1001 Movies: 2021 Update

This year’s edition of the 1001 List is out now in paperback form in the U.K. (though the hardcover version, for some reason, is delayed here in the States until December, according to Amazon), so we’ve got a small block of new films to get through! Someone had revealed these as the new additions about a week or so ago, and I’d wanted to wait for confirmation from at least one other person that these are indeed correct, but nobody else has come forward saying they’re wrong, and a few others have gotten impatient, so I’m adding them as well:

The Vast of Night (2019)
The Assistant (2019)
Rocks (2019)
Saint Maud (2019)
Tenet (2020)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)
Soul (2020)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)
Lovers Rock (2020)
Nomadland (2020)

It’s only ten films this year; still, who knows how long it might take me to get through them. This year’s additions are far more indie-oriented than previous years have been (which might be a good thing), and the editors have all but entirely ignored the Best Picture slate, save for Nomadland (though someone also pointed out that many of last year’s Best Picture films were actually early 2021 films due to the extension, which might explain it). Hopefully these are worth the relative obscurity; Tenet is the only one I’ve already seen, and I’d actually had minor inklings of wanting to watch it again, even with the issues it does have, so there’s no problem there. As usual, Best Picture will be on hold until these are done, which is also why I’d spaced out 1950 to give myself a good stopping point.

Here we go!

1001 Movies: 2020 Update

I was gonna try and knock out 1948 before the new edition of the 1001 Book came out, but I guess I was too lax with my viewing habits; mostly because I’ve gotten a little more back into gaming than I had been in the past few years, but also because of general malaise that I’ve touched on before. It’s not debilitating, but it is still there, and I think I’ve done a decent job of fighting through it to keep this going, but the war does continue. Anyway, we got new films, people!

Avengers: Endgame
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
For Sama
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
The Farewell
Little Women
The Lighthouse

Everything added is from 2019 (as far as I know; the awesome person who notified everyone on Letterboxd of the additions said there were no other 2018 films, at least), and we’ve got a good smattering of the usual: a handful from Best Picture, plus a couple other foreign language ones (actually, more than they’ve been adding in the past), and some popular favorites as well. I’m actually quite looking forward to this year’s bunch; there’s really not any one film that seems like it’ll be a chore to get through, or will end up as an unpleasant watch (save one, but I already have a review typed up for that one), and aside from not including 1917 like I’d been sure they were going to, most of these are what I expected to see or are akin to what I expected to see (though I will also point out the oddity of not including either Best Picture nominee from Netflix; the editors haven’t discriminated against the streaming services in the past, but it might just be them not finding either of those two entirely exceptional enough… who knows).

So, since I’ve been putting off 1948 for over a week now, let’s hop into these new ones instead! Best Picture will return after these are knocked out, as usual.

Let’s goooooooo. 😀

EDIT: Got additional word from someone on the 1001 Movies Reddit; The Toy Story Trilogy is now the Toy Story Quartet, so Toy Story 4 was added also, and in a really strange move, they appear to have added Lamerica from 1994 as well (the Redditor who found this one surmises that the editors had a formatting error with a film placed in the wrong year, so instead of reformatting the whole section upon moving the film to its correct year, they added an additional film for 1994 in a somewhat lazy move). If anything else is added, I’ll update accordingly.

1001 Movies: 2019 Update… And More

So. It’s been a year. What happened?

A lot of things, and at the same time, not a whole lot. I’ve had a variable work schedule, the total hours each week going up and down pretty much on a whim, which has wrought a bit of havoc on my general motivation, especially to watch movies. Not to mention the addition of a couple new hobbies, which have been kinda hard to keep up with as well, for much the same reasoning, which is largely what I feel I should touch upon, if I’m going to at all.

Depression can be both a very simple and very complicated thing to deal with. It can come and go, either instigated or seemingly at random, and it can be either a mild setback in terms of how it affects you or it can be surprisingly debilitating, almost sneaky in how it saps away motivation and desire to do things, things you need to do or even things you merely want to do. It sucks to lose interest not just in life in general, but especially in things that used to or would normally interest you; it’s almost like you’re losing a part of yourself, and you can’t manage to figure out why.

