I’m starting with an apology. “Marcus Brigstocke, I’m sorry”.
It’s only fair. Radio Four listeners among you will have immediately noticed that I’ve borrowed the name of his most recent – and, in my opinion, best – comedy show.
But it’s true – that I’ve never seen Star Wars, I mean. Nor have I any intention of doing so, and I’m even less inclined now that we’re being bombarded with 3-D versions. Why? I don’t do sci-fi. It’s just never really grabbed me and I can’t see my opinion changing now. In all my movie going years, I’ve only ever seen three: Blade Runner, Alien (it scared the proverbial out of me) and Star Man (probably more romance than sci-fi). They were all good, but they didn’t encourage me to see more of the genre.
My feelings towards fantasy and horror are much the same. They just leave me cold. I saw Pan’s Labyrinth and loved it and I thought The Shining was pretty good too, but I’ve quite happily let the Lord of the Rings trilogy pass me by without a second thought. I did read The Hobbit and liked it – but I was 12 at the time! Maybe there’s a clue in that. Nor do I suffer withdrawl symptoms over not having seen any of the Harry Potter canon: I’ve not read any of the books either, and still manage to lead a normal life.
But there’s a world of difference between deliberately not seeing a film and simply missing it for no particular reason. And there are titles on that second list that I’m actively ashamed to say I’ve not seen – worse still, I don’t even have a good reason why not, which is even more embarrassing!
So far, I’ve counted ten and, in alphabetical order, they are: Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Doctor Strangelove, Kes, Lock Stock, Pulp Fiction, Raging Bull, Slumdog Millionaire, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, The Hurt Locker and Toy Story.
I genuinely have no idea how or why I didn’t come to see Pulp Fiction: I thoroughly enjoyed Reservoir Dogs, and it wasn’t as if I was unaware of the film when it came out, so that one is truly blush-making. As is The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. The most I’ve ever seen is a clip, shown when I went to Ronald Harwood’s lecture on screenwriting at the BFI – and I knew then that I’d missed something special. The reputation of Raging Bull’s graphic boxing scenes may have put me off – I’m not keen on boxing per se – but that’s no excuse to miss what is probably Scorcese’s best film.
So I’ve set myself a challenge for the summer months. The standard of films on release at that time of the year is usually pretty low – although this year may be an exception, courtesy of The Dark Knight Rises and others – and the TV isn’t much better. They both assume that we’ll all be outside in the sun. If it’s a typically British summer, I should have plenty of opportunity to watch those ten as DVDs. Admittedly, some of them could suffer from being viewed on the small screen but, short of buying a massive TV that would completely take over my cosy living room, it’s the best I can do. As I tick them off the list, I’ll post a review as usual on The Coops Review and record a podcast as well.
The order in which I approach them will be down to my DVD rental company, so it could be more than a little random, but if I keep my list tight, I should get to see them all.
I’ll keep you posted!