Hello there, lurking strangers. It’s been a while since I’ve popped back here because I’ve been busy – not with enjoying my holiday, but rather, with a freelance job! I know I mentioned that I wanted to do absolutely nothing and just enjoy my 3 months of break (which is sadly coming to an end!) but part of me felt a little fidgety without anything to do.
Yes, you read that right.
I am one of those rare people who genuinely enjoys work. I suppose when you enjoy whatever that you had been studying, you would naturally enjoy the career you had prepared yourself for. But lets leave that topic for another day.
While my freelance work isn’t quite over, and I probably should go to bed now (since I’ve been up for more than 20 hours), I felt the urge to write and was quite surprised to find my previous post garnering quite a tiny pool of “like”. I probably shouldn’t be surprised though – after all, aren’t strangers always curious about fellow strangers’ attempts at meeting goals, and while reading about it, secretly thinks to themselves that this stranger won’t make it? Hey, we’re evil in certain ways, don’t deny it (I won’t judge).
But, whatever the reason it may be for the amount of attention that my last post has gathered, I’ve decided to post yet another New Year’s Resolutions that I’ve promised myself to fulfill. Admittedly, I do have a long list, but if I was to be realistic, perhaps only one or two will ever be fulfilled.
Though, I am not entirely certain that I can realise this one. Not that I am bothered by it.
See, theoretically, this particular New Year’s Resolution shouldn’t be a difficult task, yet ever since 2008, when I made it a part of my New Year’s Resolutions, it just never got done, not even half.
So what is this crazy thing that I’ve been failing to bring to fruition?
Well, it is a 100 New Films to Watch in a Year resolution.
There are a few reasons why I wanted to start this. In high school, whenever I had completed my examinations or, if my school was to release us earlier than usual and I didn’t want to head back home immediately, I would head to the theatre and see what’s available to watch. It was a form of relaxation for me; a way for me to push all my childish troubles behind for that short few hours and to get away from my crazy classmates. I wasn’t exactly a loner, but at that age, I had valued the idea of being in solitude, and loved doing the things I wanted to without having to wait or be waited for, or to consider what my friends might want to do if we hung out together. When I moved on towards college, a few of my lecturers encouraged us to watch more films, noting that it would do wonders for our inspirations, our ability to conceptualise, see our lives in a new angle, be a better storyteller, et cetera. One of them mentioned how she started to catch films alone when she was a teenager because she had relished the idea of having a “me-time”, which was exactly what I had done as well. So right there and then, I decided that this was exactly what I should do throughout my short life – to have a me-time by jamming my mind with as many films as I could possibly watch.
Of course, life after school was no longer a routine and things became slightly unpredictable. It was different, but I enjoyed it. Yet at the same time, I could use a little predictability, which was why I implemented the above resolution. I guess in a way, having some sort of rule allowed me to control my life again and made it that much easier to breathe.
But surely a hundred films in a year can’t be that difficult, right? You’re probably scoffing at this seemingly easy task, and I don’t blame you. I mean, it sounds easy! I just got to round up films that I’ve never caught before and just, well, watch it. It probably shouldn’t take long, 3 hours at most, and if I was to bring mathematics into the picture, a hundred film would take 300 hours to complete (assuming one film is 3 hours long), so if I could only watch 1 film a day, I would need 100 days or roughly 4 months (which obviously, no form of mathematics was needed for that sort of calculations).
No. It. Isn’t.
There were so many things I did not take into considerations when making this list.
The first and probably only important factor – my mood. There were times when all I wanted to watch was a comedy! To be exact, a romantic comedy, just because I was at a monthly hormonal stage (someone stop all these bleeding and rip off my womb, please) and I couldn’t find anything that fitted the bill. Other times, I tried to watch a film and found myself unable to sit through it because I just wasn’t in the mood (sorry, Dirty Dancing and Flashdance) and ended up re-watching a familiar film for the 10th time…
Second – I have to work (and on the rare occasions, have a social life too). Ideally, I would love to lump work and social life only to ignore them altogether, lounge around my entertainment room in my pajamas, holding a glass of wine, stretch out onto my comfortable leather sofa and just watch the movies that I promised myself to watch. But no, I can’t, because work takes up a huge bulk of my time and by the time I reach home, all I want to do is shower and crash.
