Hi there, movie buffs!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here — well over a year. A lot has happened in that time.

I’ll spare you most of the details of the last 17-ish months, but what started as a short break to adjust to the stresses of a global “panoramic” (as the Internet sometimes calls it) became an extended period of (not new, but worsening) depression and anxiety, followed by the untimely gut-punch of losing my father unexpectedly this past January.

I’ve usually tried to keep my language clean on the blog, but to put it plainly, life has been shit! My interest in doing anything other than attempting to sleep and work (often unsuccessfully) has been zapped.

But, that’s not a good way to live forever, so I’m making attempts to rekindle my interest in the things I love.

My dad was one of my biggest supporters from the time I began this blog. Classic film was never really his thing, but he did love movies in general, and he’d happily tag along to repertory cinemas with me and spend weekend afternoons on my “old lady movies.” I know he’d much rather see me attempt to find joy than continue to sit around and mope.

I also simply miss blogging, spending many hours of my week lost in black-and-white worlds, and reading/researching the moving art of yesteryear, regardless of all that has happened and is happening in life!

To begin, I’ll take a look back at what I’ve been consuming lately and what’s next.

What I’ve Been Reading

This year, I’ve finished just nine books, none of them about classic films.

There have been a few I’d like to see adapted:

  • The Grown-Ups by Robin Antalek, which I could easily see as a mini-series
  • 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard, an early-quarantine thriller
  • Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy, a story of a team seeking to reintroduce wolves to the Scottish highlands

I’m currently reading a film-related book, The Female Gaze: Essential Movies Made by Women by Alicia Malone, which Goodreads tells me I started a year ago… yikes! But I’m glad to finally be finishing it.

There are several films covered in it that I’ve never seen and even a few I hadn’t heard of, so my watchlist is growing! Lovely to see some mini-essays from familiar blog/film Twitter names included, too.

What I’ve Been Watching

I’m sure no one has been more confused by my recent movie-watching choices than the folks who followed me for obscure old movies on Letterboxd, only to see me fill 2021 with low-budget holiday fare like Christmas Oranges and Nicholas Cage “classics” like The Humanity Bureau. Oof.

In a way, it’s been kind of refreshing to watch a lot of weird stuff and not worry about notetaking or whether the film is suitable to cover on the blog. My sister and I have relied heavily on cornballers like the mockumentary Helltown (2017) to get us through our grief. But there’s been some decent stuff, too!

Here’s the strange list of everything I’ve seen in 2021 (new-to-me and rewatches):

  • St. Elmo’s Fire (1985): One of dad’s favorites; my first film of the year, and the last film we watched together
  • Drew Peterson: Untouhchable (2012)
  • Tortilla Heaven (2008)
  • Sex and the City (2008)
  • Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (2016)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Son of Godzilla (1967)
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
  • The Wedding Singer (1998)
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
  • She’s the Man (2006)
  • Bride Wars (2009)
  • Nomadland (2020)
  • John Was Trying to Contact Aliens (2020)
  • I, Tonya (2017)
  • Mr. Zoo: The Missing VIP (2020)
  • Throw Momma From the Train (1987): My mom and I caught this movie on TV and as it was starting, she told me my Grammy loved it but she never understood why. Now we quote “CRISS-CROSS!” to each other regularly.
  • Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (2021)
  • Murder Mystery (2019)
  • The Lovebirds (2020)
  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
  • The Thieves (2012)
  • John Tucker Must Die (2006)
  • Pearl Harbor (2001)
  • 13 Going on 30 (2004)
  • Skater Girl (2021)
  • A Perfect Fit (2021)
  • Ghost World (2001)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Helltown (2017)
  • Libeled Lady (1936)
  • Hands Across the Table (1935)
  • Daybreak Express (1953)
  • Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed (2021)
  • White Chicks (2004)
  • The Village (2004)
  • Knowing (2009)
  • Little Forest (2018)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • The Humanity Bureau (2017)
  • Christmas Oranges (2012)
  • Christmas Hotel (2019)
  • A Snow Globe Christmas (2013)
  • Hocus Pocus (1993)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Your eyes don’t fool you — that’s just 46 films watched so far this year, easily the lowest since I started the blog, and probably also in the history of my life.

Aside from that list of films, I’ve watched several Korean dramas:

  • Signal (2016): Started in 2020 but finished this year
  • Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (2017)
  • The King: Eternal Monarch (2020): A rewatch that was every bit as enjoyable the second time around
  • Hotel del Luna (2019)
  • Mad for Each Other (2021)
  • So Not Worth It (2021)
  • Imitation (2021)
  • Bossam: Steal the Fate (2021)
  • Her Private Life (2019)
  • Touch Your Heart (2019)
  • Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (2021)

I also watched one Japanese (Pretty Proofreader) and one Chinese drama (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) — both fairly fluffy but overall decent time-passers.

What’s Next

There’s really no telling when my viewing will return to “normal.” Anyone who’s been through grief or mental health struggles will know that every day is unpredictable. I could dig deep into the Criterion Channel and draft twelve reviews next week, or publish this post and then not watch another film for a month.

Because I still have at least one foot on the struggle bus during any given day, I don’t plan to jump back into daily blogging or anything of the sort just yet, but I do want to try to pop in here more often and share what I’m reading/watching/collecting.

I’ve toyed with the idea of renaming the blog, covering off-topic stuff or just word-vomiting when I feel like it. I’m pretty attached to “TMP” (as a name and the blog’s concept), though, so perhaps I’ll save that for a separate/private page.

In the near future, you can expect a collection update regarding my classic film books (which I’ve massively decluttered after moving out of the home I lived in for more than 10 years) and another regarding the latest Criterion flash sale (which I splurged a bit on)!