The year in movies - pt.1: new oldies

I did a bit of statistics on the many, many movies I watched in 2007. As it turns out, and contrary to my expectations, I watched about the same amount of pre- and post-millenial movies: almost 80 films made before 2000, and almost 80 made in 2000 or later.

Of these films, the most popular decade were the 50s and 90s (with 17 movies each), closely followed by the 40s (15) and the 30's (13). But of course, it's not about the numbers, and in the above counts I did not make a distinction between films seen for the first time and old favorites. What were the biggest discoveries?

First of all, I saw three early (or at least earlier) Almodóvar films, two of them for the first time: Matador and Átame. I love his more mature work, but these early films are just so filled with film making fun that it makes me giddy just to think about them. The bright colors, the shoulder pads, the camp... I just love it, and I'm determined to explore his entire oeuvre.

Then, of course, the noirs. I can never thank my dad enough for giving me that DVD box. The titles it contains might not have been the biggest ones, but they show the full range of what you can do within the boundaries of the genre, a genre now even more firmly established as my favorite. I also watched "The Big Heat" and "Double Indemnity", two films deservedly considered to be among the best noirs ever made. I just love the cynicism, the photography, the wit; I love the crooks and the dames; I love the endings, too. I'm sure I'll often revisit D.O.A. and the Hitch-Hiker on rainy days, and I look forward to watching even more classics I missed. So if you're still looking for a birthday present...

Of course, 2007 was also the year I discovered Godard. I saw Masculin/Féminin, Bande à part & A bout de Souffle, and Alphaville is waiting in my DVD drawer. I'm still undecided on whether I really enjoy his films beyond just the intellectual thrill they give, but I understand now why he's so revered.

There's more, of course. I finally saw some eighties classics (Say Anything, Back to the Future 2&3, Fast Times at Ridgemont high), some western classics (including my first Montgomery Clift film, Red River), saw two classic Hitchcock films for the first time (Rear Window and Notorious), two by Ed Wood, watched four films by Antonioni (two of them for the first time) and grew to appreciate him even more, watched my first Bergman film, my first Malick... All in all, I think this year made me a more well-rounded film lover, expanded my knowledge and my taste. At the same time, it's made me realize that there's more to explore than I'll ever have time for, but why would I complain about having so many more films left to discover?

Next time: some awards. Suggestions still welcome.

1 comment:

cjKennedy said...

Call me weird, but I like a girl who keeps movie-going statistics.

I haven't itemized my own and I don't know if I'll broadcast them, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one who does such strange things.

As for Double Indemnity...well, I'm pretty sure I already gushed over that one on these very pages so I'll spare you the additional drool.

Let's just say it's the perfect movie. Definite Top 10 desert island material.