This week isn’t even halfway through, and yet I’ve ended up in the cinema every night so far.
On Monday, I went to my beloved Genesis Cinema with the Slav to see the new Woody Allen movie, and last night I got a couple of free tickets to a preview of What We Did on our Holiday in Millbank, so went along with an old friend from back home.
My first degree, before I went down the computer science route, is in journalism. My journalism curriculum was a complete mixed bag of modules – including three economics modules (that is a year and a half studying economics. Not fun.), critical thinking, shorthand and a few film and literature modules.
While studying, the film modules were fun because we got to sit in darkened lecture halls watching things like Natural Born Killers and Blue Velvet… but at 18 years old, I didn’t pay much attention further than thinking “Brilliant, don’t have to take notes”. (I’m much more studious now, I promise!). To me, film was just a past time and not something I ever really thought about. The cinema was just a place you went when it was raining and there was nothing to do, or where a boy would take you on a first date if you were too young for the pub.
Funnily enough though, over the past couple of years, out of nowhere, I’ve developed an actual real love for film as an art form. I’ve always been a bookworm, and it’s not uncommon for me to go completely incommunicado with a book for hours at a time, but film was never really something I’d given much thought to. Then I discovered a couple of independent films, and loved them. Then started seeking out more. And more. And now, I’m hooked. I hate Hollywood, you can keep your Avengers and Guardians of the Easy Money from Punters type rubbish.
But independent films… there’s something about them. I think it’s the fact that when you watch an independent movie, you’re watching something that has a lot of love put into it. Whoever made it made it because they really wanted to tell the story, not because it follows a formula that’s guaranteed to sell tickets.
Part of this is one of the reasons that I grew to really love Woody Allen’s movies. He’s got a very dry, subtly sarcastic and dark sense of humour, and when you notice little humorous things its like he’s sharing an in-joke with you. Say what you like about his personal life, but the man makes good films.
On Monday, I dragged my boyfriend to see Magic in the Moonlight down in Whitechapel. Parts were typical Woody, and Colin Firth’s character was excellent, but disappointingly, there were quite a few very “Hollywood” parts. It’s quite sad to see this, because it seems more like its driven by the financiers than the director himself. On the whole, it was a really pleasant movie, but definitely felt a little lacking in comparison to some of his other’s.
Last night found me in a cinema in Millbank, in the ground floor of the Millbank tower. It was a bit bizarre, we walked into a cafe in a very bright lobby, asked if we were in the right place, then told “Through the white door. Then through the next white door”. I wasn’t sure if we were being directed to a cinema or it was a very subtle way to get rid of us through a fire exit.
Turns out it was some kind of private cinema, and the only seats left were right in the very front row, meaning we had to throw our heads back to be able to see the screen properly. The movie, What We Did On Our Holiday was completely bizarre. A lot of very dark humour, and an awful lot of “Oh I god I can’t believe I’m watching this”, but on the whole, a surprisingly nice movie.
My favourite part of the night though was the chatting over coffee afterwards, and walking back over Lambeth Bridge to get the bus back to Shoreditch. You get the prettiest view of the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye from there.
Even the Thames can look pretty in the dark.