As well as recently painted black wooden stairs and a highly pleasing new molten metal effect grey herringbone stair runner, my soon to be completed hallway design will also feature framed black and whites of my favourite films, some of which recently featured here.
That design project sparked another enterprise that I’m going to develop concurrently as a progressive blog post and screenplay. Over the next few months right here I will be reviewing those films and TV series that influenced me growing up, shaping my choices and contextualising then-current private and public events.
I’m really excited about this and think that it will be a unique way of looking at films and TV. As this project evolves in to a body of work, I think it will be fascinating to see whether there are any particular genres or talent that I gravitated towards through the years.
I am hoping to get my first review to you in the next couple of weeks as I will be on a retreat in Cornwall with little else to do except watch movies and write.
But for now, I will tease with some predictions:
1970s – Baby Daze: back to where it all began. Whilst some memories fade, The Red Hand Gang and Battle of the Planets burned bright like the Phoenix. Cherished Christmases in Ireland watching The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music after a seasonal feast pierce the misty recollections; as later towards the end of the decade, memories of quaking behind a cushion watching the likes of Alien, The Shining, Hallowe’en and Jaws still make me shudder deliciously.
1980s – Teenage Kicks: the Brat Pack generally and Rob Lowe particularly. Tom Cruise in a shirt and little else, Richard Gere making us Breathless in An Officer and a Gentleman, with Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment and Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey in Beaches making me cry truly ugly tears. At night, that cushion returned with more horror fare: a lusty Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys, Terminator, The Fog, The Thing and Christine. Meanwhile in TV: big hair, big shoulder pads and lots of Dynasty, Dallas, The Colbys and Knots Landing with a sprinkling of the UK comedic grit of The Young Ones indulging my rebellious side.
1990s – Adulting and Change: visceral gangster and police crime thrillers prevailed, from the discovery of Clint Eastwood and his Dirty Harry franchise to The Untouchables, The Usual Suspects, Once Upon a Time in America, Goodfellas and Internal Affairs. Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, True Romance and Pulp Fiction sliced through and packed a punch with a razor blade, shoot-outs and a Royale with cheese. On TV, an unlikely US power couple emerged and I got to thinking about Sex and the City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, rubbing shoulders with the wonderful Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect.
2000s – The Difficult Decade: coinciding with the popularity of mass-streaming services like YouTube and Netflix, serious talent followed the money from big to small screen and binge-watching was born: 24, The Wire, Spooks, The Good Wife, The Shield, Mad Men, Dexter, Six Feet Under, The West Wing – and Glee. Studios also started to ramp up and roll out franchises, so although we saw diverse one-offs like Walk the Line, Amelie, Brokeback and a Single Man – we also heard of the Marvel Universe, The Twilight Saga, The Star Wars Story, Kill Bill Volumes 1, 2 and (possibly now 3) and the altogether scarier Final Destination and Paranormal Activity Franchises.
2010s – Kidulting and Hygge: it’s my remote and I’ll watch it if I want to, watch it if I want to, watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Real Housewives franchise, Project Runway, Made in Chelsea and TOWIE, if I want to. Elevated series offerings such as The Good Fight, Doctor Foster, Luther and Sherlock cleanse the cerebral palate and continue to delight. Big budget superhero film franchises dominate, captialising on the new normal of IMAX, 3D, 4D and 4K technology. But in my new normal, it’s film and TV with retro appeal such as Gone Girl, The Departed, The Town, Girl on a Train, Truth or Dare, It Follows and the marvellous Stranger Things that currently turn my world Upside Down.