I saw 205 movies in 2015. Many bloggers no doubt watched more, some maybe watched less. You can read about every movie I watched here – if you’re really bored this early in the New Year – or I can just take you on a quick journey of the highlights.
(Numbers in graphs are percentages, not the actual number of films.)
As you can see from the charts, most of my movies (129 or 63%) are from before 1980 (a somewhat arbitrary point in time). Will that 63% increase in 2016? It’s very possible. I do tend to prefer films from that era, but I’m sure I’ll never stop watching current films. (There are just too many good ones.)
I was a bit surprised by the second graph. 38% of my watching came from DVDs, half of those coming from the public library. (Let’s hear it for libraries!) I actually thought the streaming percentage would be higher. The stats are a little misleading, since many of the films I streamed I eventually picked up on Blu-ray. As usual, I hardly ever go to the theater, and when I do, it’s usually for film festivals or special events.
Other interesting (at least to me) stats:
77 film noir movies (37% of my total watching)
5 silent films/serials – I plan for that number to increase in 2016, due to developing a greater love/understanding of these films and greater availability.
14 foreign language films – Again, I want to see more international (or more specifically non-English language) films in 2016.
9 Blu-rays/DVDs from the UK – Once again I’d like to make the case for buying a region-free Blu-ray player. So many great films are either unavailable in the US or are much more affordable in European editions. My region-free player has more than paid for itself with the money I’ve saved from buying UK editions (including shipping).
29 rewatches – (or about 15% of my total viewing) I thought there would be more rewatches, far more, in fact. Most of the rewatches held up well, some better than I’d remembered them being (The Driver, Runaway Train), some worse (Last Embrace, Three Strangers). I think the number of rewatches – mainly due to a couple of projects I’m planning in 2016 – will bump those numbers up.
Now on to the movie-watching highlights of 2015:
As mentioned earlier, I finally bought a region-free Blu-ray player and ordered several titles from Amazon UK. It’s the best movie-related decision I’ve made in a long time. If you’re a movie fan and haven’t thought about a region-free player, I’d urge you to do so. You will literally open up new worlds.
Although it’s still ongoing, my friend K and I ventured on a project to watch all of David Lynch’s work including Twin Peaks. We’re almost done with the second season of that show and will pick up with Lost Highway soon. In addition to this project, I completed a Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes fest and a 30-Films-in-30-Day Noirvember project.
In March I attended the Annapolis Film Festival where I saw Runoff, the best film in the festival and one I hope you will seek out.
It’s always fun to go to the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center, which I did on four occasions seeing Citizen Kane, 2001: A Space Odyssey with Keir Dullea in attendance (also with my friend K), and the Noir City DC festival (twice) featuring a talk with Eddie Muller.
Ask any writer and they’ll tell you it’s sometimes hard to tell the effectiveness of your own work, but I believe I had the best conversations and/or feedback from two posts, one on how I, as a former music teacher, look at the film Whiplash, and my theological thoughts on film noir.
I was also honored to be part of the Criterion Blogathon, writing about one of my favorite overlooked films Fish Tank (2009) by Andrea Arnold. Thanks to Kristina at Speakeasy, Aaron at Criterion Blues, and Ruth at Silver Screenings.
I had probably too much fun discovering several films featuring one of my favorite character actors, Whit Bissell, who appeared in six of the films I saw in 2015: Brute Force, Raw Deal, He Walked by Night, The Turning Point, Riot in Cell Block 11, Shack Out on 101, and maybe a few others.
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I did complete the first seasons of Twin Peaks, The Bletchley Circle, and Better Call Saul.
And finally, these may not necessarily be the best films I saw in 2015, but they were the ones I thought about the most and had the best conversations (online and in person) about:
Under the Skin (2013)
The Driver (1978)
The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922)
My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Running on Empty (1988)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Ride the Pink Horse (1947)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
The Fallen Idol (1948)
Inherent Vice (2014)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
The Lineup (1958)
The Quatermass Experiment (1955)
Woman on the Run (1950)
No Man of Her Own (1950)
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
The Big Clock (1948)
The Set-Up (1949)
The Narrow Margin (1952)
So, tell me about your year in movies in the comments below…