Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolutions?? Feh!!

So remember how on January 3rd of 2009 I, among numerous other film bloggers, put together a list of film-related New Year's resolutions? And how I was supposed to do, or complete, or not do, as the situation warranted, all of them before all the calendars of the world flipped over to 2010? I wonder how that turned out! Did I, in fact, stick to each and every one of my resolutions? Did I, indeed, stick to any of them? Perhaps now would be a good time to run through that list, one resolution at a time, and find out was has transpired over the past almost whole year...

Resolution #1 - I will watch both Satantango and Our Hitler this year.

Now, did I watch Bela Tarr's 33 hour, or whatever, long masterpiece? I did not. BUT! Did I watch Hans-Jurgen Syberberg's surrealist, psychadelic and kaleidoscopic phantasmagoria of German fascist history?? Also no. For all I know, Our Hitler is the furthest thing from psychadelic, surrealist, or the rest of it. I didn't watch any of it. I never even got disc one from Netflix. Disc one of either film. I didn't even try this one. I thought about it once or twice. I'd think, "Shit, it's only September. I got about four months to watch roughly a day's worth of movies. I got this one. In the bag!" More fool me. We're off to a bad start.

Resolution #2 - I will see more films in the theater this year.

If I only saw three or four movies in the theater in 2008, then yes, I squeaked this one through. Otherwise, I think I matched my record low. This one, frankly, embarrasses me, but I really only go to see films in the theater that I really want to see, and many of those don't hit my town. Plus we have an XBox now, so...

Resolution #3 - I will clean out my DVR.

I did not clean out my DVR. To be honest, this one was never going to happen anyway. The best I could have hoped for was to make a tiny dent in the thing, and that I accomplished, in a sense. I did watch Kenji Mizoguchi's The 47 Ronin, which I consider a major victory. I'd had all four hours of that thing in my DVR for well over a year, and one long weekend I knocked it out. Of course, I filled it back up with other movies, most of which I haven't watched (though some I have, so the tiny dent remains), but the main goal is to watch the oldest stuff. And The 47 Ronin (which, for the record, I liked well enough, but I probably won't be buying the action figures) took up a lot of room, having been aired on IFC or Sundance in two parts. In that same vein, I still have parts one through three of Peter Greenaway's The Tulse Luper Suitcases floating around in the DVR. And if I'm being really honest with myself, like I sit myself down in a chair, spin another chair around backwards so I can fold my arms over the back and look myself straight in the eyes, I'd say to myself, "You are never going to watch all three parts of The Tulse Luper Suitcases. You should just delete them and free up the space. For Christ's sake, have you ever seen a Peter Greenaway movie?? Why don't you just put a gun in your mouth now!?"

So that's if I was honest with myself. But they're not available on DVD!! This is the only way I can ever see them! And what if they're really good and don't give me a giant motherfucking headache!? Because, you see, I'm of two minds about this.

Resolution #4 - I will watch more of the films I bought on DVD sight unseen.

I haven't done so badly with this one, actually. Of the examples I offered in the original resolutions post, I have watched Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, The Grissom Gang, Lisa and the Devil, Songs from the Second Floor, Army of Shadows and part one of the Pusher trilogy. I've also watched any number of second-rate horror films, and Performance (I'd rather watch the second-rate horror films again, by the way), Combat Shock, and a host of others. And all I resolved to do was "watch more" of them. So, yeah! Check this one off, bitches.

Resolution #5 - I will educate myself on the films of Max Ophuls.

Eh. Sort of, but not really. I finally saw The Earrings of Madame de..., and it was, as you probably know, brilliant. But that's as far as I've gone with this one. If anyone wants to give me advice regarding which Ophuls to check out next, drop a comment, and I shall heed it.

Resolution #6 - I will continue to give chances to Godard and Antonioni.

Godard, yes. Antonioni, no. And I still don't like Godard, other than Band of Outsiders and bits of Breathless, but that didn't stop me from picking up the Criterion of Pierrot le Fou, and I also have First Name: Carmen and Passion sitting in a white sleeve with "Netflix" on it lying around here somewhere. I bet I'll get around to it. Antonioni can just cool it for now. My interests lie elsewhere right now.

Resolution #7 - I will choose one month during which the only films I watch will be film noir.

