We all know that 2020 sucked. The pandemic and racial unrest highlighted a year in which isolation controlled much of our lives. While no where as important as the life changing circumstances, the most personal tole that the year took on me, was depression and anxiety sapping me of the ability to find joy in my passion. While a normal year sees me watching 300+ new films to me, in 2020 I could not even make it through half of that. The closure of theaters certainly had something to do with that, but the motivation just was not there to sit through a movie at all most days. The year also marked a substantial decrease in my writing about film. When I could manage the strength to watch something, putting words to paper just seemed an impossibility.
These past few weeks though, I have been getting back in the swing of watching movies. Doing so partially in an attempt to catch up on the year’s films, but also because I’m finding some joy in it again. To keep this motivation streak going (and ease myself back into writing) I’m hoping to start a new project, one in which I’ll watch at least 1 film a day and write a blog post about it. Now, I’ve tried this before and quickly burnt out, but I’m hoping a slight tweak to the format will put me in a better position to succeed. Instead of focusing so diligently on writing reviews or essays, I’m going to take a more relaxed/blog-like tone in my writings. This will allow me to be more personal in my reactions, while also allowing for some self care.
Now, without further ado, my 2021 Film Journey.
January Blog Posts – 43 feature length films and 6 shorts watched.
First month of the project saw me watching a lot of 2020 films in hopes of getting out a year end list, and then a handful of blind spot fill-ins. Of the 43 feature length films I watched, 13 of them were directed by women as well as 2 of the shorts putting me well ahead of pace for #52FilmsByWomen. Highlights from the month included Nomadland as the best 2020 film and L’Avventura, Nights of Cabiria, and Fanny and Alexander as strand outs from my blind spot filling in.
February Blog Posts – 34 feature length films and 9 shorts watched.
For February I added a slight twist to my film watching for the month. In honor of Black History Month, I made sure that the first film I watched each day was directed by a Black director. As with January, I’m not officially calling out #52FilmsbyWomen as I watch them, but it’s something that I’m thinking about with my viewing decisions. Of the 34 feature length films I watched, 12 of them were directed by women as well as 4 of the shorts. Highlights from the month include Killer of Sheep, 25th Hour, and Little Woods were the standouts from Black directors and Alice in the Cities from the additional films I watched.
March Blog Posts – 35 feature length films and 7 shorts watched.
For March, much of my viewing focus was on the films nominated for the 93rd Academy Awards. At the end of the month, I only have 4 feature films and 5 shorts to watch for this year’s awards, and will likely finish the list in the next few days. Of the 35 feature length films I watched this month, 12 were directed by women along with 1 of the shorts. Highlights from the Oscar nominated viewing for the month include Sound of Metal, The Father, and Quo vadis, Aida?. Of the non-nominated films I watched this month, The Beaches of Agnès quickly became one of my favorite documentaries of all time.