Halfway Point

This is as much for me as it is for you.

I started out 2015 with a modest goal: To watch more movies that I hadn’t seen before than I did ones that I had. Last year, I watched 269 movies, not including TV series, of which 123 were new to me, which means that I didn’t quite manage even a 50/50 split. So this year I’ve made a conscious effort to watch more movies that I’ve never seen before, and so far it seems to be paying off.

As I have for a couple of years now, I keep a notebook where I write down every movie that I watch, along with the year it was released and an asterisk if I’ve seen it before. As of the morning of July 1, I had watched 126 movies so far this year, of which 79 were new to me, leaving only 47 that I had ever seen before. I’m sure I won’t keep up exactly that divide for the remainder of the year, but that puts me off to a pretty good lead to hit my goal of seeing more movies for the first time than I do for the second, or third, or hundredth.

I’m not really trying this goal for any special reason, besides that there are lots and lots of and lots of movies out there that I’ve never seen, and that I want to see, and I know that I’ll never have enough time, even in a long lifetime of watching lots and lots of movies, to get to them all, so I figure I’ll take an active role in trying to knock out a few more of them.

(For those who’re curious, so far in July I’ve seen 8 movies, at an average of a movie a day, which are thus far evenly divided between new-to-me and not, so that doesn’t really skew our data one way or the other at all.)

  1. Impressive. It’d be interesting to take a gander at that movie notebook of yours. Do you rate the movies you see?

    • It’s… a very mixed bag, to be sure. I don’t tend to rate them, though I do keep a running list of anything I saw that came out this year, ranked in rough order of preference, for when I inevitably get tasked with making some sort of end-of-the-year list.

  2. I’m sure you find hidden gems, but, if you’re watching that many movies, you must subject yourself to some pretty awful dreck. That said, I’d love to see a list of movies you’ve seen with a simple see it/avoid it, because, you know, you have all the time in the world. =)

    • Maybe one of these days I’ll manage to put together a list like that, just for you!

  3. jtglover said:

    A friend of mine (one who reads your IFP column with relish, if I may add) started keeping his list in high school. Apparently it started as a Word document, but he switched over to some format when it started taking a long time to load. There are thousands and thousands of movies in it. Makes me simultaneously want to do the same thing and wonder if it’s worth starting now. Your project, however, and the focus on just one year, is an inspiration.

    • I think I originally conceived of this as a Word document or something, but I’ve found that I enjoy the more tactile experience of actually writing in a dedicated notebook, even if my handwriting is abominable.

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