Saturday, February 15, 2014


I WROTE THIS IN SEPTEMBER and didn't post it because it's probably very boring also I had no idea that in America it was douchey to say 'film' instead of movie. I use them interchangeably in this post bcuz I didnt know that it was a thing. sorry if it makes you cringe.


Sixth form has been quite OK so far and I'm not drowning in work as of yet. Prospects are quite exciting and I'm generally content. I'm glad, on the whole, that summer is over. I've been watching films and reading more often and I had a weekend where I watched near on 10 movies recently. There is too much stuff I want to consume within this world and I've decided to start chipping away at learning all the THINGS. The list I began with included An Education, Submarine, Fight Club, Now is Good, The Bling Ring, The Breakfast Club, The Great Gatsby, This is England and Toast. I realized whilst watching some of these that I had been so immersed in obsessing over american culture/design that I had forgotten that England can be cool too in a slightly drearier, mundane way. I mean sure your weather is great and your diners are ravishing but stately homes (which I've suddenly become beguiled by) and some of the subcultures that manifested here, the music and the remnants of the past you occasionally notice can be cool. Maybe possibly sometimes????????????

Concurrently, I visited a woman to go and chat to her about all of her vintage (and extensively designer) clothes. My Grandad (who is a builder) was doing up her house, I think adding a loft room, and somehow it was brought up that I like fashion/the past, so she invited me over after school one day. She worked in fashion in London in the 70s after going to art college in Bournemouth (where I live) and had a job as a playboy bunny when it was sort of a new thing. She showed me her original costumes and old photos and stuff. She had cabinets of antiques and 60s lucite handbags all of which she had brought back from trips to America during her time as an air hostess, suitcases brimming with collections of compact mirrors and wardrobes full of original Pucci dresses. Although I was indeed fascinated by the clothes/various token objects, what she told me about her life was even more interesting which is where this film/culture stuff starts to intersect. She spoke of when she saw David Bowie at the local O2 academy (a tiny venue) when she was a teenager, dressed in lurex leggings, a lurex leotard, huge platform shoes and a face of Ziggy Stardust/glitter make up, and how her and her art college friends used to gallivant around wearing strange clothes, about living on the Kings Rd when Vivienne Westwood was just starting up and how she worked for a few various fashion houses. On my way out I saw a frame on a table, which contained a note (on a napkin if I remember correctly) addressed to her, wishing her a happy birthday, from Freddie Mercury(!!!). (My mind was boggled when I left and there's a lot more I've not written here). It felt intrusive to take photos, so I don't have any, but everything there was beautiful and made me even more emphatically obsessed with the history and culture of England and London. (I can't wait to hopefully live in London when I'm older).

Back to films: An Education and Ginger & Rosa (another film i watched a few months ago and was really influenced by) are set in 1960s London. They kind of resonated with me because the environments and the school halls and the streets and alleys and landscapes and the sorts of lighting (eg no sun) were familiar, albeit exceedingly more aesthetically pleasing in these films than in real life. This is England is another depiction of a story set in England that felt authentic to me, despite not being a skinhead myself donning Fred Perry polo shirts, Dr Martens and Levis with braces. I do recognize that I would naturally relate to these films anyway though; they're all coming of age plots and so the characters are often my age/the subject matter is pertinent; it's not just the cultural similarities that draw me to them.

Furthermore, I've never lived in or visited America so some facets of their language and school/societal systems and architecture I see in their films (EG them not calling them films) are alien (but fascinating) and Hollywood movies most likely have higher budgets than these largely indie movies do on the whole too so maybe that's why some often feel more fictitious (which isn't a bad thing either - my favourite film is Fight Club).

You may notice I'm justifying myself because I don't want this to come off as bashing American movies - it's meant to be more more of an appreciation of something I've seldom noticed before - apart from perhaps in Harry Potter - in my yearning for American thrift shops and suburbs. I'm trying to compensate for coming across as some sort of contrived patriot/nationalist, too.

Beyond all of this pretentious stuff I think anyone would find it hard to watch these films and not yearn for auburn hair (ginger & rosa) or find them visually pleasing. Most if not all humans would enjoy them.