You might not know this but I used to be something of a film buff. Through my early teens I’d be at the cinema at least once a week catching up on new releases and, upon discovering Empire Magazine at the age of 15, I decided that I wanted to be a film critic. I’d always wanted to be a writer of some sort and never really excelled at creative writing. This would give me a chance to focus on my two loves – writing and film.
I went to college and studied Film, Media, English and Sociology, with the hope of going to university and studying film and journalism. Winchester was the only place to offer film and journalism as a combined honours with no compulsory filmmaking (I just wanted to focus on film history and theory) but after a year I was back home, focusing on journalism. Where possible, my assignments focused on film, with assignments on teen movies, independent cinema and a dissertation on female directors and the Academy Awards. A module on online journalism saw me start my first film blog and I become immersed in the blogging community.
At the same time I wrote reviews for a local film mag and branched out to a few online publications, however, I soon realised that it was near impossible to make a living writing about film from little ol’ Cornwall and went back to uni to learn to teach – specifically A Level Media Studies.
So why this mini history lesson? I was sent a book (Now Playing: A Seek-and-Find Book for Film Buffs*) that sparked something in me. Something that made me remember the film geek I used to be and unleashed an eagerness to re-watch my favourite films. But, being a parent and blogger with limited ‘spare time’ and wanting to really ‘watch’ a film, not just have it on in the background, I chose to reminisce via soundtracks instead, which only fueled the fire. You know a film has a cracking soundtrack when upon listening to it you’re transported back to that initial viewing experience and want to relive it over and over again.
Since starting uni over a decade ago I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that I’d like to do a Masters in Film. Hell, I’d love to do a PhD and become a doctor of film. How freaking cool does that sound? But I guess what it comes down to is that, while I love studying film, all I really need to do is become my own master of cinema, simply by watching and reading whatever I can get my hands on. I need more Almodovar in my life!
One of my goals this year was to watch more films – and I’ve failed miserably. I’ve probably been to the cinema a handful of times and seen maybe as many films again at home. This is not the life of a girl whose primary possessions when she moved into halls was her entire DVD collection, which totalled around 100 at the time. In their original cases, not in a slip case. Now I’m the girl who’s selling her old film text books to make space, including those on the history of film criticism, a passion I once thought would last a lifetime.
Looking through the incredible artwork of Now Playing reminded me of my pure love of cinema and I want to reclaim that. Coincidentally, ten of the twelve directors featured in the book are listed in my all-time faves and it all came flooding back. But, while this blog won’t become a film blog, not by a long shot, I do want to reignite that passion. I’m going to aim to watch at least one film a week in 2018, whether it’s re-watching an old favourite (I can probably recite 10 Things I Hate About You word for word), popping to the cinema or discovering a classic.
What do you recommend I start with?
*I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes and all nostalgically nerdy thoughts are my own