Sunday 4 February 2024

Movie Fun – five movies I’ve enjoyed


I’m not saying these are my favourite five movies.  I actually don’t like trying to name favourites.  If I wrote this blog post tomorrow I’d probably say something completely different.

On the whole, I enjoy films.  They are a form of story that you can digest quite quickly but also that you can focus on for an hour or two and that is relaxing.

I very much enjoyed The Book Thief .  I loved the book. Unusually I also found the film very good. Films can often be a disappointment. Not so with this one. I’ve also seen this on stage as a musical and unbelievably, perhaps, that was also very good.  You can read my review of it here.     

Back in the 1980s if there was nothing to watch on TV my husband and I would always go back to a couple movies we’d recorded on a Betamax video recorder. One was Oh God starring John Denver as a supermarket manager, Jerry Landers, who gets invited to meet God Himself. God is played by George Burns. There are lots of funny moments. God admits that he didn’t get the pip right in the avocado. Lander is invited to the thirteenth floor in a building that only has twelve floors. If God exists I rather hope He is like the one George Burns portrays. In fact, I think I’ve always thought of Him as being that way.

The other film we often turned to was Tootsie. Dustin Hoffman plays the lead in this. Michael Dorsey is having difficulty getting acting works, so he disguises himself as a woman to pursue one particular role. He gets the part! He soon learns that living as a woman isn’t easy.  This film offers an interesting study of a man finding out what it is like being a woman.  Complications occur as his girlfriend’s father falls in love with the character he has created. And he is offered a further contract. Naturally, we all know Hoffman is a brilliant actor. He does well here. And this is a very thought-provoking story line.

I thoroughly enjoyed Everybody’s Talking About Jaimie . Oddly it’s a musical and I’m not so keen on musicals and thought that The Book Thief at the Octagon was the exception. However, the music in this seems to fit so naturally. I became interested in this story – it is based on a true story – when I saw a documentary about it. Jaimie is trans and wants to go to the school prom in a dress. His mum totally accepts him and loves him the way he is.  His dad totally rejects him. He does get to go to the ball – dressed the way she wants.

Part of my enjoyment came from seeing it on the big screen in a small cinema. We were still partly under lockdown rules. Nine of us watched it in a cinema room that hold thirty. This was at Home, Manchester.  There is a lovely atmosphere at this cultural centre. There’s something very relaxing about seeing a film in a cinema. As long as you and the others have remembered to switch off your phones, and as long as not too many people wander around or eat popcorn noisily, you can concentrate fully on the film, which is perhaps more difficult if you watch at home. The scenes between the musical acts are of a working class life familiar to me. It; defiantly a feel-good movie but offers us much to think about.

And then there is The Electric Grandmother . This was made in 1982 and is based on a story written in 1969. The electric grandmother is a little like Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee. Except of course that this grandmother is an android.  This is indeed a film for children. I stumbled across it when I was a teacher and used to have the TV on in the background in the school holidays when I was doing any sort of boring admin work. Way ahead of its time? It shows mainly the positive aspects of artificial intelligence.

I’d gladly watch any of these films again. They tell great stories. I’m very privileged to be able to count watching films and reading stories as work.             

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