Looking Back at 2015 in Film

Inspired by an excellent (and touching) Facebook post by @Escapay, I wanted to write a summary of my 2015 in film.

This isn’t quite a best-of list (I haven’t seen many of the films that will likely be nominated at this year’s Academy Awards, though those are not necessarily the “best” of the year), nor is it limited to 2015 releases. This is a simply a reflection on the films I’ve seen this year, new discoveries, and special movie memories.

Here’s a look back at my 2015 in film:

  • 268 films seen (0.73 movies per day!)
  • First movie seen: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  • Last movie seen: Apur Sensar (1959)
  • Noteworthy films new to me this year (but not from this year – in no order):

    • Alien Anthology – finally completed the original quadrilogy by seeing Alien 3 & Alien: Resurrection
    • American Sniper
    • Apu Trilogy
    • Day for Night
    • Dressed to Kill
    • Inside Llewyn Davis
    • In the Realm of the Senses
    • Make Way for Tomorrow
    • Sister Act
    • A Special Day
    • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
    • 2001: A Space Odyssey
    • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
    • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
    • Whiplash
    • Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
  • Most-watched:

    • Descendants (4 times)
    • Dressed to Kill (4 times)
    • Inside Out (4 times)
    • Into the Woods (4 times)
    • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (4 times)
  • Opening night screenings:

    • Cinderella at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. Before the movie, we went to Cabo Wabo at the Hollywood & Highland shopping center for dinner & margaritas. Our waiter asked if we were there for the independent film showcase also taking place down the street, to which we replied “No, we here for Cinderella!”
    • Entourage at the Pacific Theatres in Glendale, CA.
    • Inside Out at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
    • Descendants at….home. (Does it count to watch a TV movie on “opening night?”)
    • Crimson Peak at the AMC in Burbank, CA.
    • Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Pacific Theatres in Glendale, CA.
  • Other memories:

    • I got Netflix’s disc rental service so I could finally see Sister Act.
    • Touchstone. With Sister Act, I realized my familiarity with Touchstone movies was very limited. This year, I finally got around to watching some of its better-known films including SplashSister Act 1 & 2Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.
    • Anime & Studio Ghibli. I had mistakenly written off Anime altogether, but was so blown away by Oscar nominee The Tale of the Princess Kaguya that I wanted to give the medium another shot. This introduced me to Castle in the SkyMy Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away (all of which I liked), as well as Kiki’s Delivery Service (which I couldn’t finish).
    • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – watching this “together, remotely” with Aaron Wallace, after his first time watching the Twin Peaks series. I’ve been a lifelong fan of the show, but had never seen the movie until this fateful night. While still paying attention, we texted our reactions through most of the film; I felt better knowing Killer BOB is just as scary to Aaron as he is to me!
    • This inspired numerous “together, remotely” viewings with @Escapay, who tallies 13 such occasions this year. There was definitely an emphasis on Disney and classic Hollywood – I can remember PocahontasCinderella II: Dreams Come TrueCinderella III: A Twist in Time, and Some Like It Hot, and there are certainly others I’m forgetting.
    • Weekend on dual screens – my TV, and my iPad (via the Netflix app). This was my first real visual essay, so I played both screens in sync and would occasionally pause & screenshot as needed for the scenes I wanted to write about. Not easy, but certainly a satisfying experience and I’m immensely proud of my Criterion Blogathon entry for this film.

What were your favorite films & discoveries from 2015? Any special movie memories? Reply below in the comments!

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