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Film diary: 5/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 12
Films directed by women: 1 (up 0)
Strong recommendations: Grease, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Moonrise Kingdom, Apocalypse Now

Again, the fewest films in a month so far, but I think I may have forgotten about one? Which would make it a steady thirteen as our regular minimum. We’ve been playing a lot more Warhammer, which can prevent a film being watched, and also finished off Gravity Falls, which I do recommend.

I’ve noticed that my quarantine comfort go-to is the musical. When I’ve foregone a film entirely, it’s been for a recording of a stage musical, so it’s more common than represented here. Actually, I did rewatch Swing Time in the last few months, probably April, which I haven’t logged, and that’s a great film. Consider it mentioned.

Full list follows:

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Film diary: 4/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 13
Films directed by women: 1 (up 0)
Strong recommendations: Knives Out, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Moulin Rouge!, Dirty Dancing

The fewest films in a month so far, but still working out as a film every two or three days. However, the first five films were watched in four days, with a further double bill on the 17th, so it felt much more irregular than that. I’ll probably save my chat around the “films directed by women” stat until the year-end wrap-up, which is likely to be January 2021, and looking that far in the future is not how I live my life. I will say that you rarely come across them by accident, certainly not by watching Hollywood fare. I could stand to make much more of an effort in that regard. The last two months it’s been 1, and both of them are co-directions.

The main reason there are fewer films is because this month we were peer-pressured into watching Tiger King. I don’t necessarily co-sign the hype on that show. It’s a fascinating story, and there’s never a dead moment. However, it’s still an episode or two more than I could stand spending that much time with those terrible and sad people. It wasn’t really what I was looking for in quarantine. It was absurd, but I don’t think the show ever read as funny to me. We watched the eps one by one, but I think we’d have done better to binge them, as the Netflix gods decree, which would have possibly evened out the experience for me. As it is, adding that on top of/alongside our usual TV schedule knocked out watching films completely for about two weeks, and I usually prefer watching a full film meal to frittering away every evening on TV shows.

Full list follows:

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Film diary: 3/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 21
Films directed by women: 1 (down 5)
Strong recommendations: Raiders of the Lost Ark, A Scanner Darkly, Fantasia, Cabaret

“I don’t suppose I’ll watch as many next month.” Too right. Also, I’ve really let this log slide. Although, looking through the archives has reminded me how many great movies I’ve watched this year. (Putting things on Letterboxd works out about as well as Goodreads for me. There’s phases where tracking helps me watch or read more, and phases where the practice of doing so puts me off. Clearly we slipped into the latter.)

I’ve done a blog about film habits this week, which you will find here. It was going to be in this post, but it was getting long. March for me was about rewatching Indiana Jones for the first time in years, and the launch of Disney+ expanding my access to loads of 70s kids films I will never watch.

Full list follows:

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Ways to Choose Your Next Film

Watching films may seem like the standard choice of lockdown activity to many, but there are plenty of people that aren’t that interested. I obviously watch enough for it to be worth keeping a film diary. My parents, however, were on a film every week schedule back when DVD rental was a thing, but now they only really watch one a month, if that. And they’re sort of unusual in that they will only ever a film once, usually. Many people watch more films than my parents, but there’s a solid core of rewatching involved, which is great, but there’s a balance to be had.

Films are very much a group activity in the house. I’ve moved an old blu ray player into my bedroom, but it’s unusual that I’ll watch a film at home alone. It’s more fun to show something I like to the housemates, have them show something they like to me, or experience a new film together. And when we are rewatching a film we all like together, it takes on the tone of a celebration: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with a good amount wine springs to mind. However, it can be difficult to pick a film out of the thousands of options available. It is also very easy for someone (usually me) to dominate the choices. So, here are the ways we decide what to watch.

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Film diary: 2/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 30
Films directed by women: 6 (up 4)
Strong recommendations: Room 237, Clueless, Okja, Suspiria (1977), Parasite, The Lighthouse, Lady Bird, Blade Runner, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ocean Waves

Obviously, great month of film. I haven’t been reviewing them as I’ve been watching them this month, so it’s a much fuller diary than expected. I don’t expect I’ll watch as many next month.

Many of the new films have non-UK release dates, which I regret, but can’t be bothered to change. I’ve started tracking the number of films I’ve seen that have been directed by women to 1) keep me honest and 2) subtly pressure me into seeing more of them.

Quick note on inclusion: I put in short films if I remember to. I leave out behind-the-scenes docs unless I’m compelled otherwise. I’m making this up as I go along.

Full list follows:

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Film diary: 1/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 24
Films directed by women: 2
Strong recommendations: Little Women, Marriage Story, The Big Short, Midsommar

Full list follows:

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Little Women (2019, dir. Greta Gerwig)

Little Women is only a brilliant film if you want to cry all the way through it. It’s a very undignified experience. (I’ve been reading bits of the script, put online to help with Oscars nominations, and I’ve been tearing up reading that. Complete and utter shambles.) Awards are nonsense, but it deserves all the awards.

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Frozen, Princess films, and the Disney Canon

Frozen theatrical poster, (c) Disney

A rather lengthy post because all my friends love Frozen and I have mixed feelings. Spoilers, probably.

I’m a big fan of Disney films. I’ve seen a lot of them (though thanks to primarily those ’40s compilation films, not all) and tend to have sussed out what I like and what I don’t. There’s been a lot of development over the 75 or so years since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but there’s definitely a thread from which you can split the good stuff from the less so. And while I reckon Frozen is good – it’s hilarious and enjoyable, and hopefully a sign of a continued resurgence in the general quality Walt Disney Animation Studios films – I don’t think it stands up to the best, and even pales in comparison with its most immediate predecessors.

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2013 in Review

I occasionally run a little “Inspirations” section under a blogpost to share what stuff I’m interested in or enjoying, because sooner or later what goes in will show up in what comes out. Plus, any chance to send people towards good stuff is one that should be taken up. This is a massive version of that sort of thing. I go on a bit, because it’s my blog and I’m allowed to.

I include old stuff that I’ve discovered this year, since this is the Internet age and it doesn’t really matter when something is released. I don’t really watch TV, so that’s out. As for theatre, I’ve seen quite a few shows this year (more than one, which is a lot for me), mainly at the RSC. None of them have moved me enough to produce an actual list, but the RSC productions of A Mad World, My Masters, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Wendy & Peter Pan were particularly good.

Obviously, this isn’t a decree, it’s a conversation. Tell me I’m wrong, what I’ve missed, what I’d like, what I have to look forward to.

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New ventures

Tl;dr – making creative things in Leicester. Get involved.

Over three years of living in Leicester, I met a load of talented people, who just give away their time either through generosity or because they don’t quite realise how special they are. Also, I made friends with these people.

The other thing that happened is my confidence in writing, and my output, increased by a lot. (Also, directing is fun apparently.) (Also also, I like doing radio.) So, when I stopped pretending to a degree/graduated (ymmv) it seemed imperative to keep doing this sort of thing, because it’s what (all I’m) good at.

One project I did while in university has proved to be the catalyst for doing all of this. Basically, things got out of hand. William Breden came to me with an idea for a musical skit, taking the piss out of musicals and cheap dates with affection. This has snowballed into a full-length show at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival in February 2014. However, we needed to bill it under some sort of company name, rather than just vaguely go “here’s a show”. Also, through our collaboration, there proved to be a lot of common interest in doing a wide variety of stuff independent of any groups we’re associated with.

Enter Rebel Breed.