The first month of the year began in much the same way as the last month of the previous year had ended – mired in lethargic apathy.
There was ample time on my hands to, well, sit on my hands and do nothing in particular, at least for a few more days and then a few more after that.
Only, a deadline was looming. On 7 January I was set to finally make the long-awaited move to London, the capital of this fair island and epicentre of all things cultural, smoggy and really, really busy.
I scrambled for a New Year’s Resolution. Nothing implausible would do, such as: “This will be my year, I just know it!!1!!” A legion of fifteen-year-old girls had doubtless beaten me to that one. My resolution would need to be practical, tailored to my interests, preserving of my general sense of wellbeing and, above all, not hysterical in the least.
God laughs when you make plans, apparently, so he likely guffawed when I made designs to read one book a week for the entirety of 2013. My twelve hour days in the office are making this task especially hard; therefore that goal has been amended slightly to three books per month. You need not laugh at me, God. I am well aware of the joke that is my earnest ambition.
And the books of January are, in chronological order:
- White Nose by Don Delilo (1985)
- The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)
- The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares (1940)
Yes, that is how busy life has become in such a short space of time. Morel is a mere 100 pages and has taken me over a week to read. God may well have more to snigger at yet.
More realistic are my cinematic aims for 2013. 25 films a month is the current target and has already been surpassed in January despite a hectic schedule.
Cinema: where there’s a will, there’s a way.
My Top 10 viewings for January:
- Branded to Kill (dir. Seijun Suzuki, 1967, Japan)
- Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (dir. Nagisa Oshima, 1967, Japan)
- Safe (dir. Todd Haynes, 1995, USA/UK)
- Rapt (dir. Dimitri Kirsanoff, 1934, France/Switzerland)
- The Sweet Hereafter (dir. Atom Egoyan, 1997, Canada)
- Ashes (dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2012, Thailand)
- The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012, USA)
- In Another Country (dir. Hong-Sang-soo, 2012, South Korea)
- The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice (dir. Yasujiro Ozu, 1952, Japan)
- The Perfect Human (dir. Jorgen Leth, Denmark, 1967)
Lest I jinx myself, there will be no prematurely high hopes for the number of February viewings.