New Beginnings: May ’15 in Film

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As this title of this blog post should serve as an indication, there’s going to be some changes around these parts. Those who have been following my blog and reading my posts should be able to tell that, to be frank, this blog isn’t the movies-only spot that I had originally intended it to be back when I started it two years ago. Up until very recently, movies had been taking up a huge bulk of my free time – whether it be watching them, reading about them, writing about them, et al. Truth be told, I still love film and I will probably always hold it to as high regard as I always have. The fact is, however, that music is also a really huge part of my life. I’ve known this for as far back as I could remember. My Billboard challenge has taken away a lot of my free time that I’d usually use for watching movies, thus I’ve watched a lot less films this past month than I had in previous months.

Yet, this feels okay – in fact, it feels great. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my thirst for knowledge is insatiable and I’m always seeking to consume as much media as possible, in attempts to make my tastes as cultured as they could be. For the past four years, film has taken lead in a lot of that; nowadays, I’ve been listening to a lot more music, which feels very much like a new phase in my life is about to set sail. I’m having a lot of fun with my Billboard challenge and plan to continue until I complete work on all fifty-seven Hot 100 lists. But when all is said and done, I’m still a cinephile at heart and I don’t expect this fact to be changing anytime soon.

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Despite this, another change that must happen is that I’ll be spending less time writing lengthy paragraphs for each of my monthly recaps. Sure, if there’s something that I feel is worth discussing, I’ll write about it; otherwise, a bulk of my labor will go towards my other projects. This new tendency will begin with this post. Until I figure out what else I want to do, I’ll simply be listing what I’ve watched the previous month. Since I most likely will not complete my 500-a-year goal this year (which I’m perfectly fine with!) I will no longer be listing how much I’ve watched in the year as of a certain month. Without further ado, here’s the short list of what I have watched in the month of May (asterisks indicate rewatches):

  1. Antonia (Gorris, 1995)
  2. The Hours (Daldry, 2002)
  3. L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger By the Lake) (Guiraudie, 2013)
  4. Sedmikrásky (Daisies) (Chytilová, 1966)*
  5. Parting Glances (Sherwood, 1986)
  6. Better Than Chocolate (Wheeler, 1999)
  7. Velvet Goldmine (Haynes, 1998)
  8. The Skeleton Twins (Johnson, 2014)
  9. Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (The Way He Looks) (Ribeiro, 2014)
  10. Life Partners (Fogel, 2014)
  11. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Gilliam & Jones, 1975)*
  12. Ex Machina (Garland, 2015)

Thankfully, although I didn’t watch much this month, I also didn’t watch a single bad movie. Overall, I would recommend all of these films, some higher than others and all for very different reasons.

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I’d like to use this blog post to officially announce another project I am working on, which will essentially become a subset of this same blog. As I may have mentioned here or elsewhere, I am a disabled person with epilepsy. While this affects my day-to-day life in general at least somewhat, it also greatly affects my movie-watching. Often times, my enjoyment of a particular film (or even lack thereof) is interrupted by a certain pattern of movement, light, editing, or some other visual factor that irritates my brain. Sometimes this even affects my decision to watch a film altogether, if I feel that the benefits of enduring the struggle wouldn’t be worthwhile. I did some searching around to see if there was a resource to help other cinephiles like myself who have to deal with this (inspired by a similar, really great resource for survivors of sexual abuse), but have come up fruitless for the most part. There are a few lists out there, but they don’t go too much in depth and aren’t updated regularly.

Basically, I figured that the only way for such a resource to exist – and be reliable – is if I were to make it myself. So starting this month, I’m going to be doing a lot of watching and rewatching; essentially what I’ve been doing this whole time, but with the means of providing notes of potentially triggering and/or disorienting scenes for others who are neurologically disabled. This is to help other folks like me who would like to know if certain precautions should be taken before watching a movie, or perhaps for more severely affected people who would want to avoid a film altogether. I will be doing my watching and rewatching with my own precautions taken, in a safe environment around someone who knows how to take care of me should something happen. I’m going to mainly be starting with films that are in my personal collection, as well as those on Netflix or Hulu. These entries will be building up rather slowly, but I hope to eventually gather up a database of accessible and/or popular films that could be of use to at least one other person out there.

I’m still trying to decide what the name of this project should be; I’ve settled on “Cinephiling With Epilepsy” for now, but this may change later. With these expansions, I have also slightly altered the name of the blog – the URL stays the same, but now this site is Films Like Dreams, Etc. These new beginnings seem to signal a huge positive change for me, and I hope you will all continue to take this journey with me.

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One Response to New Beginnings: May ’15 in Film

  1. I’ve hugely enjoyed reading each of your Hot 100 posts, so definitely keep up the good work! I’ve wanted to attempt a similar project for some time now, as I want to broaden my cultural horizons beyond just movie watching/film history and theory. However, I only have roughly three years of slightly intelligent film viewing behind me (out of my eighteen years thus far), and I want to expand my knowledge of literature to a degree approaching my hunger for more variety in my musical tastes, to say nothing of philosophy and theology and branches of history not directly related to film. I simply struggle to find time for covering materials in all these areas, let alone annotating my discoveries.
    Anyway, #ramble.

    Your idea for a safety guide for films’ affect on neuro disorders is brilliant, I must say. They should stop giving money to the MPAA and fund a project like that.

    Sincerely, a Random Citizen of the Internet.

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