It all started at the end of 2011, when I saw An American Werewolf in London (1981) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) on the big screen. It ignited the idea that I should see as many classic films as possible on the big screen in 2012. To sweeten the pot, I added multiple other resolutions, and tackled them with fervor in 2012. With only two weeks left in the year, it’s time to wrap everything up, see how far I’ve come, and start looking ahead to 2013.
American Classics (including films directed by Otto Preminger and Ernst Lubitsch)
Of all the resolutions I made, this is the one where I failed the most. Or at least, I failed the most in the second half of the resolution. I squeezed in seven Preminger films and four Lubitsch films. Those aren’t bad tallies, except both directors have expansive catalogues. I barely scratched the surface. As for watching more American classics, I did reasonably well, thanks mostly to another resolution.
Wrapping up Steven Spielberg’s Films
This was one of the easier resolutions because Spielberg’s films are accessible and easy to find, and I didn’t have far to go to finish everything off. I finished this resolution off by the end of July, and then saw Lincoln in December to stay current.
Watching more classic or non-new release films at theatres
More work went into this resolution than any other simply because I had to dig to find these films showing in theaters, and then choose the ones I wanted to watch most. The goal was at least 15, with a pie-in-the sky goal of 25. The good news is that I was done by early September. I watched my 25th classic or non-new release film on the big screen around Labor Day. The bad news is that it was the last time I saw a classic film on the big screen this year. I had a chance to blow my goal out of the water, and instead settled for the bare minimum. All the same, I’m pleased with how it played out.
Attack the AFI 100 Years, 100 Laughs list
I was stuck on 98 in May, and then stuck on 99 since early September… until today, when I FINALLY found a copy of The Heartbreak Kid (1972). Mission accomplished. The best part about this resolution was how much I enjoyed so many of these films, films that I wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise. And as I mentioned earlier, the overwhelming majority of American classics that I had promised to watch in the first resolution came from this list. Comedy is a lovable genre and if you want to know more about it, you’d do well to check out the 100 Laughs list.
Challenge myself more
There were some brief forays outside of my comfort zone, with a good 15 to 20 films I wouldn’t have dreamed of watching without this resolution. The results were hit-or-miss but I’m glad I watched what I did. Auntie Mame and Phantom of the Paradise were the champions of the resolution. To be blatantly honest, I feel like I failed on this resolution to at least some degree. 15 to 20 is a nice number but there could have been so many more.
Overall Grade for the Project: B+
CALL FOR RECOMMENDATIONS: And that brings me to 2013. Laying out these resolutions for 2012 was tremendously helpful because it allowed me to stay focused during parts of the year when I otherwise would have been rudderless. That means I’ll be doing it again next year. I have a few rock-solid resolutions in place but I want more than I currently have in my head. So I ask you, gentle readers, do you have any recommendations? I’m looking for lists, genres, theater goals, specific films or directors… I can’t promise anything but I’ll gladly listen to what you have to say.