The magic of the movies…

There have been many an occasion on this very blog where I’ve gone on about my love of literature. I bloody love books, especially with a good cup of tea. Yet I’ve never really mentioned my love of film. When I left school, I went to college to study media. Now the reason I wanted to do that was heavily inspired by wanting to be a tv or radio presenter and my selection of college was based on their facilities for that. Obviously however there was a film element to the course. At the time I didn’t really notice that it was turning me into a film geek, except from the fact I started reading film magazines.

But like many of those that get bitten by the movie bug, it crept upon me slowly and surely…first the love of actually going to the cinema and enjoying the whole experience becoming a major figure in my late teens and early twenties…I even started to visit the excellent art house cinema Nottingham has (Broadway cinema is definitely a place to go…it’s actually one of my top ten for a quiet drink in its upstairs bar). Then the pub conversations with friends, debating the merits or lack of them post film. The spending hours in the now long gone Cinema Store eyeing up film merchandise. The final stage was the dawning realisation that I pay attention things such as lighting, sound, camera angles, costume and set design significance just as much as I do to the plot. Often the Bloke is like ‘how did you figure that out?’when I say what I think is about to happen in something we’re watching and the simple answer is ‘once a film geek, always a film geek’.

I do love a good indie film as much as the next person but I have to say my biggest fondness is mostly for films which could be deemed as commercial. This is where my taste in films and books meet…my liking is varied and broad, mostly getting hooked in by the story, by tales which on some level I can connect with.

So, as a film geek, when the lovely Lauren of Pocket Rocket fame asked me in her official social media goddess capacity of I’d be up for taking a look at Blinkbox and utilizing some snazzy promo codes, I jumped at the chance. It was very easy to get myself set upon there, and would urge anyone to give it a whirl. It’s in conjunction with Tesco and is very similar to Lovefilm and Netflix, except doesn’t have a subscription fee…which means you only watch the films you want, rather than feeling compelled to watch a lot just because you’re paying a monthly fee. What also impressed me was their catalogue of films….huge selection and has a lot of up to date stuff. Think pay per view on your tv but with the convenience of watching away from your tv.

Now, I hit the snag of not using all my codes, due to my kindle fire hd not being able to play the films and being too ill to watch on the normal computer upstairs. Boohiss. But I really do rate the site,and fully intend to watch stuff on it in the very near future.

I thought I’d share with you my top ten films of all time, and the reasons I love them so…maybe as some suggestions for things to view should you toddle over to blinkbox.

1.Sliding Doors – I remember being sat in the cinema watching this and thinking three things. One: I want to be Gwyenth Paltrow. Or more specifically her character in this film. Not the bits where it goes oh so horribly wrong for her, but the getting a haircut to get fab and kick-ass and starting one’s own company in the glam 90s in that there London bits. Two: I there and then signed up to the idea that no matter what, if something is meant to be, it’ll happen anyway. Three: I knew that I wanted to write or make stories like that. I went on a school trip to London not that long after seeing this and think it highly coloured my view of said city. Probably still does.

2. The Breakfast Club – I didn’t see this until I was about 22, but when I watched it in the early hours one Christmas Eve I remember thinking ‘ohhh. Wow.’ As someone who has always felt a bit of an outsider,a film that could show me that there is a little bit of weird in everyone, and that it doesn’t matter how you are labelled…well this film just spoke to me. And spawned a John Hughes/Brat Pack love…Pretty in Pink runs a v.close second to this in my affections…

3. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – oh, how I cried when I watched this. I was just the right age when it was released to lap it up, a bit like the Twihards of today. I had the essential DiCaprio crush of course but in time that faded. What did remain was my love of Shakespeare and the knowledge he has as much relevance today as he did when wrote his plays.

4. Seven – the first properly ‘ arty yet mainstream’ film I ever watched. And no, I didn’t guess that jawdropping ending.

5. Love Actually. For the Lincoln/Knightley scene alone.

6. The Sound of Music. I adore musicals, and this is one of my favourites…mainly for the love story between Maria and Captain Von Trapp. Oh sod it, it’s mainly the songs I devour in this classic…

7. X-Men – The film that kick started my comic book film obsession. What got me to watch this was having watched the cartoon series as a kid, and there sparked a long relationship with both Marvel and DC comics based films. Oh, and a crush on Hugh Jackman but shush on that last fact ;p

8. Shaun of the Dead – a divine, gem of a film that is just infinitely watchable. My friend Eleanor and I bonded over this film amongst over things, and have gone onto be friends in a very Pegg/Frost way. (Am Frost btw).

9.Atonement – this film is what love should be like, to me. Epic grand love. I know there is a book of this, which I’ve read and enjoyed but for me, the film struck a bigger chord.

10. An Education – sublime performances from ever single cast member. Stunning Costume and set design. Lighting and camera shots of beauty. A script that evokes that feeling of you thinking you know best, but really are far too young to really know, and how mistakes in life really shape us.

So there you have it. A brief glimpse into my love of film!

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