2018 – 100 New Watches

So as mentioned on my Twitter, I’ve set myself a couple of New Year’s resolutions, and of course they’re all movie themed!

My main aim is to watch 100 films that I have never seen before, with a couple of stipulations:

  • This won’t include new releases at the cinema – those will go towards my grand target of trying to watch 365 films in total this year!
  • At least 25 of these new watches will be films directed by women.

This page may change over the year, but for now I’ll be doing some mini reviews for my 100 new watches; you’ll find the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom. Do stay tuned and watch this space however…things might change! 

#6 Children of Men (2006) (Watched 08/01/18)
Wow. I’m annoyed that I am only just watching this film for the first time now. It’s so simple, so crushingly naturalistic, and so chilling. For a dystopian future there are far too many frightening parallels in terms of many people’s current views on immigration and refugees that really resonated. It is ultimately though, a story of hope and survival with terrific performances and a final shot that will stay with me for a long time. Amazing film.

#5 Office Space (1999) (Watched 07/01/18)
Yeeaahhh I’m going to have to go right ahead and disagree with the positive reviews for this film. It’s not terrible, it does have some funny moments for sure, but relatable workplace comedies have been done so much better since, and the severe lack of well-rounded female characters in this one let’s it down. It’s fine, but that’s about it.

#4 Certain Women (2016) (Watched 07/01/18)
Quiet, contemplative and considered character study about 4 women in the forgotten part of America. The gorgeously bleak landscapes lend themselves well to this reflective and meditative film, and whilst there is a certain disconnect to the individual stories, the focus on the women themselves ensures this film is nothing short of captivating.

#3 Selma (2014) (Watched 06/01/18)
A powerful, important and timely film focusing on a perhaps lesser known part of Martin Luther King’s life. Anchored by a career best performance from David Oyelowo, DuVernay’s direction is intimate and personal, managing to avoid too many biopic cliches, and never compromising the important subject matter. Hopefully there’ll be a day when this film won’t seem at all relevant to our current world and we can marvel at how far we’ve come; until then though this film remains as vital as ever.

#2 An American in Paris (1951) (Watched 06/01/18)
Whenever I’m feeling a bit under the weather, I seem to reach for a classic movie, at the moment rotating between The Wizard of Oz or Singin’ in the Rain. Today being one of those such days, I had hoped to add another film to that repertoire, and An American in Paris didn’t let me down. It’s a simple enough, classic Hollywood love story, and quite frankly I will watch absolutely anything that Gene Kelly is in. It doesn’t hold a candle to Singin’ in the Rain, but I thoroughly enjoyed it; the 17-minute ballet being particularly gorgeous. Watching this, it isn’t hard to see where La La Land took some inspiration for its final epilogue as well, and that’s always going to be a plus in my books!

#1 Pleasantville (1998) (Watched 05/01/18)
Not just my first “first watch” of 2018, but my very first film watched this year; being on holiday I’ve started a little late! I confess I hadn’t even heard of this film before, but nevertheless it seemed like a great one to get started with. On the whole, I did really enjoy this film; it’s fresh, funny, and surprisingly still relevant. The effects hold up remarkably well and the black & white/colour contrasts look stunning. Thematically, it had surprising depth as well and some really memorable moments. Towards the end, it didn’t feel like it was able to follow through with all of its big ideas, but nevertheless, a highly enjoyable film.