Blog

 RSS Feed

Category: Movies

  1. The Full Monty

    Posted on

    Cinebling Movie Review The Full Monty

    Set in the heart of the crumbling steel industry, six men decide to put on a show for all the ladies in Sheffield as a male striptease act in order to earn money. The thing that sets these guys apart from the rest – they promise to go ‘the full monty’. Starring Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy and Tom Wilkinson, this 1997 classic British film combines comedy with serious issues, such as class, unemployment and men’s mental health.

     
    The film became a smash hit in the UK, becoming the highest grossing film in the UK at the time, until Titanic came along later in the year. Perhaps The Full Monty resonated with its British audience because of its gritty depiction of unemployment, yet with an optimistic and buoyant attitude. It is our marvellous cast of characters that succeed in bringing this film to life – a band of misfits that put on a show of a lifetime, despite their differing personalities. Gaz’s enthusiasm is particularly infectious, even managing to convince the others to go all the way, despite almost dropping out himself at the last moment. It is Gaz’s relationship with his son, however, that remains one of the best parts of the movie, and it is Nathan that pushes his dad to get on stage when all hope seems lost. The lengths Gaz is willing to go for his son is one of the most heart-warming elements of this comedic classic.
     
    The Full Monty was nominated at the 1998 Oscars for several categories, including Best Picture and Best Director, but the only trophy it took home was for Best Score for a Comedy or Musical. Most of the iconic scenes within the film centre around music, especially the 1970s disco pop that we associate with a Chippendale dance act. At the inception of Gaz’s idea, he tries (and fails) to strip to Hot Chocolate’s ‘You Sexy Thing’, with loose change flying everywhere as he pulls off his jacket, proving to the audience how unskilled they all are at dancing.

    In the unemployment line, Donna Summers’s ‘Hot Stuff’ plays whilst each man subconsciously performs the dance move that has been ingrained within their minds; Gaz looks on and chuckles, and we realise how far each man has come from the start of the movie. This scene became so recognisable that in the year after the film’s release, on a visit to Sheffield, Prince Charles recreated this subtle but hilarious dance routine. We also cannot forget the scene that the entire film has been leading up to, when the six men finally pull off ‘the full monty’ to Tom Jones’s ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’. The guys take off all their clothes to hundreds of cheering women, something that completely juxtaposes their lives at the start of the film.
     
    The Full Monty unites a fantastic soundtrack with a loveable cast of characters and a hilarious plot and succeeds in creating a classic comedy film that has been loved by many, all across the globe. The movie was not anticipated to be a huge success, and 20th Century Fox even considered releasing it straight to video, but just like Gaz and his friends, it defied all odds and ended up gathering a huge audience that loved every second of it! The Full Monty is currently the 36th highest grossing film in the UK and features in the British Film Institute’s Top 100 British Films of the 20th Century, proving that it has always amazed viewers, and will continue to do so.

    Find out where to watch The Full Monty now on IMDB (cover image via IMDB)

    Caitlin Hall Movie Reviewer

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.

  2. 10 Beautiful Filming Locations in the United Kingdom

    Posted on

    It’s more than likely that any 2020 travel plans abroad have been halted, but not all hope is lost as holidaying at home can be just as exciting. Here are some brilliant destinations that have featured in some of our favourite movies, whether you’re looking for a week-long break or just a day out.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review Hot Fuzz Hot Fuzz (2007)

    This Edgar Wright movie shows all the chaos that can happen in the countryside, such as in the fictitious village Sandford, which was filmed primarily in Wells, Somerset. This idyllic and quaint town is home to a lot of mayhem in the movie but would make a peaceful weekend away for any fans of the film.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review Pride and Prejudice Pride and Prejudice (2005)

    The grand location of Chatsworth House is a worthy home for Jane Austen’s romantic hero Mr Darcy. Chatsworth House is said to be the place of residence Austen had in mind for the Pemberley estate, with its beautiful views of the Derbyshire Dales. The place where Elizabeth fell in love with Mr Darcy, any film fan visiting this magnificent location will surely fall in love too.
     
