My favourite films of 2008

I watched a lot of movies in 2008. Most of the mainstream films were disappointing, particularly the superhero ones, all of which ended with two men fighting to settle points of principle.  As Roger Ebert points out, by far the best shot in The Incredible Hulk was a simple ariel shot of Rio; and, while the Dark Knight was fun, I can't see why so many people declare it a classic since it was neither innovative or surprising.

I did see some great films though.  My favourites were:

  1. The Orphanage (now facing an unneccessary Hollywood remake)
  2. Man on Wire
  3. My Winnipeg
  4. Brighton Wok
  5. Cloverfield (I loved the final scene)

I don't think My Winnipeg had the coverage it deserved, with a blink-and-you-miss-it showing at the Duke of Yorks, but it was one of the most creative and exciting films I've seen in years.  Hopefully someone else will be prompted to watch it and tell me what they think.

The turn of the year: 2009

2008 started with me joining Mr. Spratt for a dip in the English Channel. I've been so cold recently that a swim didn't appeal, but I did manage a 13 mile run this morning.  Tough, but a lovely way to see in the new year.

New Years Day 2009 finds me feeling upbeat.  Four months of sabbatical have allowed me to do lots of writing and make a range of positive changes.  Sadly I can't spend my whole life on sabbatical but I'm planning on 2009 being as positive as 2008 while getting much more done.

From Monday I'm going to be wrangling EJB3 for Domus, who have some lovely software for me to play with.  It's going to be good working in Brighton again, particularly being able to walk to work along the seafront.

I'm also looking forward to doing more running this year.  In February I have the Sussex Beacon Half Marathon, although that's been a little eclipsed by my plan for April: entering the Blackpool Marathon.  The first few weeks of training have gone well and I'm very excited.  But that really deserves its own post.

While I did some good writing in 2008 my level of submissions was shameful (particularly when I see Kay Sexton's record).  In 2009 I want to have all my finished work circulating – I was appalled to discover I had 27 finished stories sitting idle on my hard drive.  I'm also working on a new novel which I'm very excited about.

There are lots of other things I plan to do, such as finally read Ulysses, lose a stone, take a foreign holiday and go out a lot more than I did in 2008.  2009 should be a great year.