It got here pretty quickly, didn’t it? More than half of 2023 is over, which means we’ve got less than six months of movie-watching before we’re introduced to the year 2024.
How are you doing so far? Do you have movie goals, lists you’re working through, projects? Do you plan out your movie-watching or live spontaneously?
Of course I’m talking first-world problems here, but let’s continue along this train of thought for a bit…
First, how many movies can we reasonably watch in our lifetimes? For now, let’s just stick to American movies. (Don’t get excited, we’ll conquer the world in a moment.) According to a source on Quora that I can’t verify, as of 2012 about 44,000 movies had been made in the U.S. If we take the average American lifespan (77 years) and started watching movies as soon as the doctor slapped our rear ends in the delivery room, we would have to watch 571.4 movies a year.
Now I know that some of you reading this watch more than 571 movies a year. Not to diminish that accomplishment, but let’s go global here. My good friends at Google tell me that since 1888, the world has produced over 500,000 movies. That comes out to 6,493 movies per year, which translates into nearly 18 movies a day. Even if you live to be 100, that’s still 13 movies a day.
You can’t watch it all. Clearly we have to make some choices here.
Since the person I know best is me, here’s how I prioritize:
First, since I lead movie programs at the library and virtually, as well as present at other local venues, I spend considerable time preparing for those events by watching, researching, and studying those movies.
The same goes for the movies I write about, either for this website, or for other venues. And there's also my YouTube channel.
Then I have my own personal projects, some of which I write about (my Alfred Hitchcock Project), and some I don’t.
Here are some of my ongoing projects that are currently driving me crazy:
I’m not going to tell you how long it’s taken me to work through this list of 363 films, but I still have 59 films left, which I should be able to finish before the end of 2023. I've enjoyed it, but with all due respect to Roger, I need to end this thing and move on to another project.
How about one even more ambitious?
Good gracious, just slap me silly. The last time I counted the number of films I’ve seen from this list, it tapped out at an embarrassing 300 or so. (I'm going to need to live way past 77...)
I have other smaller lists: a director’s or actor’s body of work, etc.
Yet even if I religiously stuck to these lists, people are constantly recommending movies to me (and probably to you, too). “You’ve GOT to see this movie!” (Right now? This minute?) “Watch this tonight so we can talk about it tomorrow!” (Okay, so, this minute...) "You'll LOVE this!" (Probably not, but give it to me anyway.)
Those spontaneous experiences can be fun, and we need to give in to those from time to time.
And then, for the physical media folks, there are all these unwatched discs on our shelves…
And there are the streaming services you subscribe to…
And there’s TCM…
And your local movie theater (Remember those?)
And film festivals (Please support your local movie theaters!)
Time is limited. Even Harold Lloyd can’t help us. But we press on.
Let me know how you handle your movie-watching time. And, if you feel so led, let me know the movies you’ve enjoyed the most so far this year. (They can be from any year.) Here are a few of mine:
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
The Lighthouse (2019)
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
The Blue Angel (1930)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (TV miniseries 1979)
Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
If you enjoy my posts and would like to express your support and appreciation, you can buy me a coffee. Thanks for reading!