The following is a response to another tag from Bill over at The Kind of Face You Hate; this time Bill instructs us, via Adam Ross of DVD Panache, to come up with nine cinema-related resolutions for the new year, ones that we could conceivably have a chance at keeping. Here, with one to grow on, is the dark cloud of obligation I have concocted for myself.
1) In the interest of broadening my cinematic horizons (and giving less and less attention to whatever new superhero franchises come wiggling down the Hollywood pipe), I will make better progress on paring down that list of unseen foreign films than I did in 2008. There are some movies on the list now that no longer belong there, but those that remain a mystery to me far outnumber the ones with which I have since become familiar. That really must change.
2) In that same spirit, I will see every movie on this list before the ball drops on 2009 a mere 12 months from now. (I have it within my power to scratch three of them this January alone! Hey, Andrew, are we still on for God’s Angry Man?)
3) I will see more movies in revival theaters and repertory cinemas than I do first-run features in multiplexes.
4) I will relearn to be a more disciplined reader. Right now there are probably 20 books on various shelves in my house that have my bookmarks in them—novels, nonfiction, film criticism, collections of dirty jokes, you name it. Ever since my children were born my ability to find time to sit down for an extended period of time with a good book has significantly dissipated. (Yes, girls, I’m blaming it on you so, when you’re 20-ish and I’m even more broken-down and beaten up than I already am, maybe we can have our own phony-baloney Evan Rachel Wood/Mickey Rourke-style moment of reconciliation. But I will not get an Oscar nomination for it.) However, school will be over soon and the distractions from literature will be again minimized, at least for a while. It will again become possible for me to read a book that doesn’t rely on phrases like “California content standards” or “zone of proximal development” to ground its subject matter. And the first thing I’m going to do is resume, or perhaps even restart, Flicker, the best, most entertaining and entrancing novel I’ve ever stopped reading cold..
5) In the spirit of Bill’s Tarr/Syberberg double-header, I will not only seek out Satantango (which will be my first Bela Tarr movie), I will trade Our Hitler for Berlin Alexanderplatz and then, just to prove that I’m no slice of Eastern Eurotrash, I’ll throw in an all-day marathon of the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy too. After all that, nothing over 92 minutes in 2009! (I’m probably kidding about this last part.)
6) Once again, I will see no movie starring Kate Hudson in 2009, especially if she’s costarring with Matthew McConnaughey and/or wearing bridal gear. I reserve the right to change my mind if she should unexpectedly appear in another bayou-set horror opus opposite the likes of John Hurt and Gena Rowlands
7) I don’t care how goddamn hungry I get-- no more movie theater popcorn! I vow that the only kernels to pass my lips during feature films projected in any public auditorium will be the Orville Redenbacher 94% Fate-Free Smart Pop variety smuggled in courtesy of my none-too-conspicuous backpack (unless I’m at the New Beverly, where the popcorn is not only good, but it supports something other than the corporate coffers of Mssrs. AMC, Mann and Pacific). However, I cannot make the same vow as regards the bubbly soda pop. The carbonated allure of a freshly fountain-poured Diet Pepsi is just too much for this weak, thirsty man to resist. (Besides, they get all room-temperaturey when I put ‘em in the backpack.)
8) I will try not to devote every spare moment before April 1st to The MLB Network (but I won’t try very hard…)
9) I will try to remember that writing this blog is a pleasure and a privilege, not a duty, and that the world will not end if I make less than four posts a week. I’ve been getting better about this, but the adrenaline generated by being productive and connecting with a readership, however modest, is addictive and, dismaying as it may be at times, I have to realize that I don’t have as much time as I’d like to devote to SLIFR, I’m likely to have even less in the future, and that I must learn to be okay with that.
10) That said, the next thing I post on this blog will be my somewhat delayed year-end blow-out. (I’ll just have to come to terms with not having yet seen Synedoche, New York, or A Christmas Tale, or…)
Happy New Year, everyone!