Okay, this is ridiculous. I was doing so well, and then I went to a preview screening of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and had some sort of a meltdown. Do I write about it as a movie person? Do I write about it as a fan? Wah! So I will just say that I enjoyed the experience (Cinerama!), that I need to see how they’ll do the final two films before I can pass judgment on what was cut out, and that it ain’t no Prisoner of Azkaban. (This is where, if I was writing as a fan, I would draw hearts around Alfonso Cuaron. Don’t judge.)

What else since then?

I saw more 69 movies: Downhill Racer (Redford!), Topaz (spy thriller, and most un-Hitchcock Hitchcock since Mr & Mrs Smith), Dillinger is Dead (which was really upsetting — I am losing my edge in my old age — but one hell of a performance from Michel Piccoli), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (which is what you should see, if you see only one of these, and not just because it stars Maggie Smith), and If…. (which was a surreal satire, and an interesting double feature with Brodie).

Then, a few ostensibly kids movies: Up, which I had wanted to see all along (the teaser trailer was a perfectly formed short film), but apparently it took record breaking heat to get me into the theater. I liked it better than Wall-E, I think, because it was good all the way through and in Wall-E I stopped being interested once humans were involved. (And have we talked about the trans character already? Yes, probably.) And I got to see a free screening of Ponyo, which was adorable. More Totoro than Mononoke, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The Metro started its classics series again, but I have only made it over there for The Informant! I nearly forgot, which I suppose is probably a sign. It was lower-key than I had expected, but I am quite curious how it’d play on second viewing. Really rewarding, I’d suspect. Another thing I forgot about: the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Hey, maybe it won’t suck this year. There’s a first time for everything.

Not that there’s any shortage of film. I have three-and-a-half more months of 69 movies coming up, SIFF Cinema is back from its summer break (oh, how I missed it!), and buzz from Toronto has me anxious for the big award season releases to start coming out. It was 80 this weekend but I am dreaming of fall, caramel lattes, and plenty of time at the theater.

[January 09]

On with 2009!

* Doubt. I did not realize until JUST NOW that John Patrick Shanley also wrote and directed Joe Versus the Volcano. That is hilarious. Now I am really sad that SPL doesn’t have a copy. I might have to reactivate my Netflix account now. As for the actual movie, I quite dug it. I haven’t seen the play to compare, however.

* Amarcord. Gorgeous & raunchy & touching. Love!

* Easy Rider. Not the first time I’d seen it, but the first time on the big screen. Deservedly a classic.

* Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of my favorite movies of all time, and so it was such a treat to be able to see it on the big screen.

* Let the Right One In. Second time. Still cold, still sweet, still too good to even be mentioned in the same sentence as That Other Vampire Story That Is All Popular Right Now.

* Elevator to the Gallows was the only title in SIFF’s French Crime Wave series that I made it to, but at least I made it to one! Which is good, as it is fantastic, beautiful & tragic, totally tense and engaging.

* Alice’s Restaurant. This movie makes me so glad I bought a 69 series pass. Would I have managed to drag myself over to the Film Forum & pay $10 to see it Thursday night? No. But as it was already paid for, I had no trouble at all. It’s a time capsule of a movie, strange and funny and sad. I’m glad I went.

* Che. (Part one, part two.)  Seattle’s one of ten or so cities to get the roadshow edition of this film, and we are so lucky. I have been following it since Cannes, through the struggle to get distribution without having to chop it up, and finally the decision to release it in two parts, but roadshow it as a four-and-a-half hour film. To see it that way was a gift.

* Synedoche, New York. I am sorry I did my best of 08 before I saw this movie. I am sorry I saw it on its last day at the second run theater. I am sorry I did not turn around immediately and see it again, even though I have no idea how I would have gotten home. I can’t stop thinking about it.

On a mostly unrelated note, the tshirt I made this avatar from has been reprinted at Threadless. Finally I was able to buy one! Yay.