Well, another one’s been and gone. For a variety of reasons, I can’t say it’s one that will go down in the history books as one of the all-time greats for me, though it contained a number of individual moments of sheer joy. Most of these involved the referendum we had in Scotland on the 18th September on the matter of independence — or rather, the run-up to it. The result, a narrowish No vote, ranks as one of the most crushingly disappointing moments of my life, and it casts a shadow over the entire year. However, the campaign itself, and in particular the fortnight or so before it, when a bizarre and quite intoxicating euphoria seemed to grip Glasgow, are memories I wouldn’t trade for anything. And if the immediate aftermath of the referendum has taught us anything, it’s that September 18th was merely the beginning rather than the end of Scotland’s journey towards independence. As much as the British political elites wish it wasn’t the case, the debate is going to continue to run and run. In any event, 2014 was a year of political firsts for me. I attended my first protest rally, joined a political party and voted on the constitutional make-up of the country I live in. The latter, I hope, is something I’ll have the opportunity to repeat before too many more years have passed, hopefully with a more agreeable outcome.

I mention all this not simply to indulge in a bit of political tub-thumping but because of the impact it had on my film viewing. This is, after all, a site dedicated primarily to movies — though I’m uncertain as to precisely when it stopped being a purely personal blog and started to become something (hopefully) more objective. I hate to say it, but for a while the act of watching movies started to feel like a rather trivial pursuit and I found myself getting far more satisfaction out of spending a couple of hours reading the latest opinion pieces on the various independence web sites rather than sitting in front of the projection screen. As a result, my viewing figures — 138 films seen, of which 108 were first watches — are way down on last year’s, and significantly short of my original target of 175 new films.

Still, heres’s the full chronological list. (An asterisk designates a rewatch.)

January

1. The Croods (2013) - 1/1/14 - 5/10
2. Upstream Color (2013) - 2/1/14 - 3/10
3. Mud (2013) - 3/1/14 - 5/10
4. The Kings of Summer (2013) - 5/1/14 - 8/10
5. Trap for Cinderella (2013) - 7/1/14 - 6/10
6. Frances Ha (2012) - 9/1/14 - 8/10
7. Something in the Air (2012) - 10/1/14 - 7/10
8. Me and You (2012) - 11/1/14 - 6/10
9. American Hustle (2013) - 13/1/14 - 7/10
10. The World’s End (2013) - 15/1/14 - 8/10
11. Cloud Atlas (2012) - 16/1/14 - 7/10
12. *Stoker (2013) - 17/1/14 - 4/10
13. In a World… (2013) - 17/1/14 - 6/10
14. Before Midnight (2013) - 18/1/14 - 8/10
15. Demons 2 (1986) - 20/1/14 - 5/10
16. *Zero Dark Thirty (2012) - 21/1/14 - 9/10
17. *Broken (2012) - 26/1/14 - 4/10
18. 12 Years a Slave (2013) - 28/1/14 - 10/10
19. *Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) - 31/1/14 - 9/10

February

20. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - 6/2/14 - 8/10
21. The Long Goodbye (1973) - 7/2/14 - 8/10
22. Babylon (TV) (2014) - 9/2/14 - 6/10
23. Heat (1995) - 18/2/14 - 7/10
24. The Lego Movie (2014) - 20/2/14 - 7/10
25. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) - 28/2/14 - 5/10

March

26. Dallas Buyers Club (2013) - 7/3/14 - 8/10
27. Page Eight (2011) - 16/3/14 - 8/10
28. Veronica Mars (2014) - 18/3/14 - 7/10
29. Under the Skin (2013) - 20/3/14 - 7/10
30. Turks & Caicos (2014) - 21/3/14 - 8/10
31. Salting the Battlefield (2014) - 29/3/14 - 8/10

April

32. Frozen (2013) - 1/4/14 - 7/10
33. The Book Thief (2013) - 3/4/14 - 5/10
34. *Gravity (2013) - 4/4/14 - 8/10
35. *The Counselor (2013) - 7/4/14 (with audio commentary)
36. The Interpreter (2005) - 10/4/14 - 7/10
37. Bug (2007) - 14/4/14 - 6/10
38. To Live and Die in LA (1985) - 19/4/14 - 7/10
39. Magnum Force (1973) - 20/4/14 - 8/10
40. The Enforcer (1976) - 21/4/14 - 5/10

