As you may or may not know, I have been participating in #NFOTD (New Film of the Day) for the past two years. For those who don’t know, NFOTD was started by film-lover and director of photography, Cybel Martin. Every day #NFOTD participants watch a film that they’ve never seen before and tweet (and/or Instagram) about it. In 2014, I watched a grand total of 326 films (65 more than in 2013).
Here are my other #NFOTD2014 statistics:
Narrative Features – 226 (68.3%)
Documentaries – 73 (22.4%)
Short Films – 18 (5.5%)
Foreign Language Films – 6 (1.8%)
Female Screenwriters – 97 (29.8%)
Female Directors – 74 (22.7%)
Female DPs – 26 (8%)
So here are my selections for #NFOTD2014 and a few extras).
1. Favorite Theatrical Release: Beyond The Lights
Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythwood
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver
The 411: I love a good love story, and this is a GREAT one! The story, the performances, the direction are all perfect.
2. Favorite Streaming/DVD: Four of Hearts
Directed by: Eric Haywood
Starring: Nadine Ellis, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Michelle Krusiec, Gabriel Olds
The 411: Four of Hearts is a mature look a sex, love, and relationships. Driven my great dialogue and solid performances, the film is must see.
3. Favorite/Most obscure: The Babadook
Directed by: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Essie Davs, Noah Wiseman
The 411: The Babadook is the kind of movie that plays with your mind and leaves you looking under the bed for monsters. Hand’s down, one of the creepiest movie I’ve seen in a long time.
4. Favorite Documentary: Life Itself
Directed by: Steve James
Starring: Roger Ebert, Chaz, Ebert
The 411: This film is a beautiful tribute to a man who spent his life loving, watching, and talking about film. I think Ebert would give it two thumbs up.
5. Member’s Choice: Wadjda
Directed By: Haifaa Al Mansour
Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahnab Al Gohani
The 411: Wadjda is a delightful film, the first shot entirely in Saudi Arabia. It’s also a brilliant coming of age film and a great mother/daughter film.
Favorite Short Film: A Long Walk
Directed by: Chinonye Chukwu
Starring: Coleman Domingo, Francois Battiste, Da’Vine Joy Randolph
The 411: A moving short film about a a boy’s exploration of identity
Favorite TV Movie: An En Vogue Christmas
Directed by: Brian K. Roberts
Starring: Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron-Braggs, Rhona Bennett, Genelle Williams, David Alan Grier
The 411: The film features a fictional account of an En Vogue reunion. The film boasted several great musical performances. Basically, it’s every childhood dream I had, rolled up into ONE film.
Favorite Throwback: ‘night Mother
Directed by: Tom Moore
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Anne Bancroft
The 411: Based on the play by the same name, the film features two outstanding performances.
Favorite Stand-up Comedy Film: Wyatt Cenac, Brooklyn
Directed by: Wyatt Cenac
Starring: Wyatt Cenac
The 411: The funniest and most sincere stand-up routine I’ve seen in a while.