Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
It is the end of the year. New Year ’s Eve is upon us and this is the usual time to look back at the past year and forward towards the new year. It is almost cliché, but there is something fun about taking stock on what has happened over the past year.

Last year I managed to finish 1940, so 2013 started straight with 1941. At this point I am two films short of 1945, so I almost covered 5 years of movie history. That sounds okay, but the war years were short on films, especially non-American films so those 5 years actually only amounts to 41 films and that is only because Ivan Groznyj counts as two films. That is somewhat less than my stated target of 50 films per year.

I have been very happy watching the movies from this period. It has been thin on comedies, which makes perfect sense considering the war, but I had ample compensation in film noir and noir inspired dramas. Some of the best films so far on the list have been from this bunch and below I will list my choice of 10 best pictures 1941-45 in chronological order.

Citizen Kane   

Maybe not the best movie ever, but there is no denying it: It is truly awesome.

The Maltese Falcon

Layers upon layers upon layers. I will never tire from exploring this movie.


This was voted best movie of the year by my son

To Be or Not to Be

A wartime comedy about the war. How rare is that? And it is funny too.


No need to say anymore. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


Character driven whodunit at its best.

Double Indemnity

At first I was not sold by this one, but it wins over time. It is sooo dark.

Murder, My Sweet

Convoluted, charming and dark as hell. The rebirth of Dick Powell.

Mildred Pierce

The strongest female character to ever grace the silver screen. This is the Joan Crawford movie to see.

Roma, Citta Aperta

This is powerful stuff. Iconic images galore.


However that was not all I did in 2013.

A new edition was released in the autumn of 2013 and that gave me another 9 movies to see from the period I have covered so far. At this point I have seen and reviewed 7 of them.

Some are absolute positive additions to the list.

“The Great White Silence” and “Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed” ought to have been there all along. I simply do not understand why they only appear now

On the other hand there are some additions that are rather mysterious. Either because they are utter junk (“Limite”) or because they do not add anything special (“Peter Ibbetson”) and I wonder what the criteria were for including them. A revision is a chance to fix things, not add to the problems.

Finally I have caught up on my reviews for movies seen before I started the blog. I do not have the exact figure but it is around 30 reviews. Adding a few stray films I have made over 80 reviews in 2013 and I think that is decent enough.


So, what is up for the new year?

Well, I am still following the Danish version of the 3rd edition of the Book. This will define the order in which I watch the films. It turns out that no update to the Danish version was ever made. Hugely unsatisfying, but I asked around and got only evasive answers. I will be including all the updates from the 10th edition and the occasional Danish films showing up on the list. On top of that I plan on doing my own revision of the Danish edition, which means bringing in a few highlights of Danish Cinema. There is more to it than Dreyer and von Trier and since the publisher will not do it I will have to do the dirty work.

The next period will be the second half of the 40’ies and I really cannot wait to get started. There are so many interesting films coming up. This will be fun.

Also I intend to read a lot of reviews from all you guys and write a lot of awful comments on movies you saw long ago. That is always a very enjoyable part of my day.

On a personal level I am still living in Israel and still working for my old company in Denmark, now as a consultant. I miss home, but at least the weather is better here and the food is awesome. Also cinema tickets are almost half price than in DK, so we try to go as often as we can.

Finally, you may wonder about the picture in the header. This awesome creation is the first Christmas duck I ever made. It was simply amazing and just looking at it makes me start salivating. This may be my most standout achievement in 2013.


  1. Great, great list! I look forward to another year of reviews from you. I have to get cracking on my own round-up. Since I still haven't managed to put together a Top Ten Favorites list from 1937, it might take some time!

    Congratulations on that duck! Wishing you a healthy, prosperous, and safe 2014.

    1. I will definitely read it when it is ready. There is no rush.
      Thank on the duck. I am really proud of that one. And a fun and happy new year to you as well.

  2. I agree with most everything you wrote.

    Steve Honeywell has noted how many films about WWII there are on the list, so even though you have made it through the war years you are certainly going to have quite a few more movies about it left to see.

    1. Yes, no lack of WWII pictures. It is quite overwhelming. I guess war makes for drama and WWII is a real easy one because it is so obvious who are the good guys and who are the bad. In war in general that distinction is not always clear and that makes for some problematic stories.