Saturday, December 31, 2011

365 Days, 394 Movies, 346 Posts: 2011 as it was for me.

Wow, another year is just about over. If I'm being perfectly honest, 2011 has been a great year for me. I don't know whether I consider it great just because it went so fast and there are so few things I remember about it, or whether I just had a lot of fun this year. Of course, like every year, 2011 hasn't been perfect. Far from it, in fact. Unfortunately, this year will always be known as the year when my beloved old horse Sox died. I always dreaded the day when this will come, and admittedly, it's been hard living without him since as he has been there with me for my whole life. However, while that has cast a permanent dark cloud over the year, 2011 has been one filled with several great achievements, mainly to do with the blog and my writing.

2011 really was the year when I stopped making this blog just another space on the internet and attempted to get it out there a lot more. At the beginning of the year, I was contemplating shutting the thing down because I thought that no-one read it. But then, out of nowhere, a whole lot of people started circulating the blog and I had to step my game up to make sure that they stayed. This meant that I put a stop to reviewing every single movie I saw, because that got a little exhausting and some of my reviews ended up being extremely passionless. I also endeavoured to make this is a more personal blog, instead of a place where I post reviews focussing on silly things like lighting (you know the ones I mean). Hey, I'm a female teenager blogging about films, which is different, so I have to use that to my advantage. Anyway, the moment when I really had to step my game up was when I won the Lammy for 'Best New Blog'. Here was something I wasn't expecting, as I was just happy to be nominated. But I won - I still for the life of me don't know how - so I had to make sure that I actually lived up to this award. Add on several little achievements to do with the blog and a call from Paramount Studios and I think I did. Apart from the sharp drop in pageviews this month, but I suppose that's to do with the silly season.

2011 was also the year when my taste changed and I started becoming more...I don't know...astute. I got a new love for arthouse, independent and foreign films. If you showed me The Tree of Life in 2010 I probably would have pretended to like it just to get some credibility. But I really did love it. Same with Melancholia. I've realised that the smaller the film, the better I'll like it. However, I still love the odd blockbuster and Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg are still my favourite film-makers. So don't count me as one of those people who only love the obscure films and refuse to like anything else. Because I still liked Limitless. I also watched a lot more: I watched 282 new-to-me films (53 up on last year), rewatched 112 films (not specifically all different films, as The Social Network would account for 10 of those), which makes a total of 394 separate occasions I've spent watching a movie this year. Yes, I do have a life, too.

Anyway, last year I did some musings on each month of the year as it happened on the blog. Time to feel nostalgic...

Starting the year with 10 lessons I learned from the 2010 movies and also my 10 favourite movies at that time, January quickly dissolved into a month of silly little reviews that I'm sure no-one read. Then I started going hundy on Annual Awards Nerdism. Which reminds me, I should probably get more into it, but it's hard when all of the films in contention are months away from getting a release here. This post was a particular favourite of took such a long time to do, too.

February was the time when people started circulating the blog, and thank goodness, because I was posting like a maniac in this month. Again, Annual Awards Nerdism was in full swing, as the month ended with the Oscars. One post that still gets me a lot of pageviews (image searches, obviously) is the 10 guys I wouldn't mind spending Valentine's Day with. If I could go back in time I'd add Jeremy Irvine, Ralph Fiennes and Michael Fassbender. This was also the month when I introduced the new rating system, which I'm thinking about changing very soon...

March was not a very good month at all, especially towards the end. Anyway, I began the month with my top 10 of 2010, which has changed a little bit since then (pencil in Blue Valentine in the 3rd spot). I also wrote this review on The Ghost Writer, which I personally think is one of my best. I took part in the Desert Island CD blogathon, held by Anomalous Material. Slightly making my month better at the end was this LAMBcast, where my fellow bloggers said some kind things about the site.

Quite the interesting month, this one was. I released my favourite actors, actresses, and classic stars. I also listed the 100 things I love about the movies, which I could add to until we get to 1000. But April was most known for the classic movie marathon. Marathons are so exhausting.

I unleashed my 100 favourite films this month...what a task that was. I think I posted some of my best posts this month, like The Hurt Locker vs. Facebook, What an R18 is Like for Someone Too Young to Watch Them, and Being a Young Movie Lover... I got a couple of LAMMY nominations and changed the look to something really swanky (but then the template pooped out on me in September so I'm stuck with this). I started my 'A Conversation with...' reviews this month, too. I should definitely start those again.

June was probably the month I'd probably remember the most from this year. Our school came second in Stage Challenge, and the day after I got my tonsils out, and then a few days after that, I got announced as the winner of the Best New Lamb. So much happiness all coming in at once (okay, getting my tonsils out wasn't the happiest thing for about a month, but I'm glad I'm not sick now).

July was the month that Sox died, but otherwise, this month was okay. I watched Blue Valentine, shared the film characters that I'm like, and listed the 52 reasons why I love Inception. But what I loved the most about July was the fact that we were doing an Anne Frank unit in drama and we watched Schindler's List in preparation, and I absolutely fell in love with it. So much so that I wrote this extremely long review on it, which I hated when I first posted it, but have come to love a lot. Call me strange or whatever, but I became - I don't know how to put this - interested (?) in the Holocaust (interested sounds bad...but I did learn a lot about it). I started to value my life my life a lot more, hence this strange, personal post.

