Archive for December, 2014

My Year in Cinema

December 31, 2014

In 2014, Luis Buñuel, Patricio Guzmán, Budd Boetticher, Ernst Lubitsch, Jan Švankmajer and Shohei Imamura are some of the film directors whose work I watched the most.

As usual though, I cast a wide net.  I love Cinema  and I watch a lot of it.  To me, Documentaries, Silent Films, Animation, Classic Films, International Films and Experimental Films are all good.  I still watch VHS tapes and DVDs.  I rarely watch film on the computer though that could change.  There’s some rare stuff out there.

I saw a lot of early television.  This included work by Ernie Kovacs, Jonathan Winters and Sid Caesar.  I also watched pretty much every episode of The Twilight Zone!  Rod Serling’s TV show ran from late 1959 to 1964.

I read some books connected with the cinema.  Two of my favorites were J. Hoberman’s history of the films of the Cold War Era, An Army of Phantoms and too his The Dream Life, on the films of the 1960s.

I try to get out and see movies on the screen.  I didn’t make it out to the mainstream films much, though there were releases out that I’d like to see.  I only made it to a commercial movie theatre once all year!  That’s a first. I saw the documentary on photographer Vivian Maier at the Main in Royal Oak.  So even that wasn’t really a mainstream movie house.

I did get to my neighborhood theatres, the Detroit Film Theatre and Cinema Detroit.  The Film Theatre celebrated their 40th anniversary.  I was going to put on an exhibition dedicated to this, but they closed for 3 or 4 months due to repairs. I hope to mount this exhibit in the future.  I’ll give them a rain check.

My major complaint is that they show a lot of the best films one time only.  Unfortunately, these showings are early in the day on Saturdays.  I wish they’d show some of these on Sundays as well, even if they needed to do so in the smaller auditorium.  I have to work every Saturday and have to miss all of these films, that’s disappointing.  I have to miss all but one of the Frederic Wiseman films they’ll be showing next year.  Oh well.

That said, I loved seeing the documentaries The Great Flood, Deep City, Birth of the Miami Sound, The Land of the Unjust and Let the Fire Burn.  They had excellent live music backing silent films such as The Yellow Ticket, The Golem and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger.  Some of these were part of the Cinetopia festival.  There was also a Polish film festival which will continue in 2015.  I saw three of those of which my favorite was The Saragossa Manuscript.

Still, they’re great, and I’m glad they’re in walking distance.  Ditto Cinema Detroit , though it’s a longer walk. The Redford Theatre also shows good movies.  Usually I’m interested in seeing about half of their schedule.  I try to get to three or four films a year there.  I especially enjoyed their recent animation program.

I’ll try to get out to the mainstream movie theatres in 2015.  Keep watching!

The Detroit Film Theatre:

Cinema Detroit:

The Redford Theatre:

Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema:

Film History News:

Some who died in 2014: