Sunday, January 4, 2009

Colonel Mortimer's 2008 Film Journal Stats and Assorted Sundries

Every year like any film nerd worth his salt I kept a viewing journal notating each film I saw, method of viewing (theatre, DVD, quarter peepshow), director, year of release, and if watching a film I have seen before, the number of times I have viewed it in total (when known). Inspired by this posting at Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot, I decided to take a closer look at some of the more esoteric details in my 2008 film viewing habits and share the results.

Total Films Seen: 293

Three more than 2007, but less than the 300 plus titles I was averaging circa 2004-6, last year's downturn being a result of it being the year of my marriage. This year's is due partially to my first full year in wedded bliss coupled with my New Year Goal of reading 52 books in 2008 (Mission Accomplished! More on that in another post) and watching more full seasons of television series than normal (The Wire being the biggest perpetrator of time consumption; a full list is included below).

Films Seen Theatrically: 86

Which is an average of over one and a half cinema trips a week, somewhat misleading due to my penchant of sneaking into an additional movie after watching the one I paid to see and four programmed double bills at repertory theatres.

Non 2007-08 Films Seen Theatrically: 10

Which when taken into consideration my membership at the American Cinematheque and the bevy of programming at my favorite theatre, the New Beverly amongst other repertory options in Southern California, is rather pathetic.

Films Seen by Decade:
2000s: 146
1990s: 12
1980s: 36
1970s: 47
1960s: 19
1950s: 10 (all of which were either foreign or directed by Howard Hawks!)
1940s: 12
1930s and before: 11

Note to self: watch more older films.

First film watched: Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter
First film watched theatrically: Juno
Last film watched: George Washington
Last film watched theatrically: Timecrimes

Number of films watched for the first time in 2008: 216

Number of films watched for the third or greater time in 2008: 33

5 Filmmakers Whose Work Was Watched Most Frequently:

Joe Dante: 8 (Hollywood Boulevard, Piranha, The Howling, Explorers, Innerspace, The Burbs, Matinee, Runaway Daughters)

Werner Herzog: 7
(Rescue Dawn, Encounters at the End of the World, Signs of Life, Even Dwarves Started Small, Fata Morgana, Land of Silence and Darkness, Aguirre: Wrath of God)

Howard Hawks: 7 (Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Land of the Pharaohs, Rio Bravo, Hatari!, El Dorado, Rio Lobo)

Steven Spielberg: 5 (Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial)

Mario Bava: 4 (Bay of Blood, Lisa and the Devil, Baron Blood, The Girl Who Saw Too Much)

If ever a list presented the schizophrenic nature of my movie taste and viewing habits it's this. Which reminds me I never got around to rewatching The Last Crusade in my Indiana Jones re-evaluations, I guess Crystal Skull killed that project's enthusiasm.

Number of Movies Watched per Month:

January: 28
February: 21
March: 24
April: 29
May: 26
June: 24
July: 26
August: 20
September: 25
October: 24
November: 24
December: 22

Interestingly, I watched at least 20 per month but never more than 29. April, my birthday month, featured the most cinema. August, for some reason, perhaps the paucity of interesting current releases, the least.

Movies by Country of Origin:

United States: 222
England: 19
France: 13
Italy: 11
Germany: 7
Canada: 6
Japan: 4
China: 4
Mexico: 2
Turkey: 2
Sweden: 2
Czech Republic: 1

A few notes, for international co-productions I usually sided either with the origin of the film's director or the language spoken most frequently. Slumdog Millionaire is a British production company with a British director and although English is only spoken for roughly 25% of it's running time, I placed it with England. Edge of Heaven which is a split production between Germany and Turkey, filmed equally in both countries and whose director is a German born Turkish man went to Turkey, since the dialogue spoken tilts Turkish about 60/40. And yes, it is ridiculous how little foreign language films I watched, I will make up for it in 2009.

10 Best pre-2000 Films I watched for the first time in 2008:

1. Deep End (1971, Jerzy Skolimowski)
2. Battle of Algiers (1966, Gillo Pontecorvo)
3. The Bride Wore Black (1968, Francois Truffaut)
4. Ugetsu (1953, Kenji Mizoguchi)
5. If... (1968, Lindsay Anderson)
6. Witchfinder General (1968, Michael Reeves)
7. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933, Fritz Lang)
8. Lisa and the Devil (1973, Mario Bava)
9. Truck Turner (1974, Jonathan Kaplan)
10. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953, Howard Hawks)

Not coincidentally, despite the fact I only saw 61 films from countries other than America, the top eight of this list are comprised of non-US production.

10 Worst Films Regardless of Year (although all are from 2007 or 2008), in alphabetical order:

10,000 BC
Dead Silence
The Happening
The Number 23
One Missed Call
Prom Night
Righteous Kill

One Missed Call being the worst of the lot, and the only film I watched this year that garnered an F from this very forgiving reviewer. All are American productions. Strangely, half of them have a number somewhere in the title.

Television Seasons or Mini-Series Watched in Their Entirety

The Wire: Seasons 1-5
John Adams
Lost: Season 4
Spaced: Seasons 1-2 (forgot this originally)
Star Trek: Season 1
The Twilight Zone: Season 1
Saturday Night Live: Seasons 1-2
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 1
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 6
WKRP in Cincinnati: Season 1

Curb and Lost were the only series watched during their original broadcast dates, It's Always Sunny is the first series I watched entirely online via Hulu.

Cinephiles, obsessive compulsives and anal rententives are free to share their lists or statistics in the comment section. Psych majors feel free to psychoanalyze me.


Mummbles said...

jeeze people make fun of me for just keeping a log of every movie i see at the theatre and grading them

slasherflix said...

Cool, I just saw Truck Turner this year too, and loved it. My fave movie I saw for the first time in 'o8 would have to be Rolling Thunder.

Colonel Mortimer said...

Rolling Thunder is amazing! I actually saw it theatrically in 2007 at the New Beverly in Los Angeles as part of Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse festival.

chanchow said...

i can't believe you managed to do all this last year. you should write a book on time management!

Lightning's Girl said...

I finally joined netflix so your list was perfect timing. Thanks!

Colonel Mortimer said...


Step One-Marry someone who goes to bed extremely early.

Step Two--Avoid human interaction whenever possible.

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