Hold it right there! We're only a few days into 2019, but I want to make sure you've made some resolutions. Forget losing weight, exercising, and eating right in 2019. For me, it’s all about movies. (Well, it is for the most part. I could stand to drop a few pounds…)
Yesterday I greatly enjoyed listening to Cole and Ericca’s bonus episode on The Magic Lantern podcast featuring their movie resolutions for 2019 and decided to post my own. Here’s what I have so far:
As I’ve done for the past three years, I plan to attend the Noir City film noir festival in San Francisco in just a few weeks. Since that’s a continuation of something I’m already doing, I don’t really consider it a resolution, but I do resolve to meet and talk with more film noir fans this year. (I tend to fade into the background at times...)
For the past two years, I’ve averaged watching just over 400 movies per year. I’d actually like to watch fewer films in 2019. Before you start shouting “Blasphemy!” and “Judas!”, let me explain. First, 400 films really isn’t that much, just over one movie a day, and I know of many people who watch twice as many (or more) a year. I don’t mean to take anything away from those folks, but I’ve found that if I watch too many films, I have a difficult time processing and separating them. I need a little time in between to meditate on at least a large portion of these films. I think 350 might give me a little more breathing room. We’ll see.
95 of the movies I saw in 2018 were rewatches. That accounts for about 25% of my viewing, which I think is probably a pretty good number, since 75% of the films I watch are new to me. I’d like to keep that percentage about where it is.
What I’d like to increase is the amount of international films I watch. I watched 65 non-English language films in 2018, or 16%. I’d like to raise that percentage to at least 25% in 2019.
One aspect of my movie watching that needs serious attention is the number of movies (and TV shows) I own but haven’t watched. I have resolved to complete at least one box set (I’m embarrassed to tell you how many I have unwatched) and at least one season of a TV show per month. That’s a bare minimum; I’ll work to take it a step further.
I do buy a lot of movies and books, which can be a problem. My very understanding wife says she has no problem with that as long as I can store them in a neat, reasonable manner, which means no books or movies stacked on top of each other on the shelves. I can live with that because it forces me to regularly examine my collections to determine whether or not I really love that movie/book enough to keep it. (The problem is that I love so many of them.) This is less of a resolution and more of an ongoing battle.
The only hard-and-fast rule I'm making for myself as far as reading movie-related books is to read one book about each of the major Hollywood studios in the classic era. I currently have books selected for RKO, Fox, and Warner Bros., so if you have recommendations for Paramount and MGM, please let me know. (I recently read a book on Columbia, so that's covered.)
After talking with my friend Ann, who attends a new (to her) film festival every year, I decided to expand my festival-going beyond the Noir City festivals. My plan for 2019 isn’t really a new-to-me film festival, per se, but an event that’s part of a larger conference. I’m talking about Ebert Interruptus, founded by Roger Ebert and currently led by Josh Larsen of the Filmspotting podcast, Larsen On Film, and the author of Movies Are Prayers. Ebert Interruptus is part of the Conference on World Affairs held each year at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Although not technically a festival, I very much want to attend Mostly Lost in Culpepper, VA in June, sponsored by the Library of Congress. If you're not familiar with the festival, click on the link above. I think you'll be intrigued.
So let me know your movie resolutions for 2019. Here's to a great 2019!