Another year has almost finished, so as is tradition it is a good moment to look back at the past year in both blogging and in movies.
Interviews and guest posts
2013 started off with two amazing interviews. First I was able to interview the artist behind one of most recognisable movie logos, that of Columbia Pictures. It was painted by Michael Deas and I really enjoyed asking him more about the creation of it. It is a piece of cinematic history and to be able to talk about the person responsible for painting it was a great opportunity.
Thinking my movie year could not get any better, I got the chance to interview Paul Verhoeven. I gave my readers the chance to ask their questions and was able to squeeze in a lot of them. Interviewing him was really the highlight of the year. It was a great experience and with only a limited time available to do the interview I sometimes had to interrupt him in order to get to the next questions. It was quite hard as his stories were so much fun to listen to.
They were not the only interviews I did though. I interviewed several documentary makers: Marijn Poels who really wants to make documentaries which have an impact on how we look at specific situations taking place in the world, Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez documented the amazing work by the Detroit Fire Department.
I also did a couple of guest posts on other blogs: I posted my Desert Island Films over at Head in a Vice, I was Hipster for a day over at Filmhipster and posted my Top 5 documentaries over at Film Guide Dublin.
I usually run a couple of blogathons during the year, but this year only chose to run one, but with a big twist as it took 5 months to participate. The goal of the 5 Obstructions blogathon was to challenge yourself and I hope those who have participated enjoyed it and learned some new things about writing and blogging. I have already prepared one blogathon for 2014 which will probably start at the end of January/beginning February and there are some other ideas brewing as well.
Besides starting a blogathon I also joined the Breaking Emotions blogathon.
This year I wrote a couple of articles. I wrote about the best movie watching apps for Android, the best smartphones for movie watching, asked whether you really needed a new phone. I was very happy to reach the 100th installment of my “The Many Faces of…” posts. I am not completely happy with the amount of articles I wrote, so my goal is to write more articles during 2014.
The above picture is an overview of almost all the movies I saw in 2013. It’s a total of 309. That’s a total of 33475 minutes or 558 hours or 23,2 days of non stop movie watching. Which comes down to an average of one movie every 1.18 days.
I had set myself a couple of goals for the past year:
1. Watch at least 300 movies, which I managed to reach.
2. Rewatch more movies. In 2012 only 5.8% of the movies I saw were rewatched, this year that percentage needed to be higher. In order to do so I had made a list of movies I would rewatch. Although I did not even watch half of the movies on that list the percentage of rewatched was 9,4%
3. Try to see at least two movies a month at the cinema. Even though I have an unlimited pass for the cinema I did not manage to see two movies a month every month during this last year. I should try to do better next year or just give up the unlimited pass as I simply do not take enough advantage of it.
4. I would try to watch at least two seasons of the boxsets I still had around the house. These included: Oz (the complete series), Deadwood (season 3), Dexter (season 1), The Borgias (season 1) and The Bridge. Out of these series I have only watched The Bridge (the original version). I did however watch two other shows, which were House of Cards and Lilyhammer, so I watch a total of three seasons which I’m happy with.
The My Filmviews tens
I do not give out a lot of perfect scores each year. During 2013 there were only 11 movies which I gave that score. They are:
The Impossible (2012)
Wages of Fear (1953)
The Staircase (2004)
The Shining (1980)
Bus 174 (2002)
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Before Midnight (2013)
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
Lost in Translation (2003)
The Act of Killing (2012)
The worst movies I’ve seen this year
Not every movie can be a masterpiece and this year there were a couple of movies which really managed to disappoint me. This year’s worst were (with a score of 2 and lower):
2 Guns (2013)
All Is Lost (2013)
Case départ (2011)
Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse (2007)
De wederopstanding van een klootzak (2013)
Caught on Tape (2013)
A Day in the Life (2009)
Guns, Girls and Gambling (2011)
Movie 43 (2013)
So which ten movies were my favorites?
With Primer, director Shane Carruth made a movie which was extremely complex to understand, but because of that it was very interesting to me. Upstream Color is his next movie and although slightly more accessible still a movie that forces you to keep focussed. You might feel as lost as the main characters, but stick with it and the pieces of the puzzle start to fall in the right place. Not a movie everyone will love, but I enjoyed this movie which challenges its viewer.
After Drive, Ryan Gosling teamed up again with director Nicolas Winding Refn. This is a movie which has extremely strong visuals and minimal dialogue. It’s filled with extreme violence which will shock many. I was captivated by it, hypnotised by each and every frame and transported to this hot, surreal world filled by vengeance.
I have only seen this movie recently, but Prisoners is a good old fashioned thriller. It takes a look at how a situation can make you do things you might not think yourself capable of. When two children disappear one of the fathers is willing to go to extremes to find his daughter. Being a father myself I can not predict how I would react in such a situation, but it moved me a lot.
There were some great comedies this year, but there was one which stood out to me and it is this one. The chemistry between the actors, who are friends in real life and are not afraid to make jokes about each other, is obvious while watching it. The jokes are funny, there are unexpected moments, great cameos and a story which might be ridiculous, but works. The only comedy I watched twice this year.
Released at the beginning of the year it is a movie which deeply moved me. It convincingly realises the violence of a tsunami. It tells a very personal story of one family who lose track of each other, not knowing if the rest made it. Although I felt the last 30 minutes tried a bit too hard to manipulate the emotions, the movie as a whole affected me.
If there was one documentary which stood out this past year then it was this one. Just imagine Hitler winning the second world war and Nazis being interviewed about their acts during the war, telling each and every gruesome detail without feeling any remorse (even being proud of it). It is kind of what happens in The Act of Killing, only set in Indonesia. Former executioners tell in detail, and also act out in various settings, what they did. It is shocking, but it also opens your eyes about what truth or history means. It is what the winner decides it is.
The passage of time is something we may not always be able to grasp, especially when it comes to multiple generations, but this movie succeeds in portraying. The movie has some amazing shots (especially when Ryan Gosling is riding his motorcycle). The three part structure is unique, it has an enthralling story and its extremely strong opening keeps lingering in your mind throughout the movie. They say you aren’t really dead as long as someone remembers you and that memory might be shaped in something else, making someone a hero or the villain even though the truth might lay somewhere in the middle.
When I walked out of this movie the adrenalin was still pumping in my body. It is a movie filled with action, which I’ll admit goes quite a bit into superhero territory, but which never disappointed me. The action is awesome, both on wheels and when it comes to fist fights and it had an ending which made me look forward even more to the next film. With the unfortunate news that Paul Walker passed away earlier this year it is with a bittersweet feeling I look back at the movie as he was best known for his role in this series. I hope that the next movie will handle his loss in a respectful way (which currently seems to be the case).
Do perfect trilogies exist? Yes, and for me the “Before…” trilogy is the one. Both Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have given amazing performances in each installment of the series. This third movie changes the format slightly by introducing extra characters, which only adds an extra layer to their relationship. You see them interacting more with others before it heads to the territory the movies are known for, with the two of them walking and talking, feeling as natural as everyday life. This is an amazing closing (hopefully we will be surprised by a fourth movie in a couple of year) to my favorite trilogy and one I will rewatch many times in the future.
It does not happen much that I watch a movie twice in one week, but in the case of Gravity I headed to the cinema the same week. I knew that watching this movie at home just would not compare to seeing it in 3D Imax. It was a movie which kept me on the edge of my seat, my muscles feeling tense. When a movie manages to do that you know it has to be your favorite of the year.
So what was your film year like and what were your favorite movies? (If you have made a similar post please leave your link)