517 Films, 365 Days and a Year Filled with Cinema
I’m sure you’re probably wondering how I managed to watch so many films in one year. To answer that I have to give you a little background information. For about 9 months out of the year I was unemployed and for those other 3 months I was only employed about half-time. That left me with a lot of free time. I figured with so many free hours I ought to spend my time doing something I love and maybe something constructive as well. If you ask me, watching as many films as possible counts as something constructive. My brain hasn’t felt this stimulated in years. A lot of my viewing came courtesy of Netflix, instant Netflix and the best channel on television: Turner Classic Movies. Throughout this epic film-watching year I managed to watch all the remaining Best Picture Winners I hadn’t seen, as well as multiple classic horror films in October and about 38 of the top Film-Noir films (I plan on referring to November from now on as Noirvember). In fact, I watched so many wonderful films in the last year it’s hard for me to imagine there are any films left for me to watch in 2011. That is, until I look at my completely full Netflix queue and all the films TCM has scheduled in January and February that I haven’t seen.
By The Numbers
517 is quite a large number of films. While watching that many films I naturally saw a lot of films from several actors, actresses and directors multiple times. It was really wonderful to catch up on some filmmakers that I loved and discover new loves at the same time. I may have missed a few people with this summation, but these are the ones I distinctly remember watching multiple of their films and those who made a big impact on my film-watching experience this year.
Directors: Billy Wilder (9), Alfred Hitchcock (8), William Wyler (8), George Cukor (7), Elia Kazan (7), Frank Capra (6), Carol Reed (6), Steven Spielberg (6), Martin Ritt (5) and Fritz Lang (5).
Actors: Spencer Tracy (17), Steve McQueen (10), Paul Newman (9), Robert De Niro (7), Dustin Hoffman (7), Burt Lancaster (7), Humphrey Bogart (6), Marlon Brando (6), Gary Cooper (6), Jack Lemmon (6), Gregory Peck (6), Jimmy Stewart (6), Peter O’Toole (5) Al Pacino (5) and Orson Welles (5).
Actresses: Kate Hepburn (10), Lee Remick (7), Meryl Streep (7), Elizabeth Taylor (6), Janet Leigh (5) and Lauren Bacall (5).
You can see the whole list of 517 new-to-me films that I watched in 2010 here at Listography. I decided I’d like to list the twenty films I loved the most (not counting 2010 releases; if you’re interested in my favorite 2010 releases check out this post). It was hard to narrow it to just twenty because I saw so many films that I loved. I don’t think I have it in me to write about each one of these films, but if you’d like me to explain a little bit about why I loved a certain film, ask me in the comments. I have, however, already written about a few of these films, so if you click the titles with links you can read extended thoughts on those films. These are in the order that I watched them throughout the year.
- Bright Star, 2009 (dir. Jane Campion)
- Serpico, 1973 (dir. Sidney Lumet)
- True Romance, 1993 (dir. Tony Scott)
- A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951 (dir. Elia Kazan)
- Bullitt, 1968 (dir. Peter Yates)
- Holiday, 1938 (dir. George Cuckor)
- Far From Heaven, 2002 (dir. Todd Haynes)
- Reds, 1981 (dir. Warren Beatty)
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1966 (dir. Mike Nichols)
- Days of Wine and Roses, 1962 (dir. Blake Edwards)
- The Godfather, 1972 (dir. Francis Ford Coppola)
- Wings, 1927 (dir. William A. Wellman)
- Rashomon, 1950 (dir. Akira Kurosawa.)
- Grand Hotel, 1932 (dir. Edmund Goulding)
- Touch of Evil, 1958 (dir. Orson Welles)
- The Red Shoes, 1948 (dir. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence, 2001 (dir. Steven Spielberg)
- Raging Bull, 1980 (dir. Martin Scorsese)
- Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, 1988 (dir. Giuseppe Tornatore)
- Stardust Memories, 1980 (dir. Woody Allen)
All-in-all, 2010 may not have been the best year for new releases, but it was one hell of a year for new-to-me films. I’ve been challenged to watch 1000 new-to-me films in 2011. I’m not actually sure if this feat is achievable, but I’m damn sure going to try. (If you want to follow my film-watching exploits in a more real-time setting, follow me on Twitter). So here’s to a wonderful year of cinema and many more to come!