[2015 Film Roundup]

Total: 208 (full list here.)
…plus 8 other (NT Live & Doctor Who)
Revival: 45
SIFF: 63
Free: 81 (+ festival)
…all told I paid $587.75 in total for movies in 2015, giving us an average ticket price of $2.83, almost a buck more than last year. I blame Cinerama.

Films of my heart: Carol, Crimson Peak, and Sworn Virgin

Very close runners-up: 99 Homes & Spotlight, both of which are hard to watch at points, but always incredibly important. Also, Xavier Dolan’s Mommy*

Continue reading “[2015 Film Roundup]”

[2014 Film Roundup]

Total: 204 (full list here)
…plus 8 other (NT Live, etc)
Revival: 70
SIFF: 51
Other festivals (SLGFF, Noir City): 21
Free: SIFF volunteer (67 + festival), other machinations (29)
…all told I paid $376.95 in total for movies in 2014, not including Veronica Mars, giving us an average ticket price of $1.85.

Favorite films (which this year means films which haunted me the most): Ida, Force Majeure, and Foxcatcher

Honorable mention: the Tilda Swinton Trilogy of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Only Lovers Left Alive, and Snowpiercer

Continue reading “[2014 Film Roundup]”

[2013 Film Roundup]

I resolved to see fewer movies this year. It worked, though getting laid off & thus not being able to afford them was probably not the best way to go about it.

Total: 235 (full list here)
…plus 7 other (NT Live, etc)
Revival: 78 (!!!)
SIFF: 61 (+screeners)
Other festivals: Noir City (12), SLGFF (6).
Free: previews (21), SIFF volunteer (102)

Favorite: Upstream Color forever and ever amen

…followed closely by: Her, Before Midnight, Frances Ha.

Also: 12 Years a Slave, Short Term 12, Blancanieves, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep, Prince Avalanche, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Gravity, Fruitvale Station, Spring Breakers, Stoker, Byzantium, Inside Llewyn Davis, Enough Said.

Best popcorn movies: This Is the End, The World’s End, The Heat, Catching Fire, The Kings of Summer, The Way Way Back, The Conjuring, Pain & Gain.

Best documentaries: The Act of Killing, Big Joy, Stories We Tell, Planet of Snail (which I think was actually last year, but whatever, I saw it in 2013 & this is my blog).

Best music documentaries: The Punk Singer, A Band Called Death, 20 Feet From Stardom.

Favorite queer films: Concussion, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Beyond the Hills.

Under the radar stuff worth checking out: In a World…, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Le Skylab, Gimme the Loot, The Angels’ Share, Flicker, The Rocket.

Strong argument for more lady film critics: Austenland.

Notable performances in flawed films: Amy Acker’s fierce Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Jake Gyllenhaal’s restrained detective in Prisoners, Adèle Exarchopoulos’s wide open self discovery in Blue Is the Warmest Color (to call this film flawed is generous; I actively hated it), & Leonardo DiCaprio as the heart of The Great Gatsby.

Best revival experiences: Woody Allen & James Bond at Grand Illusion, Noir City as always, Auntie Mame as always, The Godfather Pt 2, Safety Last, M, & Cabaret (for obvious reasons, but also because of the guy sitting behind me who had no idea what he was getting into).

I spent the second half of the year watching television, so let’s do an honorable mention for some tv full of awesome ladies: Orphan Black (so good I’ve already watched it three times), Orange Is the New Black, Bletchley Circle, Bomb Girls & Call the Midwife (both of which I just discovered this year), Top of the Lake, & The Good Wife (which has been doing fantastic character work for four years, paying off big time in this fifth season).

Extra honorable mention: The Night of the Doctor, part of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, for beautifully bringing back *my* Doctor.

Have yet to see: All Is Lost, August: Osage County, The Broken Circle Breakdown, Go For Sisters, The Great Beauty, Nebraska, Wadjda, probably more I’m forgetting.

What did I miss? What titles would you like me to talk a little more about?

[2012 Film Roundup]

Total: 320 (full list here)
…plus 11 other (TV dinners, NT Live, etc)
Revival: 110
SIFF pass: 147*
SIFF: 68
Other festivals: MIFFF (3), Noir City (13), SLGFF (6).
Free: 32

Now, the good stuff this year in film, by my totally arbitrary & inconsistent categories:

Favorite films: HOLY MOTORS (ask anyone; I cannot stop talking about this movie), ANNA KARENINA, THE MASTER.

Favorite films you’ve possibly never heard of: Girl Walk // All Day, The Imposter, Yossi, Sound of My Voice.

Worthy of their buzz: Any Day Now, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Margaret, Moonrise Kingdom, Robot & Frank, The Sessions, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Safety Not Guaranteed.

Under the radar: Natural Selection, Sister, The Hunter, Burning Man.

Optimistic movies that made me happy: Liberal Arts, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, Rent-a-Cat, Goon.

Best queer movies: Any Day Now, Cloudburst, Yossi, Keep the Lights On.

Best local films: Your Sister’s Sister, Eden, Fat Kid Rules the World.

