Friday 31 July 2009


My life in films

I stole this idea I’m afraid because it rather appealed…I thought it came from either of two of my favourite reads, Sunset over Slavit or Bloggertropolis, but even though I’ve searched high and low I can’t find it again. But pay them both a visit anyway as both their blogs are well worth a good read. And please tell me if you come across the original poster to whom I apologise profusely.

There is a strange discrepancy here, which I hope you won’t notice. Although I proclaim my age as 37, and have done for a little while now, the list starts in 1961. I can’t really explain why. It's not quite a list of my favourite films (but close), as I had to make some sacrifices in the interest of relevancy, even if they’re awful…

1961 - Breakfast at Tiffany’s – fabulous film, if quite a distance away from its origins. When in New York, I offered to buy the boy’s mum anything she liked from Tiffany’s. I’m glad she turned down the offer as I’d never have been able to afford it anyway

1962 – Dr No- a hard choice, with strong competition from Lawrence of Arabia, but at the end of the day Bond, James Bond has kept me and the boy entertained for longest

1963 – Charade. With Audrey Hepburn and a meeting that takes place in Megeve, my favourite skiing resort, it couldn’t be any other

1964 – Mary Poppins – no childhood would be complete without a sprinkling of Disney magic

1965 – Sound of Music and I’m not ashamed I went to see the stage version a couple of years ago too. But I think I should really plump for Dr Who and The Daleks, as it’s the first film I remember being taken too by Grandma in Cyprus. I don’t remember my father being there

1966 – Alfie. My life as I imagine it would be given half a chance…but please edit out the ending

1967 – Barefoot in the Park – I’m a true romantic at heart and love this film. But I’ve had to ignore other firm favourites – The Jungle Book, The Graduate and To Sir, With Love

1968 – The Thomas Crown Affair. All style over substance, and sums me up pretty well (PR is in my blood). I liked the remake too; probably more. Well it was either that or Barbarella, which is every school boys perfect fantasy film. And was responsible for Duran Duran

1969 – The Italian Job. The original is as popular with me as its remake is with the boy. We both know the line “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off”. I’d like to have chosen They Shoot Horses Don’t They? But it’s a bit depressing

1970 – Catch 22. Well that’s life, eh?

1971 – The French Connection. Not because of the car chase, but because it’s the first time I remember watching a film thinking “I can’t remember his name”, looking up Gene Hackman, and then forgetting it 10 minutes later. I’ve lived in mortal fear since

1972 – What’s Up Doc. Dreadful film. I can’t believe I was taken to see this, when I’m sure I could have sneaked in to see The Godfather

1973 – Not a classic film year, and I'm really struggling to find any I really like or relate to. I've never Tangoed in Paris, nor have I said a Long Goodbye, so I'll plump for Papillon which goes to prove you can like the film even if you don't like the actor

1974 – The Odessa File. Frederick Forsyth was my equivalent of JK Rowling. I wish I read more now

1975 – Rollerball – I was taken to see the film with my brother by the local vicar. He was later sent down for kiddie fiddling. We had a lucky escape.

1976 – The Omen. My first 18 certificate film. I’m not sure how my fellow school chums and I got in

1977 – Equus – my life will remain incomplete until I see this. In recent years, there’s many a film I’ve missed at the cinema because of parental duties. Thank heavens for cheap DVDs

1978 – National Lampoons Animal House. It taught me never to waste my money going to see this type of film. Ever

1979 – The Tin Drum. To say this was an enjoyable film would be slightly perverse, but it opened my mind to the power of European cinema

1980 – Ordinary People. I walked out of this because it was so dull. Lesson for life – if you're in a situation that you shouldn’t be. Leave

1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana at his best. Wouldn’t we all like to be him

1982 – Blade Runner. “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.” We should all be able to say that at some time

1983 – The Right Stuff. I got stopped by a researcher in the street, asked if I wanted to see this and answer a few questions afterwards. I’ve been addicted to answering questionnaires ever since

1984 – The Company of Wolves. For years my favourite film, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched it

1985 – Brazil. I am Sam Lowry

1986 – 9 ½ Weeks. It was banned in Brighton…and you thought the city with Europe’s largest gay population was liberal-minded? The police also went through a phase of raiding pubs where anyone danced to the juke box – you need a dance licence you see

1987 – Wings of Desire. I secretly want to be an angel. But not yet for sure.

1988 – Biloxi Blues or Big Blue. I’m not sure, but clearly blue was the colour of the year. Neil Simon is a cracking writer, and I loved Brighton Beach Memoirs, even though it’s The Brighton Beach on the wrong side of the Atlantic. Luc Besson and Jean Reno…a great combination

1989 – Cinema Paradiso. The world would be a better place if we could all escape to the fantasy land of cinema every day

1990 – Comfort of Strangers. By far and a long way Ian McEwan is my favourite author. My first experience of him was reading Black Dogs cover to cover whilst waiting for a plan in Turkey. He’s become more subtle as he’s got older.

1991 – Frankie and Johnny – shows why you should see these things at the theatre. Unlikely cast.

1992 - Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino walks on water. 'Stuck in the middle with you' was never the same again. And I am Mr…..

1993 – True Romance – love conquers all. And a film that I manage to keep missing the beginning, the end or some of the middle until I got the DVD a couple of weeks ago

1994 – Four Weddings and a Funeral. In my youth I used to serve champagne at weddings just like these ones. I got married in a registry office. And I have to mention Pulp Fiction – what is in the case?

1995 – Desperado. I’m glad the boy plays the guitar, very well indeed. But I hope he doesn’t take up guns. Robert Rodriguez is a great director. Oh and by the way this is the year the boy made his presence felt

1996 – The English Patient. Amazing book, poor film. Last time the boy’s mum and I went out on a date was to see this.

