I almost wasn't going to do a Top 5 this year, because I honestly didn't think I had enough to round one out - but then I realized that not every positive movie-going experience has to include something odd or unusual, though this list includes those too. Once again, I was fortunate to have seen some world-class films on the big screen, on celluloid, and those should be acknowledged too. So here you go:
5. Pather Panchali @ Film Forum. I wish I could've seen the rest of the Apu Trilogy at the Forum as well, but I can hardly complain about getting to see the first film in the series, on a big screen. It was as good as I remembered it.
4. Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm at MOMI. It wasn't the greatest movie I've ever seen, but seeing it on a big screen in 70mm was worth the trip - and it certainly increased my appreciation for seeing films on celluloid. Seeing it with an appreciative crowd always helps.
3. Son of the Sheik with the Alloy Orchestra at Celebrate Brooklyn. One thing I never mentioned about that summer night in Prospect Park is that after the movie, I happened to run into my old girlfriend as I was about to leave the ampitheater. It was totally unexpected; I didn't think she had any interest in old movies in general, much less silent movies, but she was there with a friend of hers, talking to some other people, and she was pleasantly surprised to see me, to say the least. The three of us hung out at a nearby bar afterward. It was the first time I had ever bought her a drink - strange experience, that. I had never seen her imbibe before. But it was a nice way to end a terrific evening.
2. Being at the Loew's Jersey City the night FOL won their court case. This is perhaps a bit of a cheat: being there was actually kind of anti-climactic given that I had found out the news while I was still in Hoboken, earlier in the day - but it was part of that thrilling eight hours or so where I was constantly on my cellphone, searching for news articles and updating my blog as I learned more about the story. It was fun to act like a real journalist for that day, especially when it involved a story I cared about. And even if this wasn't an "exclusive," at least I got video footage (however grainy) of the announcement at the theater, so there's that. Without a doubt one of the best moments in the history of this blog.
1. First-run movies returning to Forest Hills' Cinemart with American Sniper. If you saw my supplemental Tumblr blog, you might remember when I wrote about this from wa-a-a-a-a-y back in January: the Cinemart Fiveplex in Forest Hills, a second-run theater for years, resumed showing first-run movies with the release of American Sniper, and in so doing, gave their 90-year-old cinema a shot in the arm. It was quite exciting, in a small-scale way, to have been part of the festivities, and naturally, I'm pleased to see a neighborhood theater continue to thrive amidst the multiplex chains. I went back there this month to see Spotlight, and they look like they're still doing well.
2014 top five
2013 top five
2012 top five
2011 top five