What I do tend to do when this seems to be a recurrent problem in my life is read; I read a lot of self-help books and articles, mostly hoping to happen upon that one magical thing that will hit home and start a chain reaction that will end with me overcoming things like this once and for all, or even serve as a foundation that I can then stand firm on and go forward in a way that I seem unable to when issues like these rear their heads. It should serve as a persistent reminder to myself, and I guess to some others as well, that despite my constant searching and consumption of material in my endeavors, this problem is still here, and to hope upon hopes that there is that one missing ingredient, that one magical cure-all that will end the struggle and make me or anyone else all better the way the body can make itself all better after a common cold is, quite possibly, a misguided tactic to take. It might work for some people, but it might not work for me. I can’t really know for sure.

If it is the case that there is no ultimate end to this fight for me, then it really just amounts to one thing that I’ve run into a number of times in my reading, something that is a hard concept for me to grind into my head so it becomes habit just by nature of the illness itself, but is still the only thing that I need remind myself of, even if I need to remind myself often: just keep moving forward. Keep pushing, even and especially when I don’t really feel like doing much of anything, and the rest will follow; it will become easier, as long as I keep at that first step, not just trying for it but actually doing it. Replacing poor or negative habits in the brain with positive and effective habits is such a monumentally difficult task for someone with depression, especially the type of depression that I have, that it can seem insurmountable pretty much all of the time. Doesn’t matter; that’s what I need to keep reminding myself, just keep doing and the rest will come. As Dory absentmindedly sings to herself in Finding Nemo, just keep swimming.

Did I need to post this here, almost like an excuse as to why this blog has been idle for so long to anyone who might be reading it? Not really. Mostly, it feels like something that I just needed to write down for myself; which, incidentally, is how this blog started in the first place.

I love cinema. And I want to keep at it as much as I can. For me, that means watching movies again, even if work or hobbies or just the malaise of life in general makes me feel not up to it. It’s going to be hard, but hopefully only at first; I’ve watched an incredible amount of films in my life and for this blog already, to where I know through empirical evidence that it’s a habit I can keep if I have a mind to it. And if I don’t feel like I have a mind to, well… just keep swimming.

Now, on to more tangible things:

It took a while (indeed, it took the book actually coming out, with no leaks like in years prior), but this year’s crop of additions to the 1001 List is here:

Phantom Thread (2017)
The Greatest Showman (2017)
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Capernaum (2018)
A Star is Born (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Roma (2018)
Hereditary (2018)
The Favourite (2018)
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
Vice (2018)
BlacKkKlansman (2018)

As usual, there’s a couple or so additions from the previous year in addition to the new field; one which I’m a little excited to get to sooner than later, and another that I’m… not as excited was even added. Hopefully I’m wrong about that one, but I’m not holding my breath. Meanwhile, the field from 2018 looks promising, and is pretty much what I was expecting from the list; one or two welcome surprises (Hereditary, Infinity War), one or two WTF additions, for lack of a better way to put it (Sorry to Bother You, Crazy Rich Asians), one or two foreign-language darlings (Roma, Capernaum), a bunch from the Best Picture field, and of course, last year’s Best Picture Winner……

…Wait. Where’s Green Book?

Yep, it finally happened; this is the first time the Book was updated without adding the Best Picture winner. Some previous winners that got added didn’t last through later revisions, or even the next year’s revisions, but it seems the editors thought so little of this past year’s Best Picture winner that they didn’t even bother to add it at all. Frankly, even though I have yet to actually see Green Book myself, I’m inclined to agree with the editors’ decision, mostly going off of the reception of Green Book in the circles I’ve come to respect, coupled with the absolutely stratospheric level of vitriol that accompanied its somehow managing to win Best Picture over a good half of the rest of the field. That said, it does mean that my yearly first-addition post will need a slight change-up from how I usually do it, especially since I still need to finish last year’s field, which I will try to do in its entirety before I get to these new ones, just for organizational purposes.

I’m not gonna promise this blog won’t potentially have another lull or hiatus in the future; given everything that I tried to explain in this already massive update post, I pretty much can’t make that promise. Still, I’m gonna try, and even if there’s basically nobody else but me here for this post to get to… well, I guess that’s enough for me. And, if it’s not just me… then thanks for reading. 🙂

Let’s keep filming.

