Thursday, 7 May 2009

Lifechanging Films

The Independent has a piece today with celebrities nominating the movies that changed their life. The results are quite interesting, especially Ali Smith who chooses Celine and Julie Go Boating and explains the effect it had on her writing. Yes I am biased because she chose my favourite film, but she also shows how meaningful it is in a very specific and personal way which most of the respondents did not. Gordon Brown claims his was The Chariots of Fire "because it's all about the potential of young people being realised", which is possibly the most political statement he could make. Despite that and some of the other banal comments I think it is really valuable to acknowledge the importance that particular films hold for us both personally and culturally. Which is rather the point of Film Club asking the questions as it functions to show films to children and encourage them to embrace film. This is one of many things happening at the moment to raise the profile of film as a valid cultural and educational medium and is part of a new FILM: 21st Century Literacy strategy which is really good news for culture and education in the UK.
In personal terms I am not sure that I can think of a particular single film that changed my life, not in the same meaning anyhow. My going to see Face by Antonia Bird changed my life in that it renewed a friendship, which led to me getting a job at the cinema, which resulted in my meeting my partner through a colleague there. But the content of the film didn't do this. However, there are so many films that can be seen as important in influencing who I am and how I view the world. I'm going to have to think about this further...

Saturday, 2 May 2009

April's Reviews

I read a lot of good film reviews last month and wanted to share some of my favourites. First there is Richard Herring who's annoyance at the sexism in The Boat That Rocked is detailed in a really funny way.

Secondly, Latoya Peterson's review of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency at Racialicious. I have read several dismissive reviews by middle class white women concerned the series is patronising and this is a refreshing change. Peterson doesn't ignore the politics (she has previously posted about ethnic characters written by white authors) but allows the series to be judged by itself as well. The comments too are well worth reading.

Next is Tiger Beatdown and a fascinating review of Dollhouse. The series hasn't been shown in the UK yet but I am intrigued by Sady's analysis of the way consent issues are pondered in the series. Also check out her piece on Twin Peaks, in fact all her writing is good.