So, three weeks into January. Still keeping to those New Year’s resolutions, or have they all fallen by the wayside now? Just like last year and the year before, I’m sure. Setting up unrealistic expectations at the start of the year and then failing to keep to them is a national tradition, and by the beginning of February, chances are that you’ll have even forgotten what it was that you were trying to achieve. All those grand plans to change the world, or at least your waistline, will have gone out of the window for another year and nothing will really change. So how about a resolution that isn’t just for January, is guaranteed to expand your horizons and might just change your life?
Then my recommendation for you is to watch 100 films in a cinema. This year. It might already be past the middle of January, but there’s still plenty of time to get in a century of films before people start singing Auld Lang Syne, and it might be easier than you think. But why 100? Why a year? (If you’re next question is “why films?” or “why in a cinema?” then you’re probably reading the wrong blog, given that my whole point is to try to encourage you to watch films in a cinema.) In terms of a goal, I’ve already suggested a short term target, that you can, if you put your mind to it, watch seven films in one day. But this is the cinematic equivalent of running the 100 metres, and not everyone can cover that distance in ten seconds. So consider this to be your marathon rather than your sprint, and if you put your mind to it, there’s no reason why you can’t be celebrating a cinematic ton by the end of the year.
The other thing it’s worth doing, and this applies to any resolution setting, is to make sure that you’ve set yourself a SMART goal. Now, SMART goals might be taken from the school of business thinking commonly known as Management Bollocks™ but bear with me; these things have prominence in businesses for a reason, mainly that they do actually work. A SMART goal, if you’ve not come across them before, is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound. Seeing 100 films in a cinema in a calendar year is actually all of the above, so allow me to share with you the how, what, where, when and why you should give this challenge a go.
Seeing as many movies as I do at the cinema isn’t something you can do blindly or without careful preparation and planning. (Well, you could, but you’d have to be really not fussy about what you saw. All About Steve, anyone?) So there are a number of tools I use to help me decide what I’m going to spend my hard earned cash on. First and foremost among these is the Internet Movie Database, or IMDb for short.
Anyone who’s ever seen a film has probably been to that site, but not only does it contain masses of useful information on each film (as well as TV series, games, bus stops, kitchen sinks and the like), it can also be used to build up a useful profile of what you like and what you should be seeing. Read the rest of this entry »