The End For Now

Christopher KelleherWhen I embarked on my movie-a-day marathon in January, I wrote that it grew out of an experience of being sick. That description was phrased in the past tense because I thought that’s where the sickness belonged. As it happened, I became ill again a few days into the project.

Much of the time I was okay, but I watched several movies in discomfort and wrote more than a few commentaries in doctors’ waiting rooms. My health seemed to improve as the project went on, and I was optimistic that I’d be able to continue after a short rest. It hasn’t worked out that way.

I’ve been diagnosed with a rare blood condition called primary amyloidosis. Essentially, my body is building up faulty proteins called amyloids that collect in the organs and gradually destroy them. There’s no cure, but treatment options do exist: chemotherapy followed by stem-cell transplant. I’ve started that process  now.

A warm thank you to everyone who took interest in my posts. My goal was to immerse myself in the cinematic and cultural richness of the world and to challenge myself critically. Given what’s happened now, I feel grateful that I had that opportunity. And I’m humbled by the lovely comments and conversations I had along the way.

I’ve begun a new blog, called Compose Myself. Different focus. But a similar spirit. It will be about my treatment and the path to . . . well, the path to whatever comes. It won’t be dreary. And there will be films. Because the best way to understand your own story is to believe in other people’s.

My Top Ten

I consider the first three to be perfect films. See this page for all 100. In all, I reviewed films from 34 countries and in 29 languages.

Rank Title Country Year Director
#1 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly France 2007 Julian Schnabel
#2 A Separation Iran 2011 Asghar Farhadi
#3 Lore Germany 2012 Cate Shortland
#4 The Ascent Russia 1977 Larisa Shepitko
#5 Ikiru Japan 1952 Akira Kurosawa
#6 Tokyo Story Japan 1953 Yasujirô Ozu
#7 Battle of Algiers Algeria 1966 Gillo Pontecorvo
#8 The Kid with a Bike Belgium 2011 Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
#9 Close Up Iran 1990 Abbas Kiarostami
#10 The Passion of Joan of Arc France 1928 Carl Theodor Dreyer

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Final (Tokyo)