Best teen films: Fat Kid Rules the World, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Best popcorn movies: Cabin in the Woods, John Carter, The Bourne Legacy.

SIFF Favorites: Future Weather, Dragon, King Curling, Starbuck, Rent-a-Cat, Nosilatiaj.Beauty, Chapiteau-show, Rebellion, Easton’s Article, Diaz: Don’t Clean Up This Blood, Teddy Bear.

Best animated movie: Life of Pi 3D, The Avengers.

Best animated movie (for real): Tatsumi, Wrinkles.

Best horror movie: Ruby Sparks, The Innkeepers.

Best (depressing) romance: Take this Waltz, Friends with Kids.

Best documentaries: Pina, Samsara, Side by Side, Caesar Must Die, Dreams of a Life, Indie Game: the Movie, The Other Dream Team.

Best documentaries about famous & infamous people: Bill Cunningham: New York, Harry Belafonte: Sing Your Song, Under African Skies, The Queen of Versailles, The Source.

Ten favorite revival experiences: The Great Gatsby & Three Strangers at Noir City, Mean Girls vs Fight Club, Scarface shootalong, Children of Paradise 4K restoration, Badlands on 35mm, Castles in the Sky: Studio Ghibli series on 35mm, Grand Illusion on 35mm, Bonjour Tristesse 4K restoration, “Trapped in the Closet” singalong, Auntie Mame (AS ALWAYS).

Hey-it’s-that-guy of the year: Matt O’Leary (Natural Selection, Eden, & Fat Kid Rules the World).

Things I missed because there’s only so much time: Five Broken Cameras, Compliance, Brooklyn Castle, Chicken with Plums, and many many more.

Things I have yet to see on account of not living in NY or LA: Amour, Rust & Bone, Zero Dark Thirty.

Thing I have yet to see because it feels like homework: Lincoln.

Thing I have yet to see because it just came out last week: Django Unchained.


So, that’s that! A pretty full year of film, and yet, I know I missed a bunch. What did you love? What did you hate? Do you want me to talk more about anything? Are you shocked at anything I haven’t seen? Because personally I’m still pretty shocked I haven’t seen Pitch Perfect yet.


* The SIFF Cinema pass is such a fantastic deal. It worked out to about a buck fifty a film, & I definitely took more risks & expanded my viewing by having it.

[2011 Film Roundup]

2011 by the numbers:

Total: 227 [full list here]
Festival: Noir [13], SJFF [2], SIFF [50], MIFFF [6], SLGFF [10].
Shorts packages: 9
Free: 56, plus festival volunteering
Revival: 68

By my arbitrary categories:

Best beloved: Trigger (about which I cannot be rational)

Other favorites: Win Win, Bridesmaids, Hanna, Midnight in Paris

Also worth seeing: The Artist, Melancholia, Drive, Amigo, Martha Marcy May Marlene, 50/50, Le Havre, The Descendants, J Edgar, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Margin Call

Best genre (scifi/fantasy): Attack the Block, Perfect Sense, Super 8, Absentia

Film that put a smile on my face for a solid week, and left me with a nearly-unmanageable crush on Jason Segel: The Muppets

Best Michael Fassbender film: Jane Eyre

Best Jessica Chastain film: The Tree of Life

Best superhero movie: Captain America

Best queer film: 3, Mary Lou, Vito, A(Sexual)

Best documentaries: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Project Nim, The Black Power Mix Tape, Being Elmo, A(Sexual), Into the Abyss, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Best of SIFF: Submarine, Tyrannosaur, Beginners, Small Town Murder Songs, Saigon Electric, Boy, Detention, The King of Devil’s Island

Best movies you probably didn’t hear about, but are worth a look: Nora’s Will, Henry’s Crime, Cedar Rapids

Best revival: Too many to name

Movies I’m really glad I saw alone: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Almost Famous (director’s cut), Biutiful, You Are Here, Playtime, Resurrect Dead

Most surprising movie I saw twice: Galaxy Quest

Least surprising movie I saw twice: In the Mood for Love

Are these the best films of 2011? Who knows. They are the films I am most likely to hunt you down and make you watch.

Terrible movies with no redeeming qualities: Sherlock Holmes 2 (longest movie *ever*), No Strings Attached, The Rite, Jamie & Jessie Are Not Together, The Scandalous Four, Anonymous, The Darkest Hour

Terrible movies with redeeming qualities: Priest (Maggie Q!), Breaking Dawn Part One(though objectively it is definitely the worst movie I saw all year, even worse than those bad gay movies), Real Steel (Robot dancing!), In Time (with amazing time related puns and Justin Timberlake trying SO HARD to act).

Movies that aren’t out here yet: Maggie: Destroyer of Social Services, Albert Nobbs, Pariah, In the Land of Blood and Honey, A Separation, Carnage, Coriolanus, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Pina, Tomboy

Movies that I missed because I suck: Mainly just The Ides of March & Moneyball.

So… what else did I miss? What did you think was awesome? What did you think sucked, so we can all avoid it?