    Cinebling Movie Reviews Skyfall Skyfall (2012)

    Whilst James Bond jets off to countries all across the world in this 2012 Sam Mendes flick, there are plenty of iconic scenes filmed in our country’s capital. Through Parliament Square, across Westminster, with an amazing view of Trinity Square Gardens - if you were visiting London, you’d likely stumble on a James Bond filming location wherever you go!
     
    Cinebling Movie Reviews the Da Vinci Code The Da Vinci Code (2006)

    This Ron Howard movie was filmed in many culturally significant locations across France and England. However, one of its famous locations within the UK is Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. This striking chapel with intricate stonework and marvellous architecture has been associated with the Holy Grail for decades, but Medieval historians are yet to be convinced. Nevertheless, this Scottish delight will astonish anyone who visits.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review The Theory of Everything The Theory of Everything (2014)

    Detailing the life of famous physicist, Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything was mostly filmed at Cambridge University. The place where Hawking started his journey to scientific discovery, the University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world and founded in 1209. The city of Cambridge is a breath-taking backdrop for this spectacular movie.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review Downton Abbey Downton Abbey (2019)

    In 2019, the beloved series Downton Abbey transcended television and graced the big screen for the first time ever. Any fans of the series will instantly recognise Highclere Castle, Hampshire, as the main filming location representing the home of the Granthams, but there are some other fantastic settings too. Two marvellous Yorkshire stately homes also feature in the film, Harewood House and Wentworth Woodhouse, which both make for an amazing day out.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review Chariots of Fire Chariots of Fire (1981)

    Chariots of Fire boasts one of the most famous beach scenes in the history of cinema and was filmed right here on home turf (or sand) at West Sands, St Andrews. For ten years running, West Sands has held a beach race to pay homage to this iconic scene.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review About Time About Time (2013)

    This Richard Curtis movie epitomises British romantic comedies and has a number of stunning filming locations around Cornwall and London. In Cornwall, one of the most picturesque locations is Vault Beach, Gorran Haven, as well as the quaint town of St Austell, which features main character, Tim Lake’s, family home. On the other hand, the film’s tourist and hospitality scenes take place in London, at places such as the National Theatre.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review Braveheart Braveheart (1995)

    A movie that is as epic as it is historically inaccurate, this portrayal of Mel Gibson as William Wallace features the awe-inspiring views of Glen Coe and Loch Leven in the Scottish Highlands. Glen Nevis Valley also becomes the village of ‘Lanark’. Surprisingly, a lot of Braveheart was filmed in Ireland, with Trim Castle masquerading as the city of York, as well as London Square.
     
    Cinebling Movie Review Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

    Every Harry Potter fan out there has wished they could go to Hogwarts at some point in their lives – and, in some ways, you can! Alnwick Castle, Northumberland and Gloucester Cathedral were the main filming locations for any scenes at Hogwarts, with a few scenes also filmed at Durham Cathedral.

    This is definitely not a complete list, as so many locations were used to emulate the magic of Harry Potter. However, a visit to Alnwick Castle will have you pointing out the place where Harry rode his first broom.
     
    Let us know if you’ve been to any of these fantastic filming locations, or where else you may be holidaying in the UK this year.

    Images via IMDB.

    Review by Caitlin Hall.

    Caitlin Hall Freelance Writer Movie Reviewer Cinebling

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her Twitter account is @caitonfilm.

  3. 25 Movies That Inspire Creativity

    Posted on


    Sometimes, you feel so busy and overwhelmed that the thought of taking a night off to put your feed up and watch a movie with some popcorn makes you break out in a cold sweat. Crazy, right? But I’ve been there!
     
    Shouldn’t I be typing, working, creating? Although it might feel like a very active imagination and the inability to switch off could serve any creative, the truth is that some downtime is always going to be necessary.
     
    Did you know that by relaxing and being mentally stimulated by a movie can increase your blood flow, sending more oxygen to your brain? This aids memory, emotional intelligence, focus and (best of all!) creativity.
     
