This week sees the release of Jon Spira’s awesome ROCKUMENTARY (sorry) about the rise of the Oxford music scene, Anyone Can Play Guitar. Full of interviews, tunes and untold tales of the highs and lows of the past 30-odd years, Radiohead, Supergrass, Foals, Talulah Gosh and chums will be gracing screens across the country on a tour of rockin’ little cinemas throughout November.
You absolutely MUST catch it (also showing at the brilliant Prince Charles Cinema in London on Dec 1st ) – not least because Crumpet’s real life human name will flash before your very eyes in the credits (WOO, btw). Anyway all of this glamourous Hollywood excitement made us think about films, and cinemas, and, of course, boys.
BUT WAIT! We’re a whole year old now. So we get to do things in a more exciting way round here.
Have a read. Share YOUR cinematic stories of love, regretful movie-dates, the tale of the time you met That Guy From That Film, or your best popcorn-in-bra moment below in the comments, and the director of Anyone Can Play Guitar will pick his favourite – AND AWARD YOU AN AMAZING CINEMA POSTER (If we’re very nice to him, he might even sign it for you too.
He’ll ALSO chuck in a very cool Anyone Can Play Guitar branded plectrum.
IMAGINE THAT! Get busy.
I bloody love films. My heaving bookshelves are rammed with pretentious French surrealist cinema, David Lynch classics, 60’s mod-ish gems, and Cool Runnings (well OBVIOUSLY). I love the ceremonial nature of going to the cinema. The purchasing of a paper ticket to keep in your purse to remember the occasion by. The absolutely impossible choice of what snacks to consume. Choosing seats. Swathes of red curtains. The way you have to carefully consider in advance what you will have with you because there is never ever an adequate way to deal with storing your coat, scarf, handbag, eBay package you had delivered to your office for ‘convenience’ and the shopping you forgot you needed to take home from the fridge at work.
The cinema is the classic date scenario, isn’t it. Back row smooches. Fumbling to find hands to hold. Cock in the popcorn. Aah. I get totally sucked in to the cinema experience. All film-watching, really. I have a totally overactive imagination. When I saw Tintin last week I was the epitome of the 😀 emoticon smiley face throughout. When Tintin was in danger I scrunched my face up with my heart in my throat despite knowing the story inside and out since the age of 7. If I watch an older film, I end up confused about it not actually being 1960’s London when the credits roll, or that I don’t actually live in some strange American backwater town.
I actually find cinema dates a bit naff, socially and practically, despite loving the classic romance of the idea. You can’t chitchat, can’t press pause, if you stop for a smooch you miss approximately £1.25’s worth of viewing pleasure you’ve paid for, Orange Wednesday or not. Watching films at home though. Oh boy. I bloody love that. SNACKS. Endless snacking potential. PYJAMAS. Cosy blankets. Controllable lighting situations. Adjusting the volume. The fact that the film probably only cost you £3 from Amazon and it fills a space on your shelf. And when you’re done – WHY NOT WATCH ANOTHER ONE? Until you fall asleep, even! Brilliant. All of these things make home-date-film-time superior to cramped, separated-by-arm-rest-and-cup-holder cinema dates.
Film taste is quite a specific thing though, innit. Some people call my taste in films wanky. I just love having my brains stimulated by what I watch. An intellectual investment. I’ve got 5 years of art school education that I rarely get to excercise and will never finish paying for, so I bloody LOVE watching something that I want to talk about after, or tear apart with my mind coggs, or compare to a painting I’ve figured out it’s inspired by. Yes yes I’m a film twat. I’d rather have my eyeballs sparked with inspiration than sit mindlessly chuckling at slapstick and fart jokes.
I’m actually a bit rubbish to watch films with, I think, if you’re a boy. I vocalise my “oooooh”s and “eeeeps” and “OH thats like that bit in that OTHER film” and whatnot. I like a good discussion at the end. I like arguing about how brilliant or crap or contrived the story was.
I had a cinema date once to see a very popular film, not so long ago, that everybody was bloody raving about. Total hollywoodarama. Not my usual cup of tea but, you know, dates are sometimes about compromise or doing stuff you wouldn’t do usually. By the end, when it transpired that (predictably) I had hated it and my date had loved it, I ranted for a good 20 minutes about all of the old surrealist films – and more modern films – that it seemed to rip off. The flaws. The bits that gave me motion sickness. The books it had borrowed themes from. I properly went to town without gasping for breath, hoping this would be the start of a brilliant great lengthy discussion. My date responded with “well I suppose you’ve got a point, yeah”. Meh.
I’ve been sitting trying to write this for bloody ages…I thought it would be easy I LOVE films…I guess that’s the problem didn’t realise still I started writing what a big part of my life they are. I know people who just aren’t that into films, they might watch the occasional thing but they’re just not fussed. That confuses my tiny brain…My Mum says they are far-fetched nonsense. ‘BUT THAT’S THE POINT!!’ I wail at her. My Dad takes it to the other extreme and will happily stay up till three in the morning simultaneously watching two films at once.
