January 1

Films I watched in 2020

Got nowhere to track my movie-going so I get to put together an annual list. Some of these I’ve reviewed (hyperlinked).

At the cinema

  1. The Gentlemen
  2. The Rise of Skywalker
  3. Jumanji 2: The Next Level
  4. Little Women – twice
  5. Farmageddon
  6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (French)
  7. Birds of Prey – twice
  8. Bit
  9. Queer Doc Shorts (Mardi Gras Film Festival collection)
  10. Out Here Shorts (Mardi Gras Film Festival collection)
  11. Sell By
  12. Trans Shorts (Mardi Gras Film Festival collection)
  13. Asia-Pacific Queer Shorts (Mardi Gras Film Festival collection)
  14. Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt) – twice
  15. My Queer Career (Mardi Gras Film Festival collection)
  16. Distance (Tagalog)
  17. Aniara (Swedish/English)
  18. Babyteeth
  19. Tenet
  20. Coffee or tea? (Mandarin)
  21. Flash Gordon
  22. Happiest Season
  23. Warrior Queen (Hindi/Marathi/English)
  24. Persian Film Festival Shorts Collection (Farsi)
  25. A Hairy Tale (Farsi)
  26. The Chess of the Wind (Farsi)
  27. Wonder Woman 1984

Released* online

  1. In my blood it runs (via Vimeo/inmyblooditruns.com)
  2. Enola Holmes (via Netflix)
  3. Disclosure (via Netflix)
  4. Proud (French) (via Queer Screen Film Festival/Ferve)
  5. Holy Trinity (via Queer Screen Film Festival/Ferve)
  6. Gossamer Fields (via Queer Screen Film Festival/Ferve)
  7. Gay Shorts (via Queer Screen Film Festival/Ferve)
  8. Lesbian Shorts (via Queer Screen Film Festival/Ferve)

*Widely released/first available in Australia in 2020. Older films and TV shows streamed online not listed.

You can see the effects of Queer Screen in the heavy queer content of these lists; not only was the Mardi Gras Film Festival the last major festival before pandemic caution hit my movie-going, they were also hella organised about running the Queer Screen Film Festival online in September.

By contrast, my viewing of foreign films really took a hit because the various festivals didn’t offer a streamed version; ironically three Queer Screen-curated films were foreign language and one of the British Film Festival movies I watched was in Hindi/Marathi as well as English.

I also saw more films that catered to the female gaze/with a feminine lens – in particular Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Little Women, Birds of Prey and Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt) – and they were truly the better films of the year.

Alongside that, I learnt to appreciate more whacky filmmaking from Bit and Holy Trinity to Coffee or Tea? and A Hairy Tale. Not sure what it says about mainstream movies that these four films were queer and foreign language.

I’m looking forward to going back into cinemas this year and I hope it will be safe sooner rather than later.

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January 3

Movies I watched in 2019

Here are the movies I watched at the cinema/on the big screen in 2019. All films in English except for those indicated.

  1. Holmes & Watson
  2. The Favourite
  3. Sorry to Bother You
  4. If Beale Street Could Talk
  5. My Queer Career (Mardi Gras Film Festival short film collection)
  6. When the Beat Drops
  7. Lez Bomb (Mardi Gras Film Festival short film collection)
  8. Captain Marvel
  9. What Men Want
  10. Girl (French/Flemish)
  11. Your Name (Japanese)
  12. Les Garçons Sauvage (French)
  13. Dilili in Paris (French)
  14. Genèse (French)
  15. Chedeng and Apple (Tagalog/Filipino)
  16. Fighting with my Family
  17. Shazam!
  18. Burning (Korean)
  19. Avengers: Endgame
  20. Hidden Pulse
  21. Rocketman
  22. Men in Black: International
  23. Dark Place (Sydney Film Festival Indigenous Australian short film collection)
  24. Detective Pikachu
  25. John Wick Parabellum
  26. Yesterday
  27. Parasite (Korean)
  28. Princess Mononoke (Japanese)
  29. Spider-man: Far From Home
  30. Booksmart
  31. The Farewell (Mandarin)
  32. The Cordillera of Dreams (Spanish)
  33. Push
  34. The Grand Bizarre
  35. Hi, AI
  36. The Bamboo Bridge (Khmer)
  37. Hustlers
  38. Last Christmas
  39. Charlie’s Angels
  40. Knives Out
  41. Terminator: Dark Fate
  42. Gorillaz: Reject False Icons
  43. Jojo Rabbit
  44. Frozen 2
  45. Marianne and Leonard

I didn’t get to as many film festivals as I usually do – notably I missed the Japanese Film Festival, which would’ve boosted the number up to a film a week.

Generally speaking, there were a lot of meh Hollywood mainstream films this year. Nothing was as terrible as the loudest smegheads made out (e.g. Captain Marvel was a solid three stars) but I didn’t find anything particularly scintillating. Knives Out and Jojo Rabbit came in late to save the year on that front, but I think I’ll tip my proverbial hat to the two films that surprised me in a good way: Sorry to Bother You and Detective Pikachu.

About a quarter of the films I saw were in languages other than English (go see Parasite!) and a tad fewer were documentaries (Push is fantastic).

Steven Universe

The small screen

I continue to not own a TV, so all the other screen content I consume is from streaming and some DVDs.


  1. Red Dwarf (Seasons 1-13)
  2. Steven Universe (Seasons 1-5 + the movie)
  3. Avatar: The Legend of Aang (Books 1-3)
  4. Avatar: The Legend of Korra (Books 1-4)
  5. Jane the Virgin (Season 4)
  6. The Good Place (Seasons 3-4)
  7. Archer (Seasons 4-9)
  8. Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!
  9. Queer Eye (Season 4)
  10. Derry Girls (Season 1)
  11. Cowboy Bebop (Volume 1)

I started Catch-22, which is one of my favourite books, but it didn’t grab me. I might re-read the novel and see if I can rustle up some time to finish it.

Still from Singin’ in the Rain (I love Reynolds’ dress in this number)

The smaller screen

The other place I consume a a large volume of audio-visual content is on aeroplanes. Took a return flight to Japan (ANA) and a trip to Ireland (Qatar Airways). I like flying on non-western airlines because it then exposes me to movies I don’t have access to in Australia.

En route to Japan I watched Hibiki, a film about a girl who wins a novel-writing contest but is socially problematic, plus Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura, a favourite I wanted to see again because I missed the first 10 minutes when it screened as part of the 2018 Japanese Film Festival. I can’t remember what else.

For my journey to Ireland (a 48-hour round trip), I flew Qatar Airways. It had every Marvel movie up to Captain Marvel plus a selection of classic Hollywood. I did a marathon of classics (The Philadelphia Story, National Velvet, Singin’ in the Rain) and then I watched every Spider-Man film on offer outside of Tom Holland: three Tobey Maguires, two Andrew Garfields and Into the Spider-verse. Also caught up on the new Hellboy and On the Basis of Sex.

What’s the one series or film from 2019 you’d recommend?

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