In the first part of 2011, before I got back into writing regularly, I was watching a lot of movies. I was also keeping track of what I had watched and making brief notes about most of them on Facebook and on the forums of a movie review site I like. I saw 67 movies for the first time in 2011, 66 of them between January and August.
For fun, I put together a list of my 10 favorite films that I saw for the first time last year. Note that these are films from all years -- I've only seen nine 2011 releases, so I literally couldn't make a Top 10 list for 2011 itself!
These were all films that I could recommend with few or no reservations. I'll list five of the movies today and five another day soon.
10) Heaven Can Wait (1943) - Don Ameche, Gene Tierney, and Charles Coburn star in this Ernst Lubitsch-directed movie about a man (Ameche) who has died and is expecting to end up in Hell, recounting the experiences of his life.
9) I Married a Witch (1942) - Fredric March, Susan Hayward, and Veronica Lake star in this amusing Rene Clair-directed adaptation of the novel by fantasist Thorne Smith. Two Salem-era witches get loosed in 1940s America and tamper with the life of an young politician.
8) Le Million (1931) - French musical comedy about a lottery ticket in the pocket of a missing jacket. Tons of fun.
7) Source Code (2011) - It may not be great science fiction -- the central premise is borderline-ridiculous -- but it's a great thriller which also has cool science fiction trappings. I rewatched this one with my daughters a couple of weeks ago and was pleased to see that I still enjoyed it on a second viewing.
6) Days of Heaven (1978) - Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, and Sam Shepard star in this Terrence Malick movie. The film center at OSU showed a double-bill of this and Badlands one night this summer. I had expected to be more interested in Badlands, but found Days of Heaven to be the more satisfying of the two. Gorgeous visuals throughout, good sound work, and a good score all helped make this one of my favorite movies of 2011.
In January, as part of the #writemotivation project, I'll be blogging every Monday about how things are going with my writing goals. Here's how things are looking so far, about 1/4 of the way through the month.
1) Spend time in the first half of January analyzing my first draft of "Adrift" and time in the second half of January planning the second draft. - Oof. A big "fail" on this one so far. I haven't even opened up the documents. Ultimately, I'm not going to nipick on the whole "first half"/"second half" of the month thing, but I suspect there's a fair chance at this point that I'm not going to meet this goal unless I radically change my current writing routine.
2) Write 25,000 words of new fiction including at least one new short story. - This is going reasonably well. I'm on my netbook, so don't have my spreadsheet, but I know I'm right around 5000 words as of last night (the 8th). It's close to on-pace for my overall 2012 goal of 250,000 words. And it's really only one good day of writing off page for the monthly goal. But it's also absorbing a lot of my writing time, which is at least part of the problem with meeting goal #1. I've completed two new short stories, so that part of the "Write 1/Sub 1" monthly goal has been met.
3) Keep all my writing routines -- Seinfeld Chain, blogging schedule, etc. - No problems at all here so far. I'm considering making some changes to my blogging schedule, but those will be announced in advance and probably won't appear until February.
4) On 1/31, have one non-time-sensitive blog post written and ready for future use on a day when I'm not able to post something "new." - I've started on this, but don't have a full post sitting aside yet.
5) Submit one or more short stories for the first time this month. - Done. So I've completed the entire "Write 1/Sub 1" goal for the month.