My 2020 in Movies, Visualized


Closing out the year with 406 movies.

Matt Goldberg's 2020 Movie Journal

2020 is mercifully almost over. While it’s fun and easy to yell at a calendar for all of our problems, 2020 was undeniably a difficult year for all of us no matter how well your country was able to handle the pandemic. It’s also important to remember that life still continued, and there were still highs and lows outside of the pandemic. It dominated our lives, but it was not the totality of our lives.

For me, movies were a necessary escape this year more than others. Last year, I watched 326 movies. This year, it skyrocketed to 406. Part of that was largely just being indoors most of the time and unable to spend my free time hanging out with friends or traveling. But around the end of June, I decided that I wanted to watch at least one movie every day. This mandate ended up broadening my horizons as sometimes I’d be short on time and would slot in a short film to help meet my quota, which led to me finally watching a movie from the Quay Brothers or David Lynch’s “The Alphabet”. It also gave me a tangible goal, and something that I felt I could control in a year that felt largely out of control.

I don’t know what 2021 holds and neither does anyone else. At the start of 2020, very few were predicting a pandemic to ravage the globe, especially since in our lifetime epidemics have usually been contained to a handful of countries rather than every country on Earth. Obviously, I hope that we can return to some kind of normalcy once people start getting vaccinated, but I feel like we have to keep bracing for the worst. We have to stay home if possible, and we absolutely must wear masks when we go out in public.

But here’s something I never thought I’d say: I hope to see fewer movies in the coming year. I still love movies, and I really want to go back to movie theaters. But I also want to reunite with friends, go to restaurants, and travel the world. 2020 was a crazy year, and movies helped kept me sane. I hope they won’t have to carry that burden for another year.

As I do every year, I kept a journal of my film-watching habits through Letterboxd, and then visualized it using a photo editor where I took a frame from every movie I watched and made a collage. Letterboxd is a terrific service (I used to keep my movie journal in a Word doc), and I love to see what my friends are watching. It’s also a good shorthand for keeping track of what I’ve watched and making sure I can remember what I thought about the movies I’ve seen. If you don’t have an account, I highly recommend signing up (it’s free), and feel free to follow me. You can also follow my fellow editors Adam Chitwood, Haleigh Foutch, and Greg Smith.

Have a happy, safe, and healthy new year, reader. We’ll see you in 2021.

Matt Goldberg's 2020 Movie Journal
Image via Matt Goldberg

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