Monday, 7 April 2014

Films Beginning With F

Oh poor neglected blog that I haven't written anything on for weeks - I promise I'll make more of an effort starting today....and inspired by a twitter chum @dakegra here's a post about films I love that begin with the letter F.

In no order of preference they are:

Frankenweenie (Tim Burton 2012) a gloriously enchanting black and white stop motion tale of a young boy and his love for his dog which goes slightly awry and then comes good. It features the voice talents of Martin Landau doing his best not quite Bela Lugosi impression as he plays a science teacher who looks suspiciously like the very wonderful Vincent Price. It also features a cat whose owner believes tells the future through the shape of its pooh. I first saw it at the Vue in the Light - the first time I'd been to a multiplex in years. Thankfully it was v near the end of its run so there were only 3 others in the screening so there was none of the bad cinema etiquette I associate with multiplex audiences - namely chatting and texting. It made me laugh and it made me cry. I enjoyed it so much I made my husband come and see it again at the Hyde Park and then got it on dvd for xmas. I will be watching it again.

Friday The 13th (Sean Cunningham 1980) I first saw this on VHS with my Mum and Dad many many years ago. I saw lots of horror films with my folks at an unsuitable age and I think that's when my love of shonky horror was finally and irrevocably hardwired into my brain. I'd loved Scooby Doo ever since I could remember, Misty Comic and ghost stories and so my Dad encouraged my love of this wonderful escapist nonsense by bringing back from the video shop all manner of horrific-ness. It really made me jump at the time and as I didn't have the critiquing brain I have now - the less than top notch acting and slightly clunky script passed me by. I recently got a copy on dvd from Oxfam and rewatched it and it made me smile lots. So many horror tropes and cliches - all done with enthusiasm and relish. I haven't seen the remake though and I don't want to - am not really a fan of remakes. I am however quite fond of Friday the 13th Part 8 Jason Takes Manhatton as that is delightfully bad and makes me laugh like a drain.

Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes 2002) I saw this with my Mum and I loved it - sumptuous colour, well acted and a bewitching kind of homage to one of my favourite film makers Douglas Sirk whose work I adore. My Mum was the first person to take me to the pictures (way way way back when I was very little indeed - she took me to see The Jungle Book at the Savoy Cinema in Sale, I fell in love with the cinema and George Sanders then) but she doesn't like going to the pictures anymore and although I somehow persuaded her to see this with me I think this will be the last film I see at the pictures with her.

Flesh and The Fiends (John Gilling 1960) - a wonderfully horrific film not so much as in what you see but as in what is being done and all the more so as it based upon the true story of Dr Knox. Dr Knox was the surgeon and lecturer who Burke and Hare murdered victims for in Edinburgh in 1828 - he needed bodies to dissect and they needed money. A match made in hell. Knox is beautifully played in all his arrogant and clever glory by my all time hero Peter Cushing and Donald (Un)Pleasance makes a very creditable Hare. Melvyn Hayes makes a v sympathetic Daft Jamie whose murder and dissection was part of their undoing. Shot in black and white in two versions - the american version has more bare breasts but both have the same wandering accents and very obviously painted back drops. But it is a very good film and doesn't stray too far from the truth of the events back in a time when consent was not thought of for anatomical specimens.

Frankenstein - so many different versions of the story that I love (almost) above all others. Oh I wonder if Mary could conceive of all the wonderful adaptations and inspirations for her amazing incredible story. (and we'll gloss over the bad ones and pretend they didn't happen - yes Kevin Branagh I'm talking about you)  I especially love Frankenstein (James Whale 1931) where we are first introduced to the Monster played so beautifully by another of my horror heroes Boris Karloff. Frankenstein 1970 (Howard H Koch 1958) in which Karloff returns - not as the creature but as the mad scientist trying to create him. It's a wonderful romp of a film which I bought after going to the Frankenstein bar in Edinburgh and seeing a poster for it. I am also extremely fond of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and of course Mel Brooks beautiful and hysterically funny retelling of the story. Such is my love of the more sinned against than sinning creature I have even sat through Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter which was way too shonky - even for me. I haven't seen the latest big budget incarnation though as it would involve not only seeing it as a multiplex but also in 3d and I hate that - the glasses give me an instant headache plus the poster alone was enough to tell me I wouldn't like it but I will give it a go if it shows on tv.

Other fave films that begin with F are Freaks, Fright Night (the original not the remake as that looked utterly shite - yes there are films that are too shite even for me) Fargo - which was the first film me and my husband saw together as a just started going out together couple way way back. We saw it at the much missed ABC/Cannon on Vicar Lane and it was wonderful. So much so that we were frightened to watch it again in case it wasn't as good as we remembered it but we got it on dvd and thankfully it was just as good as we remembered it - phew!! There is nothing more disappointing than seeing something you loved and realising it's not as good as you thought it was.

So what films that begin with F are your favourites?

1 comment:

  1. Frantic by Polanski, with a great soundtrack by Morricone. Hitchcock's Frenzy is amazing. And From Russia With Love has one of the best Bond baddies, in Rosa Klebb.