A few years ago, I used to interview my friends about their experiences with Video games on my blog. I kind of let the blog fall to the wayside a bit in recent years but have slowly been putting content back on it and writing much more in general. I always enjoyed getting people to discuss their relationship with games in depth and felt like I should try to do something else like that from time to time.
So this week I thought I’d start up what I hope is a reoccurring segment of my blog called ‘Let’s chat about film’. Hopefully this can create some decent discussions about film and enable others to get some decent recommendations along the way. I thought I’d start with myself as I did with the previous interview blogs so forgive me if this sounds a little awkward.
How long have you been into film?
I have always enjoyed films but I would say I didn’t really get into them until around my early to mid teens. My Dad was always working a lot so we didn’t get to spend too much time together but when the colder months came around and he worked less we started to watch movies in the evening. They were usually actions movies like Terminator 2 or First Blood but they really got me into certain actors filmography.
From there as I got older, I would try and go to the movies with friends but found it was an expensive thing to do so I would usually watch whatever movies I could find on Sky Movies. It was only in the last 6 years or so that I’d bought a membership card for my local cinema and began to see movies at least 3 times a week. From there it just expanded to following certain actors, listening to film podcasts and more.
Unfortunately, I don’t go to the movies as much now but I still try to follow certain series like the Marvel movies or catch some Netflix original films if I can.
What was the first movie you remember seeing in the cinema?
I think it was Disneys Mulan. I remember my Mum taking me and my younger cousin to see it and being so excited. I don’t know why I was so excited I think it’s because I’d never been to the movies before that point. I can’t remember how I reacted during the movie but I remember being SO hyper after it and saying things like ‘that was amazing’ over and over again and demanding we go to Mcdonalds as they had Happy Meal toys of Mulan at the time.
I think it’s great that a movie can have that sort of effect on a child and get them so excited about what they’ve seen. I don’t really rate that movie too highly anymore but it will always have a place in my heart because of the way it affected me back then.
What is a cinema experience that really stood out for you?
This is similar to the effect Mulan had on me and I was only around a year older but It’s gotta be Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. I remember being friends with the neighbor's kids and they always had old Star Wars stuff, I was always fascinated by it but couldn’t understand what it was about and then one day they tell me there is a new one and I’m invited to go and see it, I was really excited to be able to see what this stuff was really about!
I remember the scene where Darth Maul turned that lightsaber sideways and showing that it was double-edged and me and my friends just losing our shit. I think this movie really got me into ‘proper’ films rather than just animated ones. I’d never seen so much going on at once on a screen and I was amazed at how it was all put together, so much so I’d watch the ‘making of’ documentary that was on the PS1 game adaptations disc countless times.
I know this movie gets a lot of shit but I’ve always enjoyed it. Is it as good as the older movies in the franchise? No way, but is it a great introduction for a child who was around 6 or 7 years old? Absolutely.
What if your favourite Genre of film and why?
I’ve always enjoyed Thriller movies but that can be a wide range I guess; I think it’s because of the suspense and generally they grip you within the first 15 minutes. If a form of media hasn’t gripped me that time frame I usually find it difficult to continue. Some examples I can give are films like Nightcrawler or Shutter Island.
I really enjoy the Superhero Genre too. It’s a lot better than it was in the early 2000s and I think we’ve had some real stand out movies within the genre in the last 10+ years like the obvious The Dark Knight and more recently Logan.
Do you feel there is an abundance of superhero media currently?
Well, yeah there are a lot of movies and if you take TV into account there is a hell of a lot out there to watch. This is not necessarily a bad thing though, Marvel seem to do this right where yes it’s a Superhero movie but it’s a Superhero movie in a certain genre. Look at The Winter Solider, that’s like a solid political thriller kind of movie or Guardians of the Galaxy is a sci-fi movie etc.
I think if they stick to that sort of model then it can work well. I like DC too but I feel they are part of the problem in what some consider an abundance of movies in the genre. They try way too quickly to catch up to Marvel and as a result released some sub par stuff. They worked well when they took their time with something like Nolans Batman trilogy and they seem to be heading back that way with this new Joker movie coming out later this year.
Is there any other form of media you feel would work well if adapted to film such as a book or game?
I recently read a short book called ‘The Electric State’ by Simon Stalenhag which follows a teenager and her robot on a cross-country road trip across a post-apocalyptic USA. The book was really short but featured art by the author that was just stunning. The story itself was good but I felt there was a lot more to tell about the world itself so I’d love to see that explored in a movie sometime.
Has a movie ever made you feel uncomfortable?
Yes, Nocturnal Animals is one that stands out in my mind a lot. It's a great movie and really worth watching if you haven't but the movie deals with a lot of tough subjects and doesn't shy away from showing them. I wouldn't want to spoil what happens in the movie but if you know the movie then you can guess what part made me uncomfortable.
It was so bad that I was really squirming in my cinema seat for a lot of the movie, I literally could not get comfortable because of what was happening to certain characters and I kept thinking how I would react if I were in the main characters shoes at that point.
Who is your favourite director?
I think for the consistency of movies from them that I have enjoyed it has to be Christopher Nolan. I got into his movies with the Dark Knight Trilogy and they are all fantastic in their own way but since then I’ve gone back and found that I really enjoy not only his previous work but his later work too.
Memento for example is such a fantastic movie and is one of those films you need to watch at least twice, the same for The Prestige which is a real mind bender. Other than that Inception was pretty good as was Interstellar but as someone who studied History and University, I really enjoyed his most recently movie Dunkirk. I will always have time for his movies, he hasn’t let me down yet.
Who is your favourite actor/actress?
This usually changes a lot for me depending on what films I’ve seen at the time but at the moment it’s Jake Gyllenhaal. I don’t really rate Donnie Darko that highly but a lot of his work in the last 10 years has been great. Nightcrawler, Source Code, Nocturnal Animals and Prisoners are all some films I’d recommend if you’re into him. He is certainly a guy that has range and uses his range well, look at him be a super gaunt and creepy, obsessive guy in Nightcrawler and then see him play two different characters within Nocturnal Animals that both have you feeling for them in different but intense ways. It’s hard to explain but watch these movies man.
Where do you see film going in the future?
I would hope that they are still released in the cinema as some people seem to think the places are dying out (But I mean look how many people go to see Marvel movies, how can they be?) but I also hope there are more chances for films to be picked up by streaming services like Netflix. They seem to allow a lot of smaller Directors chances to work on higher budget movies like the recent I Am Mother on Netflix.
What is an aspect of film you feel is essential in helping the movie work well?
I think it’s the score or soundtrack really. With the right song or piece in the background it can really help sell the feeling of the character or set the mood for the world that we are viewing. For example you get pumped when Dual of the Fates comes on in Star Wars or when the soundtrack of Shutter Island kicks in at certain points you feel the anguish of the characters.
What is a film you would recommend to somebody and why?
Other than the Jake Gyllenhaal films I mentioned already I’d recommend Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless mind. There are a few reasons for this, the story is a bit confusing but a really interesting concept once you understand it, Jim Carey CAN act in a serious role and more people need to see that and it’s just one of those movies that really helped me get through some shitty breakups. If you’ve seen it you might understand why. It’s certainly not a film for everyone but I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different.
What is the next film you want to see at the cinema?
I think it has to be Spider-man: Far From Home as it’s out next week and I just adore the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There is a lot riding on this movie to pave the way for the future of this franchise and I’m excited to see where they take it next.