A little diversion from the thoughts on comic books and various other sundries, on the night before the Academy Awards (which I won’t be able to watch, even though I would like to). But it is related to Hollywood.
I’ve mentioned the comic book that I believe was responsible for my developing a comic book collection (even if it wasn’t the first comic book I ever read), but I’ve never done the same for the other entertainment passion in my life: cinema.
From all the recent ‘Notes On A Film’ (which I still categorise as ‘film reviews‘, even if they aren’t), it should be pretty obvious that I love film – someone who goes to the cinema every week must enjoying watching movies. There is something about being in a darkened room, feeling like you are the only person in the theatre, transported to a place where stories can transport the viewer and enjoy the entertainment – it’s quite magical.
The thing is that I can’t pinpoint where this fascination began. The earliest film memory is Star Wars – I was a young boy and it arrived at the perfect time and it blew my tiny little mind. I have a deep affection for Star Wars, but I’m not a Star Wars obsessive; I am aware of the existence of the novels and the comics, but I have no desire to read them. However, it did instil a long-lasting fascination with cinema, the art of telling a story through moving pictures.
I wouldn’t call myself a film buff in the classical sense – I don’t read film theory or have a collection of black and white Swedish DVDs – but I do have a lot of more mainstream DVDs and have read books about film and Hollywood and directors. I’m not sure where that leaves me on the scale of film buffery, but I’m comfortable with it.
There have been various films along the way that had an impact of differing degrees – I remember watching Highlander and noticing camera moves between scenes on my own; I will defend The Karate Kid as a great film to my dying day; I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve seen Enter The Dragon; I remember the happiness I felt when I first watched Citizen Kane, and The Godfather, Reservoir Dogs, and Goodfellas, and Clerks – but I don’t have a specific film I can blame it on.
Film has always been part of my life – I believe I got my love from my father, who grew up in the period where they had B-movies and cartoons and news as part of the cinema experience – and I remember wanting to be Barry Norman when I was growing up. I don’t have an ability to review films in an interesting or novel manner (as you can see from my back catalogue), but I’ve tried it – I got a position with one of my student newspapers, and it was a joy. I remember going to see my first film preview – I didn’t have to review it – at a screening room in Soho: Absolute Power, by Clint Eastwood (very poor, apart from a single scene between Eastwood and Ed Harris). I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time, just because I was there.
I guess that the love of film was one of the other reasons for this blog – I got the chance to write my thoughts on films without having to bore my long-suffering girlfriend, and it was fun doing it. I no longer want to be Barry Norman when (or if) I grow up, but I will always be interested in cinema. But not enough to get Sky and stay up all night to watch the Oscars …