This one was just stupid. I was never going to do this. I was flailing around, trying to come up with resolutions. I've watched a giant bagful of film noirs (films noir? Crime films?) this year -- The Sniper, The Lineup, The Big Steal, Crime Wave, Decoy, Mystery Street, The Racket, and so on -- so why put the pressure on myself to cram it all into one month? You're being a jackass, Bill. Quit being such a jackass.

Resolution #8 - I will invent a film-related meme.

Nope. I didn't even come close to this. Although it occurs to me that film-blog-type memes, after what appeared to be a never-ending flurry of them in late 2008, into early 2009, just sort of stopped. I guess everybody got fed up with them, and were getting annoyed because somebody tagged them, and then they felt obligated to take part, and who wants to write about dancers anyway?? So skipping this one was probably for the best.

Resolution #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...

Now that one I did.


Okay, well, clearly, that was a roaring success. I'm very proud of myself, and of all of you. Fresh content for the new year is fast approaching, so be on the lookout for whatever that turns out to be.

*Number nine....number nine...number nine...


Greg said...

My resolutions?

First I'll buy some beads
And then perhaps a leather band
To go around my head
Some feathers and bells
And a book of Indian lore
I will ask the Chamber Of Commerce
How to get to Height Street
And smoke an awful lot of dope

Also, the memes: Facebook killed 'em. Now they're on FB in the notes. I've been tagged about forty times more since joining FB than I ever was on Blogspot. Think how many more memes you've probably responded to on FB already - 15 films that stick with you, Last 15 films you watched, 15 Actors you can't live without, etc. My only question is why are all FB memes centered around the number 15? I can see 10 of course, or 20 or 25, but 15? Who the fuck came up with that?

Kevin J. Olson said...

Oh man can I relate to the DVR thing. I think I've had Synecdoche, New York on the DVR for 6 months. Anything in HD that sounds interesting I record, because really what's the worst that can happen? If I don't like it or don't feel like watching it anymore I can just delete it...only I never freaking delete things off my DVR. I still have episodes of "Deadwood" and "John From Cincinnati" on there.

bill r. said...

Greg - But you and I were pretty late to Facebook. I have to think that when the memes were flying fast and furious on the actual blogs, that a lot of those bloggers were already on Facebook. Our presence there couldn't have changed things that much.

Also, I've been tagged on FB maybe three times. Thanks for making me feel like such a loser.

Kevin - It's madness, isn't it? It's the same mindset that keeps us (or maybe just me) from watching movies I buy -- I have the movie, so I can watch it whenever, right? But you have a finite amount of room on DVR, and most of mine is taken up with movies that have been on there for a couple of years. I've had Malle's BLACK MOON on there for-frickin'-ever.

Rick Olson said...

My DVR has had an Antonioni on it for about five years now. If you had MY DVR you could have kept that resolution long ago.

Did I watch it? No ... Antonioni is like watching paint dry. Or so I imagine, given I've never watched paint dry.

But, Tarr I like ... go figure.

And Greg, the dope thing is looking better and better every day ...

bill r. said...

Five years??? Rick, I tip my hat to you, sir.

Anonymous said...

I don't even have a DVR. I also don't have cable, so that makes some sense. I'd gladly pay 10 bucks a month just for TCM but I have to wait until they figure out how to make that business model work. Until then I'm not paying 50 bucks a month for TCM and 78 channels I could give a crap about.

Ophuls- LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN and RECKLESS MOMENT are both worth one's time. Neither is EARRINGS OF MADAME DE... but so few things are. RECKLESS MOMENT got remade a little while back as THE DEEP END. I pretty much hated it in that incarnation but rather enjoy the original. It was also the first film I saw that presented James Mason as a relatively young badass, rather than a middle age Brit on the scene to provide an accent and some class.

Tony Dayoub said...

Haven't seen it myself, but one Ophuls that comes highly recommended is Lola Mont├Ęs. TCM is showing it on January 45th, at 2:45am. And Criterion is releasing it in February.

No less than Andrew Sarris has called it "the greatest film of all time," so it's got me intrigued.

bill r. said...

otherbill - THE DEEP END as in that Tilda Swinton movie? I didn't know that was a remake. And, I didn't like it, either, but I'm intrigued to learn that Ophuls got there first. I'll have to check that out.

Tony - Yes, LOLA MONTES is on my radar, since the Criterion announcement, especially since an earlier DVD got bounced from Netflix not so long ago. I think that I might hit LA RONDE next, though. I don't know why. Because I liked the Criterion packaging, is probably the reason.