2018 was quite a year for me. I travelled a lot for work. I watched a lot of films in festivals. I had some of my lowest film watching months and some of my highest. I got into a bunch of television shows. I met one of my favorite directors of all time (Gillian Armstrong!). I broke down a lot of my 2018 cinematic shenanigans on my 9th blog anniversary post here, you can see my monthly breakdowns here, my Favorite Fifteen Films of 2018 here, and I even broke down my favorite new discoveries here over on Rupert Pupkin Speaks. What does that leave??? After the cut I have all of the films I saw in 2018, plus a breakdown of the films directed by women that I saw for the first time this year.
In 2017 I saw 72 new releases, which I believe was a record number for me. This year I saw 117! I attribute this to several of this year’s new releases being Netflix films (so convenient, if not ideal) and MoviePass. Yes, MoviePass. I saw a few things I may have skipped in previous years because of MoviePass. For awhile I could watch one film a day via MoviePass and then see a second one that I paid for. This led to a lot more double features at the Midtown Art Cinema than in pervious years. Also last year I saw 32 new releases that were directed by women. This year I saw 59 new release films directed by women (170 in total, but I’ll write more about that in tomorrow’s end of the year post), which is half of the new release films I saw this year. I plan to at least keep up that ratio next year, if not do better. You can see all the new release (and festival) films I watched in 2018 and how I ranked them here. After the cut you’ll find my Favorite Fifteen Films, and as always I remind you that this is subjective and in no way should be considered a “best” list.
After last month’s intense Farewell FilmStruck binge, I got a little burned out and so I did not watch as many films this month as I usually do. I did, however, use the month to catch up on a bunch of 2018 releases, both in theaters and rentals. As always, after the cut you can see the films I watched this month plus a few highlighted favorites.
I can’t believe it’s been nearly a decade of writing on this blog! Earlier this year I hit my ten year anniversaries on Tumblr and Twitter, both of which I started using before longform blogging in ernest. Although this blog is mostly updated monthly now (though I have plans to change that in 2019), I update my YouTube channel with reviews almost daily (that may change in 2019 as well). I thought for this blog anniversary I would do a breakdown of some of my film-going shenanigans from 2018.
As many of you are aware, at the end of October it was announced that FilmStruck was shuttering on November 29th. Thankfully, I still am at TCM (though there were some layoffs). The end of October saw the beginning of my scramble to watch as many films from my queue as possible. This also led to me discovering things that weren’t on my queue but that I desperately had to watch before it was too late. All and all, in the last few days of October and into November I watched 228 shorts and features on the service before it shuttered (plus a handful of films in theaters in November). After the cut you can see everything I watched last month (most of which was on FilmStruck – including almost all of my Noirvember selections). It was a thrilling few weeks and I discovered a lot of things that I had taken for granted. Criterion will be launching The Criterion Channel (which had previous found its home within the FilmStruck service) next year, which I am very grateful for, but I will forever miss my time working on FilmStruck. I’m honored to have been a part of its legacy.
As you will see I watched A LOT of movies in October. The month began with my third trip to Pordenone in Italy for the Pordenone Silent Film Festival. The festival was again jam-packed with amazing film, mostly rarities from film archives and new restorations. I then watched several 2018 films (in theaters and on Netflix). Lastly, the month ended with the news that FilmStruck will be shutting down on November 29th (no worries, I still have a job!), so I have been binge-watching silent films and Japanese cinema. All of this resulted in a lot of cinema consumed. I discovered some new favorite directors and some truly awe-inspiring cinema. As always, you can see everything I watched plus some favorites after the cut.
September was quite a month for 2018 films. I saw 2 or 3 new releases in theaters each weekend, plus I screened a bunch of films from this year’s Out On Film LGBTQ film festival here in Atlanta. Several of the new release films I saw this month might just make my end of the year list. There’s just so much good cinema all year round! I also hosted a silent film triple feature here at the Plaza Theatre, which was a dream come true. I’m hoping to do more of that in the next few months so if you live in the area do come out. As always, you can see everything I watched last month after the cut, plus I highlight some favorites.
This summer seems to have really gone by in a flash (and a whole lot of rain here in Atlanta!) I Somehow missed the handful of blockbuster films I actually wanted to see this summer, mostly because I was busy watching all the great documentaries (and I didn’t even get to all of those that I wanted to see). It seems MoviePass may be floundering, but I’ve used it to see sooo many new releases (mostly indie, foreign, docs) so even if it goes under I think I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it. I watched more movies in theaters in July than I did streaming, which I think is probably a good thing. As always, the whole list and a few of my favorites can be found after the cut.
June is both Pride Month and my birthday month (my birthday was yesterday), so I’m always busy busy busy. This June I found myself going to Miami to introduce Some Like It Hot for Flaming Classics, moderating a panel at Turner on LGTBQ representation in cinema, and recorded a video about how movies helped me growing up queer in a small town. These experiences were life-affirming in that I was able to see our community thrive, but also I was able to help allies learn more about the cultural history of the community as well. A real dream come true. Because of the travel and prep work for these events, I watched far less films than I had intended to. That said, I did cross several landmark queer classics off of my list and saw some films that will stay with me for a long time. As always, you can see everything I watched plus my favorites for the month after the cut.