Friday, January 02, 2004

The New Year's Ritual

My 2003 Best of lists are in progress. Weeding down the contending films to a Top Ten is going to be exceptionally difficult this year. Popular opinion may hold that it was a weak year--isn't that the supposed consensus every year?--but I may have highly rated more films in 2003 than in any year since I've been a critic. I know that my tendency is to be more lenient, especially when I really like something, but a quick comparison to 2001 finds this just concluded year to be much better.

It won't get any easier as there are still a number of films I haven't seen yet. THE COMPANY, ELEPHANT, THE FOG OF WAR, MONSTER, and THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE haven't played locally, and BLUE CAR, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT, and STEVIE, among others, never did make it. Plus, I'd like to see some films again to get a better grasp on how I think they compare. Regardless, I'll post a preliminary Top Ten soon.

I got a kick out of watching SO CLOSE last night. I enjoyed the CHARLIE'S ANGELS movies, as unpopular of an opinion as that is outside of a couple circles. This sort of similar Hong Kong pic is much better directed. Not enough time for me to write about it at the moment, but rest assured that I'll put my thoughts down in the next day or two. The DVD looks great. It's a bare bones disc but definitely worth a look for HK fans.

Today's order of business is New Year's resolutions as they pertain to the cinema. Both pledges could be carried over from one year to the next. A new year provides a new starting point, so it's good to remind myself of what I want to accomplish, even if they aren't new ideas.

1. Become more familiar with classic and international films.

The films in the cinematic canon that I haven't seen could easily dominate my time. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know, right? Netflix will be an immense help in this endeavor. I considered setting a percentage of The Criterion Collection that I want to see, but that's too limiting.

2. Write more.

A savvy observer would see that at DVDMon I write like gangbusters in January and then tail off big time. Part of it has to do with fewer films opening, which makes it easier to keep close the ratio of films seen to reviews written. I hope to correct that drop-off this year.

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