• Films I saw on the Cinema that really inspired me.

    This list will probably change, as I've most likely forgotten some of the titles. Even as I type this I'm remembering more. I decided to make the list up to the year 2001, thereafter there are so many films I watched at the cinema that were just terrible with a small exception.

    Star Wars (1977) - This film blew my 6 year old mind.

    Superman (1978) - Christopher Reeves was Superman.

    Star Trek the Movie (1979) - The original crew.

    Superman II (1980) - There are some awesome Donner moments.

    The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Just WOW and Double WOW.

    ET (1982) - I tried not to cry, but I did.

    The Secret of NIMH (1982) - Very grim subject matter.

    The Wrath of Khan (1982) - The original crew for another adventure.

    Superman III (1983) - Very entertaining, Richard Pryor is great!

    Return of the Jedi (1983) - I loved it, even the Ewoks.

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - A rollercoaster ride.

    Goonies (1985) - Just a great 80's movie.

    Back to the Future (1985) - So I got a skateboard that Christmas.

    Sleeping Beauty (1959) (Re-released 1986) - Stunning.

    Back to the Future II (1989) - Scary and it's the Future.

    Batman (1989) - This was so cool, Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson.

    Batman Returns (1992) - Iconic, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.

    Back to the Future III (1990) - A great end to the trilogy.

    Godfather III (1990) - I think I'm the only one who likes this.

    Goodfellas (1990) - The body in the trunk scene freaked me out.

    Wild at Heart (1990) - Fire, Lipstick, Cage as Elvis.

    JFK (1991) - Robert Richardson is my hero.

    Terminator II: Judgement Day (1991) - My friend saw it 9 times.

    Reservoir Dogs (1992) - A great low-budget movie.

    True Romance (1993) - It's dated a lot, but great at the time.

    Schindlers List (1993) - Too horrifying to watch again.

    Scarface (1983) (Special Screening,1994) - I love Stones script.

    Natural Born Killers (1994) - Just blew my film student mind in terms of its formulist approach.

    Leon (1994) - Gary Oldman's the best.

    Clerks (1994) - Another great indie flick, its really dated now.

    True Lies (1994) - No one directs action like Cameron.

    Pulp Fiction (1994) - Zed’s Dead Baby.

    Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) - There’s just something about Bruce Willis.

    Casino (1995) - Niki Santoro and his brothers death was brutal.

    Independence Day (1996) - At the time there was nothing like it.

    U-Turn (1997) - An Oliver Stone Movie - you gotta see it.

    Jackie Brown (1997) - Quentin’s best film.

    Lost Highway (1997) - More classic Lynch.

    Starship Troopers (1997) - I laughed out loud, it shocks you too, read the book.

    The Truman Show (1998) - Just watch it!

    Saving Private Ryan (1998) - Again I’ve only watched this once.

    Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - This one and Barry Lyndon are my favs of Kubrick.

    The Man on the Moon (1999) - I love Andy.

    The Blair Witch Project (1999) - I was genuinely scared.

    Fight Club (1999) - I staggered out of the cinema.

    Memento (2000) - Great debut (I know The Following came first)

    Mulholland Drive (2001) - The last great film Lynch made.

    Gangs of New York (2002) - Cinema goes down hill from here.

  • Where Have All The Books Gone?

    Where Have All The Books Gone?

    Back in 1993, I started my study at Central & St.Martins College of Art and Design at the Long Acre site, now a H&M store. The Long Acre site, located in the heart of Covent Garden, Central London, was run by Experimental Filmmaker and Artist David Parsons, alongside lecturers Mary-Pat Leece, John Smith, Tina Keene and Vera Neubauer. The undergraduate degree was Experimental Film & Video.

    This was the beginning of my formal exploration into Film and Video making. At the time there was a real distinction between Film and Video, that is to say, Video was a low resolution, Tape-Based format and Film was a superior high resolution format.

    Both formats were exciting in their own way, especially as there were so many choices in each of these mediums. For example in Video one could record on VHS, Super-VHS, Video 8, Hi8 and HighBand U-Matic. In film the same range of choices included: 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, Super-16mm, 35mm, 70mm. Each of these choices had a texture, a look, a set of hardware, it was akin to having many types of paint and brushes to choose from, but exclusive to Motion Picture imaging.

    And so at this point in time, there was so much to view, critique and discuss, across the range, breadth and depth of film and video making, a craft and art form, at the time in 1993, being just over 100 years since Edison demonstrated the Kinetoscope in 1891.

    So as a student studying in Central London, I was spoilt for choice with good book shops, from Foyle's to Books Etc, Blackwells to Forbidden Planet. The well of discussion, creativity and knowledge of Cinema and Expanded Cinema was everywhere to be found, each shop containing a well stocked section on Cinema and all its facets. I bought so many books back then, many of them given away over the years to students of mine. Today with the exception of one or two very large book shops like Waterstones in Bloomsbury or Blackwells in Tottenham Court Road or Oxford, you'll find very little on the art form of Cinema, Expanded Cinema, Independent Cinema or Experimental film and video. Todays film students are less curious, less interested in the legacy of moving image and this in reflected in the types of books currently published, from compendiums on Harry Potter, Bond, The Marvel Universe, The DC Universe and of course Star Wars. Long gone are the Projection Series or the fascinating books by Jack Sargent on Underground Cinema. Today there is a blandness in text, and lack of curiosity, beyond the latest RED camera. This is so clearly reflected in the output of Cinema and its variations, that have helped dilute what was once the most exciting discipline to explore. If everything hangs on the latest offering from Wes Anderson as a reference point to define a difference in mode, form and look, then we have lost something important.