January 16, 2014

My 2014 Movie Resolutions


It’s common for movie fans to start the new year with resolutions about their viewing habits. Bloggers are especially interested in this pursuit. A few weeks ago, I concluded my post about 2013 discoveries by deciding to avoid setting any specific goals for 2014. Since that time, I’ve thought a lot about what I hope to accomplish with this blog and my movie going in the future. My current focus is on getting healthier, and having a plan makes that goal a lot easier. That quest has reminded me about my need to have stated objectives for films. I’ve changed my mind and developed five precise movie resolutions for 2014. Vague goals like “I need to watch better movies” aren’t specific enough to change anything. The actions below are measurable and should keep me focused on the end result. I don’t expect to complete them all, but they aren’t so challenging to make success impossible. Each resolution is just a small step forward from my movie watching activities last year.


Watch (and write about) 15 films directed by women.
Last year, I saw only eight movies with a woman running the show. That number is way too low and would be even sadder without the Women in 2013 marathon in September. There have been plenty of recent stories about frustrating trends for women behind the scenes. This is a good example. And here’s another. Women aren’t getting hired as directors due to tired stereotypes about genres and skills. Artists like Lake Bell, Amy Seimetz, and so many others deserve more attention. I plan to spotlight rising young filmmakers who deserve more attention in this male-dominated industry.

See 40 films released in 2014.
This number seems crazily low for a movie fan, but it’s still about 25 percent more than my 2013 output. One reason for this limited number is the focus of my blog, which looks towards films from all eras. I would like to stay more on top of the latest releases, so this is a starting point for that initiative. There’s nothing worse than reading a top 10 list from a writer I admire and realizing I’ve seen none of the choices.


Visit the movie theaters 12 times.
This is only a slight upgrade from my paltry 2013 amount, but I’m trying to set realistic goals. Going once a month doesn’t seem outlandish and keeps my expectations grounded in reality. It also forces me to really choose the most intriguing options each time. It’s no surprise that I haven’t seen anything that earned a Razzie nomination this week. That’s one benefit of having limited time to reach the theaters.

Watch 20 foreign films, including five released in 2014
I’ve never shied away from subtitled films, but it’s easy to get stuck within certain viewing patterns. There are far too many exciting things happening in other countries to stay focused on American releases. I’ve set up a secondary goal of seeing five 2014 movies to keep me from just diving into obvious directors like Kurosawa and Godard. Finding a balance with the old and the new is a top priority this year.


Attend five local special events or film festivals.
I’m really excited to try and achieve this goal in the upcoming year. St. Louis has a surprising number of interesting film festivals. The St. Louis International Film Festival arrives every November and deserves more attention beyond this city. There’s also the excellent Webster University Film Series, which frequently brings in selections unavailable elsewhere. Meeting this requirement should not be difficult, even considering my busy schedule.

I know that many of you would complete these resolutions within a few months. My current schedule requires me to be more realistic and focus on obtainable goals. That’s the key with any plan and should make this a successful project. I will revisit this list at mid-year and ensure that progress is happening. This blog is coming up on its third anniversary in March, and I’m hoping to keep expanding my scope and connections within the blogging community. Access to a wide range of films has never been easier, and it’s thrilling to interact with so many intelligent voices every day. Let’s do this!

What are your 2014 movie resolutions? 

20 comments:

  1. These all sound like great resolutions. This is the first year that I feel like I've seen like 98% of the big films of the year which is cool. I want to focus on watching some of the films on my favorite director's filmographies that I haven't caught yet as my resolution.

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    1. Jess, I feel like I'm in the opposite boat where I want to get more focused on current films and trends. It's cool that you've seen so much lately. I'm way behind, but it's cool.

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    2. Yeah I'd like to get as well versed in older films as you are. I also really respect your goal to watch more films my female directors. That should go on my list as well. I watched Fish Tank last year and was incredibly inspired by how feminine the direction seemed. I want to experience more of that.

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    3. It really hit me last fall when I realized just how few films I was watching with female directors. I'll tweet stories about the really low percentage, but I wasn't doing much on the blog. I figure this should also send me in some interesting directions.

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  2. I'm a big fan of foreign cinema, Dan, but I watched way too few last year. I aim to remedy that this year.

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    1. Mark, it sounds like we're in a similar boat. I watch a decent amount, but I really need to pick up the pace.

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  3. I didn't make any resolutions early in the year yet I have decided to do something for the year based on this watchlist as I'm right now watching some films by Charles Chaplin and then go into a few silent features and hopefully cover the films based on that watchlist I've made for the year. That also includes watching some trilogies.

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    1. That's a great watchlist. I've only seen 27 of the 123 on your list, so I'm in the same boat on a lot of these. It looks like you're going to have a pretty awesome year.

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  4. Nice to see them more detailed now. Hopefully they will motivate you!

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    1. I hope so. I tried to make them reasonable enough where I'd have a chance to complete them.

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  5. If you're willing to travel and have an open schedule in a few weeks...http://beloitfilmfest.org/.

    In addition to giving you a film festival/special event that would qualify as "local" in a looser sense of the word, there'll be plenty of foreign films and I would guess films by women that might make some of those other goals more attainable.

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    1. Sounds like a great event, and it would totally work... in theory. With a 10-month-old at home along with our four-year-old, I'm not in a position where I can drive five hours to a film festival. I didn't even make it to the St. Louis film festival back in November. Things are getting easier, but I think traveling to a film fest is going to be tough.

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    2. Pencil it in for future years, then. I live about 75 minutes from it, so you'd have a free place to stay relatively close.

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    3. Definitely. It would be great to catch up, and I appreciate the offer. This year's just too hectic.

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  6. Whoa you've got great and specific resolutions there. I've made this once and stopped after I couldn't finish 'reading novel that was made into film'. Actually I did but the number's quite poor, ahah.

    I like the reason why you should watch movies directed by women. That's a sad fact there, and I don't think they should be stereotyped like that. I think I watch the most films by Sofia Coppola, she's great.

    I don't have a resolution this year. But I want to know more local bloggers and perhaps attend more local film festival, but watch the quality ones.

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    1. I have seen all of Sofia Coppola's films, and those are a great start for sure. I also would like to get more involved locally when I can with some smaller film festivals. We have a lot of them, and I always intend to go. It's a challenge sometimes to make the time, and I'm hoping these will help out.

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  7. That looks like a strong (and fun) set of resolutions. I like the emphasis on modern foreign films especially. That's something I want to focus on quite a bit more as well. Best of luck with your goals!

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    1. Thanks Eric. I'm thinking they should be attainable, and I'm really looking forward to the upcoming year. Good luck with your new list of 50 films!

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  8. Amazing list of film resolutions. And good luck in accomplishing them! I'm sure you'll be able to do it.

    40 films for 2014 sounds like a lot. But I think, in my mind, I'm thinking 40 cinema trips. Instead of just general releases in this year.

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    1. It definitely won't be movie theater visits; I'd already be in trouble since I only have one so far. I'm planning to check out more smaller films playing on VOD and then hit the theaters once or twice a month. Thanks Jaina!

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