The end of this week will feature the latest edition of my biennial Favorite Films list, so I suppose I have films on my mind.
Some of the earliest films I saw were short films, thanks to my dad and the Arlington County library which had them. And I do mean films! We had a projector at home, which was often used for birthday parties and other events. This inevitably meant those masters of movie comedy, Laurel and Hardy.
Just shy of two weeks ago, Warner Brothers decided to drop a bombshell by saying that all their 2021 films would simultaneously go onto their streaming service, HBO Max, along with theaters, as reported in industry publications, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
This announcement broke a certain segment of the Internet the Thursday it dropped because –shockingly– Warner Bros. evidently didn’t let any of their producing partners know.
And that’s a big deal, not simply from being courteous to your business partners, but there are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake since a big way production companies and above-the-line people get money is through profit participation in the theatrical ticket sales.
This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend, which meant it was time to rediscover how to make Thanksgiving leftovers last for multiple meals, play more board games than usual, and set up the Christmas tree. But it was also Thanksgiving weekend on an even year, which meant time to start prepping for my biennial Favorite Films sort.
The entire stack of films I sort through every few years numbers around 500 films or so. There’s usually something of a lag between when a film comes out and when we get to see it. No longer can I see every film when it first comes out in the theater (even more so this year) and I’m also no longer a film completist. This is one of the reasons I term this a list of “favorites” not a “best of.”
In truth, I try and start forming that list of 500 in October, so that if there are films that have been in the Favorite 50 that I know I haven’t seen in a while or others that I think I need to revisit, I have time to rewatch them. As with the new films, I’d rate this as rigorous, but not precise — and so another reason I term these favorites and not a “best of.”
Here are films I’ve either watched anew or for the first time in a long time and made sure were in the sort as part of the 500-odd films:
The longer weekend has allowed for some leisurely watching of some films, and one, which is very much in the style of the adventure tales we like to tell at Jabberwocky Audio Theater, is Disney’s 2001 film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Here’s some behind the scenes bits of the voice actors.
Hey! Since we here in the United States are not traveling so much on this traditional week of travel, how about we take that time and read this longform article by Jonathan English all about mass transit in the United States. It unearths some assumptions about what mass transit is and can be and how those assumptions developed over the past 100 years or so.
Besides the fond memories evoked by seeing the picture above (I was there for the grand opening of Washington’s Metro — you were able to ride free all day), I also found his premises interesting.