This is the fourth part of the list of the films I’ve watched this year although it’s not entirely comprehensive; I haven’t included films I’ve watched parts of (when I’ve come into the room when someone else is half-way through a film and sat down alongside them), and films I’ve watched more than once (where I’ve been writing on them), and I haven’t included gallery films I’ve seen during the year, which includes works by Agnes Varda, Christian Marclay, Forensic Architecture and others. More significantly, perhaps, it doesn’t include the TV series I’ve watched, which increasingly trouble the traditional understanding of TV and cinema as distinct media (in terms of the increasing narrative complexity and growing budgets of TV drama, in terms of the displacement of cinema screens as the principal platform for watching films, or in terms of the convergence of media production as film companies, TV companies and other media producers operate as entangled arms of media conglomerates).

159 films seems like a lot, but, as always, I’ve still watched less than half of the films that were listed on most ‘films of the 2018’ lists (and the same goes for novels and records). Godard suggests in the Histoire(s) du Cinema series that there was a point in the second half of the 20th century where it was still possible for a cineaste to have watched all of the major films released up until that point. If that was the case, it was because of the dominance of a very restricted canon of great films directed by auteurs as well as the inaccessibility of a lot of older films, but the continual rediscovery and remastering of old films alongside the steady volume of new releases means that the archive of available material is growing far faster than any one person can manage. I used to keep a journal in which I jotted down comments about films after viewing them, noting down lines of dialogue, shots, stylistic features, themes, plot devices, performances or anything I found interesting, occasionally adding little sketches. What’s remarkable, looking back over these is both how detailed they are, picking out information that wouldn’t be included in standard synopses or reviews, and also how much time I gave over to this, which leads me to wonder whether this year’s goal should be watching far fewer films more thoroughly.



Excerpts from notebook entries on Cafe Lumière (Hou, 2013) and The Exiled (To, 2006)


4/10/18 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi(Johnson, 2017)

6/10/18 – Of Time and the City(Davies, 2008)

8/10/18 – Unsane (Soderbergh, 2018)

14/10/18 – Detour(Ulmer, 1945)

21/10/18 – The Black Cat(Ulmer, 1934)

22/10/18 – Dragstrip Girl(Cahn, 1957)

25/10/18 – Frau im Mond(Lang, 1929)

1/11/18 – The Terence Davies TrilogyDavies, 1983)

2/11/18 – The Purge(De Monaco, 2013)

3/11/18 – Hobson’s Choice(Lean, 1953)

4/11/18 – The Man in The White Suit(MacKendrick, 1951)

9/11/18 – The Lavender Hill Mob(Crichton, 1951)

10/11/18 – The Woman in the Fifth(Pawlikowski, 2011)

12/11/8 – They Shall not Grow Old(Jackson, 2018)

16/11/18 – Purge: Anarchy(DeMonaco, 2014)

17/11/18 – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Yates, 2018)

24/11/18 – The Fallen Idol(Reed, 1948)

26/11/18 – Twockers(Pawlikowski, Duncan, 1998)

29/11/18 – Skyscraper Symphony(Florey, 1929); A Bronx Morning(Leyda, 1931); Goodbye, Lenin(Becker, 2003)

30/11/18 – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Bird, 2011)

3/12/18 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Fincher, 2011)

5/12/18 – Widows(McQueen, 2018)

15/12/18 – All That Heaven Allows(Sirk, 1955); It Happened Here(Brownlow, Mollo, 1965)

18/12/18 – Daisies(Vera Chytilova, 1966)

19/12/18 – Aparajito(Ray, 1956)

21/12/18 – Air-Raid Wardens(Sedgwick, 1943)

The Adventures of Prince Achmed(Reiniger, 1926)

22/12/18 – Game Night(Daley, Goldstein, 2018)

23/12/18 – Bird Box (Bier, 2018)

24/12/18 – The Big Short(McKay, 2015)

25/12/18 – Sorry to Bother You(Riley, 2018)

26/12/18 – Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018)

28/12/18 – American Animals(Layton, 2018)