    While everyone has preferences for their work pattern, studies have shown that we work best in 90 minute cycles. That includes taking a break. Ignoring the need for this breather is most likely to be counter-productive, with you ending up a frazzled mess.
     
    So if you need to escape and feel inspired at the same time, check out this list of movies that will inspire you to return to your project with a new sense of purpose.
     
    (In alphabetical order).
     

    Cinebling Movie Review All That JazzAll that Jazz (1979) - Drama/Music/Musical

    A semi-autobiographical tale of a hard-drinking, drug-taking, workaholic director/choreographer as he simultaneously puts together his next Broadway show, while editing his latest movie. Joe Gideon is a man burning the candle at both ends and if he’s going to work himself to death, he’s determined to leave something memorable behind.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review American MovieAmerican Movie (1999) – Documentary/Comedy

     
    American Movie follows a low-budget horror filmmaker in small-town Wisconsin. Mark Borchardt and his group of charismatic and creative misfits provide a rousing case study in making the most of the resources you have, putting your heart and soul into your work, and overcoming all obstacles to ship your dream project.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Begin AgainBegin Again (2013) – Comedy/Drama/Music

     
    Gretta is a singer-songwriter who has been working with her boyfriend. But when he finds stardom overnight, it becomes painfully evident that the two have different values. One evening, Gretta is singing some of her material at an open mic night, when Dan spots her. An old hand in the game, Dan is a music producer, and the duo begin a journey together toward creative fulfilment.
     

    Cinebling Movie Reviews BirdmanBirdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014) – Comedy, Drama

     
    Birdman is a fantastic movie that takes us into the world of a washed up actor trying to regain glory with a theatrical production of a Raymond Carver play. The movie expertly conveys the feeling of controlled chaos.
     
    The film was shot to look like one long take, and the overall effect is as unique as it is enveloping. When coupled with the film's strong script and performances, as well as its plot line about the act of creativity and the struggle of the creative, it's a great watch when you need inspiration. This is a work of art, examining the process of trying to create a work of art, without being achingly pretentious.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review BowfingerBowfinger (1999) – Comedy

    This straight-up comedy tells the story of Bobby Bowfinger, a struggling Hollywood filmmaker taking his last shot at success. He gathers a crew of misfits and together they embark on making the low budget science fiction movie, Chubby Rain. In over his head, Bowfinger needs a star for the film to be successful, so he decides to do it without even telling the star.
     
    Despite their serious lack of funding, experience and skill, Bowfinger and his crew find clever and inventive ways to overcome their numerous obstacles, never giving up, now matter how bizarre the situation is. The movie is funny, yet still very inspirational.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Easy AEasy A (2010) – Comedy/Drama/Romance

    Easy A is a new take on an old story, reminding you that there are always new ways to create. Seemingly on a whim of being bored with her friend, Olive effectively starts the first rumour about herself. She then lends the rumour to a friend, and the whole situation snowballs. At first, Olive leans into this, but things take a turn to remind her that she is still living in the real world. Olive then must decide whether to let the story she has created stand, or to rewrite it herself.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Ed Wood Ed Wood (1994) – Biography/Comedy/Drama

    Ed Wood is based on a book about a real person, who is widely considered the worst movie director of all-time. Wood is joyfully oblivious of his shortcomings as a filmmaker, and his real strength is his unwavering optimism. No matter how bad things get, Ed Wood finds the bright side. When a producer tells Ed his latest film is the worst he ever saw, Ed smiles and says, “My next movie will be better!” How can you not root for someone like that?
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Frances HaFrances Ha (2012) – Comedy/Drama/Romance

    The titular Frances Ha plays an aspiring dancer who lacks any natural talent but continues to pursue her career with a great deal of enthusiasm. She searches for a meaningful existence through a period of great change in her life. She teaches us to follow our dreams, even if they sometimes seem unlikely.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Freedom WritersFreedom Writers (2007) – Biography/Crime/Drama

