Sunday, 8 January 2012

How I fell in love with movies

I'm very lucky to have made movies. It's the thing I love most in the world.
I adore music, but the ability to be transported to other worlds and times and experience every conceivable emotion is unique to movies, and it's why I love them so much.

It started when my Dad took me to see just about every sci-fi or fantasy movie that came out in the late seventies and early eighties. We devoured every movie that came along. We saw some howlers, but I didn't care.

In those days when your local only had one screen, you had to wait a whole month, or more for the next one to come along. It was your only chance to see a film. This was before video arrived.

I happily queued outside the cinema on a Saturday afternoon. Scouring every inch of the photos and posters, they placed in display cases and in the foyer, for signs and clues about the movie I was about to see.
I can bring to mind the exact lobby stills of Superman The Movie that I must have stared at for ages before we were let into the screen.
When I left the cinema it was usually to return a few days later for another viewing and then to the shops to look at magazines or stickers from the movie.

Movies were magic. Events that were anticipated and then excitedly watched in enraptured awe.
Back in those days the only information you had about a movie was what was promoted in tv or in magazines and newspapers. It was carefully controlled so you weren't spoiled.
Hard to believe now, but nobody knew what E.T. Looked like without going to the cinema to see the film!

Then along came VHS and a whole new experience. Different, but just as intense. Video rental!
I bought video magazines to see what was coming out and rented everything I could get my hands on.
As soon as I could get to our local video rental shop (Channel 5) I would go to the new releases and see if there were any cards in the videos (cards meant the films could be rented. No cards meant they were out on rental).

I spent many hours in the video shop reading every video case. My eyes drifting to the 18 certificate movies with saucy covers.

I rented so many movies. Jumping off of one film with a specific actor and then renting all his movies, and then directors and so on...

This was the time I fell in love with horror. Especially Italian horror. I used to sit up at midnight when my folks went to bed and scare myself stupid in the dark with headphones on. I used to be a pretty intense and jumpy teen with good reason.

It feels good to remember what a tactile experience and exciting time it was back then.
Now movies can be accessed at the touch of a button, and that's very cool, but something about the anticipation, having to wait for movies, the disappointment of a cinema movie being sold out or a video being out on rental, all added to my excitement.

Back then information was sparse. I never knew if a film was good until I watched it, which meant I watched a lot of movies I probably wouldn't now.

Yes, it seems inconvenient now, but that journey back home with that rental case was excruciatingly long, and yet brilliant fun. I studied that cassette label. The certificate and running time all tantalising me.

Each time I queued at the cinema, and was turned away by a "full house" sign, it was heartbreaking and yet it made me even more excited. I would wish whole days away as I anticipated the next visit to the cinema.

Movies,and the experience of watching movies, is still a thrill and I guess I had no choice to try and have a go at making them. Perhaps to try and catch a piece of that magic for myself.

1 comment:

Sally M0nster said...

That's such a lovely blog :)

I used to love renting videos too...