Artwork by Sarah K
Most kids in the western world will have a favourite film. A DVD/recording/VHS that they play repeatedly until they know every line, gag, song and character name. Back in the day this would mean endless torture as you rewound your VHS back to the beginning. Cinema trips were also most likely a lot rarer, 3D was just taking off and Netflix was still just starting up. The lack of instantly accessible content during most of our writers’ childhoods often meant that certain films, be it parent’s or your own, became firmly ingrained in your brain, and in our cases, sparking a love of film that has continued (and continues to) develop way into our teens.
MEL: On Reservoir Dogs, loving scares and her mum quoting Pretty In Pink
All my life I’ve been a big movie fan – of all kinds – like I don’t think I’ve ever never seen Reservoir Dogs, and I remember dancing in my old house to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack when this was known as ‘the ghost song’. I also remember sitting down with my sister watching What Lies Beneath when I was about six and the Ring when I was seven, as well as the Grudge, Saw, etc. which would explain why I’m so desensitized to horror now. It’s pretty strange because I remember begging my dad to let me stay up past my bed time to let me watch Shaun of the Dead with him after seeing this scene, and after loving it so much, actually forcing my best friend to watch it with me only to have her tell me she had to sleep in her parents room for a week she was so scared. But my sis and I have always been scare fans; we did also frequently screen Lake Placid, A.I Artificial Intelligence, Ghostbusters II, lots of Sci-fi and thrillers. As well as movies that are actually suitable for children like Disney and Pixar films (which are super dear to me and I still watch all the time) as well as Hook, and this one film about these two kids finding fairies down a gold mine that I used to rent from blockbusters like every weekend and I can NEVER remember the name of, or enough about to find out what it is/who was in it which’ll nag me for the rest of my life. My mum also used to say ‘He drives a BMW!’ ALL the time when I was younger and ‘Can you get off of my car’, and I never knew what it was from, until I watched Pretty in Pink for the first time. Even If it was only about three years ago, I feel like Pretty in Pink is part of my childhood because of my mum’s lifelong ‘Blaine- his name is BLAINE!?’. Duckie has set me boy dreams I’m never gonna fulfill. But, It’s nice to look back and see I’ve always been a film buff even when I couldn’t read, probably didn’t know what a fraction was or even how to tell time.
CAROLINE: On Hollywood popcorn flicks, Back To The Future and ‘mature’ movies
Thousands of movies watched and hundreds of DVDs bought later, I often wonder how this all began. When did I first start falling in love with movies so much? What led to this captivating obsession I have? Of course I loved Disney just as much as any kid, I spent every summer wishing I could be The Little Mermaid. But I traveled beyond the kiddie section of my local Blockbuster for something more. Hollywood popcorn flicks are what first captivated my attention. Chief Brody trying to save Amity’s hot and shark-infested summer in Jaws, dinosaurs come to life in Jurassic Park, star-crossed lovers on the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic. But seeing Back to the Future sealed the deal.Not only did I fall in love with Marty McFly, but also with film. I devoured every classic 80s movie I could, Dirty Dancing, The Terminator, The Fly, all the John Hughes classics…anything I could get my hands on. And soon the best of the 80s turned into the best of the best, and I just continued watching more and more. My parents weren’t strict about what I could see. My 13-year-old self felt so mature being able to watch movies just meant for adults. Being allowed to watch pretty much anything allowed me to be exposed to all kinds of films at an early age, like Schindler’s List, American Beauty, or Born on the Fourth of July. My dad adores films too, so I suppose it was inevitable for me to also. I love sharing this passion with him. I can’t imagine my life without my love for movies, and there are so many from childhood that cemented it for me.
CHEROKEE: On the Criterion Collection, LOVEFilm and father/daughter bonding
I was that kid, the one whose parents let them watch anything without restrictions. My mum introduced me to Midnight Cowboy, American History X, and my favourite film, Akira, at the age of ten. My dad showed me The Warriors around the same time, which has become the quotable film in our household and one of my fondest movie-watching memories. The Muppets and Disney were part of my film vocabulary, too.
When my love for film began to grow organically and outside of our family unit, the Criterion collection became my cinephile bible. Dad already had a decent collection of Criterion’s and it wasn’t long before I used them as a source to find weird, obscure movies or watch ’50s film noir.
