We at Film Misery have a lot to be thankful for with endless cinematic adventures to be had and a growing readership to share them with. As everyone prepares to gather around the table and share their blessings, we have decided to post our own cinematic Thanksgiving (even Vinny participated, who lives in the Phillipines and doesn’t celebrate Turkey Day).
QUESTION: What are five movie related things you are thankful for this Thanksgiving?
1. New Opportunities – This year I have been able to connect with a Twin Cities marketing company that has allowed me to attend advanced screenings and invited me to participate in interviews. They have connected me to opportunities that I never would have had otherwise and I am so thankful for their support.
2. Jim Broadbent – When people ask me who my favorite actor of all-time, I always respond Fred Astaire; not because he is the most methodical or versatile actor, but because he is a vehicle of endless joy. The actor working today that I think comes closest to that quality is Jim Broadbent, who is thoroughly entertaining and brings a smile to my face regardless of the roles he will play.
3. The Podcast – Phil Kollar and I began the Film Misery Podcast in April of this year with zero expectations and have been thrilled as it has been more fun than I had ever expected.
4. Netflix Instant Queue – As much as Netflix has been beaten up this year, there is still nothing better for a movie fan than turning on my Blu-Ray player and scrolling through the 200+ films on my instant queue. There is always something new to discover.
5. Film Misery Writers – I am so excited to be a part of this team of smart, eloquent writers that make up Film Misery. It’s nice having more than one voice to provide cinematic insight.
1. Return of the Muppets – Thank goodness these lovable puppets are returning to the big screen this holiday season. These characters prove that CGI doesn’t hold a candle to the old school puppetry technique made famous by the Muppets. I, for one, will be there opening day.
2. The Criterion Collection – I eagerly await the monthly releases from the Criterion Collection. If I were a millionaire I would hope to own all of them. Although I sometimes disagree with a few of their choices, I am so very thankful that the time is spent to re-produce and enhance superb films. Bravo!
3. Glen Close’s Return to Film – My excitement for Albert Nobbs is at an all time high. Close is one of my all time favorite actresses – and I am truly hoping this is her year. Call me sentimental, but I think it’s a crime she doesn’t have an Oscar.
4. Oscar Season Heating Up – It’s the most wonderful time of the year (cue the music). Excited to see some early awards handed out and the FYC ads roll out in all their glory as well.
5. Vacation! – With work taking over my life the past 2 weeks, I am looking forward to a few days off to catch up on films and posts for Film Misery!
1) Living in Minneapolis – Sure, many cinephiles would probably be happier in a larger US market like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Minneapolis is pretty great too; it gets a fairly rigorous flow of independent movies and has numerous venues willing to screen classic films and more obscure pics. Ridiculous winter weather notwithstanding, I’m thankful I live where I do.
2) Deeply Challenging Cinema in 2011 – If you looked hard enough, there have been some truly great and truly challenging works that have come out this year: Tree of Life, Meek’s Cutoff, Certified Copy, Uncle Boonmee – I really could go on ad infinitum.
3) Documentary Filmmakers – 2011 is not as strong a year for nonfiction filmmaking as last year was, but it’s still been a pretty terrific run. It’s comforting to know there are still folks like Herzog and Morris who are allowed to make documentaries that entertain every bit as much as they provoke and inform.
4) Michael Fassbender – Years prior, He completely wowed me in Inglourious Basterds and Fish Tank. This year, he was great in Jane Eyre part of X-Men. He has two more films coming out this year, which I am looking forward to seeing almost entirely on his account. I think I’ve found a new all-time man-crush (step aside, Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
5) Film Misery – Yes, this is a hokey pick, but the truth is it’s rare to find a place on the Internet not only willing to publish your incoherent ramblings on film, but to present them to a readership that loves cinema as much as you do and is always respectful of everything you write. More than anything, I’m thankful to be here.
1) The Criterion Collection – As I make known quite regularly when I do the top five dvds of the week, I love the Criterion Collection. I don’t always agree with their taste, (Michael Bay, for instance). But I appreciate the general consistency and quality of product.
2) IFC films – Perhaps even more significant than the Criterion Collection which only re-releases films is IFC which provides American audiences with world cinema on-demand, on DVD, and on Netflix. I am still grateful that they put the Red Riding Trilogy in my hands!
3) The Unexpectedly Good Films of 2011 – While others may label the films of this year to be challenging, and they would not be wrong, what excites me most about this year is the fact that many of the most successful films have not been the ones people were anticipating.
4) Submarine – I recently rewatched this little gem only to have my initial reactions solidified. It is the embodiment of item number 3 on this list and a small masterpiece in its own twisted way. It isn’t a piece of middling indie fare. It is a fine and mature work, and an astonishing debut. Thank you Ben Stiller.
5) Hannah and Her Sisters – It is rare to see a film celebrate this holiday with much significance. This film does so three times, using it as a thematically perfect framing device and a perfect model of the holiday.
1. Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Week – The Princess Bride Blu-ray for $4.99 and DVD for $1.99. Need I say more?
2. Thanksgiving Play from ‘Addams Family Values’ – All I know about Thanksgiving I learned from Wednesday Addams’ play, and I’m watching this movie again to see her demonstrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
3. Mark Harris’ Oscarmetrics Column – One of the finest additions to this year’s Oscar coverage is Mark Harris’ column in Grantland. I would be happy if I could write half as good as him, and I can’t wait to see him write once the awards season starts with the NYFCC vote next week.
4. FYC Ads – Along with the start of the awards season comes the FYC ads of the Oscar contenders, which are truly some of the most beautiful ads around. They are a reminder of the great performances and movies of the year, and they evoke the best qualities of this year’s films. We also get to see some crazy ones, like Melissa Leo’s personal ad last year, which add a little bit of humor to the race.
5. Jessica Chastain – She came out of the blue this year, and she delivered strong performances in The Help, Tree of Life and The Debt. Still waiting to see Take Shelter and Texas Killing Fields, but all in all, I’m glad she’s around.
What about you? Share your answer to this week’s question in the comments!