Monday, January 4, 2016

Last Cinema Standing’s 2015 Year in Review

Another year behind us and another year of films to look forward to, but let’s not close the book on 2015 just yet. The movie industry certainly won’t be doing that as it spends the next two months reflecting on the best the year that was had to offer, all leading up to the Academy Awards at the end of February. At Last Cinema Standing, I like to take just a week to remember some of the best – and a few of the worst – films, performances, and moments from the last 12 months.

It has been a year of change at Last Cinema Standing, pretty much all of it positive. Back in January, I launched a redesign of the site, which has gotten a lot of positive feedback. In February, I introduced the Countdown to the Oscars, which drew the most reads the site has ever gotten. In fact, in the seven years since I founded this site, 2015 was the best year yet for overall readership.

In 2015, Last Cinema Standing featured more content than ever before with 40 new film reviews, extensive coverage of Q-and-A’s with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, and the kind of film and industry analysis that hopefully makes this site a unique and valuable destination for readers. I hope to deliver even more content in 2016, but my focus will remain – as it always has – on quality.

I started this site because I love thinking about, talking about, and writing about film and not in a perfunctory way. I take film as an art form seriously, and my goal is for Last Cinema Standing to stand out because of the depth of discussion it hopefully fosters. I do not write quick-hit pieces or click-bait articles just to draw eyes to the page, and I never will. Readers can get that elsewhere. The people who come to Last Cinema Standing deserve a different cinema experience on the web, and every day, that is what I seek to deliver.

None of this exists without you, the readers, though. I would go to the movies anyway, but knowing I have a place to come to discuss what I watched with an intelligent, interested, like-minded group of people makes it all worth it. I have a day job and a life outside of movies, but I do this because I love it, and one of the reasons I love it is because readers seem to enjoy it. So, thank you, readers, for making this site one of my favorite things to work on day in and day out.

So, what interested you in 2015? A lot, it turns out. This year, Last Cinema Standing introduced contributor Sean Patrick Leydon and his Now Watch This column, a guide to the obscure treasures hiding on Netflix Instantwatch. That column proved incredibly popular, and we hope to bring you even more of it this year.

Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, Greta Gerwig, and Kevin Corrigan
The most read stories of the year were Sean’s piece on writer-director Rian Johnson’s excellent The Brothers Bloom, my coverage of a Q-and-A with The Tribe writer-director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky and star Yana Novikova at the Film Forum, and my piece on writer-actress Greta Gerwig’s double-feature presentation of her Mistress America and director Jonathan Demme’s classic Something Wild at the IFC Center.

Topping all of that, however, was a Q-and-A with writer-director Andrew Bujalski and stars Guy Pearce and Kevin Corrigan, who were at the IFC Center to discuss their new film Results. The success of the piece – the second-most popular article in the site’s history – was due in no small part to Corrigan’s help promoting it on social media, so a special thanks to him. He is truly one of the good guys in the business.

The mantra for 2016 is more of everything – more reviews, more events, more industry columns. Last Cinema Standing has certainly proven to be an “if you build it, they will come” venture, and as long as that remains true, my promise is to continue building this into the best site it can be. So, once again, thanks to everyone who reads, comments, and offers feedback, but mostly, thanks to everyone who goes to the movies.

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of our Year in Review with Last Cinema Standing’s Best & Worst of 2015, and check back each day throughout the week for more Year in Review coverage, ending Friday with the Top 10 Films of 2015.

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