Sunday, 30 December 2018

Happy New Year 2019

Happy New Year 2019
It is the end of the year and time, again, to look back on the year that has passed.

First, I would like to thank those of you who read my blogs. I know you are not many, but quality easily makes up for quantity and I am grateful for you being there and love your comments. A very happy New Year to all of you!

This has been an eventful year. I moved with my family from Israel, where I have been living for the past 6 years, back to Denmark where I now live in Copenhagen. That was a major transition and kept me busy for a large part of the year. I have also been travelling quite a bit including a visit to The States in the Easter break, Korea, China and many other places. Accordingly, I did not do as many movies this year as I did in previous years.

The movie count ticks in at just 55 movies, the lowest for a year so far. Of these 46 are List movies and 9 are off-List movies. Last year I started a practice where I choose three movies each year to review beyond the List. The idea was that these should be my suggestions for the List, but over time this have changed to simply movies I am curious to watch. I have to admit that the quality of those movies has be varying and not all of them deserves one of those hallowed slots. Lately I made the further addition that one of them should be Danish, but I am considering dropping this requirement. The selection of Danish movies is generally not interesting enough. I think going forward that I will check if there in a given year is one deserving attention, otherwise I will pick internationally.

Of the List movies I went from 1963 to 1966, which is probably not that impressive. There have been great movies (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Repulsion, A Hard Day’s Night) and utter crap (Vinyl, Mediteranee, Pierrot le Fou) and a lot in between. I maintain that the List content of the sixties is not as interesting as the fifties or forties, but there are enough pleasant surprises and quality content to keep me going.

On the book side I have done far better than expected. I have read and reviewed eight books, which is way ahead of the five books I aim at. The books span a century from The Trial of Persilles and Sigismunda from 1616 to Moll Flanders of 1722. Compared to previous years the books I read this year have been consistently good and interesting, which goes a long way to explain how I got this far. Also books are good to bring along for long flights…

If I should pick one for general recommendation it would be The Conquest of New Spain. Besides being a singularly unique and captivating story, it is also based on true events eye-witnessed by the author. I learned a lot reading that book and I was thoroughly entertained.

It is also telling that none of my 2018 reads will end on my crap list.

2019 looks to be more of the same, except that I have no plans to move anywhere this year so hopefully I will get to review a lot more movies and continue to read great books.

If anybody has suggestions for 1967 or 68 off-list entries do let me know, I am all ears.

Happy New Year to all of you and may 2019 bring joy and prosperity and lots of great movies.


  1. Happy New Year to you! We are expecting a grandson to visit from Finland on the 1st or 2nd so that will be nice.

    Are you already done with 1966? I will rack my brain for suggestions for 67 and 68.

    I'll try to do better with your book blog. You are getting into the territory where I am better acquainted with the books.

    1. That sound like a lot of fun, I am sure you will have a good time. Coming from Finland he will be in need of some sun.

      No, I am only halfway or so through 66. But 66 is a short year so already now I need to be thinking of which movies to add for 67.

      If you want to join the book challenge this may be a good place to start. There are a lot of interesting titles in the 18th century. Currently reading Gulliver's Travels and this is the first time I get beyond Lilliput...

    2. 1967 is a long List year and yet some fantastic films were left off! (And I suspect some stinkers put on). My top pick would be Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion. It is fantastic and contains one of Toshiro Mifune's best performances. Also highly recommended - as in I can't understand how they are not on the List: 1) D.A. Pennebaker's Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back 2) In Cold Blood. I LOVE How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying but hesitate to recommend because it is a musical. Finally, I think Sergey Banderchuk's version War and Peace would be well worth seeing at some point as you will surely be getting to this masterpiece on your book blog. The movie is in four parts and runs about seven hours but is really good I think.

    3. Thank you, Bea! I have hereby decided to include Samurai Rebellion. That sounds totally down my lane. The second will be The Dirty Dozen which I have seen about a million times. Which will be the third one I will leave undecided for now. 1967 is indeed a massive year.