    Based on the book by Erin Gruwall, this movie shines a light on the importance of the journal as a teaching method and therapeutic instrument. Erin is a teacher in a school that suffers after an integration program doesn’t go as planned. The new students, some of whom are illiterate or come from violent backgrounds, struggle to fit in and soon, the whole academic enterprise begins to unravel… until Erin decides to use her creativity and change up the teaching tactics.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review InceptionInception (2010) – Action/Adventure/Sci-fi

    A favourite among fans of Christopher Nolan, Inception is a film about sparking ideas. Cobb is a corporate dream thief, who is given the task of creating a thought in the mind of a CEO. He teaches his team about the power of imagination, even while he is a victim of it himself.
     
    If it doesn't inspire you creatively, it will at least get you thinking about ideas and the creative process.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Inside OutInside Out (2015) – Animation/Adventure/Comedy

    If you're in a creative slump, it's normal to wish that you could be a kid again, and get back that big imagination you once had. Inside Out will definitely help nudge you in that direction, and it might make you think about the creative conflicts with you as well. Riley is uprooted from her old life, and the story of how she deals with her emotions is touching.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Loving VincentLoving Vincent (2017) – Animation/Biography/Crime

    Stunningly rendered in oil-painted rotoscope animation, this Oscar-nominated love letter to Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh is dreamy. Referencing 130 of his paintings, it took seven years to painstakingly put together this remarkable tribute. The story is of the postmaster’s son and his attempt to deliver van Gogh’s final missive to his beloved brother Theo. At its heart is the question: what drives a man to live and die through the brush?
     

    Cinebling Movie Reviews Me and You and Everyone We KnowMe and You and Everyone We Know (2005) – Comedy/Drama

    Not your typical romantic comedy, this film tells the story of an eccentric performance artist, Christine, and a shoe salesman, Richard. This film will really make you think about how we connect with one another. It’s a reflection on how messy modern life can be, but comes together with an ending that will inspire.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Midnight in ParisMidnight in Paris (2011) – Comedy/Fantasy/Romance

    Gil is a struggling writer who’s about to embark on his first novel. During a trip to Paris with his fiancee Inez, he suddenly discovers he has the ability to step back in time and experience the city in the 1920s. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Picasso and Gertrude Stein all make cameos in this lovely rom-com.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Moonrise KingdomMoonrise Kingdom (2012) – Comedy/Drama/Romance

    A young boy, Sam, and girl, Suzy, fall in love and decide to run away together. The small town that they live in is then turned on its head, searching for them. Can Sam’s scouting skills and Suzy’s resources allow them to stay ahead of their search party? Wes Anderson’s trademark storybook aesthetics captures his sparkling characterisation and microscopic attention to detail.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review OnceOnce (2007) – Drama/Music/Romance

     
    The story of two people who meet, fall in love, and make beautiful music together.
    He is a Dublin street musician moonlighting as a vacuum repairman, she is an immigrant who plays piano and harmonizes beautifully. He shares with her his dream of bringing his music to London and she agrees to help him.
    As their collaboration grows, their songs tell their story, and are written and performed by the two stars. Together they create something magical that will last forever, the sort of thing that only happens once.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review PersonaPersona (1966) – Drama/Thriller

    One of the best-known works of Ingmar Bergman, and one of the most analysed films of all time. Alma, a nurse, looks after Elisabeth, a patient who appears well, but won’t speak. Alma does all the talking, to try and get through to Elisabeth. This movie is a tapestry of metaphors, raising fascinating questions about identity, duality, and how we relate to each other. It’s also widely recognised as one of the most visually stunning films of its time.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review The PlayerThe Player (1992) – Comedy/Crime/Drama

    The Player is set in a modern Hollywood movie studio where no one reads scripts anymore. Griffin Mill is a movie studio executive being threatened by a disgruntled screenwriter – the problem is that there are a lot of disgruntled writers!
     
