Jun 25, 2012

The 24FPS Top 100: Resuming

So. A while back I started this countdown of my Top 100 films (see sidebar, which will be fully up to date soon), and the project just sort of drifted away after a while.

There were several reasons for this. First of all I got REALLY busy, and frankly began spreading myself too thin. I was working on up to five websites at a time, recording and editing podcasts, contributing to other people's podcasts, along with establishing relationships with a few people in the industry, and work just began to pile on and pile on. I hit burnout. After the London Film Festival last year (in which I saw 63 films, barely slept, and wrote well over 25,000 words across two websites). I was exhausted and, worse, for the first time ever, what I was doing with the site (and others I was writing on) had begun to feel like a chore for the first time.

I've been struggling to pull out of this funk ever since, and while I've enjoyed making the 24FPS podcast; The Picture Show, I've felt that as a writer I've been in a slump this year in terms of quality as well as quantity, a slump I've only felt begin to turn with my recent Prometheus and Cosmopolis reviews, which are the first I've been proud of for some time.

I've also found myself struggling, for the first time in a long while, to get excited about movies. Last year was no classic, but 2012 has seemed to me to be an absolute desert in terms of quality cinema. I've seen almost 100 films from the year at this point, and while I can make a tentative Top 3 outside of those, and maybe one or two others, the standard has largely been sub mediocre. My favourite filmmakers have been disappointing all year (a bad Cronenberg, a bad Sono and a bad Pawlikowski within months of each other, though Cronenberg has lately redeemed himself) and even among the good things I've seen there still hasn't been that moment of discovery; the unearthing of a gem I want to champion and shout about to anyone who will listen (and many who won't). The Muppets may be bottled happiness, but still, I can't help but feel a little depressed that, at almost the exact midpoint, the best film 2012 has thrown up is a reboot of a long running series dating back to the 70's.

I've found myself drifting away from the movies a bit, and this is distressing, because I've lived and breathed cinema since I was nine, 22 years now, and if I don't love movies then I'm not sure I know who I am anymore.

In short... I NEED to get back to this list. I NEED to rediscover the films that inspire me and fire me up as a film lover and as a writer. I NEED to remind myself what's so special about this artform. I NEED to get back to the many and varied worlds these films take me to, be it the fantasy and romance of Disney's Beauty and the Beast or the nightmarish world of Martyrs.

Because of the long gap the list will be flawed, but I think that's alright. It will still reflect my taste, there are no more than a couple of things I'd shift around between numbers 100 and 52 (I'd probably move Valerie and her Week of Wonders up some), but then, precise ordering is a real challenge, and most placings outside of what I feel is a solid Top 20 could probably shift by one or two in either direction, and how do you compare The Sure Thing and Anatomy of a Murder anyway? I'm looking forward to wrapping up this unfinished business and, with a bit of luck, finding that passion again.

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