Goodbye, Dragon Inn
As someone who has often complained about how hard it can be to keep up with new releases while also watching the thousands of older films that I've been meaning to see, there was a certain Twilight Zone irony to having a global pandemic shutter movie theatres for most of the year and push many major releases to some indeterminate time in the future. In the words of Mr. Henry Bemis, there was time now, so long as I didn't mind spending so much of it in my own flat.
During the many months of lockdown, I watched a lot of older movies that were new-to-me, and was able to finally check off some heavy hitters that I've had on my to-watch list for years. I didn't manage to complete some of the loftier goals I set myself (such as watching all of Berlin Alexanderplatz) or even some of the dumber ones (like watching Eyes Wide Shut every day of December leading up to Christmas) but since we're not getting out of this anytime soon, I might find time to fit them in before I write next year's post. As ever, though, as great as it was finally seeing movies that I expected to be great, the biggest thrill came from seeing films I knew nothing about, and realising that there is always more to discover.
Before we get to the list, a shout-out to the best film I rewatched this year: Wayne's World. We all needed a little comfort this year, and nothing allayed my anxiety as much as revisiting Aurora, Illinois and seeing that the film is just as funny as it was when I was seven, if not funnier since I understand a lot more of the jokes now.
Anyway, here are the best older films I watched for the first time in 2020. A good year, but only in this one respect.