Saturday, 13 August 2011


A trip to the movies... for all of us, this cultural phenomenon will touch ALL our lives in at least one category mentioned below.

For some it's a date experience - the uncomfortable fumblings in a darkened room hoping to God that you're not thrown out by a roving attendant - whilst for others it's a family thing; whether it's you as the leading figure of the family unit or whether it's the rose-tinted spectacles of memory as you're led into the auditorium for the first time by an adult to watch your first silver screen induction.

Then, for others, it's the smile-inducing, nostalgic-laden trip where friends - past and present - bring up memories of that viewing to the local ABC cinema to see that awful-but-you-love-it film. Ever since it's disturbing but never-the-less popular beginnings back in 1895, the art, as it was called back then, of movie-making has spell-bound viewers throughout the world.

Embraced by nearly every culture and country the world has had to offer over the last century, films have shone their light on peoples dreams, hopes, aspirations and their history, no matter how clean or ugly it may be.

So, yet another challenge for your is this: what are you willing to admit about your life-influencing experiences with the silver screen? What do you think has helped shape you into the individual that you are today? Or does something else have a hold on you instead? Look back and focus...

FIRST FILM YOU SAW, or remember seeing....
Walt Disney's The Rescuers (1977) and Star Wars (1977)

Both films were milestones for me because I saw them without my mother. The Rescuers was in the ABC Elephant & Castle with my Auntie Pearl and my cousin Donna, and Star Wars was with a single-parent organisation - The Gingerbread Club - in a dark, bustling and frankly scary Leicester Square. I remember having to hold hands with some snotty-nosed kid I'd never met before as we made our way through the crowded Square.

FILM YOU'VE SEEN THE MOST, in the cinema...
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Jurassic Park (1993) - both 4 times each.

Ah, the age of independence and disposable income! A time where youth allowed you to spend on such things as the cinema without too much worry about the financial consequences and where such things as alcohol and just "hangin'" hadn't yet become that important as to take precedent over a group outing to the flicks.

FILM YOU WISHED YOU'D SEEN IN THE CINEMA, upon its initial release...
Jaws (1975) and Airplane! (1980)

To this day, both are considered classics and the foundations of the genres that they helped define over the intervening years. If you think that you're enjoying these films when you either put them on or, and always the test of a great movie, leave it on if you discover it whilst flicking through the channels one evening, think how much more iconic it would have been to sit there amongst people who were watching it, and reacting to it for the first time... The scares, the shocks, the laughter... damn it would have been good to be there.

Beauty & The Beast (1991)
My non-existent daughter or existing God-daughters should have been opened to the world of magical story telling in a full-to-capacity but hushed cinema rather than a hastily-played DVD. The first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture Oscar, this still retains the punch and creates the bond for the audience that any adult should be proud to pass onto the young.

Jerry Maguire (1996) or An Affair To Remember (1957)
"Shut up. Just shut up. You had me at hello." Or "Where will you be in six months?"
Either one of those films are ideal as the movie to have in your memory that brings to mind your significant other half. To have those lines to share with them as you watched them for the first time together in the darkened auditorium would be solid gold!

YOUR FIRST DATE MOVIE, without your parents in tow...
The Karate Kid, Part II (1986)
Ah... the checking you have the money to pay for both of you; the worry of what to wear; the thinking of things to say; the choosing of what movie to see... All the decisions that need to be made and raked over continuously in your mind, and that's even before you find yourself in the cinema wondering about the holding hands or the arm around the shoulder... and all the while Peter Cetera sang in the background about "The Glory Of Love" as Mr Miyagi looked on.

So, what comes to mind for you on those fields then? Will you tell? Will you share?

1 comment:

  1. First film.. difficult to remember as was some late 70s british film that used to start with the view of Trafalgar square and the pigeons. As used to go to the Saturday morning film club in Stevenage.. The one that I really remember is on a very wet holiday somewhere in Cornwall and my parents taking us all into a very beautiful old cinema to escape the rain - we saw Dumbo..
    The one I wanted to see with friends was 'Grease' but wasnt allowed to go as too young and my best friend went and got a photo/script book of the film and I used to read it over and over.
    The ones I wish I had seen first time around are 'Star Wars' 'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi', sadly I have only ever seen the remastered version of 'Empire Strikes Back' in the cinema.. shocking I know