#ThisIsYourFilm

#ThisIsYourFilm is a recent hashtag list on Twitter. These popup within the film community from time to time and then spread throughout the Twittersphere.

The idea is that you pick your favourite film from the years you have been alive and put them in a list.

This is my list, excluding 2017 as we are only in March.

  • 1976 – Rocky
  • 1977 – Star Wars
  • 1978 – Superman
  • 1979 – Alien
  • 1980 – The Blues Brothers
  • 1981 – Escape to Victory
  • 1982 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • 1983 – Return of the Jedi
  • 1984 – Beverly Hills Cop
  • 1985 – Back to the Future
  • 1986 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • 1987 – Good Morning, Vietnam
  • 1988 – Die Hard
  • 1989 – Field of Dreams
  • 1990 – Home Alone
  • 1991 – Point Break
  • 1992 – Chaplin
  • 1993 – Dazed and Confused
  • 1994 – Pulp Fiction
  • 1995 – Toy Story
  • 1996 – That Thing You Do!
  • 1997 – Grosse Pointe Blank
  • 1998 – You’ve Got Mail
  • 1999 – Toy Story 2
  • 2000 – Almost Famous
  • 2001 – Amelie
  • 2002 – 8 Mile
  • 2003 – Kill Bill: Vol. 1
  • 2004 – Shaun of the Dead
  • 2005 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  • 2006 – Rocky Balboa
  • 2007 – Hot Fuzz
  • 2008 – Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  • 2009 – Inglorious Bastards
  • 2010 – Toy Story 3
  • 2011 – Midnight in Paris
  • 2012 – Django Unchained
  • 2013 – Blue Ruin
  • 2014 – John Wick
  • 2015 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • 2016 – Deadpool

The release years have come from Letterboxd.com which are likely to be the year the films were released in the USA. In more modern times release dates are much closer than they used to be.

For example Rocky was released in the USA during December 1976 but it wasn’t until April 1977 that the UK got to see it.

Anyway here are some stats:

  • There are 36 different directors but only 2 of them are women.
    Kathyrn Bigelow for Point Break and Nora Ephron for You’ve Got Mail
  • Three directors have more than one film in the list.
    John Lasseter for Toy Story and Toy Story 2
    Edgar Wright for Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz
    Quentin Tarantino for Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained
  • 12 films have won an Academy Award of some description

Lots of films have missed out and some years were close but my decision making process was something along the lines of ‘if I could only watch one of these films again for all time, which would I choose’.

The Social Media

As I’m updating this blog a bit more frequently than before, and I’m getting a couple of more views and follows than in a long time, I thought I would spread the word about my Social Media presence.

These are in no particular order:

Instagram – I post pictures about my running, what I’m reading, the films I’m watching and other stuff!

Strava – I use Strava to log my runs, I also use…

Smashrun – Does the same job as Strava but puts the data into nice graphs and such like.

Last.FM – I’ve been Scrobbling, as it used to be called, the music I listen to since 2003. I primarily listen to digital music via Spotify these days. Back when it started I was an iTunes user.

Snapchat – Not a link but if you are a SC user as the Kids call it, find me by searching for – gary_bartram – I use it but don’t expect anything Earth shattering on my story etc

Twitter – I used to be a prolific Twitterer when I was annoying various people within the online film community but I stopped all that when I met Sarah. I occasionally go on a rant but it’s rare these days! Stop by and say hi!

Letterboxd – This is where I log my film watching and see what the remaining members of the film community I like are watching.

So that’s me on Social Media!

Horror Challenge – How did it end?

So the last time I posted properly was during a challenge I undertook during October. The challenge I set myself was to watch horror films, a genre I’m not normally keen on. I put together a list of films from the last 31 years ending with the remake of The Evil Dead.

The original list is here. I managed to watch 24 of the 31, along side the list I thought about other films I wanted to see and those filed out the other 11 films I watched. For example I had Scream in the list, so rewatched #2 & #3 before seeing #4.

At the end of the challenge I had watched a total of 35 horror films. You can find them all on this list over on Letterboxd. The list is arranged in the ranked order that I enjoyed them from most to least.

For posterity here is the Top Ten.

1. Scream – 1996 – Wes Craven
2. The Blair Witch Project – 1999 – Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez
3. The Evil Dead – 1981 – Sam Raimi
4. Re-Animator – 1985 – Stuart Gordon
5. Theatre of Blood – 1973 – Douglas Hickox
6. Dawn of the Dead – 2004 – Zack Snyder
7. Scream 4 – 2011 – Wes Craven
8. Carrie – 1976 – Brian De Palma
9. Evil Dead – 2013 – Fede Alvarez
10. The Fly – 1958 – Kurt Neumann

I actually enjoyed watching most of the films but I can’t say I was particularly scared at any point during any of the films, of course there are bits in many that make you jump, but that’s just horror film-making.

