24 January 2011

Memo | In the beginning, there was cinema.

I was motivated to start this blog after coming out of a screening of Black Swan. Films have a habit of getting me a little riled up - call it being inspired, passionate or just opinionated. Poor filmmaking doesn't just irk me, it genuinely upsets me. There is no reason for a badly written script, which is the bare bones of a movie. Don't get me wrong - cheesy action flicks have their place, but there is no excuse for laziness...Avatar. Ahem.

Ever since I was a young 'un, I have had a fascination with the world of cinema. As a child of the '80s, I had the natural appreciation for Back to the Future and The Goonies, but it was Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Steve McQueen that really got my pulse racing. There weren't many of my friends who showed much interest in watching silent Charlie Chaplin films back to back, and I soon found myself taking much more interest in the lives of the little people that lived in my television than those of my age group.

Since then, cinema has become a bit of an obsession. When the pleas to my parents to send me to stage school got nowhere, I turned my attentions to a different arena. If I wasn't going to make my living being in films, then I was going to be paid for watching them. When I had just turned thirteen, I wrote a letter to the film critic of a national newspaper to tell him how much I enjoyed his reviews and that one day, I wanted his job. What followed was a correspondence that would last several years, resulting in a meet-up in New York where he introduced me to the wonderful films that are Manhattan and Shadow of a Doubt.

I did everything I could to be surrounded by movies, including taking a job at my local Cineworld where I could indulge on all the free films I wanted. My collections of cinema stubs may have dwindled at this time, but I was cramming in every new release and loving every minute. It helped me to discern the good from the bad (much more of the latter). As well as spending time working in the projection booth, I loved to be on the box office helping to advise customers of what were the best films to see. After persuading one couple to forgo the experience of Cuba Gooding Jnr.'s dreadful Boat Trip in favour of a wild ride into the Moulin Rouge, I soon realised my tastes were not the same as the cinema's patrons. They even made a special journey to the box office after the movie to tell me how much they hated it. Not what you'd call a satisfied customer, but at least I'd helped bomb Boat Trip.

In the intervening years, I found my career to be in a different creative field; one which I love and wouldn't change for anything. However, I still can't stop writing about cinema.

This blog will be an arena for discussing the new releases, classic films, movie news, and interview people involved in the film industry amongst other features. I want to inspire debate and give readers a platform to express their own views. If you don't agree, I want you to put forward your own constructive argument. I might not agree, but I want to hear your reasons. As for the title, why Vintage Film? Like a fine wine, a good film should improve with age. Great cinema lasts forever.