Wednesday, 23 September 2009

(500) Films Of Empire - Day 8

So I've been doing this for a week now and time for quick progress report.  7 days and a total of 15 films watched (averaging out at just over 2 a day, higher than the 1.35 needed to complete the challenge).  

Plan to keep up this pace for the next couple of weeks, as I have a week long holiday in Madiera coming up with not much opportunity for movie marathons then.

Have to mention that I saw my friend Charlotte today and when I told her about watching The Lost Boys, the first thing he mentioned was the greased up saxophone player.  Made me laugh.  Wonder where he is now?

Watched Julie & Julia at the cinema today, in order to see the film that has inspired this 'small' task.  Was intrigued to learn that Julie Powell was 29 when she started her experiment, nervous of the impending big 3-0 and desperate to finally finish something that she had started, having failed in an attempt at writing a novel.

Am I the same as Julie?  Subconsciously worried about a need to feel I have achieved something by 30.  

Sure, I've had success at the cinema, working my way up to becoming general manager of The Belmont but success in other aspects of my life have been difficult to come by; I couldn't honestly call my time at University an overwhelming success - graduating with a third (although Carol Vorderman got a third) or always talked about writing a movie script but never getting past the first few pages.  Only in the last few years by being involved in the Aberdeen Student Show and helping to write the scripts have I managed to feel a sense of achievement.  This blog could be my chance at producing something I can look back on with pride, combining my love of film and my desire to become a writer.

Like Julie, I just have to hope that there is someone out there reading this besides myself, not just ending up in cyberspace all alone.

Today's films were:

424 – To Have And Have Not – 3 stars

Smouldering chemistry between Bogart and Bacall (that generation's Douglas and Zeta-Jones) and that line but couldn't shift this feeling that everyone was desperately trying too hard to make another Casablanca; Bogart, the French resistance, piano player, and a sleazy bar were all there but the final film wasn't greater than the sum of its parts.  Give me Casablanca any day (and one day I will get it as it is number 18 on the list).

236 – Black Narcissus – 3 stars

Now here is a film that I would never normally watch, even on Channel 4 on a boring afternoon with nothing better to do, but this blog is forcing to watch these movies with an open mind and discovering some fantastic films.  At University I actually turned down a film studies class because I didn't want to watch a bunch of black and white, subtitled films, now look at me! It is part of the digitally remastered Powell and Pressburger series on at the Cambridge Film Festival at the moment and I got a copy on Blu-Ray from Lovefilm.  If I had to sum it up in one word, the word would be sumptuous.  It looked absolutely beautiful and the transfer to blu ray made the colours look fantastic as you would expect from P&P.  A slow start with a group of nuns working in a nunnery up a mountain (was this to be Sound Of Music without the music?), but turned into an examination of temptation and madness.  Worth a look if it appears at a cinema near you in the next couple of months.

Off to bed now but just found out it is the 10th anniversary of Spaced, one of my all-time favourite TV shows (and responsible for spawning Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz).  Should I take some time off from the list to do a Spaced marathon?  Skip to the end.


  1. I'm reading! Interested in hearing about films I would never otherwise have thought of watching. Also because I don't have the stamina or sofa-hugging butt muscles required for such a challenge!

  2. Dude why didn't I know you were blogging? I will be an avid follower now and link you on my, more successful, blog....