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?