Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Year in Repertory Cinema

For as long as I can remember, I have been deservedly derided by my friends for having seen so few classics, despite being such a huge movie person. This was the year I decided to start to change that.  Slowly, of course – it’s an uphill battle at this point. Plus, it’s harder for me because I fail miserably at watching movies at home.  It’s just not my ideal environment – too many tempting distractions, and I cannot abide watching films with distractions.  That leaves me with theatrical experiences. But, I’m in luck; I live in the best city in the world for seeing older films.    
I wound up seeing around 42 “older movies” in theaters this year – mostly at the IFC Center, but also The Film Forum, Museum of the Moving Image and MoMA.

To be fair, I also saw Goodfellas and The Game this year, but not in a theater. Loved them both, especially the latter.  Oh, and I also watched Ghostbusters for the first time.  Twice!  It’s hard to appreciate a movie like that as much as I know I would have if I’d seen it as a kid – but I do at least totally “get” what the fuss is about.

I took advantage of some awesome programming from local movie houses – my favorite of which being the Universal 100 this summer at the Film Forum, where they showed multiple double features in honor of Universal’s 100th anniversary. I saw my first, second and third Douglas Sirk films as a part of that. Such good stuff.

But, the IFC Center also spoiled me by showing a different Alfred Hitchcock film every weekend at 11 AM for months in a row. Of his notable ones I missed Rope, The Birds, Dial M for Murder and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

I want next year to be an even better year for me in terms of catching up on classics.  Also, I’m going to make an effort to improve my watch-at-home habits. And also to improve my keeping track of my watch-at-home habits. 

Here are a few notable “bests:”

Best Hitchcock (of the 11 I saw for the first time in 2012): Vertigo

Most Embarrassing Confession:  This was the year I finally saw Back to the Future 1 and 2

“What’s the Big Deal” Award: American Graffiti. Meh!

Most Fun: Miami Connection

Top Five Overall

5. Wake in Fright
4. Annie Hall
3. Imitation of Life
2. Vertigo
1. Three Colors: Red

Also amazing were Life is Sweet, The Conversation, Psycho, L’Enfant, Nashville, Oldboy, The Battle of Algiers, To Catch a Thief, Rebecca, Rosemary’s Baby

Here's the full list of older movies I saw theatrically in 2012:

Life is Sweet
Marathon Man
Annie Hall
The Conversation
Funny Face
The Battle of Algiers
Cape Fear
Shadow of a Doubt
To Catch a Thief
The 39 Steps
Rear Window
Hello, Dolly
Imitation of Life
American Graffiti
Magnificent Obsession
Written on the Wind
Big River Man
Wake in Fright
Miami Connection
The Spy Who Loved Me
Torn Curtain
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Rosemary's Baby
Three Colors: Red
Back to the Future
Back to the Future 2

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Ones that Got Away

As I prepare to write some kind of summary post wrapping up all my cinematic adventures this year (a top ten list, sure... but  more) I am reminded that despite the high octane film consumption these past twelve months, there were a handful that simply slipped between my fingers.
Here's my list of movies I meant to see and just didn't manage.  I am aware that oceans separate some of these in terms of quality. Nevertheless, they were either at one point high enough on my list that I still want to see them despite bad reviews, or never made it onto my radar, but now need to be:

A Royal Affair
Almayer's Folly
Being Flynn
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel
Girl Walk//All Day
Killer Joe
Lola Versus
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Sing Your Song
The Bay
The Color Wheel
The Flat
The Grey
The Turin Horse
This Is Not a Film
To Rome with Love
Walk Away Renee

I would say that the three I want to see before any other are This Is Not a Film, Killer Joe and Girl Walk//All Day.  This Is Not a Film is the only documentary on the shortlist that I have not seen, which is pretty embarrassing considering it played for a long time at the Film Forum just down the street from my apartment.

I welcome comments shaming me for not seeing some of these, or steering me clear of some of the bad ones.   I particularly encourage comments advising me how I can see This Is Not A Film immediately.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Movies Left to See in 2012

Here go all the movies I hope to see this year still, in theaters:

Out Now:

On the Road
A Late Quartet
A Royal Affair
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel
Hyde Park on Hudson
Jack Reacher
The Guilt Trip
This Is 40
The Impossible

Out next week:

Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Promised Land

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Very tentative Sundance schedule

If all goes well, here's my schedule. Blue means that I have a ticket. Everything else is still needed.

Jan 17th:

May in the Summer (MAYIN17CE)
Twenty Feet from Stardom (TWENT17CN)

Jan 18th:

Who Is Dayani Cristal?
God Loves Uganda
Sound City
Pussy Riot, No, or a party (?)
We Are What We Are

January 19th:

Don Jon’s Addiction
Touchy Feely
I Used to Be Darker
Cutie and the Boxer
Blackfish (BFISH19TN)

January 20th:

Breathe In
The East (EASTT20CA)
Stoker (STOKE20CE)
Before Midnight (BEFOR20CN)

January 21st:

?? The Crash Reel or naps
Toy’s House
Google and the World Brain (GOOGL21PE)
Charlie Victor Romeo
Blue Caprice

January 22nd:

The Way, Way Back
The Spectacular Now
In a World…
Magic Magic

January 23rd:

?? Pussy Riot, TBA, Kill your Darlings or Lovelace
Interior, Leather Bar
Documentary Shorts Program 1
After Tiller
Ass Backwards

January 24th:

Soldate Jeanette
Escape from Tomorrow
Citizen Koch
The Rambler

January 25th:

Aint Them Bodies Saints
Running from Crazy
The Lifeguard
This Is Martin Bonner
Gideon’s Arm

January 26th:

Upstream Color
The World According to Dick Cheney
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

January 27th:

?? TBD
?? TBD
?? TBD
?? TBD