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Flickering Film: My Journey To Watch A Film Every Day

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

No, I don't really have a favorite movie. I don't think adding another 365 films to my mental shelf of every movie I have ever seen will make it any easier to decide.

Original French poster for Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon (1973)

Back in college, I discovered movies I liked, lots that I hated, and a handful that I truly loved. My freshman teacher made us all watch Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) and I liked it. In sophomore year I had to watch Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) and I hated it. Junior year, during the pandemic, I watched Paper Moon (Peter Bogdanovich, 1973) and I fell in love with film all over again.

It's been a while since I have watched anything that sparked my love of movies the way that Paper Moon did. Fade to Black (Vernon Zimmerman, 1980), which I watched in April of 2022, was the last time a movie really invaded my mind. It's a cheesy horror flick all hinged around a cinema-loving outcast. There was just something about Eric Binford, played by Dennis Christopher, that reminded me how much my life revolved around film. And then I moved across the country to curate for The Lincoln Theatre.

Like Binford, my walls are covered in film posters. They were one of the first things I unpacked when I moved, shortly after letting my pet rabbit Wyatt, named after Kurt Russell's portrayal of Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (George P. Cosmatos, 1993), run around a bit. Being surrounded by things and media that I love has been key to growing up for me. I have a better job remembering what show, movie, or musician I was obsessed with in middle school or high school than I do remembering the names of any of my peers.

As a collector of physical media, there's nothing like old VHS box art!

I've spent the past 8 months getting used to the Appalachian area, slowly unpacking, and figuring out who I am. Despite my new position as film curator here at The Lincoln Theatre, I stopped watching movies. I was without a syllabus that told me which film I had to watch before class each week and so the habit that was so consistent for four years just died away.

This idea sounds stupid, doesn't it? I could be making my new year's resolution to get in shape, work on my screenplay, or even look into graduate courses but instead, I'm gonna watch a ton of movies.

365 movies may seem like a lot but I could easily get through this year by watching short films, documentaries, and low-budget horror. To make this both more interesting and educational my first rule is that I will be watching at least one movie released every year starting in 1888, the year film invaded the public consciousness with The Roundhay Garden Scene (Louis Le Prince,1888). I will also be accepting recommendations from friends, family, and complete strangers.

Weekly posts will be popping up here on Fridays to keep me on the go, as well as on my personal social media. If you are interested in giving recommendations, mention a film in the comments or come into Lola's at The Lincoln to talk to us! For an extensive list of every film I have seen, the ones I plan on watching, and daily updates, check out my Letterboxd.

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Tracy Thompson
Tracy Thompson
Jan 05, 2023

Great job Kate! You are an inspiration for novice film watchers.

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