    The film is packed with cameos, references and respect for movie history. There are spectacular tracking shots and clever visual tricks, along with Altman’s trademark overlapping dialogue. But there is also biting commentary on the status of Hollywood, and the endless pursuit for a hit film.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review The ProducersThe Producers (1967) – Comedy/Music

    Artists are usually portrayed as struggling to create something special. In The Producers, writer/director Mel Brooks shows his genius by having main characters do the exact opposite – trying to create a massive flop of a Broadway show. The reasoning being that it will make more money than a hit.
     
    The story shows us the creative process from the producer’s perspective: searching for the right material, working with the writer, hiring the director, and of course the casting call for your leading man. There is so much humour packed into the ‘show-within-the-movie’ that you will need a second viewing just to catch it all.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Ruby SparksRuby Sparks (2012) – Comedy/Drama/Fantasy

    This movie is all about a person's capacity to create. Calvin, a writer who is struggling with writer’s block creates a character that he thinks will love him, and then manages to will her into existence. If nothing else, it should have you pondering what the world would be like if that really happened.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Scott Pilgrim vs The WorldScott Pilgrim vs The World (2010) – Action/Comedy/Fantasy

    Scott Pilgrim dreams of a girl, and then she turns up on roller skates. He plays in a band, and is actually already dating a girl called Knives. In order to date the new girl, he must defeat each of her seven evil exes. It’s a great movie to watch to get your creative juices flow, as there a lots of great effects and Easter eggs that will remind you that there's more than one way to tell a story, and infinitely creative ways to do so.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Shakespeare in LoveShakespeare in Love (1998) – Comedy/Drama/History

    This movie tells an imagined story of how mankind’s greatest writer lost his mojo and then got it back. It gives credence to the quote about every idea being bad a first: Shakespeare is struggling for inspiration to fuel his next play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. He finds his muse in the beguiling Viola De Lesseps and he makes some changes to his work.
     
    The film is teeming with creative types: writers, actors, theatre owners, even producers, all working on their art. The film is funny and charming and clearly gave Academy voters a heavy dose of the warm fuzzies as the movie took home seven Oscars including Best Picture.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Singing in the RainSingin’ in the Rain (1952) – Comedy/Musical/Romance

    This movie is a classic for a reason. You don't even need to watch the entire movie to feel inspired, although I would recommend it! Just pick a musical number, sit down and feel the ideas flow through you. The ingenuity, technicolour optimism, and of course, the bit where he is singing in the rain, all fill you with joyful energy and the idea of possibilities.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Stand by MeStand By Me (1986) – Adventure/Drama

    This movie tells the story of Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern, and the last summer they spent together as children. It will give you a break from being an adult and remind you of all the things that were important as a kid. It’s a story of family, friendship, adventure and a dead body.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review Stranger Than FictionStranger Than Fiction (2006) – Comedy/Drama/Fantasy

    This is another great movie about what could happen if your characters become too real. Kay Eiffel is an author struggling to finish her latest novel. On the other side of town, Harold Crick leads a boring life as an IRS tax professional. One day, Harold begins hearing a voice in his head, narrating everything he does with eerie accuracy, while odd things start happening. With the help of a literary professor, Harold sets out to find the person who is narrating his life. An interesting plot that gives new meaning to the concept of killing your darlings.
     

    Cinebling Movie Review This Is Spinal TapThis is Spinal Tap (1984) – Comedy, Music

    No film in the history of cinema has ever presented a more accurate depiction of the dynamic inside a rock band than This is Spinal Tap. The movie follows an aging British heavy metal band as they embark on a tour across America.
    There is so much creative activity happening in the film, it’s dizzying. They spoof documentaries, music videos, early television broadcasts, concert performances, and songwriting. But the real strength here is that the actors are all actual musicians in addition to being gifted comedic actors. It’s all pitch perfect.


  4. Top 5 Summer Blockbusters of the 90s

    Posted on


    Being in lockdown has meant that many of us haven’t been able to get our regular fix of new movies, and we’ve had to resort to nostalgic thrills to satisfy our film-watching needs. Summer 2020 is unlikely to see many huge releases, so, instead of going to the cinema, you can have a throwback film party in the comfort of your own home. You can experience these high-action, 90s’ summer blockbusters, whether for the first time, or the fiftieth time!
     
