Saturday, 21 January 2012

My name is Celia, and I'm a filmaholic

Source: archive-cinema

Seriously. I'm not kidding.

Partly, this is because of my job - it's not unheard of for me to see screenings of four or five films in the space of a single working week.

But mainly it's because I'm a big movie geek, and there are few things I'd rather do with an empty evening, or a rainy Tuesday morning, than go to the cinema. I'm that irritating person who will NEVER forgive you for talking through the trailers. (In fact, my abiding love for trailers is possibly more extreme than for the movies themselves, but that's a whole other post). I have no objections to going to see films alone. It's hard to watch DVDs with me, because I've seen three quarters of what's on offer when it was first released.

That doesn't, sadly, mean I'm always as up-to-date as I'd like to be - so far this January, I estimate I've seen six or seven films at the cinema, plus various others on my flight back from England, and on pay-per-view. But the sheer number of interesting films released during Oscar season always, always defeats me - I still haven't managed to see The Artist, My Week With Marilyn, The Iron Lady, or Hugo. Fail. I'm working on shrinking that list...

Anyway - last week I got chatting with some people I know about favourite movies. I was telling them about my friend A, who used to work in a cinema. All the staff had to wear a name-badge with their favourite film written on it. One guy said he'd pick Jurassic Park, a girl said she'd have chosen Clueless (an impeccable choice, IMHO).

And while I still don't think I could narrow it down to a single film, and thus will never be the ideal employee at a Norwich multiplex circa 2002, here are my top five:

 - A Life Less Ordinary: Ewan McGregor when he was young and fresh-faced* and Cameron Diaz on fine form as a spoiled, neglected princess? Angels desperately trying to make them fall in love by throwing bat-shit crazy scenarios at them? Danny Boyle? Awesomeness.

 - The Philadelphia Story: (See Also: Bringing Up Baby). This is the perfect film. PERFECT. Extra points for use of the word 'yar.' Remaking it as a musical six years later, and trying to get Grace Kelly to follow the footsteps of Katharine Hepburn? Not perfect. At all.

 - Mary Poppins: I have a thing for Julie Andrews. It extends to the Princess Diaries films, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and to a lesser extent, The Sound of Music. I also have a thing for Dick van Dyke, particularly in Diagnosis Murder. So. All together now: 'round the chimney, step in time...'

 - Strictly Ballroom: Actually, this was a tough call, I could just as easily have picked Romeo + Juliet. This wins - just - for the scene with the Coca Cola sign, and the roof, and the washing, and Time After Time. To my 13-year-old self (and probably my 27-year-old self too, if I'm brutally honest) that was the height of romance.

 - Annie Hall: There's nothing I can say about this that hasn't been said a million times before, by people far more articulate and pithy than me. So I'll resort to incoherent, jumbled words. New York. Lobsters. Diane Keaton. Neuroses. Amazeballz.

Other contenders that didn't quite make the grade include Apocalypse Now, Witness, Casablanca, True Romance, Lost in Translation, North By Northwest, Some Like it Hot, The Empire Strikes Back - I could go on for a while.

 I also have some more recent faves - Zombieland, Easy A, The Social Network. (OK, I like Jesse Eisenberg and I want to be Emma Stone). But I'm waiting to see if they stand the test of time. My personal opinion is that any film where Bill Murray plays Bill Murray playing a zombie seems almost certain to still be garnering some serious acclaim in 50 years...

* To be fair, I met him a few weeks ago, he's still looking pretty damn fresh-faced and young.


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