Photography: Kaye Ford | Words: Zoe London
I sorta forgot about the cinema for a while, but i’ve rekindled my love affair with film.
I studied film at college, it’s where I let my imagination and mind run riot as a teen. I fully became besotted with the world of film, the cinema experience. I wanted to watch films all the time, to push my brain beyond comprehension of understanding of film and cinema, to learn how to make video myself. I’m no amazing film maker, but it’s such a result now to have my career based on film making and creation. Somewhere along the line though in the last few years, I totally lost that love of film. Whether it was hand in hand with being sat at Final Cut Pro all day, or whether it’s that I use television as escapism and didn’t want to immerse myself in those heavy, brain-ticking movies that stay with you anymore I don’t really know. All I know is I put off going to the cinema, and I didn’t watch any new movies. For 2018, I feel a change coming.
It’s not even that there’s been a lull in cinema, there really hasn’t. Some of the most incredible pieces of artwork have come out in that time, and i’ve missed them. I’ve missed TV series, i’ve missed all the award winning shows and documentaries. I don’t really know what happened to me? I wonder if there is such a thing as over exhaustion of the brain when it comes to the arts, the over absorption of content, when you spend your days making content yourself. My content isn’t really massively artistic – although I try to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible! – and it definitely isn’t brain taxing, but when you’re surrounded by video, making video, and watching your own video back, often the last thing you want to do on an evening is sit and watch a heavy movie. I find myself going back to old favourites, movies i’ve watched a thousand times over. Why? Well the only reason I can really think of is that my brain isn’t working, I don’t need to concentrate on watching it and I usually fall asleep easier to these movies.
I’ve been trying to change my work habits. Working from home is super strange, and probably mentally not too dissimilar from a job with a long commute – you finish the day late, and feeling brain exhausted. This has led to me just wanting to watch what I affectionately call ‘shit tv’ and not anything actually note worthy. I also have quite an addictive personality and I worry that starting a new box set, with the way our generation can watch box sets all in one go now and not have to wait for the next ep the next week, I worry i’d lose time I could be spending working. So i’m afraid to start watching them. Just recently i’ve finally started on Parks and Recreation, a show I definitely should have watched sooner. I’m also trying to take it slowly, and not feel the need to consume an entire series of it in one go. This might sound so normal but to me – who hasn’t watched a new box set in honestly about 6 years – this is a huge step. I’m mentally always thinking of new ideas to work on, new videos to make, new stuff to do – or I spend my evenings not watching shit tv learning new Final Cut techniques, and I know it’s contributing to my burn out.
When I first moved to London, i’d go to the Prince Charles Cinema quite a lot, just to see what they had on, and because I enjoyed the atmosphere. This cinema pictured is the absolutely delightful Screen on The Green in Islington, where George and I used to go before we moved out of Islington. It’s the most beautiful indie cinema with so much history – the Sex Pistols once played a showcase inside in the 70s, and caused mayhem. It’s lovely and homey, it feels inviting and they have comfy sofa seats for you to sit on. I’ve also been trying to get out of the house more to go to our local cinemas – Odeons and Cineworlds, because I think the quality of the cinema experience really can’t be beaten. Don’t get me wrong, we have a lovely telly and some cool surround sound stuff, but being at home there’s the temptation to get up for a minute, or to check your phone quickly. In the cinema you can’t do that, and for such a technology addicted person, I think I actually cherish the cinema these days not just for the film, but for the little blackhole it temporarily puts you in, forcing you to take eyeballs off phone screens and live in an alternate reality for a couple of hours.
I think I pinpointed the other day the exact moment I knew I needed to watch films again, and it was on a long haul flight. I took a lot of long haul flights last year as I was very lucky to travel, and well, on a flight there isn’t really much option other than to watch movies. You have your own little personal cinema, with no wifi and largely interrupted viewing. I got besotted and heartbroken by La La Land last year, and watched it on every flight I took to America. This definitely helped shift my mind into remembering how magical and how beautifully escapism inducing film is, and even though I watched many kids films on the planes – Moana and Sing being two of my favourites – mostly (okay come on who doesn’t like a kids film) I remembered how joyful it was to see new movies.
Here’s to a year of discovering film again. I don’t need to go extreme, go back to my film college ways and watch arthouse movies and French subtitled films – I loved that, but it’s not for every day. I just need to remember to not ignore those Oscar worthy films, to not fall into the shit tv trap of an evening and to remember to shut off once in a while. If you’re a bit technology addicted like me, or if any of this rings true, let me know in the comments. I think i’m probably a bit odd compared to most normal people, I think watching box sets and movies is more normal than I, but i’m ready to change my relationship with film and the cinema, and take it back to the old school.
Tell me the best film you’ve seen lately in the comments!