films to skive off school for

February 17, 2011 § 11 Comments

This weeks KateTakes5 list is the ‘5 films I love.’ I am finding it a bit hard to narrow myself down to 5, so I thought I’d go back to my ‘yoof’ and think about the films I used to love to watch, when feeling, er, really sick and lying on the sofa under my duvet instead of being at school. I should thank Steven Spielberg for was it not Elliot in ET that taught schoolchildren everywhere the trick of holding your thermometer under a lamp?

  1. Star Wars. (The original, pre-Binks.) A winning viewing combination for mother and daughter, satisfying both young-girl crushes (the androgynous Luke Skywalker) and mum crushes (Han Solo). I loved sci-fi and fantasy as a child, always daydreaming or with my nose in an Ursula La Guin, and this film encapsulated everything that my imagination craved…other worlds, drama, tragedy and heroism all wrapped up with incredible (for its time) special effects and dramatic heart-stopping music. Perfection.
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Every child wanted lickable wallpaper and a sweet that tasted of a 3 course meal. And who could fail to be moved by the story of Charlie and his granddad?  But it was a piece of music that swept me up most, a beautiful and melancholy song that plays when the elevator takes off at the end. If I can find it I will link to it. Even now though I fume because IN THE BOOK THEY DON’T DRINK THE LEMONADE! If you’re going to do Roald Dahl, please do it faithfully. Children everywhere noticed and weren’t happy about it.
  3. Superman (I and II but definitely not III.) Don’t even know where to start with this one. Endlessly quoteable “Miss Techmarker!” “Otisberg….” (Lex Luthor) “The Son of Jor-El will be my slave. Forever.” (General Zod.) And I used to think the pink honeymoon suite at Niagara Falls was the height of class and sophistication. 
  4. Blazing Saddles. My second film choice starring the wonderfully charismatic Gene Wilder. Favourite bits include the male tapdancing troup ‘Doing the French Mystique. Voila!’ and the brilliant German cabaret singer, oft impersonated in my household…’I’m so tired…tired of being admired…Tired of love uninspired…’ Every child loves Mel Brooks – even Robin Hood: Men in Tights, which was admittedly not his finest 90 minutes.
  5. Top Gun. This hasn’t dated well. Pure Reagan-era military muscle-flexing, accompanied by homo-erotic soundtrack – ‘Playing with the Boys’ anyone? I can’t believe I used to have the hots for Val Kilmer. But I still quote ‘Your ego’s writing out cheques your body can’t cash’ from time to time.

I feel I must quickly sign off by telling you about the worst film ever made. Isn’t even so bad it’s good, it’s so bad you are willing your brain to shut down. It’s called ‘The Juror’ and stars Demi Moore and a Baldwin. She is some kind of artist who makes tactile wooden boxes to represent her feelings. There is a court scene after which ‘Tony’ (the gangster) has a ‘get out of jail free’ party where he is seen to tip a model of the scales of justice whilst saying ‘eh! Eh!’ a lot . So full of caricatures it makes Eastenders seem realistic. Never ever watch this film.

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