    Clearly the 90s  had a thing for watching chaos on the big screen, as the majority of top grossing films of the decade were doomsday and disaster movies. Now, many of these films have had multiple sequels and spin-offs, which just goes to show how influential these movies were. Today, any box office records these films had set have been blown out of the water, but at the time, they were bringing in figures that had never been seen before in the history of cinema. The 90s helped shape our perception of the Hollywood blockbuster into what it is today, with these five game-changing movies proving particularly pivotal.

     Cinebling Movie Review Top 5 90s Ghost

    1. Ghost (July 13, 1990)

    Patrick Swayze steals our hearts once again in the romance-fantasy-thriller megahit that is Ghost. The highest grossing film of 1990, Ghost witnesses the murder of Sam Wheat (Swayze), who has to seek the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) to save his lover Molly Jensen (Demi Moore). Everyone is familiar with the iconic pottery scene, which has cemented itself as a classic romantic movie moment, and is recognisable to anyone, regardless of whether you have seen this 90s’ classic or not.


     Cinebling Movie Review Top 5 90s Men in Black

    1. Men in Black (July 2, 1997)

    In a universe where aliens exist on earth, but must be hidden from the public, the Men in Black are the only people for the job. Starring iconic duo Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, Men in Black was the third highest grossing film of 1991, and was a staple of nineties cinema. With a further three movies, and an animated series in the Men in Black franchise, there is no doubt that Men in Black’s legacy has spawned many other fantastic films.

    Cinebling Movie Review Top 5 90s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
     

    1. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (June 14, 1991)

    This legendary tale was the second highest grossing film of 1991, earning its place as one of the best summer blockbusters of the nineties. Starring Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater and established Alan Rickman as one of our favourite people to watch on screen. Whilst the film was a roaring success, its soundtrack also had a huge impact. The film’s hit song, written and sung by Bryan Adams, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, spent sixteen consecutive weeks at number one on the UK charts.

     Cinebling Movie Review Top 5 90s Independence Day

    1. Independence Day (July 4, 1996)

    Will Smith fights aliens again! Independence Day was the highest grossing film of 1996, breaking the opening records set by Jurassic Park three years earlier. This sci-fi action film also starred Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum and kickstarted what we now know as the Hollywood blockbuster, inspiring a string of other nineties disaster movies. With its climax on the fourth of July, Independence Day was a summer release that exaggerated Americans’ patriotism. 

      Cinebling Movie Review Top 5 90s Jurassic Park

    1. Jurassic Park (June 11, 1993)

    Jurassic Park was one of the biggest blockbusters of the nineties, becoming the highest grossing film at the time, with Titanic stealing its place in 1997. The movie is set on the soon-to-be theme park island, Isla Nublar, where genetically engineered dinosaurs roam free. With CGI being a relatively new technology in the early nineties, Jurassic Park successfully emulated realistic dinosaurs on the big screen for the first time. With some dinosaur scenes taking up to six hours to render, Empire voters said that the first time we see these magnificent creatures was the 27th most magical moment in film. Now a huge, established franchise with five instalments, and another to be released in 2021, Jurassic Park hasn’t been off our screens for 20 years.
     

    What do you think of these summer blockbusters? Let us know or share on social!

    Images via IMDB.

    Review by Caitlin Hall.

    Caitlin Hall Freelance Writer Movie Reviewer Cinebling

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her Twitter account is @caitonfilm.

  5. Isolated But Not Alone: Cinema Keeps Us Company

    Posted on

    It’s March 2020 – for someone like me who was born in the 80s, 2020 always sounded like the future. The first future was the millennium, so 2020 was the really distant future.The really, really amazing future. I was definitely going to have my own spaceship. After all, Back to the Future Part II was set in 2015, and that promised us hoverboards and all kinds of amazing things. So to be told that I need to isolate myself for three months because of a variation on the flu virus, seems… well, basic.
     
