Want to know why most New Year’s resolutions flame out by February? Because they’re always about doing things that suck. Losing weight, drinking less sugary soda, reading a bunch of books: All of these things are awful. Even painful! No wonder no one ever follows through.

That’s why, every year, I make a New Year’s resolution about movies. In my experience, a person is much more likely to commit to self-improvement when self-improvement involves watching a lot of films. Last year my movie-related New Year’s resolution was to write more about old movies. How did I do? Well, like most resolutions, I could have done better. But I did publish long essays about Blade Runner and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and contributed several retrospective articles to a project that hasn’t been published yet. I also ended 2017 strong, with a widely read tribute to the great spoof Walk Hard.

Now it’s 2018, and it’s time to make a new resolution. Here it is:

In 2018, I will revisit the films I loved most as a child, to try to understand why I loved them and see how well they hold up.

I’ve got several motivations for this one. First of all, the overall direction of fandom, particularly online, has me thinking a lot about what it means to be a fan: How fandom starts, how it takes root, and how it sometimes mutates from something beautiful into something that’s toxic. I’m interested in exploring the roots of my own fandom, taking a look at how it evolved, and considering how evolved along with it.

On a more practical level, I now have two children. This means several things. Primarily, it means I am never allowed to sleep, ever again. It also means I have very little free time for casual viewing for my own pleasure or scholarship. But as my older daughter starts to show an interest in movies, it means I have an opportunity to guide her cinematic education and fandom, and introduce her to the films that meant a lot to me when I was her age.

So this resolution kills two birds with one stone. It gives me a project I can share with my daughter, and it also gives me a way to make my family time a little bit productive. I recognize, however, that this resolution will not apply to everyone (like, for example, people who don’t have young kids or maintain normal human sleep schedules). So here are ten more ideas for your New Year’s resolution. Pick one of those, or try one of your own. You’ve got a whole year to get it done. Good luck. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to introduce a two-year-old to Spaceballs.

10 Movie-Related New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Watch 50 films made before 1950.
  2. Attend a local film festival.
  3. Sample 25 films from the Criterion Collection you’ve never watched before.
  4. Donate old DVDs you don’t watch anymore (or replaced with Blu-rays) to charity.
  5. Watch every film from this list of essential French New Wave cinema.
  6. Donate to five promising independent film crowdfunding campaigns.
  7. Pick a new streaming service dedicated to movies and subscribe for an entire year.
  8. See as many films as possible from this list of the 1000 best ever.
  9. Buy 10 copies of your favorite movie, and give them out to friends for free, on the promise that after they watch it they’ll pass it on to someone else (who’ll pass it on too).
  10. Stop arguing with movie fans about dumb stuff on Twitter.

Gallery - The Best Movie Posters of 2017

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