May

41. Tracks (2013) - 1/5/14 - 8/10
42. In Our Name (2010) - 5/5/14 - 7/10
43. *Operation Crossbow (1965) - 12/5/14 - 7/10
44. The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears (2013) - 19/5/14 - 8/10
45. Sudden Impact (1983) - 26/5/14 - 8/10

June

46. Diamonds are Forever (1971) - 1/6/14 - 4/10
47. *Live and Let Die (1973) - 2/6/14 - 6/10
48. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - 2/6/14 - 3/10
49. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - 4/6/14 - 7/10
50. Moonraker (1979) - 8/6/14 - 2/10
51. *For Your Eyes Only (1981) - 9/6/14 - 7/10
52. Octopussy (1983) - 11/6/14 - 5/10
53. A View to a Kill (1985) - 14/6/14 - 3/10
54. *The Living Daylights (1987) - 15/6/14 - 9/10
55. *Licence to Kill (1989) - 18/6/14 - 8/10
56. Goldeneye (1995) - 21/6/14 - 7/10
57. Gangster Squad (2013) - 22/6/14 - 3/10
58. Lucie Aubrac (1997) - 23/6/14 - 6/10
59. *Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) - 24/6/14 - 5/10
60. *The World is Not Enough (1999) - 29/6/14 - 6/10

July

61. Taking Liberties (2007) - 3/7/14 - 7/10
62. *Frozen (2013) - 3/7/14 - 7/10
63. *Hercules (1997) - 4/7/14 - 6/10
64. Non-Stop (2014) - 5/7/14 - 6/10
65. Out of the Furnace (2013) - 6/7/14 - 5/10
66. *Tangled (2010) - 8/7/14 - 7/10
67. Hunger (2008) - 13/7/14 - 8/10
68. Video Nasties: Draconian Days (2014) - 15/7/14 - 7/10
69. *Halloween (1978) - 17/7/14 - 8/10
70. In Fear (2013) - 18/7/14 - 6/10
71. *The Special Relationship (2010) - 20/7/14 - 7/10
72. Jeune & jolie (2013) - 21/7/14 - 7/10
73. Welcome to the Punch (2013) - 31/7/14 - 4/10

August

74. Shell (2012) - 3/8/14 - 4/10
75. Pusher (2012) - 6/8/14 - 5/10
76. The Seasoning House (2012) - 9/8/14 - 6/10
77. Insomnia (1997) - 10/8/14 - 7/10
78. *Opera (1987) - 11/8/14 - 9/10
79. The Congress (2013) - 15/8/14 - 5/10
80. Good Will Hunting (1997) - 15/8/14 - 10/10
81. Pioneer (2013) - 20/8/14 - 8/10
82. Scotland Yet (2014) - 24/8/14 - 7/10
83. Lucy (2014) - 25/8/14 - 8/10

September

84. Brick (2005) - 2/9/14 - 4/10
85. Before I Go to Sleep (2014) - 9/9/14 - 5/10
86. The Quiet Ones (2014) - 21/9/14 - 6/10
87. A Most Wanted Man (2014) - 22/9/14 - 9/10
88. The Guardian (1990) - 26/9/14 - 5/10
89. Halloween II (1981) - 28/9/14 - 6/10
90. A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014) - 29/9/14 - 7/10
91. *Excision (2012) - 30/9/14 - 7/10