1001 Movies: 2018 Update

Thanks to the developer behind the iOS version of the 1001 Movies app, who is apparently in contact with the publishers of the list so he can keep the app updated each year, this year’s new additions to the 1001 List were “released” last month; after some clarification on the actual publishing order of the entries, it seems it’s safe to say that these are the films that will be added to the Book once the new version is released (in the U.K. only, as usually tends to happen with every other edition of the paperback version):

The Handmaiden (2016)
Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016)
Lady Macbeth (2016)
Lady Bird (2017)
The Shape of Water (2017)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Mother! (2017)
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Get Out (2017)
Black Panther (2018)

As you can see, we have a small handful of 2016 films in addition to the field from 2017; and, in an apparent first, the editors added a film from this current year as well to the Book. Time will tell if they jumped the gun with Black Panther or not, as time usually ends up telling if the additions from any of the more recent years end up standing up to history, but it’s there now, so I’ll be getting to it sooner than later it seems (I actually haven’t seen Black Panther still, despite the reception it got, it being on home release for a few months now, as well as my having seen Infinity War even without previously watching the introduction to Wakanda, so my Black Panther viewing is a little more than overdue).

I held off on updating my list and the wiki’s until I could be sure about the additions and their ordering, as well as until I finished up with my current year on the Best Picture odyssey, which I now have, so both will be updated within minutes of this post. Like last year, my Best Picture run-through will take a small hiatus until I’ve gotten these new additions out of the way, which (again like last year) I’m hoping won’t kill my incentive to get through the classical films of decades past, but reinvigorate said quest by seeing some recent exemplary films instead of the lesser fare I’ve been knocking out to complete the annals of Best Picture.

Here’s to hoping, anyways. 🙂

1001 Movies: 2017 Update/Leak

So, after I found out that Amazon.co.uk’s entry for the next edition had updated it’s description of the volume, confirming three new films, I nonchalantly went to the Amazon.com version to see if they had changed theirs as well. They hadn’t, however, but on a whim I clicked on the Look Inside feature present on the site, which had previously shown inside one of the past editions, since the new edition was obviously not available to preview. Imagine my surprise when I found myself looking at, or rather inside, the actual new edition. Christmas in July!

Not only is the new edition of the book up for preview on Amazon, it is almost wholly intact, not just the first few pages or so; not only was I able to glean the new additions from the page numbers in the checklist at the front of the book (and the genre index at the back), the new entries are even viewable in their actual printed format, complete with the excerpts written about them for the Book’s inclusion, with only a few pages missing, the contents of which I was able to discern again through the checklist at the front or the genre/picture index at the back of the book (which amazingly is even searchable in this preview feature).

My surprise at all this aside, here’s the new additions, or at the least the new ones from 2016 (plus one outlier from 2015):

Victoria (2015)
La La Land (2016)
Hell or High Water (2016)
The Jungle Book (2016)
Jackie (2016)
Toni Erdmann (2016)
Under the Shadow (2016)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
13th (2016)
Arrival (2016)
Moonlight (2016)

Considering the format of the Book seems pretty locked in at this point, given that nearly the entire thing is viewable on Amazon, I’m figuring, why the hell not: I’ll go ahead and update my list and the wiki’s once this post is done. As for how I plan to tackle the 12 new films, whether I’m gonna alternate between them and the Best Picture odyssey, or just do one of the new ones every week like I’ve done in the past, I’m not sure yet; I’ll play it by ear, I guess. I’m still amazed that all this got put up this early, and in such a complete format, but I guess I won’t complain. 😀

Happy filming!

1001 Movies: 2016 Update

Yay for new movies!

The new 1001 List is out, and we’ve got 10 new films from 2014-15. I’ve seen a small handful, and know where to get the remaining ones I haven’t seen yet, so this should be fairly easy to knock out. No real opinion as of yet on whether this year is stronger or weaker than the additions of last year, so I guess I’ll have to revisit that question once I’ve seen all of the new ones. My list on this site is updated, and I’ll get to the wiki right after this goes up as well.

I think I’m going to stagger the 1001 additions with my current Best Picture odyssey; I’m going to aim for each Sunday for the new 1001 films, as I did last year, and in the meantime I’ll keep going with the Best Picture nominees. Might be kinda weird for the next two months or so until I get caught up on the new 10, but hey; movies are movies, right? Well, as long as they don’t suck.

