Hi there neighbour!
I remember, when I was around 12 years old I was thinking I should get a hobby. An older friend of mine was a keen Dr Who enthusiast, and his room was filled with old VHS tapes (hey, it was the 90’s) which he kindly lent me. I enjoyed them, but the good Dr never really lit my fire.
Soon after this I saw James Cameron’s “Aliens”, and was absolutely hooked. My dad still remarks how, on the first viewing, I was practically crawling up the sofa as Lt Ellen Ripley battled the xenomorph threat of LV-426. I became a firm fan of the franchise and collected a bunch of Alien memorabilia: however it became clear that it wasn’t just those films that had stoked something in me. It was the experience of film itself.
After that it was a slippery slope. Over the course of my teenage years I was in the local cinemas a lot of the time, and spent a fair whack of my pocket money and wages building up a VHS collection of my own. My adolescent years were filled with memories of visiting the local rental store (remember those?) to pick out titles with my folks, and later my friends for all-night movie marathons. I wrote a film review for the BBC’s Film ’96 “Young Reviewer of the Year” competition and was short-listed, and reviewed a book on Tarantino’s canon for a film mag competition to win a stack of movie books. I also still maintain that one of the best jobs I’ve ever had was a clerk in Blockbusters when I was at Uni (with 7 free rentals a week, it was a golden time for me!).
As years have gone on, I still love cinema. I love the feeling you get as you take your seat and the lights go down. I love the endless power of the medium to captivate and communicate, to stir something deep and primal and even spiritual within the human soul, to take us places we’ve never been and show us things we’ve never dreamt of. It’s a kind of magic, I think, this marriage of movement and light, and I think I will feel this way about film for the rest of my life.
So if you feel the same way, then take your seats and grab some pop-corn. The lights are dimming and the movie is about to begin. Join me here for cinematic musings, reviews and reflections. Just please remember to turn off your mobile phones for the duration of the performance.
PS – If you want a more open debating forum, why not also head over to our Facebook page for Moving Pictures – we’d love to hear from you