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2007 in review: Films

Okay, let’s get the easy ones out of the way first. Watching films, being part of “having fun” kind of fell by the wayside in 2007. I only saw 29 films (a five-year low), most of those in the first four or five months of the year. I have only been to the cinema once since we moved to the Netherlands, and that was to see The Bourne Ultimatum…on a trip back to Scotland.

I don’t see the situation changing any time soon, either. I know where the nearest cinema is, but lack the motivation to get out there of an evening. (Also: National Treasure 2? Puh-leeze.) The TV set-up we have here in the house is distinctly sub-optimal, and I haven’t signed up for a DVD rental service here yet. (Compared to Lovefilm in the UK, the offerings here are expensive and primitive.) Once we move house, I would really like to get a big TV, and spend some time arranging it so that sitting down to watch a film is something to look forward to.

Of the films I saw in 2007, there are four that really stood out:

Brick seems to divide opinion; some people find it boring, and are put off by the poor sound quality – some of the dialogue is really hard to make out. I just loved its lo-fi noir vision. Primer is a low-budget no-fx gem, a mind-bending time-travel film that actually works. Following is another low-budget effort–Christopher Nolan’s directorial debut, in fact. (You may remember Nolan from bigger films such as The Prestige and Batman Begins.) It’s a cunning little thriller with a sting in the tail. Finally, The Good Shepherd is the kind of spy film I like: murky, understated, ambiguous, and backstabby.

So what am I looking forward to in 2008? To be honest, seeing anything at the cinema would be a high point of my year so far. Richard Brunton maintains a fabulous site for movie lovers over at Filmstalker.co.uk, with loads of tasty bites about what’s coming soon, but I can’t actually see anything on the horizon that screams out “must see!” yet.

(Actually, on second thoughts, a European release of My Name Is Bruce would be pretty awesome.)