Film has always been a part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of sunny weekend afternoons sitting in front of the television with my Dad watching some black and white film from the 40s or a classic like The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
As a child my parents bought me Disney film after Disney film on VHS and I would watch my favourite scenes repeatedly, particularly Colonel Hathi’s March from The Jungle Book for some reason. As I got older my interest turned to a hobby. Every school holiday was spent trying to fit in as many films as I could, buying cheap DVDs in HMV, begging my Dad to let me buy a 3.99 recent release from Sky Box Office, or trying to persuade friends to come to the cinema instead of a day spent shopping.
When I discovered magazines like Total Film and Empire I was in my element, trying to tick off every film the magazines mentioned and then scouring the IMDB forums to read other people’s opinions. While I’ve always hated Winter with a passion, January and February meant awards season and awards seasons meant red carpets and soundtracks and costume design and making bets with my Dad to see how many award winners we could predict correctly while we rolled our eyes at my Mum not knowing who directed There Will Be Blood.
When university applications began, I applied to 5 universities: 3 for French and German and 2 for German and Film. I had half hoped that I would be rejected from some so that I didn’t have to make a decision but getting offers from all 5 places made me question what I wanted more. In the end I chose French and German, deeming it more ‘useful,’ and over time my interest dwindled.
Life got in the way, cinema ticket prices increased and I stopped buying the magazines and the DVDs. Over the past few years I could barely tell you who had won an award, let alone been nominated for one. Then last year I went to the cinema to see La La Land and it sparked something. I hadn’t been to the cinema for over a year and while I liked the film, I didn’t love it the way some people felt. But something about being in the cinema, the sounds, the darkness, the feeling that came over me afterwards of having to read about the film, read reviews, forum posts made me realise that film had been missing from my life for a while.
And so I made the effort again. I bought the magazines, I took advantage of Netflix and my passion for film was reignited. It might not seem like much but sitting here tonight waiting for the BAFTA red carpet to start, with my list of predictions for winners, makes me feel so nostalgic for teenage me and it feels so nice.