I used to be a cinephile

I miss cinema. Hopefully it'll have me back.

I loved watching movies. Any movie. Especially sitting in that darkened shared space taking it all in. But for the last decade that interest has wained. This year I want to re-kindle that love.

My earliest cinema visits

I have a vivid memory of my Mum taking me and a friend (Paul Tozer?) out of Primary School to go watch Disney's Robin Hood. We couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 at the time.

The second, again with my Mum, is watching The Gumball Rally. I'm not sure if this was a film she wanted to see, or something she thought I may like. I remember enjoying the car chases. Later viewings revealed it earned it's 'A' rating with certain typical 70's, "non-child friendly", scenes.

...and then there was Star Wars

It was pretty much in every newspaper and was the only thing we spoke about in the playground. The whole family went into the packed Odeon Southend to watch this phenomenon play out in front of us.

I was floored. I queued up, rain or shine, to see it 10 times in total that year.

I pasted movie ads from the local newspaper into a scrapbook. Most I didn't get to see in the cinema, but on rented video tapes. Reading magazines & books about film and the people who made them.

Sunday afternoons I got lost watching black & white films on BBC2. Ealing comedies and Hollywood classics.

My own money

Leaving school, straight into a job meant I had means to go to the cinema whenever I wanted. Weekends spent at the Odeon or ABC in Southend. The Classic in Westcliff. Also London was only a short train ride away, and that meant film festivals.

'Wings of Desire', 'Naked', 'Do The Right Thing', 'Breaking The Waves, and 'Trainspotting' were transformative on the big screen.

I started collecting VHS releases from Tartan Video, Criterion, etc.

On TV we had the curated seasons from Moviedrome (BBC2) and Film on Four & "Red Triangle" experiment (Channel 4). These introduced me to the work of Derek Jarman, Charles Laughton, and Peter Greenaway.

Age takes it's toll/Start fresh

In the last decade I've find myself less interested in what's been produced. I still go to the cinema, but less so. Infrequent late night Sunday showings. Yearly at the smaller art-house venues.

I've find myself out-of-step with current tastes. Zero interest in Harry Potter or The Hobbit. Even though I was/am a comics fan I could care less about CG slugfests of recent Marvel/DC films.

The last film I went to a cinema to see was 1917, and was blown away. Apart from re-watching some of my faves with Josh during the Pandemic that was it.

So it's time for a reset. I joined Letterboxd as a way to have a running watchlist. This way if I hear about something interesting I can add it and search it out, either in cinemas or online.

I miss cinema. Hopefully it'll have me back.