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January Film Discussion: 2013 in Review

Let's take a look back to 2013 for the year in film. I anticipate this will cover all our time, so no additional "ice-breaker" questions or featured film discussion this time around.


Whether you saw one film from 2013, or fifty, come and discuss your experiences with the group. We'll mainly cover films released in 2013. I realize that especially with foreign films and/or independent "festival" films, what qualifies as a "2013" release can be a little vague. Let's not split hairs over this, if you think it's worth talking about as a 2013 film, that's good enough for me.



Some categories we'll cover

• The landscape overall - How was this year's crop to you? Any noteworthy trends you noticed from this year? 

• Best and favorite films of the year - pretty self-explanatory.

• Discoveries and surprises - the films/performances that came out of nowhere and wowed us. Along with the best films no-one's heard of.

• Most disappointing - I prefer to talk "disappointing" rather than absolute "worst". I, like many discerning film fans, try to avoid bad movies, so the truly atrocious are usually left unseen. But sometimes, a highly anticipated film turns out to be a stinker.

• 2013 films we missed - but still want to see.

• (if we have time) 2014 films we're most looking forward to.


Unless you're like me (or Dan) and log the movies you see, you may have a tough time remembering what 2013 films you saw (if you are, follow us on Letterboxd). Here's a couple links that may help jog your memory:

Wikipedia page for this year's Oscar's - users have been keeping it up to date with any Oscar shortlists that crop up

• BoxOfficeMojo's top grossing films of 2013 for Domestic and Worldwide

• RottenTomatoes has a good compilation of the 2014 Awards Tour

• Highest Rated Feature Films Released In 2013 With At Least 10,000 Votes on IMDB

• TheDissolve, one of my favorite film websites, has a great compilation of 2013 in review. Including their big checklists for the first and second halves of the year.

• Please post any other worthwhile resources in comments


Location:

Running Start Inc.

95 Prescott St., Worcester, MA (near WPI Gateway Park)

We'll use their conference room on the second floor, we'll be the only ones around at the time. Feel free to bring whatever to eat/drink. Whether it's your dinner for the night, or a snack to share.

They have a small parking lot on the north end of the building, near the entrance, however it can be tough to maneuver in. There is ample street parking next to the building, and there's a large parking lot to the south of the building. The large lot is technically for the building(s) at 85 Prescott only, but I doubt anyone will care during evening hours (I'm not liable if something happens though).

I'll send my cell number to attendees before the event in case anyone's having trouble finding the place.


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  • Chris T.

    And... one more update related to this conversation.

    "Life Itself" the documentary on Roger Ebert that I mentioned, has been picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures: https://kartemquin.com/news/magnolia-pictures-to-distribute-life-itself

    There will be some theatrical screenings, but I'm not sure we'll get any here.

    It will definitely become available at some point on Video on Demand, and I suspect eventually on Netflix Streaming, since all the already released films in the "About Magnolia" section of the press release are available to stream on Netflix currently.

    February 7, 2014

    • Chris T.

      Okay, I was *slightly* mistaken, a few of the Magnolia distributed films from that list aren't on Netflix (yet?), but 7 of 9 is still pretty good odds.

      February 7, 2014

  • David B.

    Here's the SNL video of the Wes Anderson horror movie trailer I mentioned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSEzGDzZ1dY

    February 2, 2014

  • LynnMarie

    Thanks Chris. Another lively and informative discussion with the group. The approach of keeping these talks structured yet flexible is very effective, especially from an attendee's perspective (fresh insights and diverse information).

    One more thing - I don't know if this was discussed before I arrived, but I was wondering if you or anyone from the group saw "The Past" from writer/director Asghar Farhadi. The meshing of cultures is intriguing, and although the film didn't make a debut in the US until last month, I thought someone may have connections in high places :)

    January 31, 2014

    • Chris T.

      It was not discussed, but it's on my list of films to see still. Farhadi's "A Separation" is one of our favorites of 2011, so I definitely have high hopes.

      January 31, 2014

  • Bob9000

    Thanks for setting this up Chris - great time, great discussion..

    January 30, 2014

  • Tim

    Great job Chris and thanks for running it.

    January 29, 2014

  • David B.

    Thanks for organizing this, Chris.

    January 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    so nice to meet everyone!

    January 29, 2014

  • Chris T.

    Oh yeah, and one last film I wasn't quite able to find the time to mention (though I had it written down).

    Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmaster, in a way, made both my "disappointing" and "still want to see" lists.

    To be fair, the "disappointing" should probably go more to the Weinstein Company, which handled its US distribution. They insisted on making a bunch of cuts, and re-ordering some scenes to make the story more linear, and adding in screens of text to explain historical context that American viewers may not be familiar with. The end result was a film ~20 minutes shorter, and is generally considered to be inferior to the original cut. As such, while it was one of my most anticipated of the year, I avoided it in theaters.

    I still plan to catch-up with it eventually, but probably only once I finally break down and import the original cut from another region like Hong Kong (the upcoming US home release looks to only have the US cut).

    January 29, 2014

  • Chris T.

    Great discussion, thanks everyone for your opinions. It was great hearing all the different perspectives.

    So, just as a reminder, book I kept touting is Sleepless in Hollywood by Lynda Obst. It's available online as well as at local libraries: http://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/record/3098507

    And as always, I do value and appreciate any input, (constructive) criticism, and suggestions for these discussions.

    Please let me know if you have any ideas for future discussions (I have a few more jotted down, but I don't want to feel like I'm running out), or for films to watch in preparation for a future discussion (please keep availability in mind when suggesting films, even if it's the best film in the, it's no good if we can't get a hold of it).

    January 29, 2014

  • Monique

    Loved it! Thanks for organizing

    January 29, 2014

  • The Gerry L.

    Glad I attended this discussion. Gave me a much broader perspective as to why I liked some movies more than others.

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • roni

    Very well organized, Chris----great way to gain insight into movies, from people w/many varied likes and dislikes, thanks, I can now extend my list of must sees!!!!!!

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • CherylBene

    Next time .....

    January 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi-

    I will try to make the February discussion.

    Jim

    January 26, 2014

  • Leona G.

    Thanks for your response and I completely understand scheduling. As always, enjoy!

    January 25, 2014

  • Leona G.

    Hope everyone's enjoying movie discussion. Sorry I cannot participate because I love talking about movies. If it ever changes to a day other than Tuesdays and Wednesdays I can join.

    January 21, 2014

    • Chris T.

      I try to do what I can to mix up the day of the week these are on, unfortunately though, my own schedule doesn't allow for all that much flexibility in that regard. I definitely hope to see you at a future discussion.

      January 21, 2014

  • roni

    Good advice, stay safe and in---new day ---I'm in

    January 21, 2014

  • Chris T.

    Ugh, looks like we might be getting snowed out again... I'll leave this as scheduled for the time being, but I'd appreciate it if you could all weigh in on what alternative dates might work for you if we do end up getting snowed out. I'll have to check with Alyssa when she gets home, but I think Wed. or next Tue might be our best options.

    January 20, 2014

    • Chris T.

      Great, I think that ends up working out best for us too. Just rescheduled.

      January 21, 2014

    • Tim

      Cool, I can make it then.

      January 21, 2014

  • David B.

    I keep a list of all the movies I've seen too. So far, I've seen 1045, 22 in 2013.

    January 19, 2014

    • Chris T.

      Is that 22 films released in 2013? Or 22 films total (regardless of release date) seen in 2013?

      January 20, 2014

  • Veronica M.

    WOW: It has been a very long time! Looking forward to seeing all of you!! Vee

    January 7, 2014

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