At 16 I wanted to write films and be part of the industry. I was devouring movie after movie and signed up to LOVEFiLM to get an unlimited amount of DVD’s delivered to my house. I ate up the back catalogues of classic directors and B movie masters. I subscribed to Sight and Sound and Little White Lies to hear the opinions of others writing about film in a way that was new to me. I scoured the internet, searching for film blogs so I could become part of the discussion online, long before setting up my own blog where I’d write articles commenting on feminism in film and later writing about it on a bigger scale.
The relationship I had with my dad changed then, too. Our common ground of interest beforehand had been comics, and soon it branched into films.
We took trips to Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square and the Curzon in Soho. We’d sit in a crammed Foyles cafe, jazz playing in the background, and talk at length about the film we had just seen. An hour or two later, we would jump on the Northern Line and head back home.
Our thing, as we call it, has continued for years. Though it’s not as regular as it used to be, it feels a lot more special like seeing Belladonna of Sadness in a warehouse in Shoreditch with a live band playing the soundtrack. They’re experiences.
Film isn’t the same for me now as it was in my childhood or as a teenager. I guess that’s due to my different feelings towards the medium – things change, stuff happens and you don’t look at certain aspects in the same way. But, as I’ve learnt, I am forever thankful to my parents, especially my dad, for introducing me to an art form that kind of changed my life.
ASHLEY: On Vince Vaughn, School of Rock and a continued love for Stevie Nicks’ ‘Edge of Seventeen’
When I was younger I was obsessive about films, and as a result I still am to this day, thinking about a film endlessly if it makes a huge impression on me. Back then my obsession took a different form – I’d watch the film which was my current favourite every day for weeks and weeks on end. This happened with a number of films but the two that stand out the most as the most formative are School of Rock and Dodgeball. The latter seems pretty inappropriate for a child of about 8 but for some reason I liked it (perhaps it was my still prominent love for Vince Vaughn). My interest in these two films was next level. I would watch the cast commentary of School of Rock and watch Dodgeball with the subtitles on so I knew exactly what Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky was called. As a result these films have left a massive impression on me today, the extent to which I can speak along with them or recall minor details about them is embarrassing. Dodgeball and School of Rock came out 10 and 11 years ago and still to this I have a deep affection for them both. They continue to affect my life, even; a love for Richard Linklater and Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks, and a unique take on the Lance Armstrong scandal – his motivational meets guilt tripping speech made to Peter La Fleur no longer seems so sincere.
CHLOE: On Barney the Dinosaur, Look Who’s Talking and having a cracking time in 2005
I’m fairly sure I had the standard mid 90’s child upbringing, upon my birth a box of Disney VHS tapes were thrust upon me for rainy day entertainment which I devoured repeatedly until they got taken from my grips and put in the attic for storage (strangely enough there is a disgusting amount of classic Disney that I haven’t seen, or don’t remember seeing, that I am not ready to admit in public).
I remember some of my personal video collection including Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Barneys Great Adventure (amazingly under-rated, IMDB’s 2.7 rating is quite frankly shocking), Barneys Night Before Christmas, Barney’s Good Day, Good Night, and a shit tonne of other Barney videos. I did not have the reckless film watching upbringing I hope you all assume I had. That was until I was handed a copy of ‘Look Who’s Talking’ for passing my dancing exams. Poor little old me looked at that 12a rating and thought ‘heck no I am a mere child I cannot watch this it must be utter filth’ that video stared at me for months and months till I finally watched it and it was absolutely hilarious to my 6 year old mind and probably ended up being the most played VHS I ever owned.
I never actually stepped foot into a cinema until 2002, age 7/8, for a screening of Ice Age for a birthday party. Relatively mundane experience overall but it spurred my parents to take us out more. Some of the most notable trips I remember were Scooby Doo, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and The Curse of The Were-Rabbit . My proper ‘interest’ in actual film-making came about on a class trip to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I became a Narnia fanatic, with various pictures of William Mosely on my wall with ‘Chloe <3’s Peter I.D.S.T’ scrawled on the back. This was where I learned about green screen, CGI and most likely took an interest in costume design too.
It’s cool to see how certain movies have shaped different areas of my life and the interests I had at the time, which by the looks of the above paragraphs, I fucking loved 2005.