Kelly Hogan.

Happy New Movie Year!

I’ve been doing this all decade (Rubber was the 3000th post!), and previous lists are here, so I don’t need to make a best-of-decade list. Of course I’m paying attention to other people’s year-end and decade-end lists, but not finding a ton of movies I missed that weren’t already on my radar, since I paid close (maybe too close) attention all year to what played where.

I did make this letterboxd list of all the must-see movies released in 2019.
As of now, I’ve watched about a third of them.

Tried to make a companion list of must-see movies that played 2019 fests or NYC and still haven’t been released here, but it’s hard to track down reliable reviews of all the fest movies, or to know what’s coming and what’s going to die on streaming. But here are a few, a top-ten of 2020 hopefuls:

What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?
First Cow
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Vitalina Varela
Zombi Child
Joan of Arc
Varda by Agnès

Besides the above, I’m currently looking forward to NOT catching up with the consensus faves, but trying some new directions. When I constrain myself to some project or another, like the movies from Rotterdam I watched in January, I end up seeing more unusual and exciting things than usual. My “favorite older movies” list this year was SHOCKtober-heavy because that’s the only time I focused on pre-2010’s movies. I could stand to do that more often… while trying in vain to keep up with the new films of 2020, naturally. There’s only so much time in the year for moviewatching, and I don’t want to be someone who didn’t make time for The Irishman or Parasite or Knives Out because I’d talked myself into only watching more obscure stuff. So I’ve come up with a bunch of possible viewing projects for next year, but I already embarrass myself enough with this blog, so let’s not list them.

Hola, amigos. I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I got a lot on my plate these days. Running a few months behind on the ol’ blog. Obviously I could quit, but instead let’s rush out some posts based on my sparse notes and weak memories, and hit reset in July. I can always revise the posts when I rewatch these on their decade anniversaries, which I’ll probably do if no more new movies get released after 2019. Using this opportunity to pause and take stock of movies… movies are still good, about twenty of the movies in the backlog were excellent, and I hope to watch more movies in the future.

Happy New Movie Year!

Pretty much the same comments as last year (fell behind on the blog, made lists of movies to watch and didn’t watch the movies) but this time I have better excuses. Anyway, still watched a few movies, and some of them were great, and even the ones that weren’t great were pretty great because watching movies itself is great, so three thumbs up for 2018.

Another good year of LNKarno and SHOCKtober and True/False. I also set up a new movie database, which only kinda sorta integrates with my old one but has a different purpose, and maybe I’ll merge them eventually, but anyway it’s not publically accessible yet, nor maybe ever will be, I’m just using it to determine what new things are worth watching.

Favourite 2018 Movies
2018 Favourites: Recent & Older Movies & Rewatches
2018 Favourites: Shorts & TV
2018 Must-sees & Other Lists

Happy New Movie Year!

This year I watched barely anything on the BLIGS list I made for myself, fell behind on the blog and caught up last-minute with some short and inadequate write-ups. But I also had a good SHOCKtober, went to an amazing film festival, created my own home film festival, and watched a record number of movies in theaters.

The Lists:

Favorite 2017 Movies
Favorite Recent Movies watched in 2017
Favorite Older Movies watched in 2017
Favorite Rewatches of 2017
Favorite Shorts of 2017
2017 Movies To Watch
Previous year lists

Some Movies Begun and Abandoned in 2017:

Porco Rosso
What Happened to Monday
Casting JonBenet
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City
Soderbergh’s recut of 2001
Code Unknown
The New World (“first cut”)
The Sorrow and the Pity
Karl Marx City
War Horse

Happy New Movie Year! Here is a look back at the previous movie year.

The Lists:

Favorite 2016 Movies
Favorite Recent Movies watched in 2016
Favorite Older Movies watched in 2016
Special Screenings and HD Rewatches, 2016
Favorite Shorts of 2016
2016 Movies To Watch
Previous year lists

Bonus List: The Year in Television

Best shows I watched this year, not counting shows I/we haven’t finished yet, and excluding some miniseries that I am counting as movies:

1. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
2. Master of None
3. Archer
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
5. Black Mirror
6. Rick and Morty
7. Horace & Pete
8. Veep
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
10. BoJack Horseman


I find either top-1000 lists or large collections of annual top-ten lists very appealing, because among all the obligatory auteur favorites and consensus greats there’s plenty of room for unusual selections. And 1000 titles seems like a good canon size, a whole lifetime of film viewing for normal, non-movie-obsessed people, and can cover the entire timeline of film history. A compulsive list-o-phile, I’m always tempted to make my own top-1000 list, but stop myself because I feel like I’ve never caught up with enough of the classics – and also it’d be a lot of work, nobody would ever read it, and as soon as I watch Fanny & Alexander or The Passenger or Paterson it’ll probably change.

As recently discussed in the 10th Blogniversary post, my go-to top-1000 lists have been Jonathan Rosenbaum’s and They Shoot Pictures. I just realized there are massive movie lists online by three more of my favorite critics on their personal sites: Vadim Rizov, Mike D’Angelo and Michael Sicinski. Plus you’ve got your Sight & Sound polls, your Cahiers top-tens, Edgar Wright’s recent list, recommendations from books and magazines and all over. And I’ve started organizing and tagging these.

So, to celebrate my turning A Certain Age this year, instead of listing my favorite movies, I’ve made a composite checklist of the top 1000 unseen movies that I need to watch. Maybe if I get through these, I’ll list my own favorites. No promises.

Almost all are narrative features that I think I might be able to find on video (aiming for HD). Probably half are written and directed by white male Americans, too bad. Mostly excluded are shorts (because I’m tracking them elsewhere) and documentaries (ditto) and avant-garde features (because of availability) and everything from Africa (because we watch those on Katy’s schedule) and movies I’ve already seen and hope to rewatch and anything from the current decade.

Needed a stupid, catchy name for the list, settled on BLIGS (short for “obligatory”, acronym for “Big List I Gotta See”). Sortable list of bligs is here.

Sally Jane Black:
“I haven’t finished watching a movie until I write about it.”

My writing has gotten worse and lazier lately, but it has been a year full of distractions… at least I’m keeping up. Here’s to a better 2017.