Welcome to the second Mid-Year Round-Up post, in which I will list the films I’ve watched from January until the end of June. These are going to be a bit more “rapid-fire”, so to speak, since I have watched more movies than read books. Let’s get started!
January was definitely the month that I watched the most films (so far). I started the year by watching Cats and God’s Not Dead 3. My discord friends and I wanted to celebrate the new year by doing something silly together, one of them started streaming Cats for all of us and somehow we ended up watching God’s Not Dead 3 straight after because we were in that weirdly funny “let’s watch bad stuff” mood. Overall, it was a very cursed start of the year. ?
I watched The Long Goodbye as I was scripting a cyberpunk-noir radio drama, and thought this movie might help me with the story and characters. My discord friends and I watched Dolemite (1975) after we had all enjoyed Dolemite Is My Name on Netflix and it made for a pretty entertaining movie night.
I finally got around to watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about Mr. Rogers, which made me cry multiple times. Even though I am not American, and thus did not grow up with Mr. Rogers, he quickly became an inspiration of mine through the documentary. My favourite quote of his that has stayed with me is definitely this one:
You know, I think everybody longs to be loved and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they are loved and capable of loving.Mr. Rogers
I finally watched Joker and enjoyed it a lot, especially because of the refreshingly new take on the character (but that also felt familiar), and the questions it poses to the audience. After that, I was on a sci-fi kick and re-watched Her, which is still one of my favourite movies of all time. (And yes, a video on it is in the works!) Voices of a Distant Star by Makoto Shinkai was next and I also really enjoyed it. These last two movies would later also help me come up with and shape my short story “Space Song”, which I hope to get published in a literary magazine in the future.
I watched Heavy Metal because my boyfriend’s brother came around one night and insisted we watch it together. I really can’t say I would have watched it otherwise, it’s not really my kind of movie. Finally, the last film watched in January was WHAT DID JACK DO? by David Lynch. I’m really glad to see that he’s making shorter projects these days and having fun with them, it’s motivating me as a filmmaker as well.
February was a short month in terms of films. Started with Kong: Skull Island, which was pretty entertaining. I watched Parasite, again streamed on discord by a friend (I swear discord movie nights are the best); I went in totally blind and I’m glad I did, it really is a masterfully crafted film.
The last two films of the month (yes, already) were both short ones: The Blue Umbrella by Pixar, and Up North by independent filmmaker Stefanie Abel Horowitz.
March started with Coming to America (a random movie that was put on as boyfriend’s brother came over one night). It then continued with animated films, such as Frozen II, Porco Rosso and Dragon Quest: Your Story (which I couldn’t resist as I have been playing Dragon Quest XI for a while now).
The worst movie I watched this month definitely has to be Rise of Skywalker, which I streamed for my discord friends who hadn’t watched it yet. It was a wild night of laughter, drinking (mostly from discord friends as I hate alcohol ?) and often just being outright confused/perplexed by the movie. Good times!
You’d think, with lockdown in full swing as it was in April, I would’ve watched a truckload of movies, right? But unfortunately, I really wasn’t in the mood for films (I preferred books and video games during this period), so I ended up watching a grand total of three movies. But this still isn’t the shortest month yet!
I watched Knives Out with discord friends, which I think helped me enjoy it more (I’m not big on who-dun-it stories). Then it was the turn of InuYasha Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass — also watched with discord friends — and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which I enjoyed.
Shin Godzilla could be on the list for movies watched in April if I wasn’t very, very scared of the way Godzilla looks in the movie. ? But maybe I’ll check it out in the future!
More-movies-May! This month features a lot of animated films mixed in with live action stuff.
Started off with InuYasha Movie 3: Swords of an Honourable Ruler and Castle in the Sky, both watched with discord friends. I have to say, the third Inuyasha movie is definitely my favourite, as it focuses a lot on Sesshoumaru and the brotherly relationship between him and Inuyasha, which I always found interesting. The last two animated films of this month were InuYasha Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island (again, watched with discord friends) and The Adventures of Tintin. If the third Inuyasha film is my favourite, I think the fourth one is my least favourite, as it just feels like a random animated fanfiction more than any other film. ?
I finally got around to watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which, to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy (which was a shame as I really liked Terminator). Boyfriend and I also watched Office Space and streamed it for our discord friends, which made for a pretty fun movie night.
The last movie of May was Lost In Translation, which I had been wanting to re-watch for a while now, and I fell in love with it all over again. It is a fantastic piece of filmgaze; I love it so much that I was inspired to take some screenshots of my favourite scenes (which I plan to post on tumblr), and I’ve decided to make a little video as an “ode” to this film (probably my next project, it’s pretty high on the priority list).
We have reached June, which is also, coincidentally, the month with the least movies watched, with just two. But those two films really packed a punch.
One of them was The Irishman, which surely counts for two movies? Regardless, I loved it, and honestly, it didn’t feel like 3 and a half hours long at all, it was masterfully paced.
The other one was Sometimes I Think About Dying again by independent filmmaker Stefanie Abel Horowitz. I consider this to be one of the best representation of depression and suicidal thoughts ever put into a short film. I could absolutely relate to the incredible writing, and the visuals are beautiful also. Its runtime is thirteen minutes, and every minute is absolutely worth it.
This concludes the film part of Mid-Year Round-Up! You can find ratings and reviews of these movies on my Letterboxd and you can follow me there if you so wish. ?