It was in October 2006 that I really discovered cinema and got addicted to it. Although it is hard to believe, I watched Aanand, Andhi, and Pyaasa for the first time only then. But since then it has been the most important job for me, to watch as many films as I can and compensate for what I call my 'sins'. 2009 was the best year I have had, as far as cinema experience is considered, with more than 250 good films that I watched for the first time, and I do not count the bad ones or re-watches. Here is a brief summary of the year:
- It was the year that made me realize the greatness of Stanley Kubrick and Charlie Chaplin. Also, I saw some of the great films of Martin Scorsese, although a lot remains to be wathced.
- Discovered Federico Fellini, and also Jim Jarmusch, the Coen Brothers and Paul Thomas Anderson.
- Got introduced to Jean-Luc Godard, Fritz Lang, Andrei Tarkovsky, Wim Wenders, John Ford, John Huston, Billy Wilder, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Agnes Varda, Alain Resnais, Marcel Carne, Theo Angelopoulos, Andrzej Wajda, Terrence Mallick, Terry Giliam, Guy Ritchie and the Marx Brothers.
- Continued watching more films of Hitchcock, Bergman, Kieslowski, Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray and Woody Allen
- Realized that my favourite Hollywood genre is the Western. Apart from a rewatch of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on the big screen, watched Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, For a Few Dollars More, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
- Finally watched classics like The Godfather - II, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Touch of Evil, Jules et Jim, 12 Angry Men, Chinatown, Lawrence of Arabia, Easy Rider and more.
- Discovered the power of the Documentary through Born into Brothels, An Inconvenient Truth, Unmistaken Child and Ayn Rand- a Sense of Life.
- And some great Hindi films strengthened my faith in the legacy of our own film industry. Some of them were: Pakeezah, Neecha Nagar, Aakrosh, Nishant, Trikal, Bhumika, Kalyug, Sparsh, Saaransh, New Delhi Times, Bobby, Maachis, Lamhe and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na.