Thursday, 8 January 2009

A New Year, A New Meme

Fox over at Tractor Facts was kind enough to tag me with one of the first memes this year. It was started by Adam at DVD Panache and is as follows:

  1. Post a list of nine movie-related resolutions for the new year. These can be as serious or light-hearted as you want them to be, and it also gives you a topic at the end of the year to post about when you take a look back at the resolutions.
  2. Tag five other people with completing this meme.
  3. Link back to my blog in your post so I can keep track of how many cool people are going along with this, and also for the purpose of compiling a list of the most interesting resolutions.

I'd always resolved not to do resolutions, but since I can't keep my resolutions I guess it's OK to break that one in order to make a list of new resolutions. Here are my 9 movie related ones:

1. See more films in the theatre. One of the great things about film festivals is that it forces me out into the theatres to see films. Otherwise, I like to nestle down in the comfort of my abode and watch DVDs. Nothing wrong with that, but I'd like to get to the theatre more often to share the movie experience with a crowd (I'm fortunate not to have come across too many of the inconsiderate slobs that others so often do) as well as get on top of current releases.

2. See more films from certain directors. I've seen at most a handful from the following filmmakers (in some cases, none at all) and I have to change that: Claude Chabrol, Aki Kaurismaki, Michelangelo Antonioni, Satyajit Ray, Peter Greenaway, Nicholas Ray, Eric Rohmer, Claire Denis. Of course there are tons more, but let's start there...

3. See more Canadian cinema with a particular emphasis on Quebec films. Quebec has a rich history of fine films and they continue to make entertaining and smart pictures. I'll be catching a few of last year's best (according to Cinematheque Ontario) towards the end of the month, so I'm jumping out to an early start.

4. See more Classic era comedies from the 30s and 40s. Every time I see one, I enjoy it immensely. No better reason than that I guess...

5. See more of those unwatched DVDs hanging around the house. "Amadeus", "La Dolce Vita", "The River", "Barry Lyndon" and many others have been sitting on my shelf for some time now. I should probably watch 'em.

6. See more films with my son. Last year we greatly enjoyed watching things like "A Christmas Story", "The Adventures Of Robin Hood", "The Princess Bride" and a variety of Buster Keaton and Marx Brothers clips with our little guy. Now that our home schedules are getting back to a semblance of normality, we're hoping to institute a regular family movie night.

7. See more "Microcinema". I'm lucky to live in a city like Toronto that has a wealth of options for seeing films. Along with the many festivals, there are also many smaller ventures that show free films, shorts and underground movies in lower budget locations. I'm also fortunate to have made some good friends through blogging who are also hoping to expand their reach and participate more in local cinema outings (Shannon has already posted this as one of her resolutions).

8. See more non-region 1 DVDs. Which would mean I need to get a region free player. Yeah, yeah, I know...They're cheap or easy to hack. Fine, fine...With the likelihood of favourites like "Survive Style 5+" (a terrifically funny, slightly insane and very colourful Japanese film) never reaching R1 and tons of others just not on anyone's radar (e.g. most of Kaurismaki's catalog), it's time I did something about it.

9. Don't tell people how many movies you watch. It only leads to grief...B-)

I'm tagging:

James at Toronto Screen Shots
Ryan at The Dark Of The Matinee
Sarah at Sarahnomics
Justine at House Of Mirth And Movies
Piper at Lazy Eye Theater (only because he whined last time I didn't tag him)


Ed Howard said...

Some great resolutions there, Bob. I've been tagged for this one too, but mine would basically mirror the ones everyone else is posting: more films in the theaters, watch more of my unwatched DVD pile, catch up on certain overlooked directors, etc.

I've seen a few people now resolve to watch more Rohmer, and that can only be a good thing! He's an amazing director who is startlingly consistent; I've seen maybe three-quarters of his oeuvre at this point and haven't run across a truly bad film yet. I'll happily recommend The Aviator's Wife, Pauline at the Beach, and Claire's Knee as good places to start if you're looking for them, though. (Also, of course, the sublime My Night At Maud's, his most famed film.)

Bob Turnbull said...

Thanks Ed!

Yeah, I wish I could've been more original in my resolutions, but I might actually be able to achieve some of these...B-)

Of Rohmer's films I've seen: My Night At Maud's, Chloe In The Afternoon and Claire's Knee. I thought they were all terrific and would rank them in that order. I was so taken with the dialogue and the fact that Trintignant was in fact staying with his morals, that I didn't see that ending coming - and it worked so gloriously well for me. I should've bought that damn Six Moral Tales set when Criterion had their sale...

By the way, I've managed to see a couple of Ruiz films - "Hypothesis Of The Stolen Painting" and "Klimt". I won't say much about the second (oi vay), but the first was fascinating, frustrating, confusing, inventive and completely original. All in just over 60 minutes. In short, a very worthwhile film experience (that whole sequence relating the story of the six panel painting was amazing).

Ed Howard said...

Well, there's only so many resolutions one can make pertaining to film...

The Six Moral Tales are all great, but I actually prefer Rohmer's second cycle, the Comedies & Proverbs, which tend to be lighter and more fun, more like romantic comedies in genre -- though of course very far in aesthetics from what we've come to think of as a romantic comedy.

Totally agreed about Ruiz, too. I haven't seen Klimt myself, but I've heard it's bizarre and not that great. Hypothesis is a strange, puzzling masterpiece though, and I also love the serial killer comedy Ce jour-la (That Day in the US), Three Crowns of the Sailor, and Three Lives and Only One Death. I wish more Ruiz was available on DVD, his spotty availability is really a crime.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Yay for Meme Madness! Great list you got there Bob, those are great resolutions. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Really interested in the Microcinema idea, it's really crazy not to get out to those more (or at all!).

#9 had me giggling.

Brandon said...

You have a great blog and I'd like to trade links with you. I have a blog called Demon Women that describes and provides clips from movies, short films and rock videos that depict women as bad girls, ghosts or villians. The URL is If your interested in trading links just let me know.



Peter Nellhaus said...

Gee, Brandon is hitting up everyone!

Actually I just wanted to mention that a fair number of DVDs that are officially Region 3 are also R1 compatible. You can tell from my site by those films that have screengrabs.

Bob Turnbull said...

Thanks Peter! I had no idea...Man, I'm gonna plow through your site now. B-)

Yeah, Brandon's really been making the rounds hasn't he? Too bad he didn't go for the more personal touch - then I might have actually checked out his site.

Jamie said...

Thank you...I thought I was the only person left who hasn't seen "Amadeus."