What Kind Of Year Has It Been? 2016 Edition

Happy New Year everyone! 2017 has begun, the year that shall not be named has passed, so it’s time to take stock of how well the last twelve months went, and what the next ones have in store for me and my little corner of the internet. As so much has been made of how generally awful last year was, I’ll only be looking at the positives, which is also something of a resolution for me. So, here’s some great stuff that happened to me last year:

I visited China (and Hong Kong, sort of) twice! I’d never been before, but got to go for work purposes, and had fantastic experiences both times. I also now know that spending two weeks living out of a hotel room in a distant foreign country, alone, is not a fun way to live, and that I won’t be volunteering for such an expedition again any time soon. Still, great, life-building experiences.

The person I missed the most whilst I was away? Well that’d be my partner, Aisha, who last year also became my fiancée, which is easily the best thing that happened last year, if not ever.
west-wing
Speaking of Aisha, last year was when I finally introduced her to The West Wing, and we’re not almost done with season four. It’s rare for her to latch onto a TV series like this, and especially to want to plough through it so quickly! It’s one of my favourite shows of all time, so I’m overjoyed she likes it too.

On the topic of TV, last year I introduced myself to three fantastic shows that I’d never seen before: Veep, Parks & Recreation and The Wire. I’m completely up to date with Veep, have seen the first six seasons of P&R (disc one of season seven is sat next to me) and the first two of The Wire.
parks-and-rec
I also watched a lot of fantastic movies for the first time. List-wise I had my first encounters with the likes of The Producers, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, In the Heat of the Night, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Elephant Man, Raging Bull, A Clockwork Orange, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Suspiria, Lawrence of Arabia, Das Boot, Seven Samurai, The Exorcist, The Maltese Falcon and A Matter of Life and Death, all incredible movies. Outside of the List I also got around to watching Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Lobster, Dope, A League of Their Own, Brooklyn, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Steve Jobs, Streets of Fire, Real Genius, The Birdcage and And Then There Were None, and that doesn’t count any of the 2016 films I saw! (They’ll get their own post in a day or so.)

So that’s the good films, but I also crossed off a bunch of really, really terrible movies from the 1001 List, which I’ll never have to think about again! Films like The English Patient, The Hangover, Heaven and Earth Magic, Juliet of the Spirits, Naked Lunch, Cleo from 5 to 7, The Exterminating Angel, Caravaggio, Daisies, The Colour of Pomegranates, Hour of the Wolf, Chariots of Fire, The Palm Beach Story, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, An American in Paris, Peter Ibbetson, Archangel, Jeanne Dielman and India Song can now be purged from my memory, I have no use for them any more.
revenant
I also crossed off a bunch of the really long films that seem to be a particular bane for me on the 1001 List. Just looking at the films that are two-and-a-half hours or more, I took out Juliet of the Spirits, Das Boot, Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Seven Samurai, The Revenant, Straight Outta Compton, The English Patient, The Towering Inferno, Rocco and his Brothers, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Lawrence of Arabia, Jeanne Dielman and 1900. I still have three over-four-hour films left (The Beautiful Troublemaker, The Wheel and Napoleon), but the List looks more manageable with every behemoth I remove.

So that’s this blog, but elsewhere on the Internet I also took over as shepherd of the LAMB. I’ve been running the Lambcast for three years now, and during much of that time the LAMB site has been largely leader-less, so I stepped in to take it over and attempt to guide it to a working state. Content has been appearing once again, new LAMBs have been added, and the site is gradually finding its feet. I’ve not been able to dedicate as much time to it as I’d have liked, but progress has been made and more will continue to.

And finally, speaking of the Lambcast, it remains one of the most fun aspects of my life, and I look forward to every Sunday afternoon’s recording. I’ve made some fantastic friends being a part of the show, and I’m always looking for new people to join in the fun. If you’d like to be part of the show, let me know! This past year has seen me meeting, amongst others, Audrey Fox, Damien Riley, Sean Homrig, Chris Tanski, Howard Casner, Richard Kirkham, Mark Hofmeyer, Justin Pollizzi and Jeanette Ward, many of whom have become regular fixtures on the show. I also appeared as a guest for the first time on podcasts like Talking Stars, TV Good Sleep Bad and Out Now With Aaron and Abe.

So that’s a lot of the good things that happened to me, but let’s get down to what we’re all here for, the numbers:

Goals Update
This time last year I took a re-stock of my goals and set about attempting to set more achievable goals, after a year-end-burn-out in 2015 that left me not watching any films for a couple of weeks. Suffice to say I failed to meet a lot of those so-called achievable goals. Here’s how it all ended up:

Aim: Cross off at least 100 films from the 1001 List
Total crossed off: 58 FAILED!
The Producers
The English Patient
The Hangover
Heaven and Earth Magic
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The Breakfast Club
Straight Outta Compton
Inglourious Basterds
In The Heat Of The Night
The Revenant
The Big Short
Juliet of the Spirits
The Adventures of Prince Achmed
Naked Lunch
Rocco and His Brothers
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Pulp Fiction
Cleo from 5 to 7
Three Brothers
The Exterminating Angel
The Godfather
1900 (Novecento)
The Elephant Man
Caravaggio
Raging Bull
Sedmikrasky
The Color of Pomegranates
A Clockwork Orange
The Godfather Part II
Bridge of Spies
Hour of the Wolf
The Marriage of Maria Braun
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Gilda
Young Frankenstein
Chariots of Fire
The Towering Inferno
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
Suspiria
The Palm Beach Story
Lawrence of Arabia
An American In Paris
The Naked Gun
Das Boot
Peter Ibbetson
Seven Samurai
Cool Hand Luke
The Exorcist
Forbidden Planet
Night of the Living Dead
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Archangel
Jeanne Dielman
India Song
A Matter of Life and Death