When I was five three films had a major impact on me – Mary Poppins, D.A.R.Y.L and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The first I watched every single day after school, till I knew every word off by heart. The second I fell madly in love with the boy/robot and the third I watched unknown to my big sister as I was hiding behind the sofa and it pretty much scarred me for life.
For me I’m not just watching a film. I’m right there in it…For those 90 minutes or so they are completely real to me (Which is why I NEVER watch the special features on a DVD) I’m like one of those mentals that if I saw Daniel Radcliffe in the street I’d be all ‘Harry! Harry! How’s Ginny and the kids?!’ and I’d hug him really tight and he’d have to call the police. BUT HE IS A REAL WIZARD HE IS HE IS!!!
For me films are like a diary of my life, I remember when I was about 12 I got my own bedroom and with it my own TV. When I wasn’t watching Euro Trash with the sound down I was sitting wide-eyed watching films like Beetlejuice, The Dark Crystal, The Lost boys, Weird Science and some really dodgy late night Channel 4 ones. Then from 14 – 16 it was all about Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. I remember in the height of my Johnny Depp phase I went to Malta to stay with family. My Uncle owned a video store and he let me take home to keep FOR REALS Benny and June, I was bloody ecstatic.
Then boys came along and watching films with boys and learning all about films from boys. There was the mod boy who introduced me to the delights of If, and A Clockwork Orange, Alfie (Caine not Law I walked out of that shit) Belle De Jour and Buxton and the Blue Cat. Or the strange boy who I’d haul up with all day watching Hell raiser (Like putting your fingers in a warm bowl of meat) Deliverance, Last House on the Left, loads of serial Killer biopics and Japanese nasties. We’d wander into the ‘World Cinema’ section of the library and grab what we could (The tit and the moon was brilliant)
Films bought us together, both friends and boyfriends…We’d watch and share the experience and quote them to death afterwards. Exciting first dates at the cinema or the excitement/annoyance of seeing another couple on a first date (fingering in the back row). The time me and my big sister went to see a film and I was in a wheelchair, she pushed me into the lift head first into an old mans crotch. The big OH MY GOD moment watching Sixth Sense before it got totally ruined.
I delight in swapping films with people like I used to delight in swapping Garbage Pail kid stickers…We’ll all haul round when we get together ‘Have you seen this??”Oh god you’ve got to see this!’ ‘You didn’t like it?? You’re a twat.’
What’s amazing for me now is getting to show my kids all the films I loved…I was overjoyed when they went through their Labyrinth phase and they’re just starting to understand the Goonies now. I delight in seeing their little eyes grow massive in a darkened cinema because I can see them making their own memories through film.
The first time I met Crumpet we went to see Jaws, it was the first time I met my Jason as well. Actually my favourite Cinema date was with Jason…We’d been doing a bit of flirting and had arranged a date but were both completely hapless…We met outside The Prince Charles Cinema in London (Which was dead exciting in itself as I’m not a London girl) It was three days before Christmas and we were off to see Home Alone. It was all cold and Christmasy and we sat down, I don’t remember watching the film at all, I just remember ‘Ooooh his leg just touched mine’ and ‘I wonder if he’ll hold my hand’ ‘Should I hold his hand??’ It was wonderful and exciting and I felt like I was 15 again. Now whenever I watch that film I’ll be reminded of this perfect first date.
Reading this post back it has no real flow, I’ve jumped from one thing to another and even as I’m sitting here I’m thinking about giggling with my big Sister whilst watching Wish you were here or watching the Green Mile with one of my besties and being utterly shocked when she burst into tears (She was normally such a cold fish) My favourite thing to do ever ever EVER is dinner and a film…I’m at my happiest now snuggled up with my boys watching something while we stuff our faces…Total contentment.
They’ve been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, book marking the chapters as I go along much the same as music does..Evoking emotions, making me think or letting me switch off completely. Teaching me life lessons, educating and inspiring me or making me laugh when I’ve had the shittiest day ever. Part of what makes Christmas so magical for me is the films I associate with it…It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Elf or It’s a Wonderful Life. My idea of indulgence is sneaking off to the cinema by myself and immersing myself in another world for 90 minutes. Story telling, it’s part of the wonder of life…I love having my brain filled up with stuff I could have only imagined and now I get to see it on a massive big screen with surround sound.
I saw an old couple at the cinema the other day, thoroughly enjoying themselves and I thought I have years and years of stories that I’m going to see and people I’m going to associate with them and I’m also sure there’s an OAP discount right? This makes me very very happy.
NOW all you have to do is comment below with your funny, sweet, sad or embarrassing film-related story for a chance to win a SIGNED FILM POSTER and super rockin’ PLECTRUM…