Thanks to those involved with getting the info on the new additions out to everyone; you know who you are, and the community thanks you. 🙂

Phase Two

Been saving this for Oscar Sunday. 🙂

So, I’ve had some time to consider what to do now that the 1001 List is complete for me. This consideration has been going on for the past week or so, and has stemmed from a few instigating reasons:

-I wanted to keep this blog going, even through the dead patches in between each successive edition of the List, and I wasn’t sure of how to go about doing that.
-In looking through other movie lists, there’s one that caught my eye on Letterboxd: a list of every film ever nominated for an Academy Award in any category. It features almost 5,000 films and spans the entire history of the Academy, including every nominee in every single category, even the defunct ones. 5,000 films is a hell of a list, and a hell of a goal, but it’s not going to be my goal, for two main reasons: It would take a really friggin’ long time, and I don’t want to watch some of those films that were nominated in some of the lesser categories (I’m looking at you, Norbit)(You too, Fifty Shades of Grey).
-I’ve been greatly enjoying 1001Plus Steve’s ongoing Oscar feature, which is basically going through the above list but limited to only the Big 5 Academy Awards (plus the animated features), and sharing his input on what he believes should have won for a category in a particular year once he’s seen every nominee for that award. If you’re an Oscar nut like I tend to be, you might want to favorite or bookmark his blog; it’s great reading, especially about films that you might not have heard of (that were Oscar nominated nonetheless).
-My work schedule has lessened as of late, now that the holidays are over, which lately has led to the final reason:
-I’m bored.

It’s mostly that last one, though. I spent most of last week with very little to do, and before the week was out, I had figured out what my antsy feeling was indicating, what fuel that little flame inside me was trying to gather for itself: I wanted to watch some movies.

To that end, I’ve made a similar decision as one that I made when I started this blog; I’d seen other 1001 blogs, as well as the Blog Club, and I’d wanted to join them, so I did. Same thing here.

I’ve decided to follow several other blogs that have done something like this (or, in some cases, exactly this) and I’m going to go ahead and attack the Oscar nominees, specifically for Best Picture. If, after I’m done, I decide to keep going with other categories, then I’ll keep going, but for now, I’m sticking to Best Picture as a sort-of litmus test.

There are currently 528 films that have been nominated for Best Picture, 531 if we include the 3 from the 1st ceremony that were nominated for Unique and Artistic Production, which since it was basically one half of what was at the time Best Picture, I am going to count them as well. Thanks to the 1001 List, I’ve seen almost half of the total nominees, so this will be a sizeable downgrade from the 1001 List in terms of how much I’ve got to finish. That’s not even considering the one nominee that has been lost, 1929’s The Patriot, as well as a few other nominees that are only available in extremely limited degrees, so this goal technically isn’t 100% achievable at the moment. Still, everything else I can get my hands on, I’m gonna try to.

I won’t, however, be going at it at the same pace as I did the 1001 list, or at least I don’t intend to; I’d like it to be a much more relaxed pace, both because of my sporadic work schedule and just to make it easier on me. I’d also like to go about it slightly differently as well; I’m opting to try and go through the nominees in order, from year to year, instead of a whatever order. This may be easier said than done, and I might not adhere to this as strictly as I’d like to, but for the most part, I’d like to keep the films in my mind a little easier by doing it this way, especially for the inevitable comparisons between nominees that will be made.

Speaking of which, I’ve found that on other blogs that have gone through Oscar nominees, there’s usually a feature of some sort that compares the nominees and decides, with the added benefit of hindsight, what should have won against what actually did win, or something to that end; Steve’s Oscar Got It Wrong being a prime example. Since it would pretty much be inevitable of me to make said comparisons myself once I actually go through the nominees, especially in order, I’m probably going to do the same, and in much the same way my ratings have been called arbitrary the whole length of this blog, I’m going the simple route and calling my segment Judging Oscar, since that’s basically what I’ll be doing. I don’t know if it will be a simple ranking of the nominees, or something a little different; I’ll figure it out when I get to the first one.

So, I’m going through the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture, roughly in order, and making my own judgment calls after each year is done as to what I think should have won versus what did win. Sounds fun, and hopefully I don’t regret deciding to go into this.

There’s a new Page up on the top bar there for the list of Best Picture nominees, and I’ll likely add a new category for the Judging Oscar segments when I get to the first one.

With all that said, let’s do this.

2015 Update

Here we go again!

A shiny new version of the Book has been released, adding 10 films from 2013-14 to the roster. I have currently seen 4 of them, and have reviews already written for 3, so expect those out in the coming weeks or so, depending on what order I feel like watching the new ones in. Based on the three reviews I already have done, as well as my initial expectations towards some of the new ones, this looks to be a much stronger year than 2013, even with three less entries, though the average might get thrown off a little bit by one or two of the new ones; more on that when I review them.

