I’ve been granted a number of titles over the course of the past year, all of which are justified by the hard work I’ve put into this site. “The King of Repertory Film.” “The Philadelphia film community’s Perez Hilton.” “That Cinedelphia dick.” Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that Cinedelphia.com has evolved into a valuable guide to the Philadelphia film community. And honestly, can you name another online outlet that is so exhaustively dedicated to all aspects of film in our fair city? Nope. But I bet you’ll be able to cite some imitators by the close of 2012…
I truly hope that everyone had as much fun visiting the site this year as I had maintaining it, you are all appreciated (except for those free movie ticket vultures). I’d like to recap some of the site’s prouder moments this year, including a rundown of the most popular posts and some under-read gems that are more than worthy of your time.
2011’s Most Read Posts
1. Prince Music Theater: EPIC FAIL (4/8)
2. The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman Live at the 2011 L.A. Film Festival (6/30)
3. 2011 Philadelphia Film Festival Full Lineup (9/28)
4. Top 10 Coolest Movie Monster Toys by Skylar Gahagan (10/27)
5. Films That Frighten the Philadelphia Film Community (10/2)
6. Exhumed Films’ eX-Fest (5/8)
7. Philadelphia-area Drive-In Theaters (5/9)
8. TLA Video Remembrance Week: Employee Memories 1 (8/29)
9. TLA Video Remembrance Week: Employee Memories 2 (8/31)
10. TLA Video Locust Street Closing (8/9)
11. TLA Video Remembrance Week Intro [photos from the big sell-off] (8/25)
12. Top 10 Horror Movie Posters by Justin Miller (10/28)
13. Christmas Movie Recommendations from the Philadelphia Film Community Part 1 (12/1)
14. The TLA Video Memories of Dean Galanis by Dean Galanis (9/1)
15. “Interview” with Exhumed Films’ Joseph A. Gervasi by Joseph A. Gervasi (10/26)
16. Cinedelphia’s Memories of Working at TLA Video (9/2)
17. Meet the Cinematheque Internationale of Philadelphia (11/29)
18. The Future of Film Exhibition in Philadelphia (12/14)
19. 2011 Philadelphia CInefest Wrap-up (4/15)
20. 4th Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival Highlights (6/16)
A nice mixed bag of topics and time killers. Some of my favorite posts of the year turned out to be some of the most read, from Skylar’s fantastic rundown of classic movie monster toys to the challenging literary experiment that was Joseph’s self-interview. I’m especially fond of the holiday compilation posts, the TLA Video Remembrance Week posts, and the endurance test that was October’s SINedelphia: 31 Days of Horror. Thanks again to all who participated in those.
2011’s Most Read Movie Reviews
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes by Joseph A. Gervasi
2. This Is Sodom
3. Conan the Barbarian by Joseph A. Gervasi
4. Cave of Forgotten Dreams
5. 13 Assassins
6. J. Edgar by Joseph A. Gervasi
7. Fright Night by Jenny Dreadful
8. Ides of March by Joseph A. Gervasi
Joseph’s admirers are legion and his reviews are well worth your time. A sample opening line: “Watching Conan the Barbarian is like giving head to a walrus: every time you want to come up for air, something sharp plonks you on the back of your skull.” And a sample comment on one of his reviews: “is this mad libs? i feel like i know less about the movie now than i did before reading this.” I’m not particularly proud of any of the reviews listed above that I personally penned, but I would like to steer you towards my reviews of Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (the only film I walked out of this year) and Dolphin Tale, which contains the only sentence I typed all year that continues to make me squirm. Also of note is my exhaustive breakdown of the five-film DVD/VHS set of no-budget horror films from the 80s that was The Basement.
Additional posts of note: Mt. Pocono’s Casino Theater, New Jersey’s Chiller Theatre, Lansdowne’s Cinema 16:9, the Mayor of Philadelphia’s screening room, Mt. Airy’s Medium Rare Cinema, the 37th Annual Saturn Awards, Collegeville’s Movie Tavern, the PA/NJ Horror Club, and First Friday Fright Nights at the Colonial Theater. Some of my favorite interview subjects from this past year included Exhumed Films’ Dan Fraga and Jesse Nelson, Terror Film Festival director Claw, Sushi Typhoon’s Marc Walkow, and the local co-authors of Ultimate Gangster Movies.
I’d also like to draw your attention to the work of some of Cinedelphia’s many contributors. Jenny Dreadful of Final Girl Support Group supplied some top-notch reviews as well as the superb lists La Femme Brutale: The Top 10 Wicked Women of Horror and Still Alive: The Top 10 Final Girls alongside FGSG’s Rae Winters. Samm Deighan of Satanic Pandemonium delivered the Top 13 Satanic Horror Films and the Top 10 Spookiest Haunted House Films in addition to a memorably scathing review of Final Destination 5. Verbose newcomer Aaron Mannino‘s Occupy Nowhere series found clever parallels between a variety of classic films and the recent Occupy Philly movement. Philly Poe Guy Edward Pettit took a look at both the film adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe (Part 1, Part 2) and the film adaptations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Part 1, Part 2). Big thanks go out to all of them as well as occasional movie reviewers Jill and Ryan from the consistently enjoyable Filmhash.com, local writer Lucas Mangum who managed to get Cinedelphia quoted in a movie trailer, and the many other local film lovers who lent a hand along the way.
Cinedelphia’s 2011 activities weren’t limited to the web. I programmed the now biannual series of rare Japanese films that is Unknown Japan, sponsored/co-programmed the Philadelphia Japan Arts Matsuri, hosted events at the Hiway Theatre and Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, and gladly answered an endless stream of random questions from aspiring film programmers, confused festival-goers, and new arrivals to the city. Feel free to keep ’em coming, I’m here to help.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting a recap of the year in Philadelphia film in which I’ll discuss film festivals, screening highlights, and the strangest of my many 2011 moviegoing experiences.