Aim: Cross off twelve “Bad” movies from the 1001 List – I just need to take a moment to once again mention the tragic passing of Chip Lary in 2016, one of the 1001 List completers who helped designate just which films from the 1001 List I should be dreading. R.I.P. Chip.
Total crossed off: 12 COMPLETED!
Heaven and Earth Magic
Juliet of the Spirits
Naked Lunch
Sedmikrasky
The Color of Pomegranates
Hour of the Wolf
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
The Palm Beach Story
Peter Ibbetson
Archangel
Jeanne Dielman
India Song

Aim: Cross off twelve Blind Spot movies from the 1001 List
Total crossed off: 12 COMPLETED!
The Producers
In The Heat Of The Night
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Elephant Man
Raging Bull
A Clockwork Orange
Suspiria
Lawrence of Arabia
Das Boot
The Exorcist
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
A Matter of Life and Death

Aim: Watch 24 films from my Film-Makers lists, focussing on Winslet, Hitchcock, Tarantino, McQueen and Kubrick
Total crossed off: FAILED!

Quentin Tarantino
Pulp Fiction
Inglourious Basterds
The Hateful Eight

Kate Winslet
Little Children
Steve Jobs
A Little Chaos
The Dressmaker
Triple 9

Steve McQueen
The Blob (1958)
The Towering Inferno

Peter Jackson
The Lovely Bones

Stanley Kubrick
A Clockwork Orange

Steven Spielberg
Bridge of Spies

Coen Brothers
Hail, Caesar!

Paul Newman
Cool Hand Luke

Aim: Read a new book every month
Total read: 12 COMPLETED!
Ayoade on Ayoade – Richard Ayoade
Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovich
What If? – Randall Monroe
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Captains Courageous – Rudyard Kipling
11.22.63 – Stephen King
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett
Room – Emma Donogue
A Study in Scarlet – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of the Four – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Aim: Visit somewhere new every month
Visited: 10 FAILED!
Park in Hedge End
Wareham Forest
Isle of Wight
Various wedding venues
The Peak District
Avon Beach
Lulworth Cove
Ringwood Forest
Shenzhen, China
Hong Kong

So what lies ahead for 2017? Well, I’m afraid that due to a lot going on elsewhere in my life, this blog will not be a priority for me over the next twelve months. 2017 is going to see me turn thirty, and also get married, and both of those events are weighing heavily upon my time. It turns out that weddings can be pretty time-consuming when it comes to planning them and the post-wedding holiday that follows, and it’s utterly unfair to leave all that to my future-wife. Also, and I’m pretty sure I say this every year, but dammit I need to lose some weight. As such I’m planning to review a great deal less this coming year. I hope to keep up with my weekly posts (although expect even more fortnightly ones) and as such I’ll be dropping the month-end updates. I don’t want the year to completely pass by without any review content though, so I’m setting myself just one, fairly small goal. By my count, there are 67 winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture that also appear on the 1001 List. Of these, I’ve already reviewed 43 (go me!), and of the remaining 24 I’ve seen and am quite familiar with ten of them. My aim this year is to cross off those other fourteen, the ones that I’ve either never seen or didn’t pay close enough attention to the first time around.
from-here-to-eternity
So, my one aim for 2017 is to watch these films:
From Here To Eternity
Gigi
Gone With The Wind
How Green Was My Valley
My Fair Lady
Ordinary People
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Life of Emile Zola
The Lost Weekend
Midnight Cowboy
On The Waterfront
Patton
Gandhi
Amadeus

Other reviews may pop up from time to time – on the Lambcast we’re doing a Danny Boyle retrospective soon, so expect a Trainspotting review along with that – but I’m not going to spend a lot of time beating myself up for not sticking to some ridiculous goals when there are more important things I should be doing away from a computer screen. Speaking of which, I’ve got a dog to walk, so I’ll talk to you later!

Happy New Year all, and good luck with whatever you’re plans are for the year ahead!

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “What Kind Of Year Has It Been? 2016 Edition

  1. We disagree on some of your terrible films. There are a few there (Cleo from 5 to 7, The Exterminating Angel, Daisies, Hour of the Wolf) that I rather like, although I pretty much agree on the others. I didn’t hate The English Patient, although it’s not one I plan to watch again.

    The three long films you have left? I have a little good news. One of them is a masterpiece, one is at least interesting. The third is terrible. For reference, those are Napoleon, The Wheel, and The Beautiful Troublemaker respectively. Most of your unseen Best Picture winners are worthwhile as well, although I truly hate Gigi.

    • I used the word “hate” pretty strongly, some of the films I listed I just didn’t like. I’ve heard that Napoleon and The Wheel aren’t terrible, but their length just puts me off. And yeah, not looking forward to Gigi.

  2. It sounds like you had a great year! You’re example to many blog film critics, including myself. I hope you have a great 2017 and achieve more of your well made goals. See you in February when I’ll be back on the LAMBcast for the MOTM episode 🙂 Take it easy!

  3. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | LAMBCAST: #355 Best of 2016

  4. If you halved your goal to 50 you’d have done stellar! Totally get life taking over movie watching. That’s an interesting last 14 to see. I love Midnight Cowboy and On The Waterfront. Can’t wait to read those reviews.

    • Those are two of the ones I’ve technically seen before but, other than a couple of scenes, I can’t remember anything so I’m looking forward to revisiting them myself.

  5. Pingback: My Weeks in Film, 2017 Weeks 1-3 | Life Vs Film

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s