1997 – Flubber. First film the boy ever saw at the cinema. He sat entranced through the whole thing. Not bad for a two year old

1998 – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – my first DVD purchase, and a good one too. Shot in and around Borough where we used to live – I love seeing films with familiar places in

1999 – The Sixth Sense – didn’t see it until it came out on DVD. I don’t like horror films as they scare me, so curiously I chose to watch this by myself at 2.00 am when I couldn’t sleep.

2000 – Malena. On my list of five, Monica Bellucci is numbers 1 through to 5. The critics must have watched a different to film to me as my interpretation is a million miles away from theirs

2001 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – The boy had been reading the books from a very young age, and we also bought (at exorbitant prices) Stephen Fry’s excellent talking books for car journeys. I can’t believe I missed chatting JK Rowling up when we were at Exeter University

2002 - The Quiet American. I never really liked Michael Caine until this film; Brendan Fraser was ace in George of The Jungle. A mesmerising film, and I’ve been desperate to go to Vietnam ever since. Fed my George Bush-inspired dislike of all things American, now thankfully cured. Scrat from Ice Age is probably my all time favourite film character. Which is worrying. City of God contained the most shocking scene I’ve seen.

2003 – Kill Bill. This breaks a self-imposed rule for the list, but it just had to be in here. So instead I choose Touching The Void. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve the impossible. But I’m not encouraging the boy to go climbing

2004 – The Motorcycles Diaries. I ride a bike (now). After the financial and political shananigans, may be it’s time for a revolution. And just how fascinating is South America. Wanderlust.

2005 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Don’t panic!

2006 – Fearless. Crouching Tiger, hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, Hero, Curse of the Golden Flower. Never has the cinema had such beautiful cinematography

2007 – Sweeney Todd. I think. Mainly because the brother of French Woman in our office was going out with Vanessa Paradis’ sister. Vanessa Paradis being married to Johnny Depp. Proving the law about six degrees of separation. On the other hand 300 was beautiful, and in the same vein as Sin City a couple of years earlier

2008 – Hancock. We watched this on the flight back from Cyprus. A year before Grandma in Cyprus had stopped being Grandma not in Cyprus, and I suspect that it’s the best decision she (and Step Grandad in Cyprus) ever made

2009 – Worryingly I’ve not made it to the cinema this year. The boy goes with friends, and I don’t feel able to go to see Ice Age 3 by myself. I have a gig buddy, I need a film buddy.


  1. I keep meaning to do this one. Maybe next week

  2. I have a gazillion pithy comments on this so I'll save them for an email.

    I would be very happy to go and see a film with you after the pizza if you'd like, I can be a multi tasking buddy, I'm good like that.

  3. Interesting list. You must share my fondness for Audrey Hepburn. Your son and I have something in common too, because I was enchanted by 'The Absentminded Professor', which was the original 'Flubber'.

  4. Fascinating list, makes me wonder what I'd pick for my own. And Ice Age 3 isn't that good.

  5. Wish you were here to take my boys to Ice Age 3!

    Agree with most of your list, especially Malena, except I loved the English Patient (but then I do have a crush on Ralph Fiennes) and have been heard to snigger at Animal House, which was very much in retro-vogue when I was a student. Also thought City of God fantastic.

  6. My favourite film is the Goodbye Girl starring Richard Dreyfuss. Very funny. I like Sixth Sense too- very clever.
    Not much of a movie fan really though

  7. I won't tell you how many of these I haven't seen, but no Withnail?

  8. I heartily agree with The Sound Of Music, a perfect film in every way. BTW, you can go to 'sing along sound of music' brilliant fun. You get a little goody bag, the film has subtitles and the whole audience sings along. Fabulous! let me know if you want details, I won't tell anyone....

  9. that was great - I'm glad to see Raiders of the Lost Ark and Blade Runner on there - two of my faves. I didn't see any of the Star Wars films though...hummm. I'd forgotten about Cinema Paradiso that was a great movie too. This would be way too hard for me to do as I have so many movies that I love

  10. I could leave a lot of comments about the films. Interesting list...what caught my eye was the reference to Exeter Uni. I got an offer of 2 "E"s to get in to the Spanish was my insurance policy if all else failed.

    I might have been in the same year as JKR (or a bit older...dare I say that?)....

  11. was a bigger task than I realised...

    AG - thank you for the offer women are good at multi tasking

    Brother Tobias. Excellent, glad it struck a chord

    madame - ah good, I will save my pennies for Basterds

    NVG - perhaps I c an borrow them?

    Jo - I love Richard Dreyfus too. Especially in Tin Men

    Tim _ I think I'm the only person in the world that doesn't like Withnail. There must be something wrong with me

    MH - I would love to Singalong!

    Tony - I quite like Star Wars, but managed to miss them completely when they first came round and have been trying to catch up ever since. I had to leave out loads of favs which was quite painful...

    Hadriana - it's a funny thing...all those 'nearly's . Life could be quite different

  12. Blimey! this must have taken you ages. I remember we read Equus at school and watched the film - quite disturbing - the girls in our class didnt know where to look.
    Favourite films - Goodfellas- could watch this again and again. Also like The Matrix, Back to the future, Fearless, The Green Mile,Seven,and The Bourne films.
    Not exactly intellectual viewing!!

  13. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that
    I've truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I'll be subscribing to
    your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    my web blog - Online Graduate Certificate

  14. Nice weblog right here! Additionally your web
    site so much up fast! What web host are you
    the usage of? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink on your
    host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Have a look at my blog post: smoke deter


There's only one thing worse than being commented on...not commented on