May: You have no right to be jealous of me. Not after all the bullshit I’ve been through.
Eddie: We got a pact. Remember that?
May: We haven’t got anything any more.
Eddie: Is that right? How come you’re so excited?
May: I’m not excited!
Eddie: Yeah, you are. You’re beside yourself.
May: You’re drivin’ me crazy, that’s why.
Eddie: You know we’re connected, May. We’ll always be connected. That was decided a long time ago.
Doreen Piggot: Honey, yesterday I hit a kid.
Honey Bush: What?
Doreen Piggot: I hit an eight-year-old kid. He wasn’t hurt. I just kind of brushed him, knocked him down. But it was so close. He’s such a little sweetie too. I tried to give him a lift to his house. He told me his mom and dad told him never to get into the car with anybody unless they said it was okay.
Honey Bush: You’re very lucky, you know that?
Doreen Piggot: If I’d been going faster, I would’ve killed him. Imagine. How could you get over that? You couldn’t. I came home. I told Earl our whole life could change. Earl tells me to go on a diet. That’s all he could think of to say.
Wade: What’s the matter with you? Ain’t you gonna talk to me? Did it go all right?
Sueleen Gay: Oh, Wade.
Sueleen Gay: I had to do me a striptease tonight in front of all those men. . .in order to get to sing at the Parthenon with Barbara Jean.
Wade: Oh, shit, Sueleen, I. . .That’s dreadful! That’s terrible, girl! I mean. . .I don’t know how to tell you this, but I been meanin’ to. . .you can’t sing. You may as well face the fact you cannot sing. You ain’t never gon’ be no star. I wish you’d give it up. They gon’ kill ya. They gon’ tear your heart out if you keep on. They gon’ walk on your soul, girl.
Sueleen Gay: What are you talkin’ about?
Wade: You can’t sing. Do you understand that?
Sueleen Gay: Yeah? You wanna make a bet? You wanna come to the Parthenon and watch me sing with Barbara Jean?
Wade: I am leavin’ for Detroit Wednesday.
Sueleen Gay: You just come and watch, Wade.
Wade: I’m leavin’ for Detroit, and if you wanna go you just come on. They gonna kill you in this town.
Sueleen Gay: Well, you come and see.
Wade: They gon’ use you. You know that.
Sueleen Gay: Bye, Wade.
Wade: Dumb bitch. I don’t know why I stick around. She just makes me so goddamn mad I could spit.
June: Tell me about the movies you make.
Griffin Mill: Why?
June: Because I want to know what you do.
Griffin Mill: I listen to stories and decide if they’ll make good movies or not. I get 125 phone calls a day and if I let that slip to 100 I know I’m not doing my job. Everyone who calls, they want to know one thing. They want me to say yes to them and make their movie. If I say yes, they think that come New Year’s it will be just them and Jack Nicholson on the slopes of Aspen. That’s what they think. The problem is I can only say yes, my studio can only say yes 12 times a year. And collectively we hear about 50,000 stories a year. So it’s hard. And I guess sometimes I’m not nice and make enemies. That’s what I was to David. An enemy.
June: Was his story one of the 12?
Griffin Mill: No, it wasn’t.
Griffin Mill: It lacked certain elements that we need to market a film successfully.
June: What elements?
Griffin Mill: Suspense, laughter, violence. Hope, heart, nudity, sex. Happy endings. Mainly happy endings.
June: What about reality?
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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This is one of those movies I remember really love when I first saw and then didn’t watch again for years only to rediscover it all over again. It features a stellar ensemble cast consisting of pretty much every British person ever. The cast went on to win the Best Ensemble at the SAG awards. I remember when Sir Ian McKellan won the SAG for his role in the first Lord of the Rings movie, he quipped something about being the only British actor not in Gosford Park. The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress Dame Helen Mirren, Best Supporting Actress Dame Maggie Smith, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and won Best Original Screenplay – Julian Fellowes. The curious thing about Julian Fellowes is that, at least for me, I loved this film to death and was absolutely bored by two of his latest efforts – Vanity Fair and The Young Victoria. It makes me wonder if perhaps those screenplays would have been fine if he’d had the same calibre director as Altman, or if this screenplay was a one hit wonder?