Sunday, January 18, 2009

A by-the-numbers look at my 2008 movie viewing year

Louis Koo, Rene Liu, Sylvia Chang and an interpreter
at one of the Hong Kong International Film Festival
I attended in 2008

High Noon (2008) director Heiward Mak
poses with the film's producer, Eric Tsang
just before another HKIFF screening

2 - The total number of Malaysian movies I watched in last year (i.e., Days of Turquoise Sky (AKA Kurus) (2008) and Sell Out! (2008))

2 too! - The total number of films viewed outside of Hong Kong (one in Malaysia and the other on board a plane!)

4 - The number of Hong Kong films viewed at film festivals (i.e., the Hong Kong International Film Festival last spring and Hong Kong Asian Independent Film Festival a few months ago) that still have yet to get a theatrical release in Hong Kong (with the films being: All's Right In the World, Citizen King, Magazine Gap Road, and Three Narrow Gates)

5 - The number of musicals -- yes, musicals; albeit including Chinese opera movies! -- I watched (and generally liked) last year (i.e., Across the Universe (USA, 2007), Eternal Love (Hong Kong, 1966), Mamma Mia! (USA/Britain, 2008), Princess Chang Ping (Hong Kong, 1975) and Sell Out! (Malaysia, 2008))

6 - The number of Edward Yang movies that I managed to view in 2008 (all courtesy of the Hong Kong International Film Festival)

- The number of Hong Kong films viewed in 2008 that I'd give a 9 or higher rating to (And for the record, they are: 13: A Saintly Girl (1977), Beast Stalker (2008), CID: Dawn, Noon, Dusk, Night (1976), CID: The Robbery (1976), Festival Moon (1953); Mud Child (1976), Sorrows of the Forbidden City (1948), and The Way We Are (2008).)

8 as well!
- The number of non-Hong Kong films viewed in 2008 that I'd give a 9 or higher rating to (i.e., A Street of Love and Shame (Japan, 1959), Battleship Potemkin (USSR, 1925), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (USA, 2007), Burmese Harp (Japan, 1956), The Edge of Heaven (Germany-Turkey, 2007), The Home Song Stories (Australia, 2007), The Incredible Hulk (USA, 2008), and The Mist (USA, 2007))

8 yet again
- The number of documentaries I viewed last year (i.e., All's Right In the World (Hong Kong, 2008), An Inconvenient Truth (USA, 2005), Election (Hong Kong, 2008) Encounters at the End of the World (Germany-USA, 2007), Hollywood Chinese (USA, 2007), July (Hong Kong, 2004), This Darling Life (Hong Kong, 2008), and Yasukuni (Mainland China-Japan, 2007))

15 - The number of Japanese films I viewed in 2008

18 - The days into 2009 that I'm writing this overdue 2008 addition to the 2006 and 2007 editions of this blog 'series' ;)

18 also - The number of different countries whose movies I saw last year (For the record, they are: Australia, Brazil, Britain, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Russia (including the then U.S.S.R.), Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the U.S.A.)

22 - The number of Hollywood movies I viewed last year

22 too - The number of films I viewed at the 2008 Hong Kong International Film Festival

37 - The number of 2008 (and not yet officially released in cinemas) Hong Kong films I viewed in 2008

54 - The total number of Hong Kong -- and Hong Kong related (e.g., Hong Kong-Mainland collaborations) -- films (including originally made-for-TV films) I viewed last year

70 - The number of non-Hong Kong films I viewed in 2008

119 - The number of films viewed on a big screen in 2008

124 - The total number of movies watched last year

1925 - The original year of release of the oldest film I viewed in 2008 (Battleship Potemkin)

1948 - The original year of release of the oldest Hong Kong-related film (*Hong Kong-related because its director, Zhu Shilin, moved to Hong Kong from Mainland China where he made the film, Sorrows of the Forbidden City)


alejna said...

Wow! That's a lot of movies. I'll have to try to look into seeing some of those ones you rated so highly.

You know something sad? The number of movies I saw in the theater this year? 0. I'm going to try to beat that number in 2009.

Glenn, kenixfan said...

Nice post. I never count that stuff. Maybe I should?

So did you just see The Burmese Harp last year for the first time? I just watched it for the first time near Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it -- maybe enjoyed is the wrong word for something like that?

I then watched the director's follow-up Fires on the Plain which is similar subject matter but far, far more depressing and soul-crushing. It could very well be one of the most depressing things I've ever seen.

Is the musical The Eternal Love a Shaw Brothers? Not the Love Eterne right? I should go look it up.

Kathie Smith said...

Awesome post. I obsessively count and keep track of where, what and when I watch something. (Yes, I have a spreadsheet!) Glad to see I'm not the only one!

YTSL said...

Hi Alejna --

Many of the movies I rate highly should be easy to find on DVD. Unfortunately, however, quite a few of the older Hong Kong movies actually are not available on video.

And good luck re seeing more than 0 movies in 2009!

Hi Glenn --

I don't usually think of myself as a numbers obsessed person but I remember not daring to review a Hong Kong movie until I had seen at least 100 of them as an adult... ;)

And yes, I saw "The Burmese Harp" for the first time last year. Re "Fire of the Plains": It screened twice as part of that Kon Ichikawa program -- but both times, immediately after "The Burmese Harp" and I've learnt from past viewing experiences that I need some time to absorb, deal with the impact of great, emotionally-impacting films...

Re "The Eternal Love": No, it's not a Shaw Brothers movie. (And no, it's not "The Love Eterne"!)

Hi Kathie --

Yay, I'm not alone in my movie tracking habits! Good to know! :)

Willow said...

I kept track of my movies in 2008 - I watched a total of 86; 4 of which were caught in the theater - Enchanted, Forbidden Kingdom, Wall-E, Quantum of Solace. And, coincidentally, I read the same number of books.

My list is in Word. ;D

YTSL said...

Hi Willow --

Wow, only 4 movies viewed in theatres? Of those four, I've only seen "Wall-E"! And although I keep a record of movies viewed, I don't keep a records of (number of) books read, so have no idea how many that is!