The Official List of 2013 New Year’s Movie Resolutions

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I know I’m jumping the gun since Christmas is still a few days away and New Year’s isn’t for almost two weeks, but it’s been on my mind so much lately that it just seemed right to put it all down. I had so much fun last year going after my 2012 resolutions that I’ve decided to double down and create a list of resolutions for 2013. 

Watch Martin Scorsese’s Documentaries
If you love movies, it’s impossible not to appreciate Scorsese. His feature-length films have been a security blanket for most of my life, and he’s one of my very favorite directors. And yet, I haven’t seen many of his documentaries. I might have seen half. In 2013, I’m going to check all of the rest of them off, starting with My Voyage to Italy (1999).

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I’ll be meeting Meet Me In St. Louis… in St. Louis.

AFI’s 100 Years of Musicals
The list itself is nice and brief- just 25 films. I’ve seen six so far, meaning I have 19 more to go. This is either going to be the biggest chore or the biggest revelation of 2013. But it’s only right to give these a try.

Watch every film on the BFI Greatest Films Ballots for Edgar Wright, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Coppola, Gaspar Noé, and Lukas Moodysson
Phil, a long-time reader and commenter, came up with the idea of going after the Sight and Sound lists. When surveying the director’s ballots earlier this year, I realized that I hadn’t seen a lot of my favorite directors’ favorite movies. That list of directors I’ve mentioned is a great cross-sampling of either lists from my favorite directors, directors with challenging and new (to me) top 10s, or both. Those directors are my launching point.

Finish the AFI Top 100
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I watched the overwhelming majority of the AFI Top 100. I stopped around 80 films. A few more have been spackled in here and there, but there are still 12 more to go at this point. It should be an easy task and it’s long overdue.

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Three Satyajit Ray films… or basically just “The Apu Trilogy”.

At Least Three films Each from Pédro Almodovar, Yasujiru Ozu, Satyajit Ray, and Busby Berkeley
Consider this the “familiarize yourself with great directors” category. All four of those directors have been on my radar for a long time but my exposure has been very limited. I’ve seen five, total, from that quartet. 2013 is the year I tackle more of their catalogues.

… and At Least Ten Non-Satyajit Ray Films from India
Michael at Le Mot du Cinephiliaque gave me this idea. I talk a lot about French films and Czech films, I’ve seen plenty from Italy and Germany, and I have a decent handle on Japan. But my exposure to Indian cinema is next to zero. Ten Indian films should be a nice starting place to at least familiarize myself with what they have to offer.

Ten Classic or Non-New Release Films in the Theater
This resolution was so much damned fun in 2012 that it’s worth bringing back, but with a much smaller goal. The Classic French Film Festival alone, in July, will enable me to wipe out the whole list if I choose.

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Does the android you’re looking for dream of electric hoops? Yes indeed.

The AV Club 50 Best Films of the 90s
Frankly, when Eric at The Warning Sign recommended the AV Club’s New Cult Canon, I thought it was a great idea. And then I found out that I still had 74 more to go, which means it would almost have to be my ONLY resolution. So instead I picked an easier one- the AV Club’s 50 Best Films of the 90s. It can’t all be about challenging myself, and this seems as light and easy as possible. I only have 14 more to go to complete this list.

At Least Five Ray Harryhausen Films
For those of you that don’t know, Ray Harryhausen was a legendary special effects guy in Hollywood. He’s one of the ultimate unsung heroes of movie history. And I’ve only seen one movie he ever worked on. By this time next year, I want five more added to that list.

That’s it. I briefly toyed with the idea of going after iCheckMovies’ list of the top 500 horror films but came to my senses really quickly. I have over 200 to go. That resolution would eat up my entire year, and it wouldn’t be a particularly well-rounded year. There are more resolutions this year compared to last year, but they’re smaller and more bite-sized. It washes out around 125 to 150 films, depending on how much I’m missing from those Sight and Sound ballots. I have a good feeling that all of these will be completed. Wish me luck.


34 Comments

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34 responses to “The Official List of 2013 New Year’s Movie Resolutions

  1. Great resolutions. Time to look which ones I’ve completed of those I set at the beginning of the year….

  2. Great resolutions. French Film Festival, aren’t you bloody lucky!

    Can I just say, as a HUGE Yasujiro Ozu fan, make sure the three you watch are The Only Son, Tokyo Story and An Autumn Afternoon. Or if you can’t find one of them, use Late Spring. Those are his greatest.

    Anyway, cheers to 2013!

