In some ways I think the events of 2020 caught up with me in 2021 and that’s when it started to have an effect on my reading and film-watching. I watched 203 different films (the lowest amount in a year since I’ve started properly recording this sort of thing in 2016) and of them 61 were rewatches. With all the various lockdowns and restrictions, I still managed to see 28 films in the cinema which is more than I thought I did to be honest. I put together my top ten films of 2021 last week which I did find it kind of hard to put together as once again I felt as I wasn’t watching a lot of new stuff even though there’s been a lot of critically-acclaimed films released on various streaming platforms this past year.
I completed my 52 Films by Women challenge for both directors and screenwriters again which I am happy about. Especially as I didn’t watch the 52nd film directed by a woman until the last few days of December. I was definitely cutting it fine in 2021. Normally I’ve hit 52 at least by December.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t watch any more of the films in my Clint Eastwood and Alfred Hitchcock boxsets like I said I’d like to, and I definitely didn’t watch any Studio Ghibli films. So that sort of goal was a massive failure.
When it came to TV watching though I surprised myself! I’ve shared all the shows I watched in 2021 but I finally finished watching all the Marvel Netflix shows like I said I wanted to for the past two or three years which feels like an achievement to be honest. I watched all the Disney+ MCU shows like I thought I would, and out of the other shows I mentioned wanting to try I did actually watch and love Ted Lasso so that’s something.
Now it’s time for the fun actor and director stats I get from having a Letterboxd pro account.
My most watched actors of 2021 were:
Last year I rewatched (and reviewed) all the X-Men films and all the Spider-Man films, as well as rewatching my comfort-franchise, Fast and Furious, I revisited The Matrix films for the first time in over a decade, and did my yearly rewatching of The Lord of the Rings so that pretty much explains every actor who makes the top 20. The two major outliers are John Cho (I watched the Harold & Kumar films for the first time in 2021 so that counts for half of his films) and Frank Grillo who I generally like and will watch just about everything he’s in.
I like the fact that a quarter of my most watched actors of 2021 are women, though it’d be nice if there were more, and almost half of my most watched actors aren’t white which is mostly thanks to the Fast and Furious franchise.
My most watched directors reflect the franchises I’ve been (re)watching. Justin Lin (Fast and Furious) Lana and Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix), Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) Sam Raimi, Jon Watts and Marc Webb (Spider-Man), McG (Charlie’s Angels), and James Mangold, Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer (X-Men).
Really happy and somewhat surprised that there’s five female directors here as while I have watched 52 films directed by women each year for six years now, rarely do I watch more than one film by the same female director in a year. This can be down to that they don’t yet have a big filmography to go through or their films aren’t easily available, or that they do have a fair few directing credits but I’ve just watched them in previous years and haven’t rewatched them.
I had a look and the last time I had more than one woman director make this end of year list was in 2018 and then it was only two of them. In fact, this is the year with the most women directors on my most watched list since I’ve been recording this stuff!
So, my film-related goals of 2022. While it is nice to have an opinion on the films/performances that are up for awards or are getting awards-buzz, I don’t want to push myself to watch things just because they have a level of prestige. That’s not to say I won’t watch any films that get nominated but I don’t want to stress myself out trying to cram in a load of films that are often serious or about tough subject matters in the first three months of the year.
I will once again say I’d like to make some headway with my Clint Eastwood and Alfred Hitchcock boxsets but who knows if that’ll happen. I will be aiming to watch at least 52 films written/directed by women again in 2022 though. I do like that challenge as it gets me watching films I might have put off as not a priority or I find things that I hadn’t heard of before.
Do you have any film or TV-related goals for 2022? If you have a Letterboxd account do let me know so I can follow you.