3 min read

Filmed In Front Of A Live Studio Audience

Filmed In Front Of A Live Studio Audience
...a watchlist in no particular order…

It's been slightly confusing, clocking out some two weeks before New Year's Eve and, in the following free days of holiday cheer and the works, sifting through what I've been watching over the course of the past year. The text file I keep updated with everything and anything I watch, the notebooks I write in if there's anything to write about what I've just seen, and the Letterboxd account I truly enjoy keeping updated, have all felt off. I'd be lying if I said I've watched a lot more films than any of those lists claim I have over the past 365 days, but I most definitely feel like I have, which leaves us - me, my thoughts, my brain - at a strange impasse: there's no-one but me to verify or refute this, and I don't really think it's nearly as big a deal as I'm making it here, but something about this year - or, quite possibly or honestly, the last - has altered the way I take part in one of my favourite pastimes.

I truly, not quite madly but certainly deeply, adore going to the movies - meaning, specifically, the movie theatre. I absolutely don't believe that movies must be seen in theatres to be properly experienced or whatever, and will make do and watch in whatever way is possible if the theatre isn't an option; this is nothing out of the ordinary, I should add, since living in Sweden automatically means that most movies of interest for someone with more than a cursory interest in movies won't be available in any other format than the scope that falls under "digital", and even then it's not particularly straight-forward. Still, aware as ever to how cliché saying "things just haven't been the same" is, that's just it: the sudden and forced shift from moviegoing to the home theatre experience has blurred my memories of what I've actually seen and not, just like the pandemic as a whole has done for time at large.

I've always found it much easier to submit ranked end-of-year lists for music, and even TV shows despite the obvious connection there, than for movies. I'm still having a hard time really understanding why that is, and if it really just is because of something collected - like songs and episodes of a television series - is easier to judge and have clear feelings about than something as solitary as a movie. So I'm not ranking movies this year either, and I don't think I have a favourite movie to recommend, and when I look through my notes and try to remember what I've seen in 2021 I feel like I'm falling short because so much has been from the relative, perhaps questionable after two years more-or-less locked indoors, comfort of my home and not in the theatres of Stockholm that I love so very much. But, I do have a list of movies that have moved me in one way or another, that have left an impression and thoughts and feelings I don't mind sitting with, be it painful or joyful. They have all been beautiful and striking in their own ways, and made me think - as I always do when I'm struck by something special - just how amazing it is to get to take part of people's stories and talents.

             »NIAN« by Lulu Wang
         »THE GREEN KNIGHT« by David Lowery
           »DUNE« by Denis Villeneuve
       »THE HARDER THEY FALL« by Jeymes Samuel
      »THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS« by Lana Wachowski
         »NO TIME TO DIE« by Cary Joji Fukunaga
        »NO SUDDEN MOVE« by Steven Soderbergh
             »CODA« by Sian Heder
          »SWAN SONG« by Benjamin Cleary
           »ETERNALS« by Chloé Zhao