Horror won’t always be a go to film genre for me but at least I know now, that I don’t have to avoid it altogether!

Horror Challenge Week Two

This week I saw nine horror films and despite my aversion to the genre, I still haven’t been that scared. Perhaps I’m watching the wrong kind of horror?

The one film this week that made me jump and cower, was Arachnophobia. I’ve seen it before but that was around its release in 1990, it had that affect on me, as I don’t like spiders and there are lots in this film, they run and most importantly, they jump towards people and the camera/screen. So that was a fun but jumpy experience.

Here’s a look at the films I’ve watched so far and how I’ve ranked them on Letterboxd.

Week2 a Week2 b

The individual rankings are (new films in bold):

5 Stars

4 Stars
The Evil Dead (1981)
Scream

Re-Animator
The Fly (1958)

3 Stars
Arachnophobia
John Dies at the End
Candyman
Leprechaun
The Fly (1986)
Hellraiser
Children of the Corn
Christine

2 Stars
Species
The People under the Stairs

Pet Sematary
Frankenstein (1994)

1 Star

Films coming up this week include: I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, The Blair Witch Project, American Psycho, The Others, Ghosts of Mars, House of 1000 Corpses & Dawn of the Dead (2004).

Horror Challenge Week One

In week one of my challenge, I saw seven films but skipped one of those from my original list. That film is ‘Child’s Play’, a sixth film featuring the Chucky character is due on DVD towards the end of this month, so I shall watch them all together when it is released.

The films I saw in order were: Christine (1983), Children of the Corn (1984), The Fly (1958), Re-Animator (1985), The Fly (1986), Hellraiser (1987) & Pet Sematary (1989).

I am ranking them in order of entertainment that I get from them, here is a screenshot from Letterboxd.Week1

The only film I had seen before was The Fly (1986) but that was some time ago. I was really surprised that I enjoyed the 50s original more. The 86 film feels more real and is far more gory but I liked the acting and the subtleness of the earlier film.

As I put my list together, I didn’t notice the number of Stephen King adaptations I had included. However they haven’t fared well so far, currently taking up the bottom three places. I was disappointed with Pet Sematary, as it sounded quite interesting but the lead character was just rather stupid, didn’t listen to advice, was carless with his children, acted foolishly and selfishly, all of which put me off.

The biggest surprise so far was Re-Animator, a film I had heard of but had dismissed as a gore-fest and nothing else, and whilst there is a lot of gore towards the end, in fact the last twenty minutes are bonkers, there is a really good and entertaining film in there. I fully expect it to be in the Top Ten come the end of the month but only time will tell.

The individual rankings are:

5 Stars

4 Stars
Re-Animator
The Fly (1958)

3 Stars
The Fly (1986)
Hellraiser
Children of the Corn
Christine

2 Stars
Pet Sematary

1 Star

A Month of Horror!

If you know me, you know I’m a film fan and that I will watch pretty much anything. The only exception are horror films. I’m really not keen on those.

I have watched some, just not the big classics of the last 40 years; Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th etc etc. The recent trend for ‘torture porn’ has also passed me by; Saw for example.

It being October and the run up to Halloween, it is common for film fans to watch a lot of horror this month. So I thought I would too. Even though I’ve listed four film franchises already, none of those are on my list to watch this month. Nightmare on Elm Street was but there are 7 films in the series and I would like to see them all, so I’m leaving that out for the moment.

What I’ve decided to do, is pick 31 films from the past 31 years, that way I can see I wider ranger of films.

  1. Christine (1983)
  2. Children of the Corn (1984)
  3. Re-Animator (1985)
  4. The Fly (1986)
  5. Hellraiser (1987)
  6. Child’s Play (1988)
  7. Pet Sematary (1989)
  8. Arachnophobia (1990)
  9. The People Under The Stairs (1991)
  10. Candyman (1992)
  11. Leprechaun (1993)
  12. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
  13. Species (1995)
  14. Scream (1996)
  15. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
  16. The Faculty (1998)
  17. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  18. American Psycho (2000)
  19. The Others (2001)
  20. Ghosts of Mars (2002)
  21. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
  22. Dawn of The Dead (2004)
  23. The Descent (2005)
  24. The Wicker Man (2006)
  25. The Mist (2007)
  26. The Strangers (2008)
  27. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
  28. Piranha (2010)
  29. Fright Night (2011)
  30. The Woman in Black (2012)
  31. Evil Dead (2013)

Along with the 31 films I’ve picked, I also have a ‘mental’ list of films I’d like to see, if I can fit them in.

