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
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|
|The Battle of Algiers|
|Shadow of a Doubt|
|To Catch a Thief|
|The 39 Steps|
|Imitation of Life|
|Written on the Wind|
|Big River Man|
|Wake in Fright|
|The Spy Who Loved Me|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service|
|Three Colors: Red|
|Back to the Future|
|Back to the Future 2|