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New Year’s (Movie) Resolutions

The film team and beyond share their cinematic recommendations for the new year.

This is the time of year for promises we may not keep. And we’ve got plenty of movie-related resolutions, whether it’s something we always wanted to see but have never found time for, or a new aspect of film that we want to get into. From contributors from and beyond the Film section, here are some of our movie-watching goals for the New Year…ones which we will hopefully stick to.

Caitlin Wilson 

This year I’m resolving to embrace the short film. I’m a fairly devoted film-watcher – I love carving out time to watch three-hour epics and ninety-minute gems alike, but I don’t always have the time to invest in a great feature. Short films are often under-promoted and under-watched, but the ones I have seen have stuck with me for years. Jim Cummings’ Thunder Road centres one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen, and Jeremy Comte’s Fauvre haunts me to this day. Several of my favourite directors have also dabbled in shorts – Sofia Coppola’s Lick the Star has been in my Letterboxd ‘to watch’ list for a while now, as has Julia Ducornau’s Junior

Short films are a place for the weird and niche parts of cinema to thrive, where new filmmakers test the waters and veterans explore new facets of their art. So I’m declaring this year my year of the short film. Maybe I’ll even try making one of my own! 

Abbie Nott

My resolution to go in search of new favourite films this year got off to a false start when I put on ‘When Harry Met Sally’ for the definitely-at-least-twentieth time on New Year’s Day. I am a compulsive re-watcher of movies: this is something I thought everyone was guilty of, but it turns out not all of my friends have watched ‘Love, Actually’ enough times to know everyone’s lines – even the ones spoken by the little boy in the octopus costume… 

In 2022, I am going to expand my horizons beyond the Richard Curtis and Nora Ephron rom-com sections of Netflix. ‘Licorice Pizza’, featuring Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, is a new coming-of-age movie I want to see, although I am mostly drawn in by the Bowie song in the trailer. I loved ‘tick, tick… BOOM!’, the Jonathan Larson biopic starring Andrew Garfield, so I’m hoping the musicals streak will continue with the new ‘West Side Story’ which I can’t wait to get around to. 

One film I keep hearing about is Spider-Man: No Way Home. I have somehow never watched a single Spiderman film – maybe this is the year that changes and then I can discover if the hype is to be believed! Either way, I hope 2022 gives me a new top-10 film… that was released after 2010. 

Wang Sum Luk

For an editor of the Film section, the list of Important Classic Films I haven’t seen is embarrassingly long—and by that, I mean I saw Jaws for the first time this New Year’s Day. My initial plan of following that by watching Spielberg’s other major films in chronological order was put on hold when I remembered that I still had vacation reading to finish, but I’m finishing my Spielberg-A-Thon as soon as I can.

This may also be the year I finally make myself watch those boring foreign art films I’ve always been putting off seeing—yeah, I know the work of Yasujiro Ozu and Andrei Tarkovsky would be valuable additions to my education as a movie viewer, but why sit through a minute-long close-up of a vase when I could go on YouTube and watch fight scenes from a Marvel movie? Hopefully I’ll change that habit, even if I might need to duct-tape myself to my chair to ensure that I don’t start checking my phone while watching Tokyo Story.

Noah Wild

The new year is a good opportunity for reorganisation, perhaps a clear out of things that are now taking up space, left in the attic acquiring dust and beginning to smell of rotting nostalgia. For me, the film equivalent of old comics or never-played CDs is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whilst WandaVision started off 2021 well for Marvel, providing an energetic series that utilised and subverted its TV format, this energy tailed off as the year went on. Now the saturation of Marvel content is taking up more time in my life than it’s worth. With an episode released on Disney Plus almost every week of the year, alongside four feature films, it seems no one can stay on top of the endless releases, study for a degree or hold a full-time job all at the same time. 2022 may be the year when I make some space on the shelves and walk away from the developing ‘multiverse’ before a new incarnation of Iron Man is ripped out from a solar system different from our own and the whole process starts all over again. Though maybe the Black Panther sequel will forge new ground like its predecessor, and I’ll end up breaking the resolution. In the meantime, I have a stack of unwatched old classics on DVD that need watching before I take them to the charity shop. I’d estimate that it’s about four years since I bought Gladiator from CEX for fifty-pence and at this point I’m starting to feel sorry for it, left there unloved and unwatched.

Artwork by Wang Sum Luk. Image credit: Matej//Pexels, Pexels//Pixabay, ViTalko//Pexels, Hans//Pixabay, Deltaworks//Pixabay, ericspaete//Pixabay, Jonas von Werne//Pexels

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