Losing my film virginity

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Hai guys ♥

Had a nice day lounging around on my friends’ couch, curled up with their two cats watching films. It got me thinking of where my love for film began.

I hated films when I was a child.
It wasn’t something I could control.
Wasn’t something I could connect with.
Sitting still, in silence and for nearly two hours ?
My little mind wanted nothing less.

I loved video games and I loved cartoons.
Games were interactive.
Cartoons were short.
I could cope with that.
But a film? No way.

I did try.
Being a 90s kid, the obsession with Disney was constantly thrust into my face.
I was named Jasmine. I was doomed from then on.
When baby me came home, my brother who was five years older, rushed to his school to tell all of his friends and teachers that my name was Aladdin.
It wasn’t until I left the country not long after my eighth birthday that I finally ditched that nickname.
Due to my brother’s love for Disney, I tried to watch the films.
Five minutes in – the fidgets.
Ten minutes in – watching the clock wondering when the film would end.
Fifteen minutes in – taking unneeded bathroom breaks.
Twenty minutes in – game over.
I’d wander off.
Do something I actually enjoyed.
Then come back to force my way through the last five minutes, convincing myself that I had watched the whole thing.

This went on until I was thirteen years old.

The loss of a close friend who was obsessed with cinema spurred me to break my habit.

I sat down and watched his favourite film in tribute to him.
I didn’t fidget, I didn’t watch the clock, I didn’t leave.
I sat the whole way through Howl’s Moving Castle.
Then I wept.

But I also felt freed in a strange way.
That I could finally connect to these stories within film – be apart of an audience that I had previously rejected.

I felt left out – self-inflicted, I know. Woe is me!
But I felt like I missed out on yeaaaaars of films.
I got into a panic.
I knew nothing about films. I didn’t know what the new craze was. I knew the vague story of a few Disney films – that was the extent of my knowledge.
I felt like I needed to learn EVERYTHING.
So I started from the beginning.

I went to the internet. Google was my best friend.
I watched films by the Lumière Brothers, the Skladanowsky Brothers , Georges Méliès, Robert W. Paul, D.W Grifith and the likes.

I then moved onto Charlie Chaplin – who I still watch today. Gotta love slapstick ★
The flappers became another obsession – looking at you, Clara Bow ♥
Then German expressionist films – the nightmare fuel that was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Then Italian realism – the memory of the child getting slapped in Bicycle Thieves still being pretty raw.
Then American gangster and film noir which inspired the heavy contrast I strive for in my photography
Then British Horror – the cheesy kind like the ones from Hammer Horror.
Then anime which became my gate way to the old Japanese samurai films – Tetsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune being the heart throbs of my teen years ♥
I was then introduced to Andrei Tarkovsky by my boyfriend- which connected with my love of nature.
I eventually looped myself back around to the Disney films – finally watching the films all the way through and finding that I had missed the best parts.

I had watched all of these in the space of about five years. Attempting to cram in a century of cinema into my film virgin brain.
I then attended university.
I felt that I finally belonged in a cinema.
With other cinephiles such as myself.

“So what’s your favourite film, Jaz?”
“Oh well – it changes per month. Right now it’s Harakiri by Kobayashi ♥”
“Oh…”
“Yours?”
“Captain America”
“… what?”

The feeling of ‘belonging’ was zapped pretty quickly.
I had spent five years filling my head with as many films as a possible could from the past.
When I should have been filling it with today’s current blockbusters?
Right?
I don’t actually know.
A mid-ground would have been more beneficial.
Since I had missed out on years of film I just assumed that everyone watched films from every decade, from every language and country.
Seems like I was wrong.

Oh well! ★
My favourite films may be different from those of my peers but at least we can both teach each other something, right?
And those films made me love films and filmmaking ♥

I watched the first two films of the Hobbit today… I’m slowly catching up!
Though I’ve never watch The Lord of The Rings

Don’t judge me!

 

 

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