Saturday, December 30, 2023

The year in movies

I thought this was another terrific year for movies, although I'd be hard pressed to name an absolute favourite film. I really liked Night of the Kings and its slightly magical way of surviving life in a prison on the Ivory Coast; I am still surprised that a Dungeons and Dragons film had the best laugh of the year; and I'm thinking about the things Mia Goth did in Pearl all the damn time. 

If I had a gun to my head, my favourite film of the year was probably John Wick 4, because it was enormously satisfying, and had Donnie Yen smoking everybody with the best physical performance of the year.

This is the third year in a row I took note of every film I actually watched, and it came in at 256 movies - very slightly above the 254 I saw in 2021, and well below the 316 I saw last year (mainly because the kids get up earlier than I do these days, so I don't get an hour or two in the morning to indulge in some cinema before they take over).

But it turned out like this:

  • I figured out that 22.8 percent of the movies I watched this year were ones I'd seen before - it wasn't like I could pass up on double bill of Romero's first two Dead films - but there was no excuse for watching that Aeon Flux with Charlize again. Still, it was down from the 28.4 percent of repeat screenings in 2022 and 26 percent the year before, s oI'm getting more new films in my diet.
  • Exactly 12 percent were prequels, sequels or remakes, about the same as last year. I love my corporate pap.
  • Almost one in 10 films - 9.6 percent - were made before I was born, up on 8.4 percent, but well down on the 13 in 2021, when I was apparently all about the history.
  • The 10.8 percent of films that were not in English was the highest in three years, well about the 6.1 percent in 2022 and the 4 percent the year before.
  • A solid 8 percent were feature length documentaries, similar to the 7.1 percent I saw last year.
  • Once again I am a terrible New Zealander, watching just 2.8 percent of Kiwi films, although this was back to 2021 levels after the paltry 1.6 percent seen last year.
  • And 6.8 percent were seen in the cinema, which is continuing to creep up, year on year. They were almost all excellent experiences - when you only see a few films in a theatre, you make the most of it.

So, still a basic bitch then, but I'm getting into the old and non-English films more and more every year, and feel this can only be a good thing.

The last film I'm watching this year is Infinity Pool and the first one of 2024 will be Poor Things on Tuesday, so the film life goes on.

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