October

92. *The Loved Ones (2009) - 3/10/14 - 7/10
93. *The Haunting (1963) - 3/10/14 - 9/10
94. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) - 6/10/14 - 7/10
95. Gone Girl (2014) - 7/10/14 - 8/10
96. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) - 13/10/14 - 6/10
97. Edge of Tomorrow (2014) - 14/10/14 - 8/10
98. *Halloween (1978) - 16/10/14 (with audio commentary)
99. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) - 17/10/14 - 2/10
100. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) - 18/10/14 - 4/10
101. *Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998) - 19/10/14 - 6/10
102. ‘71 (2014) - 21/10/14 - 7/10
103. *Halloween (2007) - 21/10/14 - 3/10
104. Halloween II (2009) - 22/10/14 - 4/10
105. Halloween: Resurrection (2002) - 29/10/14 - 1/10
106. The Babadook (2014) - 31/10/14 - 7/10

November

107. Nightcrawler (2014) - 4/11/14 - 10/10
108. *A Most Wanted Man (2014) - 9/11/14 - 9/10
109. *Suspiria (1977) - 12/11/14 - 10/10
110. The Hypnotist (2012) - 16/11/14 - 6/10
111. Oculus (2012) - 17/11/14 - 6/10
112. Interstellar (2014) - 19/11/14 - 7/10
113. Her (2013) - 22/11/14 - 4/10
114. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - 24/11/14 - 8/10
115. The Imitation Game (2014) - 28/11/14 - 8/10

December

116. Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s (2012) - 1/12/14 - 8/10
117. Grizzly Man (2005) - 3/12/14 - 7/10
118. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) - 5/12/14 - 8/10
119. Locke (2013) - 7/12/14 - 4/10
120. Haunter (2013) - 7/12/14 - 5/10
121. Grand Central (2013) - 8/12/14 - 7/10
122. The Two Faces of January (2014) - 9/12/14 - 7/10
123. The Double (2013) - 11/12/14 - 8/10
124. Calvary (2014) - 12/12/14 - 5/10
125. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) - 14/12/14 - 7/10
126. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) - 15/12/14 - 4/10
127. The Fault in Our Stars (2014) - 16/12/14 - 5/10
128. Venus in Fur (2013) - 19/12/14 - 6/10
129. Withnail & I (1987) - 22/12/14 - 7/10
130. How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989) - 24/12/14 - 6/10
131. *Edge of Tomorrow (2014) - 25/12/14 - 8/10
132. *Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) - 27/12/14 - 7/10
133. Two Days, One Night (2014) - 27/12/14 - 6/10
134. *Good Will Hunting (1997) - 28/12/14 - 10/10
135. Welcome to New York (2014) - 29/12/14 - 7/10
136. Enemy (2013) - 30/12/14 - 7/10
137. Paddington (2014) - 31/12/14 - 7/10
138. Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - 31/12/14 - 8/10

Best film I saw? Tied between 12 YEARS A SLAVE, GOOD WILL HUNTING and NIGHTCRAWLER. Worst film? Without a doubt HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION. Yeesh.

I also found time to read a handful of books, albeit a far lesser quantity compared to the number of films I consumed:

The Devil’s Staircase - Helen FitzGerald
Dying Light - Stuart MacBride
Nordic Noir - Barry Forshaw
Driftnet - Lin Anderson
Rachel Cord PI and the “Bad Bitch Blues” - R.E. Conary
*The Devil Rides Out - Dennis Wheatley
I am Pilgrim - Terry Hayes
Dario Argento - L. Andrew Cooper
Broken Skin - Stuart MacBride
The Silence of the Lambs - Thomas Harris
*Hannibal - Thomas Harris
The Negotiator - Frederick Forsythe
My Last Confession - Helen FitzGerald
*Garnethill - Denise Mina
The Girl Who Played with Fire - Denise Mina
The Argento Syndrome - Derek Botelho
This is Where I Am - Karen Campbell
The Night Hunter - Caro Ramsay
Stieg & Me - Eva Gabrielsson
The Secret Place - Tana French
*The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - J.R.R. Tolkien
Red Fox - Gerald Seymour
The Annotated Hobbit - Douglas A. Anderson
Red Dragon - Thomas Harris

We’ll see what 2015 brings. With any luck, rather more books read and movies watched, and a whole lot more political unrest. A better-paying job with more contracted hours would also be nice, not to mention making some headway on the writing front. Anyway, here’s to the next twelve months. May they bring you good health and prosperity!


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