i tried to start this by talking about how 2021 was for me but it sounded too much like a linkedin post so, instead: hello. welcome. isn't the world strange and bad. i hope this very long very silly thing distracts you a bit.

it's coming up to 10 years since i started tracking everything i watch — the first log i have is for thor on jan 5th 2012. ever since then i’ve been following various branching fixations (sometimes accidentally and sometimes with intent) towards a gradually broader and broader appreciation of cinema (in the english language, at least — i have much more to explore). i’m sure if i look back on this in ten years my choices will seem as entry-level to me as the little recommendation lists i posted on my tumblr a decade ago & i can’t wait for that moment. i do wonder what state the film industry (and the world) will be in by then — if this past decade has been defined by the meteoric rise of marvel/disney and the fall of the mid-budget studio film, will that trend simply continue through the next?

my activation point, way back in 2010, was the social network — a punchy, sharp biopic with excellent (and cute!) actors delivering wonderful performances, but a biopic nonetheless. i saw it at a multiplex next to a bowling alley in an industrial estate in south wales — it played alongside despicable me and easy a; i’d seen inception there three times over the summer*.* i wonder what today's 13 year olds get activated by, what's even on offer to them once they tire of disney tentpoles at their local multiplex and netflix's almost entirely 21st century catalogue at home. somehow i doubt any of them had their eyes opened to the world of film by mank (i doubt anyone under 20 has even seen it — not that they're missing much).

it's tough not to be a downer about the weird & horrible situation this industry is in — especially as i write this a couple of weeks out from the spider-man juggernaut seemingly taking over every screen in the world — but i’m trying to be hopeful that some form of artistry can survive & thrive, even if it has to do so on an impossible shoestring & perhaps (unfortunately) separate from the cinematic experience. i still believe that someone, somewhere will take the egalitarian promise of the internet and spin it into this era’s easy rider. and, hey, even if they don’t — we’ve always got the original, and a century’s worth of cinema to explore. maybe that’s the payoff of the internet age after all — history at our fingertips, as long as we know where to look.

i promise the rest of this will be fun and silly but i've been thinking about the purpose of lists like this one and about the passages in chronicles where dylan mentions what he read and listened to and all the people he spoke to in the early days and what he took from all these disparate sources & how important it is to situate your sense of self in response to the thoughts you consume from others. everyone is an amalgam of influences and perhaps what makes you an individual is simply your reaction to those influences.

i also love the below quote from cahiers du cinema

[cahiers du cinema dec 2021 editorial https://www.cahiersducinema.com/produit/editorial-n-782-decembre-2021-le-temps-des-tops/, via collin brinkmann https://twitter.com/crbrinkmann/status/1466168307531366404?t=YMdChJgN2PxnVNvSFTGP9w&s=19](https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FFjgSVWXsAYMx1Q?format=jpg&name=medium)

cahiers du cinema dec 2021 editorial https://www.cahiersducinema.com/produit/editorial-n-782-decembre-2021-le-temps-des-tops/, via collin brinkmann https://twitter.com/crbrinkmann/status/1466168307531366404?t=YMdChJgN2PxnVNvSFTGP9w&s=19

ok enough overwrought nonsense from me it's time to get into the meat of this thing. i tried to stick to mostly first-time watches — if u just want to skim the titles they're all highlighted, if a title is also underlined i liked it a lot :~)


new releases

2020 leftovers

world of tomorrow episode three, ma rainey's black bottom, promising young woman, minari, riders of justice, city hall, the old guard, judas and the black messiah, sound of metal, saint frances, one night in miami

we talked abt most of these and more on the awards season ep of podcino :~)

festivals/press screenings/previews/etc