02 Jan

Film and Lit 2009

As with last year, I kept a list of cinema visits for the year.

Films (at the cinema, in seen order):

  1. The Spirit
  2. New Shorts: Funny Shit
  3. Zack and Miri Make a Porno
  4. Slumdog Millionaire
  5. Frost/Nixon
  6. Better Things
  7. Revolutionary Road
  8. Hansel and Gretel
  9. Los Cronocrímenes (Timecrimes)
  10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  11. Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys)
  12. Role Models
  13. Tokyo Sonata
  14. Gran Torino
  15. Surveillance
  16. Franklyn
  17. Flame & Citron
  18. Watchmen
  19. The International
  20. Bronson
  21. In The City of Sylvia
  22. The Boat That Rocked
  23. Two Lovers
  24. Cherry Blossoms
  25. Martyrs
  26. Let The Right One In
  27. Monsters Vs Aliens
  28. Knowing
  29. In The Loop
  30. Star Trek
  31. The Grocer’s Son
  32. London Sci-Fi Film festival Blink of An Eye Shorts Programme 1
  33. Kurôn wa kokyô wo mezasu
  34. Eyeborgs
  35. The City of Lost Children (with Marc Caro)
  36. London Sci-Fi Film festival Blink of An Eye Long Shorts/Short Longs
  37. London Sci-Fi Film festival Blink of An Eye Shorts Programme 2
  38. Synecdoche, New York
  39. Coraline
  40. Observe and Report
  41. Drag Me To Hell
  42. Terminator Salvation
  43. Brüno
  44. Public Enemies
  45. Sunshine Cleaning
  46. Moon
  47. Inglorious Basterds
  48. The Hurt Locker
  49. Jetsam
  50. District 9
  51. Away We Go
  52. Antichrist
  53. Surrogates
  54. Up
  55. Adventureland
  56. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  57. Fantastic Mr Fox
  58. 9
  59. An Education
  60. The Men Who Stare At Goats
  61. Cold Souls
  62. Coco Avant Chanel
  63. A Serious Man
  64. Paranormal Activity
  65. Where The Wild Things Are
  66. Avatar
  67. Sherlock Holmes
  68. Thirst
  69. Fish Tank
  70. Unmade Beds

Bonus

Frances in her Sonic Tonic t-shirt on flickrKnowing about films can win you prizes! At least, it did for me. The Sonic Tonic had a halloween special podcast, which included snippets from horror flicks in between tracks. Whoever could identify the most won a t-shirt. I got all of them but one. Go me! As promised to the ST guys, here‘s my best myspace-esque photo of my winnings. Props to Paul Cripps for the tip-off and to my mum for always letting me stay up past my bedtime to watch scary films.

This year, I also recorded all the films I saw via oo5, which is Mike Stenhouse’s twitter app for ratings stuff, so all of the films above have a score out of 5.

Best

The start of the year had some really amazing films such as Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire and Gran Torino. Let The Right One In, which I was hugely anticipating and felt rewarded for doing so, was brilliant, and Away We Go, A Serious Man and happily quite few others kept the year going with some real treats. However, my two favourites this year were sci-fis. The first is an obvious instant classic; Moon. It’s 70’s-esque styling and Sam Rockwell’s staggering performance put it up there with 2001, in my mind.

My other favourite, that I rated fairly averagely initially, is Timecrimes. It’s a Spanish language film about time-travel, but it’s not your usual showy film about changing the past and getting into a mess by accidentally shooting your aunt or butterfly or something, but a more subtle, accidental story that still has all the clever complexities you’d expect for the genre. I don’t want to ruin it, but it’s just such a neat film made on a tiny budget. It’s shot beautifully and the surprises last right up until the end. I really can’t recommend it enough.

Worst

Well, there were quite a few. Some failed because I’d built them up and expected a lot more, such as Hansel and Gretel, Franklyn and Martyrs. Others were just plain stinkers, such as Surrogates, Unmade Beds, Knowing and The Boat That Rocked (the last much more astutely criticised by Patrick over on Talking Animal).

Paranormal Activity took the biscuit for me, though. I’d fallen into the hype trap and seen the trailers and the chatter about it (on twitter, of all places to take seriously) and actually thought that it could be the new Blair Witch. How stupid of me. I’m astounded that anyone thinks that film is good. It’s 81 minutes of a hell-of-a-lot of nothing – mostly a couple of pretty terrible actors whimpering and arguing with each other and unconvincingly never leaving their house to, you know, go to school or have jobs, but film every dull moment of their lives up until the final 5 minutes where there’s a bit of genuine, well almost, thrill. As with the massively underwhelming Google Wave, it’s the hype-machine success of the year that leaves you muttering “…is that it?”.

Books

I somewhat failed at reading this year. I’m blaming my commute going from around 40 minutes spent on a tube to get to work to about 10 minutes. It’s barely enough time to read your email and scowl at a few commuters, let alone open a book and really get into it. I did read The Outsider, The Road to Serfdom, the new Scott Pilgrim (which I rather nerdily now keep in it’s plastic wrapper due to having a limited edition signed inlay plate), Let The Right One In and a couple more K. Dicks. I didn’t really think to record what I read, so there is probably others. Must try harder this year.

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