A Cinematic Challenge for 2021!
It’s the time of the year when the optimistic among us attempt to lay out plans for the new year. I decided on last New Year’s Day that I would try to watch 250 films during 2020. This was to give myself more time away from my work email and really catch up on some titles that I’d missed due to work commitments and general stresses. Then the pandemic happened. I soon eclipsed my lofty expectation as I powered through a veritable shedload of titles while in lockdown. According to my log on Letterboxd, an app that I adore, I smashed through the 500 mark before the year was out.
I’ve found myself in a quandary as to what my cinematic challenge for 2021 should be. What filmic feat should I tackle? So I’ve decided to share my thinking in the hopes that I might inspire you (yes, you!) to take a dive into movies next year.
Maybe start with the greatest
First up, there are loads of online lists that purport to feature the ‘Greatest Movies of All Time’. This is a good place to start. There are so many films that many of us have heard of but haven’t seen. Citizen Kane, for instance, is regarded as one of the greatest of cinematic achievements, and yet I can count on one hand the close friends who have actually seen it.
Or we could keep the BLM movement very much in mind, and Steve McQueen’s fantastic anthology film series, Small Axe. Perhaps 2021 would be a good time to champion and dive into film from under-represented groups, including female-led projects. This will be a shot in the arm for diversity in cinema and allow you to experience other cultures and experiences like never before.
Keep a record of your experiences for posterity
Maybe sign up to the Letterboxd app and keep a film diary for the year. Or collect cinema ticket stubs and assemble a cinematic scrapbook. This could end up being something to look back with family in a decade. Remember that time that Geoff was moaning at the kiosk due to the lack of Maltesers? Or when your Uncle Dave printed the tickets for the wrong week and you ended up sitting in the exact same seats as a family from Dublin? That kind of mix-up could lead to new friends being made, so who *wouldn’t* want to document it? Alternatively, you could give a single thumbs down review for Exploding Cars XXII – This Time They *IMPLODE.
Or you could make more time for going to an actual cinema and viewing a film in a proper auditorium. I know I’m going to be trying to visit new cinemas, experience new auditoriums, and learn a little about their history. I hope to visit twelve in 2021. With any luck I’ll end up doubling that number too, which will give me something to scrapbook about.
WORDS Nathan Smith