Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

So as I don't have control of the TV this evening I can't watch the films I had planned. Instead I've been thinking about scary films. I've read loads of blogs this week about people's favourites but it is difficult to actually think of something frightening to me. I enjoy horrors but haven't been truly scared watching a film for ages. Watching Alien this month is was great to see so many people in the audience jumping at the scary bits, it shows the endurance of a classic film but having seen it several times it doesn't do it to me anymore which is a shame.

When I was a child it was easy to get scared. I remember once listening to a Secret Seven tape and being paralysed with fear lest a nasty (no doubt racially sterotyped) hoodlum appear. Similarly the film Evil Under the Sun made me leave the light on when I went to bed. Cheesey as it was, Diana Rigg's characters death seemed horrific and cruel. Perhaps it is nice to have not yet been made cynical by the real horrors that are going on in the world.

In recent years it is films like London to Brighton that affect me most. The events in London to Brighton are believable, almost banal, yet utterly shocking. Watching it is emotionally draining as you almost plead with the film to not kill Kelly and Joanne. Afterwards I felt terribly sad and worried for their real life equivalents.

So watching genuinely scary films may not be a good idea emotionally and horror films aren't as engaging. So perhaps some nostalgia... here's a link to Anything Can Happen on Halloween from The Worst Witch. Tim Curry singing to young girls, and Diana Rigg features too. It is so great and the special effects are cutting edge! It disturbs me to think how often I watched the video when it came out.

October Review

I thought there may not be enough to post weekly about cool stuff I've found. Unfortunately looking back over October there is a ridiculous amount so that was obviously a stupid idea. Anyhow, here are some of highlights in film blogging over the last month.

At the London Film Festival there was an event Snipping Through the Celluloid Ceiling with a panel of female film makers discussing issues surrounding being women in the film industry and female produced film. Unfortunately I couldn't attend and this is the only write up of it that I could find. It looks like it was an interesting and inspiring discussion.

I found this news about critic Jessica Mann very interesting. Basically she has refused to review any more crime books as she was sick of the violently misogynist content. I like how she as a critic is taking control of her own consumption and exposure to content she finds offensive. The story has been discussed at Shakesville and The F Word too.

Samantha Morton writes for the Guardian about the responsibility of actors to use their power to challenge sexist messages their films may be sending. We need more intelligent, critical actors like her if the content of films is going to change.

Alien was released 30 years ago and the Guardian have a celebratory piece on Ripley, one of the best female characters ever. I had a great time at Duke of Yorks on 25th October where they screened an original 1979 print of Alien and had a Q&A afterwards with the editor and the costume designer of the film. Dallas King of Championship Celluloid also wrote about Alien which he saw at Dukes as part of his (500) Films of Empire series. Someone obsessively working through a list of films is always to be admired and encouraged and travelling 1188 miles for one film is impressive, if extreme.