Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 10 Films of 2011 (#6-10) & #writemotivation Weekly Wrapup

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.


  1. You've been very busy so far this year. Keep up the good work.

  2. Wow you're doing swimmingly so far. This is great! I'm sure you can make the 25k by the end of the month.

    And congrats on writing 1 and subbing 1 :D

  3. Thanks, Miranda and KT. I'm keeping at it. Got about 1000 words in late tonight. Still lots of month left! :)

  4. Wow - I haven't seen any of these movies. I'll have to check them out! Good luck with continuing your goals. That "future blog posting" one is something I'm working at as well.

  5. I'm late making my #writemotivation blog rounds for this week, but it seems like you're doing a great job. Revisiting the draft of my WIP is the one tripping me up too. It's always more fun to write new words. :-) I love the concept of the Seinfeld Chain - I might have to try it myself.

  6. Nicole, if you do end up seeing some of them, I'll be curious to know what you think! 10 and 9 were both available last year for Netflix Instant Streaming which is how I watched them.

    Thanks for stopping by, Jocelyn! I'll have a new update on Monday. It won't look much different from this one. ;-)

  7. Okay Michael, I just had to put keypad to computer and share my favourite movies. Sorry to take up so much room. Feel free to delete once you've had a look at my choices!
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Godfather 2 and 1
    The Heiress
    Dinner at Eight
    Singing in the Rain
    Murder At the Gallop
    The Bishop's Wife
    Finding Nemo
    Witness for the Prosecution
    All About Eve
    Hannah and her sisters

  8. Hi, Jo-Anne, thanks for stopping by! No reason to apologize at all; part of the fun of this sort of list is seeing the lists other people make!

    A couple of those are ones I haven't heard of before. "Dinner at Eight" and "Murder at the Gallop" both sound interesting!

    "Finding Nemo" was one of our sons' favorite movies when he was little. I must have listened to that movie 200 times!