    I will just take a moment to say that I think it’s completely the right thing to do though. In this post about perhaps having to postpone the London Screenwriter’s Festival until later in 2020, Chris Jones made the point that it would be worth taking these measures, even just to try and wipe out ‘normal’ flu. I am not overly concerned about the virus (despite underlying health issues) but I am completely onboard with whatever measures we need to take to wipe this thing out. If we could do it for seasonal flu and the common cold, I’d be on board with that, too.
     
    Anyway, this blog is the result of a few conversations that I’ve had with people, and with my OH. Sometimes, when we go to the cinema, he says ‘we’ll have to give it a rest for a bit, we’ve been here too often lately’. Firstly, that is not possible (and we never do!). Secondly, I never feel like I’ve been to the same place when I go to the cinema.
     
    For me, the movie is the journey and the destination. It’s a staple of writing courses (‘take the viewer on an emotional journey’) and actors consistently talk about a perk of the job as being able to live so many different lives in one lifetime.

    Although it’s easier now than ever before to ignore TV screens (usually with mobile phone screens!) when you’re in the cinema, the trailers end and the lights go down, you are forced to pay attention and make that connection to the story and characters that have been agonised over by often a couple of hundred people. While the stories are not always emotional in the sense that it makes you want to cry, they are usually absorbing to the point that your mood changes slightly – you laugh, you feel the anticipation, you cheer internally when the hero wins the day.
     
    That’s why I’m not at all worried about self-isolating – even if it does end up being for 12 weeks. Although it will disrupt daily life and it will feel strange, we have lots of great ways of keeping in touch. We also have lots of great things to keep us entertained!
     
    I was given a 100 Movies Bucket List for Christmas, which I had seen 78 of anyway. Unfortunately, I haven’t made a too much progress on the list since (maybe I’ve watched 3?) so that is my starting point for my ‘lockdown watchlist’.
     

    1. City of God
    2. Up
    3. Moonlight
    4. Stand by Me
    5. 3 Idiots
    6. Schindler’s List
    7. Halloween
    8. The Evil Dead
    9. Rosemary’s Baby
    10. Mary & Max
    11. The Green Mile
    12. The Intouchables
    13. The Great Dictator
    14. Titanic
    15. Boyz n the Hood
    16. Saving Private Ryan
    17. Lagaan
    18. Baahubali
    19. Enter the Dragon

     
    I know my OH owns a few of these, and I also know that some will be difficult to get hold of. I’ve got the rest of the year, right? But I will be using this time, for sure.
     
    One of the things we’re doing to stop ourselves from going mad is limiting what we do in the week. We can both work flexibly, so it’s sometimes difficult to resist the temptation to do jobs at more convenient times for us.

    As far as viewing goes, I’ll be watching box sets Mon-Thu (starting with The Wire, having recently re-watched Psych, Chuck and Justified) but Fri-Sun will be movie nights. We will also be implementing ‘cinema rules’. This came about as shorthand for ‘shhhhhhhhhhhh’ when we were recently looking after my nieces and nephew. They got to have popcorn on the condition that they followed cinema rules. They didn’t have to stay until the end if they were bored, but they shouldn’t spoil for anyone else. It worked pretty well!
     
    As a special weekend treat, we’re also having bacon butties for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Yum! I definitely recommend having a weekend treat like that to look forward to, and to remind you it's the weekend.
     
    I’ll add the movies that I watch to this blog. If you have any recommendations for me, you can find me on social media! I always love talking movies, and I think it’s more important now to keep the conversations going. I’ll also be putting together some recommendations myself for what to watch over the coming weeks, and probably through summer as well, since a lot of movies have sensibly shut down production to protect people’s health. It’s disappointing, but one of the things I love about cinema is how much of it there is.

    If you watched movies 24/7 for your entire life, without sleeping, you could not get through the back catalogue.
     
    There’s always a new favourite movie just waiting for you to watch it.
     
    Let’s get watching!