Orson Welles: Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them, for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash – the triumphs, the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life: we’re going to die. “Be of good heart,” cry the dead artists out of the living past. “Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing.” Maybe a man’s name doesn’t matter all that much.
Edward Rochester: Sometimes I have a queer feeling in regards to you Jane. Especially when you are near, as now. It’s as if I had a string somewhere under my left rib, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in a corresponding corner of your little frame. And if we should have to be parted, that cord of communion would be snapped and I have a nervous notion that I should take to bleeding inwardly.
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.
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Inspector A: None of this is going to show up very well in the record, Mr. K. My men say you even tried to stop them from putting this down [points to notebook].
Josef K.: Well, I tried to stop one of them from making a fool of himself. [pointing] Yes, yes: ovular.
Inspector A: What’s that?
Josef K.: Ov-u-lar.
Inspector A: There’s no such word.
CONTEST CLOSED. Congrats to Caroline!
The good people at Warner Brothers have set me with up with a free download of the 70th Anniversary edition of Orson Welles’ masterpiece Citizen Kane for one of my lucky readers. Leave a comment with your email or twitter (so I can tell you if you won!) and I’ll pick a winner at random on Tuesday. The download comes with all the special features.
Warner Brothers is releasing this fantastic 70th Anniversary edition on DVD, Blu-Ray and as a digital download from iTunes on Tuesday. They’re also running a contest to win an iPad on the official Citizen Kane Facebook page.
I simply cannot wait for this new edition. I saw Citizen Kane recently on the big screen at the TCM Classic Film Festival and the new print was so crisp and beautiful. I hope the rest of you are as excited as I am!
Tanya: Isn’t somebody gonna come and take him away?
Schwartz: Yeah, in just a few minutes. You really liked him didn’t you?
Tanya: The cop did. . .the one who killed him. . .he loved him.
Schwartz: Well, Hank was a great detective all right.
Tanya: And a lousy cop.
Schwartz: Is that all you have to say for him?
Tanya: He was some kind of a man. . . What does it matter what you say about people?
This is a film that has never been available on DVD in North America, so this is exciting news! The downside (sort of?) is that it’s only available from Amazon as part of its 70th Anniversary release of Citizen Kane. I actually just bought Citizen Kane on DVD, but I think I may have to get this regardless. This is huge news for the classic film world. You can pre-order the films here.