‘I want to move away from short form social media whilst still giving myself downtime’

Naturally Aoife Wood decided that this involves watching a film…every day of the year. So, without further ado, here’s what Wood watched in January…

(Image: Mongrel Media)

One of my countless New Year’s resolutions was to commit more time to film. My goal? Watch a film every day of the year. It’s a leap year, so that’s 366 films (if I succeed). 

My main reason for setting this target is because I want to move away from short form social media content whilst still giving myself some downtime. 

During this busy month of exams, this downtime has been so useful in maintaining a healthy balance between work and relaxation. Knowing that each evening I will sit down and watch a film has motivated me through many library study sessions. 

My January in films:

01/01/24: La Reine Margot ★★★★★ 

Blood, Catholic imagery, love affairs, betrayal and beautiful costumes – this portrayal of 16th Century France has it all. 

02/01/24: All My Friends Hate Me ★★★★☆

Truly amazing portrayals of anxiety, guilt and insufferable posh people. This film gives into paranoia and asks the question: do my friends hate me? 

03/01/24: The Church ★★☆☆☆

Is it horror or comedy? An evil spirit is unleashed upon a church and what follows is a frankly bizarre series of events.

04/01/24: Sick of myself ★★★★☆

This slightly obvious, but effective, commentary on the social media age dements the attention-seeking behaviour of people through deranged Signe – who would literally die for attention. 

05/01/24: Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power ★★☆☆☆

An unfortunately surface level analysis of the male gaze in cinema. The interviewees featured in the documentary somewhat redeem it, providing more thought provoking insights than main speaker Nina Menkes.

06/01/24: Priscilla ★★★★☆

I have loved many of Sofia Coppola’s films, and this one was no different. A beautiful portrayal of Priscilla’s life and a wonderful representation of girlhood. Cannot recommend enough.

(Image: A24 Films)

07/01/24: Dream Scenario ★★★☆☆

Omg it’s Michael Cera! This could have been an excellent comedic approach to a sinister phenomenon – one man starts appearing in everyone’s dreams. I loved the first half of this film but the rest was just a shoddy portrayal of cancel culture that didn’t really say anything. 

08/01/24: Marie Antoinette ★★★★☆

After Priscilla I wanted to rewatch one of Coppola’s earlier films. Marie Antoinette is a charming combination of  the coming of age and historical fiction genres. 

09/01/24: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes ★★★☆☆

It was a nice way to revisit my childhood while still experiencing something new but I felt the film moved too fast and did not give the audience any time to connect with the characters. 

10/01/24: No film on this day but fear not, on the 11th I had a seven hour journey and managed to watch two films.

11/01/24: But I’m a Cheerleader ★★★★☆

A Hilarious and heartwarming exploration of sexuality and love. Really, really enjoyed this film.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret ★★★★☆

I am a sucker for films about girlhood. This coming of age story follows 11 year old Margaret and it is just really lovely. 

12/01/24: Deep End ★★★☆☆

Did not realise how strange this film was before watching – it got really weird. But OMG the colours and lighting in this film was so good. 

13/01/24: Frances Ha ★★★★★

Love love love films about female friendship. This film has so many beautiful relatable quotes and scenes. It feels like a warm hug.

14/01/24: Me Without You ★★☆☆☆

This film wanted to portray the friendship between two flawed girls as they grow up together. Unfortunately it makes every character so unlikeable that the whole film is unenjoyable. Two stars for the amazing costumes.

15/01/24: Ghost World ★★★☆☆

And it’s another film about female friendship! This film is kind of weird and occasionally funny but overall it felt quite average.

16/01/24: Emily the Criminal ★★★☆☆

A woman commits crimes to pay off her student debt. A fun premise and an enjoyable film. Not the best film ever but still good. 

17/01/24: Women Talking ★★★★☆

A thoughtful film that mostly features women in a barn discussing what to do after a terrifying discovery. I loved so much of this film but was let down by the visuals. The whole thing had this grey overlay which felt like a boring attempt to convey the serious nature of the film.

18/01/24: Lovesick Fool – Love in the Age of Like ★★☆☆☆

My first animated film of the year! It was definitely fun and easy to watch but lacked the substance it was aiming for. 

19/01/24: The Princess Bride ★★★★☆

Super nostalgic and entertaining. I had read the book this film is based on when I was younger but never got around to watching the film, so I decided to watch it. I am very glad I did. 

20/01/24: Wonderwall ★★★☆☆

Watched this because George Harrison composed the score, which was great, and was pleasantly surprised by the film. The film in one word: Bizarre

21/01/24: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days ★★★★☆

This film never disappoints. Definitely one of my favourite romantic comedies and a film I frequently rewatch. This time I watched the night before one of my exams and it was the perfect destresser. 

22/01/24: Leave the World Behind ★★★☆☆

First boring film about the end of the world I have ever watched. The tension building was good and before I realised it was amounting to nothing I did enjoy the film. Overall though it was unfulfilling.

23/01/24: Ruby Sparks ★★★★☆

Mostly this film is a powerful statement on abuse of power, manipulation and men’s objectification of women. The last few scenes are the only caveat, in which the film tries to persuade the audience to forgive Calvin’s abuse to Ruby and gives him a happy ending.  

24/01/24: National Theatre Live: Fleabag ★★★★☆

A fantastic one woman show that gives voice to inner thoughts – even the most unspeakable. If you haven’t already watched this, or the TV version, I highly recommend you do. 

(Image: Matt Humphrey, National Theatre)

25/01/24: Baghead ★★★★☆

The most comforting horror film I have ever watched. Really just a film about friendship and relationships. It’s sweet and slightly scary at times.

26/01/24: Carrie ★★★★☆

When this film opened with an unnecessary display of naked teenage characters I contemplated turning it off but aside from this scene the film was really quite excellent. 

27/01/24: Betty Blue ★★★★★ (The director’s cut)

This has been a long time favourite film of mine. I have probably watched it at least 4 times now (which may seem like a small accomplishment but the film is over 3 hours). The visual beauty of each scene is matched by a moving plot, creating the perfect film. 

28/01/24: My Best Friend’s Wedding ★★★☆☆

This film warps the traditional theme in romantic comedies – people doing anything for love, giving the audience a protagonist who does cruel things for love. This made for a refreshing and amusing film

29/01/24: Anatomy of Hell ★★★☆☆

An unafraid exploration of sexuality and the male gaze with plenty of standout quotes. Its problematic elements and laughable scenes – the consumption of tampon tea – sort of ruined it for me. 

30/01/24: Daphne ★★☆☆☆

I hoped this would be a fleabagesque film in which the audience could come to understand and relate to a deeply flawed character. But Daphne was a flat character that failed to carry the film.

31/01/24: Prelude ★★★☆☆

A short 7 minute film accompanied by Rachmoninoff’s Prelude, in which a man dreams he is a victim of premature burial. Adequately creepy and spooky.