Adam Ross at DVD Panache recently tagged me with a meme of his own invention. What you do is, you come up with nine New Year's Resolutions, all film related, and basically go on record with them, so that if you fail to live up to them you will have not only let yourself down, but, in a sense, the whole world as well.
Adam, wisely, kept his list short and to the point. I shall now attempt to do the same:
1. I will watch both Satantango and Our Hitler this year. Tarr's film is notorious for being 7 1/2 hours long (and for consisting of, what is it? Three shots?), and the slightly more obscure film by Hans-Jurgen Syberberg is just about the same length. Both have been floating around in my consciousness for a long time, and both are now available to rent. For years, I've thought "Man, being able to say you've seen those films is like being able to say you've read Ulysses. The mere act of sitting through them commands respect." Plus also they might be good. Really, I do want to see them for aesthetic pleasure, or whatever it's called, but I'll take respect wherever I can get it.
2. I will see more films in the theater this year. Last year I saw possibly fewer than I have during any other year of my life, and quite a few that I genuinely wanted to catch passed me right by. Laziness played a part, but so did the sheer volume of older films available to me through a wide variety of resources. In order to watch any number of genuine works of cinematic art, I not only don't have to leave the house anymore, but I barely need to even stand up. Well, that's going to have to end this year. Or, at least, happen less.
3. I will clean out my DVR. My wife and I have only had a DVR for a little over a year, but I still have movies sitting in their from 2007. Louis Malle's Black Moon, for instance, and several Coffin Joe films. My problem is that I record them, and then think, "Well, now I have that movie!" The problem is that having a film makes it much easier to not watch it.
4. I will watch more of the films I bought on DVD sight unseen. I didn't used to buy films I'd never seen very often, but last year I raked in a whole pantload of them. The closing of our local Hollywood Video and subsequent selling of their stock at rock bottom prices, and the opening of a pretty good used DVD place near my apartment, as well as various other sales I've stumbled across, have caused me to load up on the following films I still haven't watched: The Professionals; The Grissom Gang; Mississippi Mermaid; White Dog; Fanny and Alexander (theatrical version); Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell; Rampo Noir; Johnny To's Throw Down; Clash by Night; Nightmare Alley; The Bride with White Hair; Kill, Baby...Kill!; Lisa and the Devil; Songs from the Second Floor; Tess; Lust, Caution; Army of Shadows; Nicholas Winding Refn's Pusher Trilogy; and quite frankly, many more. Time to get on those, I think.
5. I will educate myself on the films of Max Ophuls. Pretty self-explanatory.
6. I will continue to give chances to Godard and Antonioni. These are the two big guns that I probably like the least. I think Godard is obnoxious, and Antonioni is dull. I've given Godard a fairer shake than Antonioni, in that I've seen probably twice as many Godard films, but I feel obligated to push forward with both of them, if for no other reason than to become better able to explain why I hate them.
7. I will choose one month during which the only films I watch will be film noir. Okay, not quite "only". If the wife and I feel like throwing on Shaun of the Dead again, then that's what we'll do, damn it. Also, TV. Lost is coming back, and do you guys watch those cooking contest shows, like, what's it, The Next Chef at the Top, or whatever? Those are crazy! One chick didn't know how to make pie crust. I said, "You're a chef! How do you not know how to do that!" Another one didn't like fish. But whatever, anyway, the deal is, any time I want to watch something I haven't seen before, it will be film noir. I'm certainly not ignorant of the genre, but it's a favorite, and there's still so much out there, so I just want to play a little catch up. I just don't know which month to choose. Any ideas?
8. I will invent a film-related meme. You know, like this one. Something with which to annoy my fellow bloggers. Or maybe I'll host a blog-a-thon. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm not doing either of those.
9. I will...um...make a... or no! I'll write a book about...how movies can sometimes...if, you know, if, or I mean unless we watch them with...with, ah, more sophisticated eyes, then we, as a nation -- indeed, as a people -- will...as a people we will...ah...most likely, what will happen is... Fuck it, I can only come up with eight.
I tag Dennis, Ed Howard, Rick, Marilyn and Arbogast.