These are endeavors that I really admire and would love to undertake myself but, sadly, probably would never have enough time for.
Over at the Slant Magazine blog, Ed Gonzalez is running through his top ten films from every year essentially since the beginning of cinema, jumping around for variety (the most recent entry is 1948). The fact that not only has he seen ten movies from each year, but has also seen enough to rank them with conviction (and include a few honorable mentions) is extraordinary to me. I believe he's only a couple of years older than I am, too, which means I have a daunting amount of catching up to do (something that I've known ever since starting to work as a movie critic). To his credit, Gonzalez is also listing "blind spots" from each year (notable films that he hasn't seen), allowing me to grant that he's still human and not some robotic movie-watching machine.
And then there's this blog, pointed out by the Blogger home page, in which a film buff and aspiring filmmaker watches one movie a day for three months. He's come up with an excellent balance of classics, obscure cult movies and new releases, and his reviews are detailed, well-written and well-observed. I've aspired over the last few summers, in the TV off-season, to watching a movie a day, and it's never quite worked out. With all the movies I see to review, I'm watching 3-5 movies a week anyway, but they are all new releases and many are, shall we say, less than notable. I keep filling my Netflix queue with interesting movies that I want to see, but the queue just gets longer and my time gets shorter, and I suppose I'll be on my deathbed with a long list of movies I never got around to watching. Isn't that a pleasant thought?
In other news, there were four people at my first screening for the Vegas Valley Book Festival tonight, and god bless all of them.