    • I’ve done Late Spring, and Good Morning. I’ll definitely do Tokyo Story and Autumn Afternoon.

      Are there two versions of Tokyo Story? It seems like he has a film that has a silent version, and then he remade it later. Or am I imagining that?

      • No, you’re not. He actually remade a lot of his films, and often. Good Morning was a remake, I believe, of I Was Born, But…, which is one of his greatest silents. His excellent film Floating Weeds is a rather obvious remake of his early silent film A Story of Floating Weeds.

  3. insiderhedge

    Reblogged this on Parrot Reviews.

  4. Great resolutions John! I’m glad I inspired you for one of yours! Ray’s films are nice, especially the Apu trilogy, but some aren’t my cup of tea. It is interesting to read about Ray. The Apu trilogy is very autobiographical and it is a true work of Cinema.

    • I watched The Chess Players six or seven years ago, not even realizing it was Ray. I didn’t care much for it then but my tastes have changed so much since then.

  5. Big plans for the new year!

    Out of interest, which Tarantino films have you not seen?

    • I’ve seen everything he’s directed. From his list on the BFI Sight and Sound poll, I still need to do Rolling Thunder, Sorcerer, and Pretty Maids All in a Row. I should probably also give Dazed and Confused a good look since I haven’t seen it in almost 20 years.

  6. I want to see more from Satyajit Ray next year as well. I discovered him through one of my courses this year (We watched the beautiful ‘Ashani Sanket’) and it really made me want to seek out more of his stuff.

  7. Vladdy

    Remember that Berkeley was primarily a choreographer, so if you want to see his really famous stuff, it’s mostly in films other people directed, like 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames, etc. By the time he was directing Mickey and Judy, the iconic geometric shapes and objectification of women had already passed out of his bag of tricks. The Busby Berkeley Collection box set is the perfect place to start; it even compiles the big numbers from the movies too crappy to release on dvd on the extra disc. Incidentally, with the possible exception of 42nd Street, these films are not good. It’s for the musical numbers you watch them, for Ginger Rogers singing in pig latin, women posed as harps and creepy midgets in diapers. As your resident musicals-loving commenter, I can’t wait to read your reactions.

    • That’s awesome info. Thanks, Vladdy.

      And of course, creepy midgets in diapers mean that I’m much more excited about that resolution.

      Those “Gold Digger” movies crack me up because they leave no doubt about when they were made. I haven’t seen any of them but I think it’s hilarious that they threw the years into the titles. Plus, I think at least one of them stars Joan Blondell. Mmm…. Joan Blondell.

  8. Phil

    All great ideas. I really like the favorite directors’ favorite films idea. I did a Harryhausen marathon a couple of years ago, and some (most) of the early films are really bad with 60 seconds of Harryhausen work. You can get more enjoyment by just watching the trailers.

    • Hmmm… now I’m already questioning the Harryhausen thing and it’s not even 2013 yet.

      • Phil

        I want to change my comment… I just looked at Harryhausen’s filmography and I would say skip the pre-Sinbad movies except Mighty Joe Young – but there’s only a couple. The rest can be cheesy, but they have their charms. I watched them all, except for Gullivers World. That may have been too many.

  9. Aleksa

    Somehow I’ve only seen 22 of that top 50. I might have to get on that.

  10. SDG

    I really love that there are more people watching Indian movies. You’ll have to choose wisely though. If you watch the right 10 movies, I think there is a good chance you will return for the 11th. Anyways, I am happy you are doing it. Hopefully you will also like Apu Trilogy. I have Tokyo Story in my Blind Spot list this year. I would love to see more Ozu after that as well.

    • I think I’m going to HAVE to do some Bollywood in the mix just to get a true feel for Indian cinema, but that’s probably what would turn me off. At least, from what I know of Bollywood.

      I’ve seen a few Ozu films, and loved the tar out of Good Morning.

  11. nimorphi

    I have been trying to get through the AV club new cult canon for awhile. I’ve made it about half way through. it gave me some of my favorite movies. without it I would of never scene morvern callar or the visually draw-dropping (but politically laughable) Soy Cuba.
    For Almodovar films I would start with Talk to her, volver and the skin I live in.

  12. markuswelby1

    I feel prioritizing Harryhausen should be the most important resolution.

  13. Glad to be an inspiration for one of your resolutions! I might have to do that Best of the 90s list, too. Looks like I still have 23 to see from that…

    Also really like your BFI goal. Some of those lists were awfully intriguing. Didn’t Tarantino include Bad News Bears, too? So random.

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