Friday, August 28, 2009

Annus Moviebilis

There was Bradman and then there's me. Let's leave that statement while I digress my way to a long story. Statistics appeal to me. They jump out to me from real life. I blame my parents for that. When I was a kid, summer vacations were all about spending time in Surat. One way my parents kept me engaged through train journeys was to keep a tab of how many stations the 'Flying Ranee' would pass by between Andheri and Surat. That was the simplified version of noting the station names down too. So yes, statistics interest me. The number of stairs to get to my office, the number of cars that passed by when I wait to cross like an obedient pedestrian, how many runners did I run past in the half marathon, how many Indians work on my team etc. They are a good way to stave of boredom when it arrives and provide a semblance of structure to chaos. My favorite area though is cricket statistics. Everything comes a distant second. Statsguru in cricinfo is my friend.

The second digression arriveth. I watch a lot of movies. Always have. Not sure when I got to that stage not having had a VCR at home during the oppressive 80s, but movies have my attention. So yes, I watch a lot of movies. My wife knows that and gives me gentle reminders once in a while. But how many movies did I really watch? Was there a difference in perception and reality? There was only one way to find that out. I started a project last year on the 29th of August. This wasn't meant to be a public project, but now that I am at the anniversary, I thought: why not? I listed every movie I saw in the last year. Here's the list in reverse chronological order

Short Kut - The Con is On
Last of the Mohicans
New York
Becoming Jane
27 Dresses
Brick Lane
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Burn After Reading
Mamma Mia
Kung Fu Panda
Blue Lagoon
Month Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python and the Life of Brian
Little Zizou
Aa Dekhen Zaraa
Eastern Promises
Tropic Thunder
Angels and Demons
39 Steps
Crimes and Misdemeanours
The Jane Austen Book Club
The Visitor
Strangers on a Train
Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Price
Super Size Me
The Stoneman Murders
Vantage Point
Dil Kabbaddi
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
The Elegy
Dev D
Iron Man
The Other Boleyn Girl
Goya's Ghosts
Indian Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The Reader
Sex and the City
Annie Hall
Luck by Chance
Revolutionary Road
The Last Castle
Rocky IV
Lions for Lambs
Charlie Wilson's War
Sorry Bhai
Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Into The Blue
Ramchand Pakistani
Slumdog Millionaire
Quantum of Solace
Golmaal Returns
Welcome to Sajjanpur
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
A Wednesday
Naked Gun 2 & 1/2
Mumbai Meri Jaan
Spy Game
The Notebook
There Will Be Blood
Bachna Ae Haseeno
Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic
Moby Dick
Love Story 2050
Groundhog Day
Kismet Konnection
The Lives Of Others
The Great Train Robbery
Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
Sarkar Raj

Not a bad number of movies given the fact that this was the 'most happening' year of my adult existence. I can't imagine what the number would have been in a 'normal' year. Of course, my tolerance for movies is infinitely more than most people, so you may see movies that you might find hard to survive. In an alternate life, I would have been a movie critic, if I had the heart to criticize movies :)

There's the temptation to drill down and analyze this list some more, but I will resist. One thing is certain: this excercise will not be repeated anytime soon. Wouldn't want to compete with myself, would I? :) On second thoughts, if I were to do this excercise for the books I read in a year, it would be a short and sweet excercise.

That leaves the mysterious start to this post: There was Bradman and then there's me. The number of movies on the list: 99!


frissko said...

I remember counting cement poles while on trains, and trees, which were already numbered, while on buses. Not a big fan of cricket stats though (not helped by commentators who say "This is the 3rd time an English spinner has gotten an Austalian out in the first over after tea" with an air of absolute importance!).

And man 99!, that's quite a lot of movies for a year! I actually have a separate blog to keep track of the movies and books i like (not everything, only those i like)...

Sneha said...

Nice list :-) - I'm a stats person too. Keeps the brain engaged!

What did you think of Kaminey?

Pallavi said...

Amazing is the word! If I were you, I would next classify the list into different genres and then generate a graph out of the data and that would give next step to analyze more critically.

How come Love aaj kal is missing from the list? Not that I liked it but still...

mystic rose said...

And I've watched about six. Notably - Jaane tu... and Lions for Lambs.

Parth said...

@Frissko: Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one counting things with no positive contribution to society :) Cricket stats appeal are a result of years of cumulative attention to detail. Very sub-conscious, and not inseperable

@Sneha: Kaminey was good, and I especially enjoyed watching it in the theater, which is quite a rarity nowadays :)

@Pallavi: Yup, the temptation is very much there, but I am going to resist it. Love Aaj Kal and Star Trek are two movies I haven't had an opportunity to catch yet. Will be watching them at the first chance possible though.

@Mystic Rose: That too me implies you are possibly doing a lot more productive things with your life than I am :) Wait, did I just call movie-watching a waste of time after spending almost 200+ hours in the year after it? :)

Ankit said...

You continue to amaze. How in the name of all that is sane, did you remember all these and that too in a chronological order! I lost this ability long ago and I think I remember why. If you would indulge my verbosity:

I was a child and my father put a puzzle in front of me. He asked me to imagine a bus with 50 people. The bus came to a stop where 7 got down and 13 got up. Then it stopped again where 12 got down and 23 got up. And it moved and stopped and moved and stopped again and again and again. And I was furiously calculating everything in my mind. My father, after 10 minutes, stopped and asked, 'So, how many stops?' I lost all interest in statistics then and there :).

Parth said...

@Ankit: You aren't assuming I memorized it, are you? :) No, the beauty of it is a list I persisted through the year and diligently updated after every movie that I saw. Looks like your parents turned you away from statistics the same way my parents got me interested in them :)

Siri said...

Was a fun read.

RTD2 said...

Ha! And I watched I think about 8 of these with you :) What's your next stats project?

Parth said...

@Siri: Thanks

@RTD2: 9! Not bad, huh? Not sure if and what the next stats project will be. It should have been the number of times Aarush has gotten up between 10pm - 7 am since birth, but I might not be coherent to record that :)

mystic rose said...


You think one is busy? Wait till you have three. The only thing I might be producing is more energy, thanks to sleep.

Wait, I forgot to mention the fifteen or so times I watched the extended versions of Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Parth said...

@Mystic Rose: Am I glad I did the experiment this year then? :) Three does sound like a handful, and your number may be justified. Hey, I own the LOTR extended version too. Watched it quite a few times (not in the last year though). If nothing, for pure entertainment, the Battle of Helm's Deep is a quick fix.

Sukanya C said...

Hi Parth...stopping by after a very long saw all of that?! Why most happening year -if not too much of a secret?

And congratulations on both...

Radha said...

Not bad at all :)
My movies run-rate has trended down steeply since the baby (and by extension, so has my husband's), but we're catching up fast (seen most of the newer names & missed most of the earlier ones). But DVDs are more common now than cinema-halls.

Parth said...

@Sukanya: Wow! Its been ages since you were on this space. The happening part was the baby. Don't need much else. He is fairly handful :)

@Radha: I can totally empathize. A movie in the theater is a special event now. Most on this list were seen at home.

Sukanya C said...

congrats....I am sure he is...all the best for all of u...

Completely Biased Movie said...

New York??????????

are u serious.... its the most racist movie ever!!!!

horrible horrible