We all know Christopher Columbus didn't really "discover" America, since it was always here. And it was already settled by people for tens of thousands of years. But discovery can be about more than being first. We can have personal discoveries, as in introductions to artists, bands and movies that have been around for years, maybe even with great popularity. Never mind the hipsters who only like things if they were into it before anyone else. None of us were into The Wizard of Oz first. That doesn't mean we can't all have that moment of discovery at some early point in our lives. Maybe for you it was even with this year's 3D rerelease.
Outside of old movies presented like new, actual 2013 releases have been great gateways through which we may finally "discover" established filmmakers and actors and actresses, then go back and enjoy their past work. For instance, Machete Kills was my first exposure to Chilean action star Marko Zaror, and now I'm interested in checking out the foreign martial arts films he's done in the past, a few of which are streaming on Netflix. Similarly, Fast & Furious 6 gave us such an ensemble of Hollywood outsiders that hopefully it allowed fans to discover Gina Carano and Kim Kold and then seek out their better work from before.
Maybe Spring Breakers was your first Harmony Korine movie or Drinking Buddies your first Joe Swanberg. Perhaps all the talk of The World's End got you to finally see if Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were as good as you'd heard and now you're one of the Edgar Wright devout. There is probably a generation full of young novice movie lovers didn't know anything about Shane Black before Iron Man 3. And my hope is that at least one person saw The Great Gatsby and became curious with his or her discovery of Amitabh Bachchan, now deeply immersing themselves in the Indian cinema legend's many classics.
Discoveries don't have to be great. Columbus might have been very disappointed to "discover" a "new world" rather than find his way to the East Indies. Likewise, I admittedly finally discovered Benedict Cumberbatch this year thanks to the hype around Star Trek Into Darkness and followed it with some of his TV work. But I'm not a fan, probably one of the few to say so. I am thankful for the realization, though, so now I can just pray he's not in the new Star Wars movie, too.
As for good discoveries, I'll go with Amy Seimetz, even though I'd seen her in stuff before 2013. It was only this year that I really noticed her on-screen talent (in Upstream Color and the HBO series Family Tree) while also discovering her offscreen talent with the official release of her feature directorial debut, Sun Don't Shine.
What actor or actress or filmmaker did you finally "discover" through a 2013 movie?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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