Friday, 28 September 2012

Six Films...

To celebrate the release of the fabulous Off The Record 2: At The Movies (UK | US | Smashwords) and my own small part in that fabulousness, I thought I'd do a post about the films that have, as far as I can tell, had the most influence on my writing. Obviously movies have a less direct influence on someone's writing than books, but these are the ones I feel have had some effect, deep down.

The Empire Strikes Back

This was the first film I ever went to see at the cinema - my parents took me to a double-bill of this and the first Star Wars, but they got the times wrong so I saw them in the wrong order. So at a young age not only did I see the darker of the films first, but it was an even more disconcerting and ambiguous experience because I didn't know who the characters were or what was going on.. Much like my favourite fiction as an adult in fact.

This was the first film I can ever remember scaring the shit out of me; I was probably too young to be watching it. The sequels are all dreadful but I still love this.
Don't Look Now

I was definitely too young to watch this when I first did. The opening scene of the little girl drowning and the way the photograph seems to bleed stayed with me for years... (They fuck you up, your mum and dad etc.) I probably didn't see it again for another ten years but it always stuck with me, and I still think it's one of the best horror films of all time. And very rarely do I say this but - it's better than the book.

Alien / Aliens
Impossible to separate these two - a bunch of us were slightly obsessed with both films when we were 'inbetweeners'. I think, yet again, I saw them out of sequence - I'm pretty sure I had Aliens on a battered VHS copy before I saw Alien.

A film where the nature of character and reality is called into question? Somewhere in Nottingham, a young wannabe writer was taking notes.

Still one of the saddest bloody films I've ever seen. But more than that, the way small-p political themes were unobtrusively weaved into the narrative (if you want them, they're there, otherwise you can just ignore them) was something I remember consciously realising. I'm sure I must have seen films which did that before, but this was the one where I first noticed.

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