Tonight I watched my 150th film of the year - the 2008 Austrian crime drama Revanche, which I recorded from the usually excellent Maori TV late-night movie slot. It's a taut thriller set in Vienna and the surrounding countryside, and it plays some interesting games with the notion of a perpetrator and a lawman accidentally placed in close proximity after a job goes badly wrong. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2009 Oscars, but lost out to Yojiro Takita's drama Departures.
Racking up a significant milestone in film-watching reminded me that one of the main reasons I've seen so many films this year is the website Letterboxd (sic.), a free New Zealand-made film log website in which you can keep a journal of your film viewing, give your verdict if you like, hold up your favourites for praise or opprobrium, keep a watchlist of films you want to see, and see others' reviews. Using the website has encouraged me to see plenty more films than I would have otherwise; in 2013 I saw around 50 at the cinema, but to date this year I've already seen 62 at the cinema. And I've been filling in a lot of gaps in my viewing of great films from previous decades - this year I watched for the first time classics such as The Godfather Part II, the silent epic Siegfried from 1924, Errol Flynn in Captain Blood, and the tremendous 1938 Katharine Hepburn / Cary Grant farce, Bringing Up Baby.
Having a DVR is handy too - to catch the decent movies broadcast on free-to-air, which are usually on way too late to watch live. Because prime-time is bound to have something on featuring Adam Sandler, right? Although I was very impressed when TV3 played the rather stunning Children of Men earlier in the year, which presumably will have turned off a reasonable number of viewers, but also opened the eyes of a few to a glimpse of something beyond the cookie-cutter mainstream.
I can safely predict that my favourite film of the year so far, Richard Linklater's Boyhood, will feature in my top three films at year's end, and it may well still hold the top spot - it really is that special. But I'm looking forward to plenty more viewing before the year's out, particularly at the Monday night screenings of the Film Society at the Paramount. The Society screening of Gene Kelly in An American in Paris should be a great way to cap off a year's film watching, and there's the definite highlight of Christopher Nolan's new sci-fi epic Interstellar to await. The third Hobbit film might be good too - well, it will be a spectacle, at any rate. Here's hoping Peter Jackson moves on from Middle Earth for good once this one's out though - it was good while it lasted, but there's such a thing as too much Tolkien, even in the film capital of New Zealand.
Movies: The Last Waltz, 5 October 2014
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