2015 Pop Culture Goals in Review

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2015 was a good year, there’s no need to really reflect on it, because that’s what end of the year lists are really all about. However, the last couple of years, I’ve been setting pop culture goals for myself. As the new year approaches, it is time to look back on how I did with completing those goals (HINT: Not so well!).

Here were my goals for 2015:

Watch 6 films directed by African, South American, or non-Korean/Japanese/Chinese Asian directors

Well I said that these did not go as well as they could have and here we have our first proof, I believe I watched one African film (Timbuktu, Mauritania), two South American film (The Colors of the Mountain, Colombia & The Headless Woman, Argentina), and zero Asian films (my plan was to watch the Apu trilogy, but it never happened). Broadening the landscape of what cinema you take in, broadens your mindset, and that was my goal here. The cinematic state of the US is deeply American and it’s a hard thing to break.

Watch a film each from these 6 directors: Robert Bresson, Yasujiro Ozu, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrei Tarkovsky, John Cassavetes, and Howard Hawks.

I watched a Bresson (Au Hasard Balthazar), an Ozu (Tokyo Story), a Tarkovsky (Andrei Rubilev), a Cassavetes (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie), and a Hawks (His Girl Friday). If you did the math that means I missed out on Godard; for no reason at all I’ve checked out Breathless from the library like 5 times, but have never watched it. I guess 5/6 isn’t terrible. Or maybe it is.

Learn something about how cars work

I did this! I mean it was all during a one-week period where I read through a bunch of How Stuff Works articles. I think I have a grip on how cars generally work (please don’t test me); my manliness has never been elevated higher, give me that blue collar already!

Tomorrow, I will release my pop culture goals for 2016!

2014 Pop Culture Goals in Review

Last year I wrote some goals for myself in pop culture–it’s my tradition to give myself resolutions to take seriously that aren’t really serious so I don’t have to feel guilty about myself when I inevitably fail them. You can read the full thing from last year here.

Here at the end of the year are the goals and how well I did with each. Tomorrow I will release a new set of goals for me to attempt only to drag myself here once again and admit with shame that I failed next year.

Last year’s goals:

-Start and engage in more conversations about movies on Letterboxd with friends or internet pals.

While I didn’t engage in a ton of conversations I definitely increased my Letterboxd usage and think it’s the greatest way of keeping track of what you’ve seen and what your friends and critics have seen.

-Watch 10 films from my Letterboxd watchlist

I don’t think I met this goal, let’s look at how many old movies I watched that I wanted to: American Graffiti, Airplane!, Bull Durham, Paths of Glory, The Hidden Fortress, Taxi Driver, The Maltese Falcon, The Usual Suspects, The Ice Storm. By my count that’s nine, which by my count is not equal to ten. It was close, but a pop culture failure.

-Put out at least a podcast a month

Well The Rankings Podcast went on an unofficial hiatus, but expect something soon…

-Start a new podcast (this is one for which I already have an idea brewing)

I actually did start a new podcast (Play Your Part) which wasn’t what I had in mind previously and is really just a way for me to make shows about whatever I want to (pop culture discussions, world culture, and random facts). It’s just a fun little project for me, but you can check it out if anything interests you.

-Read more mystery novels, because I always loved those as a kid.

I wasn’t as on top of this as I wanted to be, but I did read a couple of good novels. I read le Carre’s thriller The Spy Who Came in From the Cold which was excellent, as well as the ever popular Gone Girl. I’m also reading Anthony Bourdain’s Bone in the Throat showcasing his love for food and mob stories.

-Don’t watch sequels/prequels/franchise films at the theater.

Let’s look at the list of films I’ve seen this year in theaters I saw: Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 22 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, and The Muppets Most Wanted. That is three sequels all of which were very good and the two others are movies that are all but guaranteed to become sequels. I also saw four movies that were sequels from the comfort of my own home. Franchise films are overboard, but some are pretty good.

-Be intentional about creating things (writing, cooking, podcasting, etc…).

I started doing pretty consistent Weekly Thoughts about things, cooked stuff, and did plenty of podcasting. I think I was pretty set this year.

-Read a graphic novel (suggestions are welcome for what to read)

I read Persepolis which was a fascinating look into Iran and religion and revolution and counter culture. It was a great read, albeit not entirely convincing enough for me to get addicted to the medium.