In celebration of my 16th birthday, I did my 16 Days of Birthday marathon. You'll find out some interesting stuff about me here. It also snowed properly here for the first time in eight years, which makes August my favourite month of the year. Making it even better was my viewing of The Tree of Life, which I was equally as confused by as I was enthused by (such a lyrical genius). I love this review that I wrote on it.

September was the month where, I think, this blog kinda went downhill. I completely blame myself: school got really hard, I was exhausted and completely disheartened by my poor mock-exam results, and I just didn't have the time or energy to do anything. I took a two week break, which I admit I had a hard time returning from. Still, I got to go to the NZFF and see Melancholia, compare Sucker Punch to a teapot and spend my Friday night watching Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.

I celebrated the blog's second birthday this month, a milestone which I didn't think I'd get to. There were some notable posts, too: a personal one about why I'm looking forward to War Horse that has something to do with a special horse that I lost, how you could sell your movie with a poster...for dummies, and why everyone should just get the eff over Shame being rated NC-17.

I'm so glad I had the blog in November, because it was a nice break away for me from studying. There were a few posts I personally loved, like the favourite film argument, 52 things I love about The Social Network, and the 10 movies I wish I had made. However, my favourite post was one that I didn't even write specifically for the blog...yup, the essay about piracy that I wrote for school that gave me a brush with Hollywood. It's funny how these things happen.

My favourite review of mine was written this month: one of Hunger. For once, I actually sound like I know what I'm talking about! However, this month was dominated by my Harry Potter marathon. I'm so glad I did this now. Other posts I loved were my favourite posters of 2011, my favourite and least favourite movies from the year and my favourite performances from my 2011 obsession, Ralph Fiennes. Top that off with my third consecutive win of the English cup at school, and my year finished pretty well.

What's in store for 2012?
When school goes back in February, I doubt I'll be posting regularly (as I'm a year 12 which means I have a lot more to do), and this blog might even fade away. But let's not be so pessimistic: I'm going to get really serious about Annual Awards Nerdism. I'm going to watch a lot of those classic films that I haven't seen. I'm going to see The Dark Knight Rises on opening night. And if I get my back into it, you might see something big from me next year. I hope to make 2012 every bit as good as 2011!

But for now, I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone circulating this blog. I don't feel like I thank you enough. Seriously, without you guys, this blog would not be here. You are what made this year so great for me. So thank you, and all the best for 2012! to watch Inception, which is the best year-ender movie ever.


  1. Oh, sweet Stevee, I love your blog so much- I always look forward reading it, since it's very close to my style, to my preferences, to my liking! Please keep up the good work and don't let go of this blog, it's worth the extra effort! Speaking of effort, I must say, content-wise, you had a fantastic year and you should be proud of yourself! It was good to make the 2011 recap, now I have some older posts to read!
    Have a great 2012, you deserve it!

  2. Incredible year, congratulations! I wish I had done all this by your age! Really impressive and your blog is always a great read! Happy new year and have a great 2012!

  3. What a Year!!! I am voting for you as BEST BLOG this year in the Lammies!

    Your site is one of the best places ever in the bloggasphere!

    I wish I could have half of your skill with writing and audience

  4. You've had such a good year on this blog, and I am so happy that you have masses of people following you now! (You totally deserve it!)

    And 394 films...that is pretty insane. I didn't get anywhere close to that *curses work.

    I am sure your 2012 will be just as good, if not better!

  5. My God! I knew you were amazing but I had no idea this was the year it all happened! And so fast, congratulations, I'm so happy for you! I remember some of those posts, you have the most original and wonderful ideas for articles, truly entertaining.
    Please keep writing "like a maniac", it's the very thing we love about you. I hope 2012 will be the best time of your life. Happy New Year!

  6. Yaay! Great year man. This is a wonderful blog and you are a brilliant blogger and it's been a privilege visiting this site :D
    Keep blogging on!!

    And A Very Happy New Year!

  7. Wow Stevee! Congratulations on a great year! This is one of my favourite blogs. Hope you can keep it up in 2012. Happy New Year!

  8. What a great year Stevee! Congrats dudette, looking forward to 2012! Happy New Year!

  9. Thanks, everyone! I really don't feel like I could ever thank you enough. I'll try and continue to write on here for as long as possible!

  10. What a year it's been, great summary Stevee! Glad you didn't stop blogging as it must've been a slow start for a lot of people too, but seriously you are such a great writer and astute movie-watcher so keep up the great work, girl!

  11. Stevee, I've already told you how much I love and admire this site, and I still do. There is no one blogging with the same charisma, humor and likability as you. This has been a great year and I am proud to be a loyal and admiring follower of Cinematic Paradox.

  12. Happy New Year!
    I think everything's been said either here or previously by me already... you know I love and admire your blog, so keep it going.

  13. Gosh, you guys are so lovely it makes me want to cry :') You really do make my world go 'round. Thank you so much!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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