2015: The Year in Reflection

As in years past, and like many list-makers, I like to reflect on the films and television shows that I have seen throughout the year. The list of titles is always too voluminous to enumerate one-by-one, so I typically chart a unique course. In 2011, I grouped highlights from the year in film, comparing apples to apples, and proposed—through a great deal of wishful thinking—dark horse nominees for a handful of categories at that year’s Academy Awards. Last year, feeling inspired by Steven Soderbergh’s comprehensive catalogue approach, I listed every damn thing that I saw—with the exception of episodic TV programs—no matter the year in which it was released.

But I’m in the mood for something different. Since 2015 was such an important year for me personally (you win some, you lose some) and I saw an astonishing seventy-five movies in the theater, a clear indication that a great many worthwhile pictures were released in 2015, I thought I would review the year in Movies by examining patterns I observed in my own moviegoing experiences. This endeavor proved so fruitful a reflective exercise that I couldn’t gather all of my thoughts into one essay. The films of 2015 presented many distinct possibilities, revealing things about myself that I didn’t already know or hadn’t yet fully comprehended (and I’m not sure I do now, either). I made discoveries that affirmed or challenged how I view the world. I may have learned to appreciate Star Wars.

This series, which I shall call 2015: The Year in Reflection, contains five parts:

Search and Rescue: Or Why I’m Drawn to Films About Surviving Nature, Torture, and Mars

Brainy: My Newfound Obsession with Artificial Intelligence

Fan-Made: Case Studies Inside Film Cultures, from Tarantino to Point Break

Child of the 90s: Why Do I Love Trainspotting So Much?

The Future: Why Can’t I Be a Film Critic?

NOTE: Mild-to-major spoilers to follow throughout the series. Tread carefully.

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