Sunday 15 December 2013

The End of the Penciltonian

Well, that was The Penciltonian.  A hundred films from a hundred years, 1913-2013 - and a few besides.  There were a number of other criteria I ventured for those wishing to play along at home, and of these I believe I also managed a film from each letter of the alphabet.

The viewing and the blogging have encompassed:
130 films in total
25 British films
54 American films
16 German films
7 French films
19 silent films
28 crime films
28 comedy films
14 horror films
21 films about war
7 films about revolution, which I found to be the most interesting through-line

I failed in my attempt to watch a film from each continent - I only managed a couple from the whole of Asia, and neglected to watch any at all from Africa, South America, Antarctica or The Moon, so I certainly can't claim to have encompassed anything beyond Western, Minority-World cinema.  African cinema, in particular, sounds to be artistically and philosophically different from the sorts of things I ended up watching, and its absence is probably the single greatest deficiency in this Penciltonian project.  I also managed to find terribly few films by female directors, yet must have watched half a dozen with entirely male casts.

The 1920s and the 1940s seemed much the most enjoyable decades, with almost all their films garnering great praise, but I thought the 1910s were a bit rubbish, perhaps because of their lack of later cinematic techniques - I've ventured elsewhere that the decade's lack of close-ups left the performances feeling rather distant, meaning the actors were only able to convey rather crude emotions, lacking nuance.

I expect there will be a handful of additional updates to The Penciltonian, though on a less regular basis.  Wherever I see something startling, or unfairly neglected, I'll try to make mention of it.  But I won't renew a commitment to a century in a year, or two films a week - the costs in time and funds were too high.

I guess I'd hoped I could sum up more victoriously, and tell tales of a project completed, which had led to some great, personal revelation, some spiritual refreshment, or revitalisation of character.  I have watched a hundred films - a goal any of you could achieve inside two months.  It's not especially impressive, only a tribute to obsessive list-making, and to materialism.  My main achievement here was to sit on my ass all year watching movies, which really oughtn't to be something to shout about.

The End.

2 comments:

  1. What happened to 1939?

    You seem quite hard on yourself at the end. I think it *is* impressive. I feel it's the kind of project that people might think about, but few would actually complete.. and even fewer would complete in so entertaining a fashion.

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    1. You're the only person to enquire after the fate of 1939, so I must congratulate you on your powers of observation.

      Anyway, I said I would watch a hundred films from a hundred different years between 1913 to 2013, but then realised there were *a hundred and one* years from 1913 to 2013, so I could afford to skip one and still achieve the goal I'd announced. And so that's just what happened!

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