Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolution Meme

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 a... or no! I'll write a book 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 -- 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.


Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch, Bill. And I notice you've taken all the good ones, too. Like cleaning out the DVR, periodically my long-suffering wife clicks through it nostalgically and says "have you watched it yet?"

Or seeing more theater films. God, I gotta do that too. And I love "reality" shows, the cooking contests as well as others.

Just for taking all the good stuff, I'm gonna hold you to your resolution to watch Satantango.

This is going to be hard.

bill r. said...

Yeah, sorry about that Rick. There really can't be all that many film-related resolutions to choose from, can there? I hadn't really considered that when I tagged you.

Oh, I could resolve to watch The Last Starfighter. Because it's high time you did so, my friend!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Yeesh. I thought the last one was tough. Rick, I think that if Bill comes up with a good idea we ought not to think about it as plagiarism but instead solidarity as we pilfer it as use it as our own.

Okay, I'll give this a go. But someone has to promise to sweep up the smoking ashes if I implode before it's finished...

Marilyn said...

Oh boy. Another meme. We'll see if I get around to this one.

I'll advise you about one thing - you can delete all the Coffin Joe films without a guilty conscience. I've only seen one that I thought was watchable, Awakening of the Beast, and that is after several attempts at his other "notable" efforts.

bill r. said...

Sorry for tagging you guys, but you're the only people I know.

Marilyn, I've heard some good things about Coffin Joe, so I feel obliged to give them a whirl at some point. My expectations have been suitably lowered.

Fox said...

Hi Everybody-

This is Bill R. using Fox's account (it's a long story, just believe that it's me, ok?).

Anyway, I accidentally left a resolution off the list:

*Watch Diary of the Dead again and like it.

Adam Ross said...

Thanks for honoring your tag, and not forcing me to get anyone from Downtown involved.

Some thoughts: I'm interested in what you think of "Lisa and the Devil," some of Bava's best visuals, but it's alternately frustrating and intriguing. Good luck with your book, do you have a title yet?

Another suggestion for Rick, two words: shot-by-shot remake.

John Self said...

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."

Here's the thing: you can sit through them without actually paying attention, you know. You could be thinking about what to tell your wife to make for tomorrow night's dinner, say. Technically, that's much easier than reading Ulysses, where you do have to look at all the words one after another, even if you don't bother taking them in (and it might not make much difference if you did).

Nobody will ever know. Just say you've done it, and close the comments on that post. It's like the Simpsons episode where Miss Krabappel says, "Bart, did you read your homework assignment?" and Bart replies, "Provided you have no supplementary questions: yes."

bill r. said...

This is Bill again, no longer signing in under Fox's name, and I've followed through on my Diary of the Dead resolution. I just watched it, but I still hate it. I guess I've failed. :(

Adam - I've actually seen very few Bava films, but Lisa and the Devil is simply one of the ones featured in those box sets I most want to see. I'll let you know what I think.

Oh, and the title of my book is going to and the Watching of Them: An Introspective Contemplation on Movies and Also of Society and Politics and So Forth.

John: Why, that would be dishonest! I cannot in good conscience lie to my readers. This blog is sacred to me. It is an extension of my being, and to engage in such dishonesty would blacken my soul.

(Pssst! John, that's a great idea, and it's exactly what I'm going to do! Thanks for the tip! These suckers won't know what hit them!)

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Great list!

You can totally do #8. I believe it.

Marilyn said...

You could be thinking about what to tell your wife to make for tomorrow night's dinner, say.

Welcome back from the 1950s, John!

Greg said...

Sorry for tagging you guys, but you're the only people I know.

Oh, so I guess you don't know me? Well up yours pal! Up yours!

bill r. said...

Oh, hello. And who might you be?

Ed Howard said...

Thanks for the tag, though it might be a bit before I get to it. I'm afraid my resolutions would probably be pretty similar to yours, though, since I'd have both Satantango and the theater thing in there, for sure.

I'll be able to fulfill the blog-a-thon resolution next week, though! Maybe I should cheat by putting that on my list just so I can immediately cross it off.

Greg said...

Oh yeah! Well... well...

... I've gotta go [Jonathan runs out of room crying, slams door behind him]

Fox said...

I just realized that there was no "Marilyn Mondays" today and it made me sad...

bill r. said...

Sorry, Fox. But hey, did you click on your name in my "Happy New Year" post? If not, do so. That should cheer you up.

Fox said...

HA! No, I didn't even get that when I read that post. But it's blocked here at work... which makes me even more excited to see it tonight!!!!

Greg said...

Don't get too excited. It's a picture of Bill naked.

Jonathan, the untagged one.

bill r. said...

It's blocked? Oops, sorry. I can sorta see why, but not quite.

bill r. said...

Jonathan, you hate being tagged. Plus, look at the grief I'm getting from those I DID tag! And now I'm getting it from you for NOT tagging you! I can't win! I'm closing down my blog! To hell with all of you!

Greg said...

Finally, now you can spend all your time at my blog again. I miss the old days. Remember the old days? We'd hang out at SLIFR for a while then head over to Synchfish for a football fight and then over to Cinema Styles. Yeah, the good old days. Sigh.

Fox, not long until you get to see the naked picture of Bill. Are you excited?