2017 in film: Update #1 (January)

So! We’re a month into the new year and ha ha HA HA HA oh my god what a fucking month it’s been. BUT I’m not here to talk about the collapse of American democracy and possibly western civilization, I’m here to talk about MOVIES!

Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke

So, how did I do on my resolutions this month? Okay. Not terrible, not great, but okay. Lemme show you what I mean.

  1. Seven Samurai (1954, Kurosawa)
  2. Dark City (1998, Proyas)
  3. Midnight Special (2016, Nichols)
  4. The Neon Demon (2016, Refn)
  5. The Babadook (2014, Kent)
  6. Rocky (1976, Avildsen)
  7. North by Northwest (1959, Hitchcock)
  8. Princess Mononoke (1997, Miyazaki)
  9. Vertigo (1958, Hitchcock)
  10. La La Land (2016, Chazelle)
  11. The Pleasure Garden (1925, Hitchcock)
  12. All The President’s Men (1976, Pakula)
  13. The Hurt Locker (2008, Bigelow)
  14. Advantageous (2015, Phang)
  15. The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927, Hitchcock)
  16. The Ring (1928, Hitchcock)
  17. The Hunt For Red October (1990, McTiernan)
  18. Deep Red (director’s cut) (1975, Argento)

Dario Argento’s Deep Red

So I’ve got 18 movies there, which in terms of sheer numbers, is actually worse than 2016 (I watched 25 movies in January 2016). In terms of my resolutions, though, I’m actually doing much better than I did last year. 11 of the 18 movies were new-to-me, which puts me well ahead of my resolution to see 52 new-to-me movies this year (and well, well ahead of the rather pathetic curve established last year, when I only watched 21 new-to-me movies in all of 2016). 3 of the films were directed by a woman (The Babadook, The Hurt Locker, Advantageous), and 3 were directed by a person of color (Seven Samurai, Princess Mononoke, Advantageous), which puts me a little behind on both of those, but not cripplingly so. Only two were in a language other than English (Seven Samurai, Princess Mononoke), but I shouldn’t have any trouble getting caught up on that one, either.

I got three movies into my Hitchcock project — North by Northwest and Vertigo don’t count for that, since I’m watching them all in order. Likewise, Princess Mononoke won’t count for my Ghibli/Miyazaki project, which I’m hoping to begin this month, along with my Godzilla project (both of those will quickly catch me up on foreign language films, though I’m going to try and not let them count for films directed by a person of color, just to make sure I broaden my scope in that area as much as possible).

Oh, and I’ve spent 1,944 minutes watching movies so far this year. That’s 32.4 hours, or 1.35 days.

Alan J. Pakula’s All The President’s Men

As for the films themselves? The best was probably Princess Mononoke, which I was fortunate enough to see on the big screen. Even though it was the dub, it was a breathtaking experience (I’d seen it before, but it had been many years). All The President’s Men and The Lodger were likewise great. Seven Samurai, North by Northwest, and The Hunt For Red October are old favorites. Advantageous was a bit dull, and Rocky was a huge disappointment. You can read my thoughts on all these films over at Letterboxd.

As for February, just going to keep plugging along. I have American Psycho and Boyz n the Hood at home from Netflix, and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and Creed queued up for streaming. I’m going to try and start both the Ghibli/Miyazaki and Godzilla projects, and continue the Hitchcock one as well.

One note: I may have to abandon the resolution to see 52 films in the theatre, just for financial reasons. I’ll still get to the theatre when I can, but it may be once a month, instead of once a week, at least for now. We’ll see.

Got any films I absolutely must see? Leave ’em in the comments below!


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