Category Archives: entertainment

My next ten.

Right, I’m making a pledge to get back on my BFI list and I will do one this half-term.  I can’t promise that once I get back in to the madness of the term I will be able to keep it up, but I’ll do my best.

Partie De Campagne (1936) – Jean Renoir

The Wild Bunch (1969) – Sam Peckinpah

A Brighter Summer Day (1991) – Edward Yang

Greed (1925) – Erich Von Stroheim

The Colour of Pomegranates (1968) – Sergie Parajanov

Casablanca (1942) – Michael Curtiz

Fanny and Alexander (1984) – Ingmar Bergman

The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) – Victor Erice

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – David Lean

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) – Orson Welles

I’m a bad person…

I can offer lots of excuses – I have had a really demanding job responsible for 17 people, I’ve bought my first house, moved in and helped with some decorating, my boyfriend has been made redundant…  However, basically I’m a terrible person and an awful blogger.

Anyway, Mark took me for a special Valentine’s Social Cinema screening at the Phoenix last night.  They were playing my favourite film of all time (if such a thing is possible), The Apartment, with a quiz, special food and a fun atmosphere.  After coming second in the quiz (free Phoenix tickets and a meal!), Mark reminded me that I hadn’t blogged for a while and as it is half-term and I only have a little bit of work to do, I’m going to get on it and start focusing on my love for film.Image

PS – The Phoenix is amazing, Leicester is very lucky to have it and I must make sure I use it more often.

New beginnings… but I’ve not forgotten

It's been a Richard heavy summer...

It’s been a Richard heavy summer…

I am writing this from my new office! I have never had my own desk as a teacher before, so it is very exciting. I’m not sure this is what they wanted me to be doing on my second day, but as everyone else has gone home and I have been here for over nine hours, I’m not going to worry about it.

I am now… (drumroll) … the head of English at John Cleveland College, a massive GCSE and A Level college. This is lovely and I was definitely ready to move on from my last school, but it means that I am no longer in charge of media and film and can’t persuade myself that watching all and any film is professional development. It’s all about boring old books now…

To prepare for this new challenge (and I’m pretty sure it is going to be a crazy challenge) I have had a pretty restful summer. My main reading has been Richard Burton books – both a biography and his diaries. This was all sparked by watching three programmes on the BBC about five weeks ago; the new dramatisation of the Burton/Taylor production of ‘Private Lives’ with Helena Bonham-Carter and Dominic West, a programme about Burton’s diaries and a two hour documentary about the making of ‘Cleopatra’. All of the programmes were great and I also really loved the books. I still don’t think I know anymore about his acting, or understand it, or especially like him, but it was amazing to learn about the crazy fame he had.

Anyway, this resting, holidaying and Burton reading has meant that I haven’t done any top 100 films this summer, but I am still hoping to work on them and have about five sitting by my telly to get on with. It just depends on the crazy workload that I encounter…

6. ‘Intolerance’ creative

Things I am intolerant to:

Kiwi fruits
Cat hair
Queue jumpers
People driving at 40mph in a 30 and 60 zone
Shop keepers calculating incorrectly
Lazy people trying to make you work harder
Ridiculously enormous fake breasts
Baby octopi (to eat)
Liver (also to eat)
Royal blue
D H Lawrence
Michael Gove
Torture porn horror
Sticky things
Orange tans
YouTube user comments
50 Cent
Keira Knightley

What a weekend!

I’m not very good on my own.  Never have been.  I finally lived alone at 28 for a year and learnt ways to enjoy it.  Most of them involved making my house obsessively neat and pretty, watching a lot of films, reading compulsively and having a drink or two.

I had the opportunity to re-live that time this weekend as M went away to London to see a gig.  I set myself up with an excellent film marathon on the Saturday afternoon and night, had a stash of film magazines to get through and watched one of my Top 100 films

.  film mags pic

3 dvds picture


I’m not going to gild the truth.  I didn’t get out of my pyjamas, I did employ the duvet, I did drink one too many Singapore Slings and I did review the films with my crocheted Hobbes.  I’m not ashamed, it was a great day.

Anyway – the films!  My Man Godfrey is amazing – I love William Powell and have added The Thin Man to my wishlist.  The two other films weren’t as amazing, but Jack Lemmon is in them so I don’t really care.

Excuses and another two reasons why my Dad is lovely…

I have not had much time to work on my top one hundred films for the last couple of weeks.  As well as having a stupid mini-OFSTED faculty review thing at work, I am also writing a novella this month (Oh, hark at her!).  The creative task certainly wasn’t my idea (come to thing of it, neither was the OFSTED thing), I hate writing, but my friend Stumo talked me in to it and, I have to say, I am enjoying it.  I will post progress on the deadline (7th December) and let you know how I got on.

Anyway, I have still been reading film related books and magazines.  This morning I finished ‘Rin Tin Tin’ by Susan Orlean.  My dad bought me this book about two years ago and I finally got round to reading it.  He kept mentioning it and I started to feel very guilty that it was still sat untouched on my shelf.  My dad is great at giving books as presents.  He doesn’t do it very often, but when he does it means that he has researched it and he knows that you will really like it.  He has given me lovely hardback books on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, rude Shakespeare and the history of underwear. All have been corkers and I should have remembered that and started on this one earlier.  Although I have to say that I wasn’t hugely excited by the topic, although I knew that Orlean was reputed to be a good writer.  Dad had given me another book about Cheetah, the monkey from the Tarzan films and it was funny, but I didn’t think I needed to read another book about film animals for a little while.  How wrong I was.

It really is that good.

This book is fantastic.  It manages to cover one hundred years of  American history in a light and touching way.  The entire entertainment industry is laid bare as we track this dog’s (and its heirs’) journey from battlefield puppy to film icon.  But it does something even more interesting; it talks about the process of celebrity, our quest for permanence and our desire to love and collect.  Very serious topics for a book about a dog!

Anyway, sorry Dad – I have now read it and loved it.  I’ll bring it back with me so you can read it too.

PS – the second reason is that he is actually making me a steadicam, which will be better than all the other steadicams put together because he is aces.