One year of watching Movies You Must See Before You Die

I’ve mentioned the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die in almost every film-related post over the past 12 months. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been at this list of movies for that long, but in reviewing the films I’ve seen since then, I realize now that it’s definitely time for an update.
Zepfanman's Favorites from 1001 Movies
Read more One year of watching Movies You Must See Before You Die

Let’s hear some women talk

Let me take a moment to explain in my own words something that is very important to me.

Blue is the Warmest Color movie still

I just saw the new X-Men (Days of Future Past). Out of all the comicbook-to-film series, I think I’ve enjoyed the X-Men the most. These mutant stories weave political, scientific, and psychological themes with eye-popping muscles and badassery. I won’t give away any spoilers about the latest installment, but there was an impressionable balance of special effects and dialogue… between and about men. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the movie, but Days of Future Past is a prime example of the normative failure of Hollywood to show women interacting with each other on screen.
Read more Let’s hear some women talk

Favorite films seen in 2013

Gravity, Philomena, Metropolis, A Room With a View…. These are a few films and TV shows from my list of 2013 films (released in Louisville) or the list of older films that I had never seen before (14 of which are streaming on Netflix). Last year, I summarized my IMDb films of 2012. This year, in October, I created my own custom spreadsheet of movies.

Films I've seen, released in 2013

TitleTypeMyAvg.#Ratings
42Feat.107.640140
47 RoninFeat.86.620906
A Good Day to Die HardFeat.85.4117907
American Hustle *Feat.87.784115
Amour *Feat.107.848394
Bettie Page Reveals AllDocu.87124
Birdemic 2: The ResurrectionFeat.42.4733
Blue Is the Warmest Color *Feat.98.119519
Blue Jasmine *Feat.77.545292
Charles Bradley: Soul of AmericaFeat.107.6260
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (S2)Series88.3840
¡Cuatro!Docu.88.855
Craig Ferguson: I'm Here to HelpFeat.87.1163
Drinking BuddiesFeat.86.222027
ElysiumFeat.76.7172790
EpicFeat.76.748706
Frances Ha *Feat.97.616883
Fruitvale StationFeat.97.619434
Gravity *Feat.108.3252724
History of the Eagles Part OneDocu.97.8485
Louis C.K.: Oh My God TV Special78.2002284
Much Ado About NothingFeat.77.48153
MudFeat.77.560915
Only God ForgivesFeat.85.849964
Oz the Great and PowerfulFeat.86.5130601
Phil Spector TV Movie86.33016
Philomena *Feat.107.98090
Picasso Baby: A Performance Art FilmDocu.97.740
Prisoners Feat.78.1147084
QuartetFeat.96.89748
Red Bull Stratos - Mission to the Edge of SpaceDocu.8n/an/a
Room 237Docu.76.49200
Secret Project RevolutionShort98.344
Side by SideDocu.97.77346
Star Trek Into DarknessFeat.97.9253676
The ConjuringFeat.107.6151753
The Grandmaster Feat.76.613019
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Feat.88.2199498
The Hunt *Feat.98.365737
The Impossible *Feat.97.6100341
The Last Ice MerchantDoc. Short87.525
The Place Beyond the PinesFeat.87.4115809
This Is the EndFeat.96.9172296
Top of the Lake *Series97.67068
TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from KeyboardDocu.97.78516
Upstream ColorFeat.76.9010284
We're the MillersFeat.87.1150504
Whatever This Is.Series88.625
World War ZFeat.97.1261490
Zero Dark Thirty *Feat.87.5153985
Films released in the Louisville area in 2013 that I've seen. IMDb ratings ("Avg." column) based on Jan. 27, 2014 numbers. * Nominated for Golden Globe
Nominated for Academy Award
Nominated for Emmy Award

Films I’ve seen, pre-2013 release

Of the older films I’ve seen this year, here are the highlights. I’ve notated the ones that are streaming (at time of publication) on Netflix. I was motivated to watch a lot of these after reviewing the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, particularly if they passed the Bechdel Test.

  • 49 Up (2005, docu., Netflix)
  • A Room with a View (1985, Netflix)
  • A Trip to the Moon (Watched both the original 1902 b&w version, and newly restored 2012 Blu-ray hand-colored version with Air soundtrack)
  • Amreeka (2009)
  • Blue (2012, new YouTube series)
  • Breaking the Waves (1996)
  • Carrington (1995)
  • Children of Paradise (1945)
  • Chimpanzee (2012, docu.)
  • Coldplay Live 2012 (Netflix)
  • Control Room (2004, docu., Netflix)
  • Cosmic Voyage (1996)
  • Crumb (1994, docu.)
  • Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  • Electric Shadows (2004, Netflix)
  • Enter the Void (2009, Netflix)
  • Forks Over Knives (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • Kick-Ass (2010)
  • Leonie (2010)
  • M (1931)
  • Man With a Movie Camera (1929, docu., Netflix)
  • Metropolis (1927, purchased 2010 “complete” Blu-ray with newly found footage; also streaming Netflix)
  • Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)
  • My Brilliant Career (1979, Netflix)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Night and Fog (1955, docu.)
  • Nostalgia for the Light (2010, docu.)
  • Pearl Jam Twenty (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Porco Rosso (1992)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Senna (2010, docu., Netflix)
  • Seven Chances (1925, Netflix)
  • The General (1926, Netflix)
  • The Holy Mountain (1973)
  • The House Is Black (1963, docu.)
  • The Killer (1989)
  • The Pixar Story (2007, docu.)

Zepfanman’s mega spreadsheet of movie ratings

Some people like to write reviews on films. I prefer to crunch movie numbers…. I will update this post from time to time with the latest Google Doc mega spreadsheet of movie ratings. Read on (below the spreadsheet) for an explanation. Bookmark this page: zepfanman.com/mymovies

Movies spreadsheet

Last Google upload: 2015 July 22 (3,488 entries). Formats: Web-based, comment-able Google Docs file (embedded below). I keep the frequently-updated XLSX on Dropbox here for download.

Read more Zepfanman’s mega spreadsheet of movie ratings

Watch and share this new Pirate Bay documentary

TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard is a fascinating documentary about the three founders of said Swedish file sharing website.

Watch and share the free film on TPBAFK.tv (there’s an interesting annotated version there using LinkLib), or just stream it directly from YouTube.

tpb afk
(CC-BY Simon Klose)
Read more Watch and share this new Pirate Bay documentary

Collecting Images of Liberation (Befrielsesbilleder, 1982)

It is a challenge* to find commentary online about Lars von Trier’s film school graduation piece, Befrielsesbilleder (translated as Image of Relief / Liberation Pictures/Photos or variants of these words). Without giving away too much of the plot—is there one?—I’ve attempted to collect as much information about the film that I could dig up. Take 57 minutes to go watch it on YouTube and then come back here to see if you can piece together this “film noir.”

“A film should be like a stone in your shoe.” – Lars von Trier (Source)

Befrielsesbilleder - Kirsten Olesen

Synopsis: In this thought-provoking graduate film of student Lars von Trier, the behavior of Danish resistance fighters at the end of World War II is called into question by documentary footage of them making street arrests and by fictional enactments of crimes. In one sequence, a captive German officer escapes prison and is led into a trap in the forest by a Danish woman — she believes he was responsible for blinding a teenager, and she stabs his eyes through with a wooden blade. He is left to crawl in the very woods where as a child, he had tried to converse with the birds. Using both color and black-and-white to good advantage, the cinematography adds to the dramatic impact. – By Eleanor Mannikka on AllMovie
Read more Collecting Images of Liberation (Befrielsesbilleder, 1982)