Third factor – the lack of willingness to start something new. Don’t get me wrong, I love trying new things but just sometimes, especially after a long day of work, I don’t have the energy to go through a new film and would rather go back to what I’m used to and comfortable with. I don’t usually watch a film and shut off once it’s over; I enjoy analysing what the film was trying to convey so it doesn’t really matter if I had spent 3 hours on a lousy film – I reckon there’s always something to pick up on every film, but why do something new when you could enjoy a predictable plot when you’re bone weary? Okay, maybe times like this, I should just play a mindless game of The Simpsons: Tapped Out – that ought to be the end of my problem. But I won’t lie though – sometimes, a movie poster and its title can also affect my willingness to watch it. I guess you could call it a job hazard (or, just me being judgmental…).
Hey, just because I won’t judge doesn’t mean I don’t judge. Movies, at least.
Fourth, final and last point, which is about as important as the first – I can’t just watch for the sick of fulfilling my quota. It is a little frustrating to share this resolution with people, see them wave it off like yesterday’s dandruff, scoff and proceed to “solve” it for me by telling me to simply watch the shortest film so that I can cramp more and meet the goal because that’s not the point. If I was just going to watch for the sick of watching just so that I could meet my set quota, I might as well be watching pornography because the duration is much shorter, I’ll probably reach a hundred in a matter of weeks and I’ll definitely get more action than a James Bond movie – that is, if an action packed movie was what I wanted to catch.
Movies are a form of art – a moving storybook and it’s not easy to create that. To rush through it would be a big insult to the writers, the directors, the actors and the music composers. We’ve been rushing all our lives, so why rush through this as well? I know for a bulk of our lives, we do things for the sick of doing, and aren’t we all tired of that? Now that I get a chance to do something I genuinely like, I’m going to savour it and do it exactly the way I want to – by having my choice of movies and enjoying every single moment of it. Even if you’re not in the creative industry, watching a movie would still be beneficial to you. Allen Palmer rounded up his film philosophy brilliantly – subconsciously, when we enter a theatre, we seek 3 things: the hopes of expanding our range of emotions that we rarely experience in our normal lives, reconnecting with our higher selves and be reminded of the good and evil that we are capable of, and, that together with the rest of the audiences, we are not alone with the emotions that we are going through – all of which I couldn’t have agreed more.
At times I feel like my knowledge of films are rather shallow. There were so many that I should have watched when I was younger but had to let them slip (education before entertainment, so said my parents). But I guess it’s better late than never? Anyway, as of July 2013, I’ve gotten slightly farther with the list than any other years (where I caught most of the films during the 3 months break) and I’m pretty happy that I made such a rule and stuck to the routine. It’s still quite a struggle for me to squeeze in some movie time after a long day of work but hey, somebody’s got to do it.
I suppose you’re tired of reading for now, so here’s a collage of 32 films (in a chronological order) that I’ve caught so far:
I’m no movie critic, but so far, I’ve enjoyed Inception, No Reservations, The Breakfast Club and An Education, a little neutral towards Where The Wild Things Are, and hated The Neverending Story 3 (obviously there are still a few more films that I had both enjoyed and disliked, but I’ll round them up at the end of the year instead because I’m quite exhausted now).
Inception was quite a thought provoking film and I have to applaud Christopher Nolan – he is really a class writer and director of his own league. No Reservations was surprising lovely because I’m never in the mood for romantic films (unless it’s that time of the month) but maybe I was just turned on by the food and my secret desire of being a chef. I wished I had found out about The Breakfast Club earlier – it might have made my elementary and high school life a little easier to handle, but hey, I guess I still did alright without it. I was taken aback by how easy it was to understand An Education (the trailer made it seem so profound). Where The Wild Things Are made me a little agitated as the story was slightly slow for me, but its ending and the music which accompanied it had a nice touch; very bittersweet, which I felt was the only saving grace of the whole film. The Neverending Story 3 was terrible – it was so cheesy compared to the first, and I was counting down to when it would finally end.
And no, I will not apologise for those puns, darlings.
Now, I may not reach a hundred by the end of this year, but hey, it’s not too bad so far and I think it’s okay. The fact that I made this resolution a black and white is a good first step for me and who knows, maybe some years later, I would be able to share with you the 100 films I’ve finally managed to watch within a year.
But as of now, I’ve gotten a few new ones on my desk and this weekend, I’m looking forward to doing exactly what I’ve been wanting to do:
Lounge around in my pajamas, wine in my hand, stretched out on my beautifully aged leather sofa, with a movie playing in my entertainment room as I shut myself away from the busy world.