Well that, as they say, is that. My epic quest of attempting to watch 365 films in 365 days – including the entire IMDb Top 250 films and 115 new releases at the cinema – comes to an end. Overall achievement was 379 films, due to overachieving on the cinema count (126 films) and additional IMDb films (‘Three Colours White’, ‘Three Colours Blue’ in companion to ‘Three Colours Red’ and ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ to ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’) – which were part of trilogies but not listed.
It’s been an extremely long 365 days, during which this task has consumed my life whole (just ask my family and friends) and I have spent a massive 45,721 minutes which equates to 762 hours or 31.75 days of doing nothing but watching…films!
Big thank you’s goes to all my email subscribers and everyone who took the time to check out and read my Blog reviews whilst leaving comments. It means a lot to me that you do and made my quest even more worthwhile. Also to all my family and friends who put up with me endlessly talking about the challenge this past year, you know who you are!
I have put the following Q & A together…
Q. Why did I do the challenge?
A. Well ever since my childhood I’ve had a burning passion for films. I just love everything about them. This form of escapism for a few hours can effect you on many levels and I wanted to acknowledge this. So in September 2010 I founded Cheltenham Film Club. To this day, the club continues to be a runaway success and has made me some great friends. However, I wanted to take the passion even further.
So I thought why not attempt to watch as many films as possible in one year, but rather than just watch any old movies I wanted to rigidly follow a list in descending order. So after thoughts entered my head of doing the (500) Films of Empire magazine (So glad I didn’t take this one on!) or various critics’ lists, I finally settled on the IMDb Top 250 and the 115 new cinematic releases.
Q. Hardest part of the challenge?
A. Well I thought even though very time-consuming, just watching the films seemed all a bit to easy – why I thought this I don’t know! So armed with a notebook (which now contains lots of scruffy writing!) I set myself the task of Blogging my thoughts on each film watched, and even tough immensely enjoyable this turned out to be the most difficult part.
Also the challenge was meant to be 1 film a day but after taking my eye off it in March I quickly found myself falling deep behind to the tune of 49 films at one point, and whilst attempting to catch this back up and retain the 1-a-day ratio was exhaustive, and trying to get by on 4-5 hours sleep on more occasions than I can remember is not advisable!
Q. Films – Highs and Lows
A. One of the problems that stems from watching so many films is whilst you get a lot of exuberant highs by watching some of your all-time favorites again and some newly discovered gems….
‘The Philadelphia Story’, ‘Jaws’, ‘No Country for Old Men’, ‘Cinema Paradiso – *new*’, ‘There Will be Blood’, ‘The Lives of Others *new*’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Its a Wonderful Life’, ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Star Wars’ ‘The Dark Knight’ ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘Rear Window’ and ‘The Godfather Part I and II’ – to name a few.
Also for the life of me I don’t know why, why I hadn’t encompassed their work before taking on the challenge, but I’ve now I distinct liking for acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and Anime in the form of Studio Ghibli.
You also get a lot of lows with some utter rubbish like ‘In The Mood For Love’, ‘A Christmas Story, ‘Your Highness’, ‘Zookeeper’, ‘Conan’ ‘Persona’ and ‘Wild Strawberries’ – again to name a few.
Q. Would I do this kind of challenge again?
A. Yes, in a couple of years I would like to think so, but the next time it will be with much better planning because that is the key.
People have already started asking me what I am planning to do next year! Although I have watched many of their films in my lifetime, starting this year and continuing over the next few years, I am going to attempt to cover encompassing the following iconic directors’ complete filmography, whom I consider to be ‘gods’ of the filmmaking world…
Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Akira Kurosawa, Joel and Ethan Coen, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Sir. David Lean.
Also in addition I am aiming to watch all 51 Walt Disney animated features.
But for now, the only thing that I am planning to do is have some well-earned rest and getting my life back!
So on that note, I say thank you and good night…