January was a great month for me. As I said in my end-of-the-year post at the beginning of the month, I have decided to tackle world cinema (well, outside France, which I have done pretty well with). So far my concentrations have been on Italian cinema (I even learned Italian this month!), mostly watching late-50s-early-60s Italian cinema, though I did watch a few Italian silents as well. I have more than fallen in love with Marcello Mastroianni. I also covered Noir City X, the Film Noir Foundation‘s tenth annual film noir festival here in San Francisco. You can read my wrap-up post here at YAM Magazine. Don’t forget the Oscar nominations came out this month; you can hear my thoughts on those here at The Matinee. Lastly, yesterday Warner Bros. gave me the opportunity to interview Stephen Bogart, son of legends Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, over the phone. You can read that interview here. As always, a round up of all the new-to-me films I watched this last month is after the cut (I think I also rewatched about 18 films this month on top of all the new-to-me ones). So many great films. So many more to watch.
- Woody Allen – Midnight In Paris
- David Fincher – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
- Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
- Alexander Payne – The Descendants
- Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Last year I watched 517 new-to-me films and I thought that number was ridiculously large. Well, this year not only did I reach that number, I surpassed it with an additional 600 new-to-me films, bringing my grand total to 1,117 new-to-me films for 2011. Don’t believe me? There’s a list after the cut of every film, broken down by month so you can see just exactly what films I watched. I don’t know how to explain how I watched so many films. I will say, it all started with a bet from CybelDP on Twitter. The rest, as they say, is history.
Some life information: for the first half of the year I worked as a substitute teacher (which meant only 1 to 2 days of work a week) and lived in the back of my parents’ house and watched Turner Classic Movies non-stop. From the end of May on I moved to San Francisco, where I now go to the Academy of Art University working towards an MFA in film editing. Yet, somehow amongst all that I managed to watch A LOT OF FRICKIN’ MOVIES. I also watched a lot of movies in theaters (thank you very much Castro Theatre) for the first time that were films I’d already seen. If you take a look at each of my monthly wrap-ups, I talk about what films those were.
Last year in my end of the year post I wrote about how many films with certain stars that I’d seen and stuff like that. The sheer volume of films I saw this year makes that task pretty difficult. I will say, I saw a lot of films featuring the following and if you want to try to look through my list and figure out exact numbers, be my guest: Orson Welles, Buster Keaton, James Cagney, Lew Ayres, Joseph Cotten, Joel McCrea, Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda, Ray Milland, Robert Taylor, Ryan O’Neal, Joan Blondell, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Jean Harlow. There are probably others whose filmographies I put giant dents in this year, but those are the ones that really stuck out. Speaking of filmographies, I also finished a handful of director filmographies this year: Woody Allen, Jim Jarmusch and Martin Scorsese. I also came close to finishing off Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick and Elia Kazan and watched a bunch of films by Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, Fritz Lang and John Ford. I also discovered a love for Westerns that I never knew I had (well, other than Clint Eastwood westerns, which I always loved). Oh, and I’ve only got 76 Best Picture nominated films left to see. That’s out of 487 films total, so I think I’m doing pretty well there.
One last thing before I reveal the list and my favorite new-to-me film of the year: in this past year I have felt more intellectually stimulated than I have ever felt before. Everyday I watched films and every film that I watched I gathered new information and my brain felt so alive and so active; it’s an amazing feeling for sure. I would go to bed thinking about the films I’d watched that day and the actors and directors and screenwriters that I learned about. I would think about Cedric Gibbons and Douglas Shearer and the amazing jobs they did at MGM and Irving Thalberg’s genius and how I wish I could be as prolific as Woody Allen. Then I would wake up the next day and start all over again and the more I watched the more everything fit together, the more I got from every film because I could see how it fit within the framework of cinema’s history. It was an amazing year of discovery and reflection and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
And, now, without further ado, the list. Ps. there’s more writing after the list, so please keep reading! Also, for some reason WordPress can’t handle a bulleted list that has four digits, so it cuts off the numbers towards the end of the list. But I think you can still figure out what’s what.
Read the rest of this entry
Johnny Boy: Hey Mikey, you’re really something, you know that? What’s the matter? You too good for this ten dollars? You too good for it? It’s a good ten dollars. You know something, Mikey, you make me laugh, you know that? You know, I borrow money all over this neighborhood, left and right from everybody, I never pay them back. So, I can’t borrow no money from nobody no more, right? So who does that leave me to borrow money from but you? I borrow money from you, because you’re the only jerk-off around here who I can borrow money from without payin’ back, right? Right? You know, ’cause that’s what you are, that’s what I think of you: a jerk-off. You’re smiling, right, because you’re a jerk-off! You’re a fucking jerk-off. I’ll tell ‘ya something else, Mikey, [lights ten-dollar bill on fire] I fuck you right where you breath, because I don’t give two shits about you or nobody else.
Top Ten Films
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
Winner – George Clooney (The Descendants)
Runner-up – Michael Fassbender (Shame)
Winner – Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Runner-up – Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Best Supporting Actor
Winner – Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Runner-up – Albert Brooks, Drive
Best Supporting Actress
Winner – Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Runner-up – Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Winner – The Help
Runner-up – The Descendants
Winner – Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Runner-up – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Original Screenplay
Winner – Midnight in Paris
Runner-up – The Artist
Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner – The Descendants
Runner-up – Moneyball
Winner – Project Nim
Runner-up – Tabloid
Best Foreign Language Film
Winner – A Separation
Runner-up – The Skin I Live In
Best Animated Film
Winner – Rango
Runner-up – The Adventures of Tintin
Winner – The Tree of Life
Runner-up – Hugo
The Gene Wyatt Award
Winner – The Help
Runner-up – Undefeated
Best Picture – “The Artist”
Best Actor – Brad Pitt for “Moneyball”
Best Actress – Michelle Williams for “My Week with Marilyn”
Best Supporting Actor – Albert Brooks for “Drive”
Best Supporting Actress – Melissa McCarthy for “Bridesmaids”
Best Director – Martin Scorses for “Hugo”
Best Screenplay – Moneyball
Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki for “The Tree of Life”
Best Documentary – “Project Nim”
Best Foreign-Language Film – “Incendies”
Best Animated Film – Rango
Best Film Editing (awarded in memory of Karen Schmeer) – Christian Marclay for “The Clock”
Best New Filmmaker (awarded in memory of David Brudnoy) – Sean Durkin for “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Best Ensemble Cast – Carnage
Best Use of Music in a Film – Tie: “Drive” and “The Artist”
I very rarely agree 100% with the NBR, but this year’s list is pretty decent, though I still need to see a handful of their choices.. They always include Eastwood, no matter what the consensus is on his films, though. I still haven’t seen J. Edgar, so I can’t comment just yet. I’m happy to see Drive on their list, but a little miffed to see the final Harry Potter on there, because from a stand-alone film point-of-view it failed miserably.
Rupert Pupkin: So I made a mistake!
Jerry Langford: So did Hitler!
Rupert Pupkin: All right. This is the way it is when you’re famous.
Jerry Langford: Do you understand now?
Rupert Pupkin: That’s how you guys are, huh?
Jerry Langford: No, not them. Me, yeah.
Rupert Pupkin: That’s how you are? When you reach the top?
Jerry Langford: No, I was that way before.