Once again, big thanks to Chip for the new ordering and confirming the new entries; my list has been updated, and I’ll likely get to the list on the wiki today as well.

Thanks to those who’ve stopped by during the roughly eight month hiatus this site ended up taking after I finished the 2013 films; it’s nice to know I wasn’t totally forgotten even after (and especially because) I finished the quest last year.

With that all said, let’s begin!

Epilogue (2014 Update)

There is still more to be had.

A new year means a new edition of the Book, and thanks to Tips from Chip, we now know that the leaked entries from two months ago are in fact correct, which means the quest is on once again. Chip has also been amazing enough to update the list order to account for the new additions as well as the removals, which have been placed at the end of their respective years, and I have updated the list on this site as well.

I already have reviews for two of the new entries typed up (as I was 100% positive both would make the list), so those’ll filter out eventually, and I will probably take my time with the new entries, as since I finished in August I’ve gotten quite used to not having a plethora of films to watch as well as write reviews for, so not only will my pacing be much more relaxed, it seems that my initial prognosis that this site would be a self-contained exercise is becoming more certain. Whether that prognosis will change in the future is up for debate, but for now, I’ve got around a dozen new films to watch.

Here’s to more films, now and in the coming years.

Outro (or: The End…?)

Well, here we are, or rather, here I am; a little under three years after I started this blog, I can say that I’ve seen every film in the Book. I could say a number of things, such as “It’s been a hell of an experience/adventure” or “I’ve seen so many amazing films, plus some I’d have rather not seen”, which are all true in their own way, but really, I’m left with surprisingly little to say. I wanted there to be some sort of grand conclusion to this whole quest, both for myself and for anyone who’s been keeping up with this blog, but here at the end, aside from the high coming off of the greatness of the last film I watched, it feels a little anticlimactic. I realize that I’ve finished the Quest, but, aside from the 2013 additions that should be out in the next month or so (if the ones that were leaked earlier this month are incorrect, which I don’t think they are), I’m merely left with a question I had figured for a while now would be waiting for me at the end: What do I do now?

Honestly, I’m not sure. When I started this blog, I had intended it to be a self-contained exercise; reviews for all the films in the Book, and that be that. The more it went on, though, the more I couldn’t see myself stopping after it was all over and done with. Since then, I’ve considered working on other lists, like the They Shoot Pictures Don’t They list, or the 101 Genre Movies books, but part of me is a little scared to try and start another massive undertaking like this one again, especially since I’ve heard about a few films on both lists that are nigh impossible to track down, even more so than the 1001 List. Another idea I’ve considered is simply doing reviews for the other films that I have in my personal library, which aren’t too many, but I don’t know; knowing me, I’ll probably just play it by ear.

One thing’s for sure; I will definitely be taking a break, even if it ends up only being a brief one. I wanted to finish before the next edition came out, though the films in the new one were apparently leaked near the beginning of the month, so I technically might’ve failed in that regard, but even still, with the announcement and jacket text posted on AmazonUK, plus the actual list on the official 1001 site, which seems to confirm the leaked entries, there’s at least some films I can watch and write reviews for for when the new edition ships (two of which I’ve seen, but will happily watch again for the sake of reviewing them). After that, though… who knows.

I guess I should make another announcement as well. It’s been a year since the site redesign and the addition of the header images, which have rotated monthly since I started with them. I got bored one day a while ago, and went through the Book, collecting header images for a whole bunch of films; so much so that, given a rough calculation, if I were to keep rotating it every month, I’d have enough for at least the next decade. That’s a long time to wait on some of them, plus, depending on what I end up doing with the site, I don’t really feel like having to wait on it hand and foot every month updating the header, especially if I do take an extended break. To that end, I’ve found a setting in WordPress to where it will randomly select a header image from a database of media files I can provide every time a new page is loaded, so I’ve decided to go ahead and do that. As of right now, the header image for my site is now randomized to pick from a huge selection I’ve uploaded, and from time to time I will try and add more to it. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll have a header for every film in the Book. I doubt it, but you never know.

So yeah, thanks for following along with me, for those of you that have been, and for whatever I end up doing from here. Whatever I do end up doing, hopefully it won’t be too long until I do.

Keep on filming.