December 30, 2009

Cinema 2009: Looking Back at my Cinema Experience of the Year

It was in October 2006 that I really discovered cinema and got addicted to it. Although it is hard to believe, I watched Aanand, Andhi, and Pyaasa for the first time only then. But since then it has been the most important job for me, to watch as many films as I can and compensate for what I call my 'sins'. 2009 was the best year I have had, as far as cinema experience is considered, with more than 250 good films that I watched for the first time, and I do not count the bad ones or re-watches. Here is a brief summary of the year:

  • It was the year that made me realize the greatness of Stanley Kubrick and Charlie Chaplin. Also, I saw some of the great films of Martin Scorsese, although a lot remains to be wathced.
  • Discovered Federico Fellini, and also Jim Jarmusch, the Coen Brothers and Paul Thomas Anderson.
  • Got introduced to Jean-Luc Godard, Fritz Lang, Andrei Tarkovsky, Wim Wenders, John Ford, John Huston, Billy Wilder, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Agnes Varda, Alain Resnais, Marcel Carne, Theo Angelopoulos, Andrzej Wajda, Terrence Mallick, Terry Giliam, Guy Ritchie and the Marx Brothers.
  • Continued watching more films of Hitchcock, Bergman, Kieslowski, Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray and Woody Allen
  • Realized that my favourite Hollywood genre is the Western. Apart from a rewatch of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on the big screen, watched Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, For a Few Dollars More, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • Finally watched classics like The Godfather - II, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Touch of Evil, Jules et Jim, 12 Angry Men, Chinatown, Lawrence of Arabia, Easy Rider and more.
  • Discovered the power of the Documentary through Born into Brothels, An Inconvenient Truth, Unmistaken Child and Ayn Rand- a Sense of Life.
  • And some great Hindi films strengthened my faith in the legacy of our own film industry. Some of them were: Pakeezah, Neecha Nagar, Aakrosh, Nishant, Trikal, Bhumika, Kalyug, Sparsh, Saaransh, New Delhi Times, Bobby, Maachis, Lamhe and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na.
To add to this were many other great movies of the past and some of the best releases of the year. Perhaps for those not exposed to the best of cinema, most of the above will sound intimidating. But those who are really into it would find it difficult to believe that I was so late in discovering such gems. For example, I watched The Godfather-II only recently! I know that I have arrived late, but if few more years be spent as 2009, I hope to catch up soon. I watched almost 80 of the 1000 Greatest Movies list I am following. 10 more years like 2009, and I will cover almost the whole of it. Too ambitious? Well, when you are addicted, and terribly so, do you care for anything else?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. You know I come from a family where watching too many movies was not a nice thing to do.

    I did much the same, but of course my calendar started from 2003 as I am a greying old woman now.

    Please post the 1000 Greatest Movies so that one can just pick from there.

    " To kill a Mocking bird and 12 Angry men are movies I can watch any time, do see 12 am's hindi make as well. Ek Ruka hua faisla, if you havent yet, its a masterpeice, more like a play though.

  3. the list of the 1000 greatest movies is on this blog itself, just below the pic of the clapper board on the right hand side.

    i saw 'ek ruka hua faisla' before '12 angry men' and i was damn impressed. but when i saw the original i was hugely disappointed. the hindi one was a frame-by-frame copy, one of the most shameless cases of plagiarism. it is sad.

  4. Hey,Thanks for stopping by and commenting. "Motorcycle Diaries" did not feature in this post of urs.... Have u seen it or read Che Guevara's biography? Do it soon if u havent... :)

  5. This post is about the films I saw in 2009.
    Watched 'Motorcycle Diaries' in 2007.
    Thanks anyway. Keep coming up with suggestions.

  6. hi saty, thanks for all the posts.. i must say im too getting 'Cinemate'
    Recently i rewatched 'Nuovo Cinema Paradiso' great movie.. the pic u put at the right panel of that boy reminded me of the film again..
    awaiting for your newer posts...

  7. thanks for the encouragement.
    trying to think of other necessary 'cinemate' posts before i move onto some tough stuff like film theory and all.
    keep reading.
    thanks a lot.

  8. have you watched 'run lola run' ? .. i did yesterday ..was immediately reminded of kieslowski's 'Blind Chance'...watched another german movie 'lives of others'( was in news for best foreign movie oscar)... enjoyed it too ..

  9. Run Lola Run: I dont remember much, it was more than 2 na half years ago...
    Live of Others is definitely one of the fine films of recent times...
    But I love Blind Chance the most, partly coz of my bias for Kieslowski but definitely more than that it is perhaps the most strongly political film I have watched...also, many consider it as Kieslowski's most original work, he at his raw best...

    Keep Watching

  10. actually, this is Satyanshu. I have logged in through my brother's ID. And I am too lazy to log out and log in. Cheers!

  11. devanshu..satyanshu ..doesn't really matter as long as i get to discuss good cinema :D ..btw have u seen Ishqiya's promos ? got me super excited about the movie .. there seems to be a hint of "butch cassidy " in there .. naseer saab seems set for another rocking act ..and that song "dil to bachcha hai ji " !!..rahat's rendition apart little things like gulzar's use of sufaid instead of safed :D ...make it just fab..more power to the writers !!!!

  12. Can not agree more.
    And there is this song: Badi Dheere Jali Raina, can let it play in repeat mode forever...
    Dying to watch the movie.