  1. The Fly (1958)
  2. Child’s Play 2 (1990)
  3. Child’s Play 3 (1991)
  4. Bride of Chucky (1998)
  5. Seed of Chucky (2004)
  6. Curse of Chucky (2013)
  7. Scream 2 (1997)
  8. Scream 3 (2000)
  9. Scream 4 (2011)
  10. The Wicker Man (1973)
  11. Species 2 (1998)
  12. The Shining (1980)
  13. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
  14. The Evil Dead (1981)
  15. Evil Dead II (1987)
  16. Army of Darkness (1992)
  17. Piranha (1978)

As you’ve not doubt noticed the majority of those are sequels or the originals of films in the 31.

My intention is to watch a film a day, in the order they are listed, anything over that is a bonus. It being the 5th of October as I write this, I have already made a start.

I’m tracking what I’ve seen on Letterboxd, where I’m ranking all the horror films I see (the 31 + others) in order of entertainment I get from them (most to least). I you’d like to see my progress then the list is here.

Films Films Films!

Being unemployed has enabled me to gorge myself on my love for film. I’ve always liked watching films; my earliest memory is even of a film.

I was possibly 4, I’m not sure of the exact timeline but we lived in Germany and there were regular Family Sundays, where everyone would get together for some food and I suspect to play games, chit-chat and on this occasion there was a film playing in a green Army tent. I remember eating rice (I don’t know exactly what it was) and seeing the end of a film released the year before, staring Jon Voight called The Champ. I didn’t know the title at that time, it wasn’t until years later that I saw clips and was transported back to that tent via my memory.

Other film memories from that time include going to the local cinema with all the other Army brats to see films from the Children’s Film Foundation (CFF) like ‘Sammy’s Super T-Shirt’ and one that has stuck with me but I don’t recall the title, about a sea-mine which was floating around near a harbour. For those of an age who also remember the CFF, the British Film Institute (BFI) has started to release some of the films on DVD.

Since January 2004 I have been logging nearly all my viewing on a spread sheet, so I know exactly what I’ve watched and when. I like lists and it’s a doozy. Excluding last year as I left my job half way through, I’ve averaged 188 films per year. Last year as I had 6 months away from work I was able to get through 290. As of today I have already seen 150 this year; which is why I started this post with the word ‘gorge’.

That does seem a lot and it is! In January I joined a fairly new site called ‘Letterboxd’ which enables film fans to log what they’ve watched on a diary and there are various social aspects included too. This is a link to my profile page (Link) but when you compare it to this guy (Link) who has at the time of writing, watched 223 films this year, I’m a novice. His profile is very interesting as he has logged his viewing since 1966!! Other film fans take part in periodic ‘100 films in a month’ style challenges, so I’m nearly normal!

The milestone of 150 films means I’ve already watched more films by the middle of March, than I did in the whole of 2004. Here is a Top 20 (so far) of the films I saw for the first time this year:

All release dates are UK where known.

1. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino – 2013 Great performances, music choices and nods to all sorts of earlier Spaghetti Westerns, Blaxploitation & Slaveploitation films.

2. Wreck-It Ralph – Rich Moore – 2013The best and most fun animated film I’ve seen in a while.

3. Stuart: A Life Backwards – David Attwood – 2007Two performances that will knock your socks off from Benedict Cumberbatch & Tom Hardy.

4. Untouchable – Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano – 2012I laughed, I cried, I was uplifted – I was annoyed to find out an American remake is on the way.

5. Monsieur Lazhar – Philippe Falardeau – 2012A film about loss, change, persecution & moving on with life. A film that got me right in the feels and I don’t mind admitting that.

6. Life of Pi – Ang Lee – 2012I read the book after it won the Booker prize, the film is just as good. Worth watching for the CGI animals, especially the tiger.

7. Cloud Atlas – Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski – 2013A film that will make more sense if you’ve read the book, I haven’t but still found it an enthralling and magical cinematic experience.

8. Blue Valentine – Derek Cianfrance – 2011A film that chronicles the beginning of a relationship and the possible break up of a marriage. Don’t watch this if you are feeling sad!

9. The Way – Emilio Estevez – 2011A lovely film carried by Martin Sheen who is directed by his son Emilio Estevez. A father finishes a long walk through Spain begun by his son who has died, a really touching film. Quiet and understated but really good.

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky – 2012A John Hughes-esq film for ’10s generation. Watch Emma Watson break free from Hermione Grainger in front of your eyes. It’s rare that when I’m watching a film that I think ‘I can relate to that character’, in this film other than his dark secret (no spoilers) a few things Patrick says in this film, could have come straight from my mouth.

Other notable films are:

11. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – Stanley Kubrick – 1964

12. Warm Bodies – Jonathan Levine – 2013

13. The Usual Suspects – Bryan Singer – 1995

14. Lars and the Real Girl – Craig Gillespie – 2008

15. Looper – Rian Johnson – 2012

16. Call Northside 777 – Henry Hathaway – 1948

17. The Angry Silence – Guy Green – 1960

18. The Defiant Ones – Stanley Kramer – 1958

19. Shoot the Pianist – François Truffaut – 1960

20. The Grapes of Wrath – John Ford – 1940