Soon after seeing "Irrational Man" - Woody Allen's latest film - it suddenly dawned on me. For better or worse, the Woodster's metronomic output is one way I mark time as the years accumulate.
On the one hand, a film like "Hannah And Her Sisters" - one of my favorites - has an odd way of bringing into sharper focus a year (1986) containing no major milestones in Barton-land, i.e. relatively quiet on the home front and stable on the vocational side. And even a not-so-favorite like "Husbands And Wives" helps me better situate 1992, a year that might otherwise fall into the easily-confused-with-others category.
It works the other way too. "Bananas" (1971) - the year I nominally became an adult, aka graduated from college. "Annie Hall" (1977) and "Deconstructing Harry" (1997) - the years my Mom and Dad died. "Interiors" (1978) - met my future wife and lost my singing voice, "Zelig" (1983) - got married and bought a first home, "Crimes And Misdemeanors" (1989) - birth of my daughter. "Celebrity" (1998) - finished graduate school. "Anything Else" (2003) - began my last (and possibly best) full time non-musical job; "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" (2010), finished that job & full time work life and my wife and I moved into our current home.
Too soon to know if 2015 and "Irrational Man" will end up being grouped with the bucket of films from that last paragraph or with those from the one preceding it. But as long as Woody keeps making one every year and my semi-obsessive completist bent to see all his movies does not fade, seems I've got a reliable way to keep the years from blurring too much. What cultural markers assist you in a similar fashion?