Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Movie Resolutions for 2014 - Thomas

Looking back on 2013, it has been quite a year for cinema. Gravity became an unprecedented hit, influencing cinema for the foreseeable future. 12 Years a Slave and The Butler brought Civil Rights into the discussion in new and important ways. Even Leonardo DiCaprio stopped by to yet again play super wealthy young tycoons... TWICE (The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street). But for all of the fun on screen, it is important for a cinephile to grow on his own merits. With 2014 on the near horizon, I figured that I would share some hopeful resolutions regarding either watching or discussing cinema in the year to come.
For me, it has been something of an impressive year regarding movie discussions. I was referenced by the New York Times' website for this piece and I managed to get my name out there in many other ways. Of course, starting up Films with Friends would definitely be on that list. I have enjoyed writing for this site and while our output may seem like slim pickings compared to our individual blogs, it has given me time to wax poetic about things that I normally would dedicate entire pieces to, such as Emma Watson or Marvel Comics. I enjoy the model of debate that we have begun to explore and hope to at very least bring more consistently. 
One of my growing resolutions from year to year seems to be my writing technique. As a college student, it has taken years to shake the dumb essay format (in which the opening paragraph ends with a question), and in 2013, I feel like I have achieved that. I feel in general that my writing annually gets tighter and more focused and with my output being produced on a more massive scale, I definitely feel like it is effective to how you view and write about cinema. In general, the technique is still fine-tuning to sound like me, but if you visit The Oscar Buzz or Optigrab, you'll notice my pieces are more analytic.
In fact, with all of this writing technique being in discussion, there is one thing that will kick off my 2014 with some style. I will be covering the Sundance Film Festival as part of CinemaBeach. I am rather excited and honored to go, especially as my eventual goal is to be a film critic. Along with this, I do plan to just go to more film festivals and hopefully get my name out there.
For those who follow The Oscar Buzz, you'll know what my final resolution is. I want to finish watching all of the Academy Award Best Picture winners. I have been doing it casually for years, but took an aggressive tactic in 2013 that put me on track to be done by next year. The results have been fascinating and while I cannot claim to love every moment of it (Dances with Wolves sucks. Plain and simple), it did open me up to some gems such as My Fair Lady or The English Patient. Films that I otherwise may have never seen are now ones that I recommend to those who ask for it. I am hoping as I enter everything before 1959, that it will only give me more material to mull over and enjoy. I hope that it will help me to understand not only the progression of what subject matter was accepted at the ceremony, but also the overall themes that affected eras. I do believe that even if the best picture didn't win Best Picture that what did says something about the time it came out and that it almost serves as a time capsule (check out my piece linked in this paragraph to know more). 

So, with 2013 about to set sail, let me run down those resolutions in brevity:
  1. Write more Films with Friends articles.
  2. Continue to develop a defined/analytic style.
  3. Cover film festivals.
  4. Get my name and work out there.
  5. Watch all of the Best Picture winners.
Pretty simple list. In general, I also just hope to watch a wide variety of films and continue to find new people to love. This year was Jean Luc-Godard. Next year? Who knows. All I know is that it will be a fun time ahead, provided this trajectory of mine continues to elevate. I just hope to stay passionate and discover more talents that are big, small, old, new, etc. With my Top 10 list this year, I am kind of disappointed by the lack of variety, but then again, there was too much in my life to keep me from finding the next Girl Walk // All Day. But hey, at least the Coen Brothers knocked it out of the park again. 
So, I hope that your year was successful and that you achieved whatever your goals were. I look forward to the year ahead even if it doesn't bring us anything as crucial as Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan in The Butler:

I mean, come on. He is the Reagan that you didn't know you wanted. The Butler may have been a mishmash in quality, but that Reagan makes Daniel Day Lewis' Abraham Lincoln look like a mule. I mean... who is in charge of presidential biopics? Get the Reagan biopic going! If you can, also get Alan Alda as Benjamin Franklin while you still can. It is even more inspired casting:

Am I wrong? Alda was great in The Aviator. Maybe Martin Scorsese can get that biopic rolling. I mean, Franklin's way of thinking cannot be that far off from Alda's consistency to be funny in modern comedies now, can it?

Sorry. Getting told to wrap things up by Jordan Belfort here. Anyways, hope that your year has been great and I look forward to providing more content in 2014. What are some of your resolutions for the upcoming year? Feel free to share in the comments and hopefully we'll get a dialogue going.

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