Doodad Kind of Town

At LONG Last – the Resolution Meme!
January 17, 2009, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I think it’s been almost two weeks since Fox tagged me for the New Year’s Resolution Meme. By this time, most people have already made and broken their resolutions, but I’m going to honor the invitation and give this a go. Better late than never, right?

As regular readers know, my year got off to a somewhat shaky start. I had all kinds of grand plans for a movieplex viewing marathon with my friends, catching all the late-year, prestige releases. I was going to review them all, then come up with a dazzling ten best list.

Here’s what happened instead: On January 7, I went to a “Gentle” Yoga class, and within the first ten minutes, my back was is so much pain, I couldn’t bend – or even walk – till I’d spent considerable time with an ice pack on my back. The next several days were a blur of pain pills, muscle relaxers, heating pads and ice packs. I watched movies at home during that time (whenever I was awake) – some good ones, too. I would highly recommend “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days,” and “The Last Metro.” But I didn’t write about them, because, for several days, I couldn’t find a comfortable place or position to sit at the computer for any length of time.

I don’t want to overstate my injuries, because they hardly amount to permanent disability. But it’s been very humbling to me – an extremely independent and compulsively active person – to have to ask friends and neighbors to bring me groceries, shovel snow, or clean my cat box (because I couldn’t reach down to do it myself). But I’ve learned a little bit about accepting help from other people. And since the only resolution I initially made was to take good care of myself this year, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to do that!

But here I am on January 16, having seen hardly any of the films that are scooping up awards, and feeling like a bit of an outsider and an impostor in the film blogosphere. I’ve decided I need some new perspective, which is why I made:

Resolution One: I will not pressure myself to see the “Big” new releases, when there are always good films available to see, anywhere at any time. Even when I’m stuck at home and zonked out on pain meds, I’ve got On Demand, Turner Classic Movies, The Independent Film Channel, and a decent DVD collection. Who needs the multiplex? I think it was Jonathan Lapper who noted, not long ago, that he’ll never see all the films that are out there to see, so he’s not going to pressure himself to keep up with all the new releases. I had to come to the same decision.

Some other things I’m going to do:

Resolution Two: I will re-launch the recurring feature I started last year, but didn’t keep up with: “Hidden Treasures and Guilty Pleasures” which highlights some of my favorite films, mostly recent ones, that don’t get much airplay or attention.

Resolution Three: I will finish reading “Vile Bodies” so that I can finish my long-delayed post on the film “Bright Young Things” which is adapted from that Evelyn Waugh novel. I don’t know that any readers are holding their breath for that, but it’s something I’ve wanted to write for a long time.

Resolution Four: I will watch a lot of Lars Von Trier films between now and May when I host The Oldest Established Really Important Film Club. I don’t love Von Trier – in fact, his films confound me and sometimes anger me – but I do like “Dancer in the Dark,” which I chose for TOERIFC, and I’d like to better understand why.

Resolution Five: I’m going to find a narrower focus for this blog – “Movie blog” is too wide-reaching, I need to become a specialist (or an enthusiast,at least) on some genre or era or group or directors or actors or something, just to give myself a break. Otherwise, I keep feeling that pressure to see everything out there.

And now I tag – no one!!! If anyone out there hasn’t made their resolutions yet, they’re not going start now,right. So on with 2009!


8 Comments so far
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I agree with you about Von Trier, but that’s one of the reasons I think he’s a great film maker — the suffering his characters undergo, and the convoluted thematic thrust behind them, get the blood a-boiling. If we assessed a film’s effectiveness based solely on visceral reaction I have a feeling Lars would top a lot more critic’s lists. I hardly ever watch films more than once (there’s too many out there and too little time to start repeating) but I’ve seen “Dogville” about 5 times, and I desperately want to watch “Breaking the Waves” again. There’s a rich, sophisticated experience to be had by submitting one’s self to Trier’s apparent blithe misogyny (although I don’t think it REALLY is). In any case, worthy goals. I’d actually like to force myself to see a few more films in their theater run, since I hardly ever go out. And I think the feeling of being an outsider and an impostor is fairly common, it’s one of the drawbacks to blogging. I go back and forth between dire depression and calm bemusement, usually.

Comment by Joseph "Jon" Lanthier

Feel better, Patty.Take good care of yourself. You’re an exceptional chick.

Comment by Miranda Wilding

Jon -Thanks for stopping by and for your comments on Lars Von Trier. I find interesting your obseravtions that “there’s a rich,sophisticated experience to be had by submitting one’s self to Trier’s apparent blithe misogyny.” Perhaps so, but I resist sophistication when it means embracing or admiring cruelty, and there is a disturbing thread of cruelty running though all of Von Trier’s films. I’m not yet convinced that the way he brutalizes his characters (particularly the female ones) is defensible on artistic grounds, but I’m tyring to approach his work with an open mind.

Comment by Pat

Miranda -Thanks, I’m doing better already.

Comment by Pat

Pat: I hope you are better by now, and sorry to hear of these incessant holiday blues, in your case the back problems. I wish you the best year ever in 2009, and with your resolutions.Commenting on Von Trier, I also love DANCER IN THE DARK, and also DOGVILLE and BREAKING THE WAVES, touted here by Joseph Lanthier. The former was my #1 film of 2004 in fact. And yes, the director’s “blithe misogymy” whether he submits to it or not, turns many off to his work. Pat, I think we saw the same things in DITD, which like Dennis Potter’s PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, used music and lyrics in a moving drama quite persuasively. I would love to hear your written take on SOPHIE SCHOLL, which I admire as well as THE LAST METRO, which I also like. My own social schedule has sustained the weekly trips to the movies, as i have Manhattan here in my yard, but methinks Jonathan Lapper makes quite a bit of sense, since it’s impossible to see EVERYTHING. Anyway, I’m sure in the next few weeks you’ll successfully play catch-up with the new releases you haven’t seen (though I see you have seen RR and have issued praise for it) and i look forward to reading your reviews.Feel better.

Comment by Sam Juliano

Hey, Pat, hope you’re feeling better. And I was tagged by Bill r. some time ago for this meme, and haven’t done it yet, though I got a start. Maybe I’d better get cracking.

Comment by Rick Olson

Sam -I’m hoping to get a post up on “Revolutionary Road” in the next day or two; it was truly extraordinary and far exceeded my expectations. As for “Sophie Scholl,” I might have to see it again to do a post, but I’d have to steel myself for a second viewing. That film stayed with me and haunted me for days. Rick – Thanks, I’m feeling much better, and I’m looking forward to your resolution post. (Glad I’m not the only resolution “Slacker” around 🙂

Comment by Pat

Your resolution about finding a specialty rings true a bit, though I have to laugh it off and give up on that. If I should ever become a specialist of a genre or style or person or whathaveyou, I tend to think it’ll come about organically. Heck, it’s possible that it has already and I haven’t even been entirely cognizant of it.Nevertheless, I don’t feel any pressure to “see everything;” just the stuff that interests me. Of course, that net widens as Mrs. Fletch and I get the itch to get to the movies often (and we’re popcorn junkies, so that helps).Hope your back is doing better. 🙂

Comment by Fletch

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