Life, Love and the Movies

My Filmviews and Karamel Kinema asked fellow movie bloggers how cinema has influenced our lives and our “loves” in their latest blogathon. So, here’s my Life, Love and the Movies entry…

In the latest blogathon created by Nostra at My Filmviews, he has teamed up with Karamel Kinema to consider the question of “love” and the “movies”. 16 questions were posed; 8 on Life, 8 on Love… If you’d like to take part too, either put your own “Life, Love and the Movies” responses in the comments section below, or if you have your own site or blog, check out this page to find out how to join in.



1. What was the first movie you saw in the cinema and what do you remember about that visit?

An American Tail, Film, animatedDon Bluth’s An American Tail from 1986. I vaguely remember thinking: wow, that’s a big TV!

2. Are there any movies you have very strong memories of which are not because of the movie (for example something which happened at the time you were watching it)?

Jurassic Park, Film, Steven Spielberg, dinosaurs,Seeing Jurassic Park with family and exiting the cinema to the exasperated cries of my Grandma: “That was loud, and scary, and…loud!”

3. Which movies had a big impact on you and changed a (small) part of your view on life?

merrin_arrives_light-at-window_The-ExorcistThe Exorcist changed my views on sleeping with the light off! As did Richard Donner’s The Omen and John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London – that’s for sure. My Mum, who loved a good horror film, just couldn’t keep those VHS tapes hidden away from me for long. I got my hands on them in the end. Of course, The Exorcist was banned in England for years so I didn’t see that until I was sixteen. And yes, I still had to sleep with the light on after watching it!

4. Do you have any comfort movies which you return to because you are in a specific mood (for example if you are feeling down/nursing a heartbreak)?

Ghostbusters, Ivan Reitman, Top 10 Films, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis,I definitely have a selection of pick-me-up movies for those “feeling down” days and they always, always, always come from the 1980s. Anything to inspire a nostalgia trip. Films include Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, ET, The Burbs, After Hours – indeed, anything starring Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, John Candy, or Dan Aykroyd, and anything directed by Robert Zemeckis, Frank Oz, Joe Dante or John Landis.

5. If a movie would be made about your life, what type of movie would it be and who would you like to portray you?

Beginners, film, Mike Mills, Ewan McGregor, Melanie Laurent,Haha…very tough question!

It definitely wouldn’t be a romantic movie (just ask my wife!).

I’d like to think it would be a comedy-drama with a nice balance of tragedy and fortune with, hopefully, a happy ending!

6. Which existing movie best represents you?

After Hours, Film, Griffin DunneMinus the crime and the kidnapping, I’d say The King of Comedy or After Hours. Personally speaking, Scorsese really hit home with those two movies. Definitely my favorite films by the Taxi Driver director.

7. If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would be the last movie you would want to see?

Alien, Aliens, Sigourney Weaver, Ridley Scott, James Cameron, dominant female film role,Ouch! But give me Aliens anytime.

8. If you can spend your life working in the film industry, what would you be and why? (you know, director, producer, actor, cinematographer, costume designer, sound designer etc?)

Woody Allen, working, Director, Camera, black and white,This is an easy one: I’d love to write and direct my own movies. But wouldn’t everyone?


1. Did you ever have a first kiss with someone while at the cinema and if so which movie was playing?

cinema_couple_lovestinksAbsolutely not. Nookie in the cinema should be banned. I’m there for the movie! 🙂

2. What is your favorite movie relationship and why?

Del Griffith, John Candy, Planes Trains and Automobiles, 1980s Comedy Film Characters,I think romance in the movies is a tough nut to crack but a few films and directors have done it really well. Billy Wilder in The Apartment, Rob Reiner in When Harry Met Sally, and Woody Allen in Annie Hall (and many others). But my favorite movie “relationship” comes from a slightly different angle – all male, buddy comedy. I love Withnail and I, Stir Crazy and, more recently, Sideways. But the best, most touching, most amusing, and most infinitely lovable, is Steve Martin meeting and ultimately befriending John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

3. When did your love for movies start and how has it grown?

Jaws, Steven Spielberg, Daniel Stephens, Top 10 FilmsWell, I saw An American Tail (my first visit to the cinema as far as I remember) as a four-year-old, so I think my love of the movies grew from there. I know my cousin, who was a little older than me, loved movies and would always watch ones I hadn’t seen before when he stayed at my house during school holidays. This furthered my fascination with film as he opened my eyes to other genres – most notably horror – as opposed to family fare (Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz) and animation. That said, I saw Jaws at a very early age too and that became one of my most watched movies. It remains a huge favorite of course.

4. If you have to choose one film to watch with your loved one, what would it be and why?

Back To The Future, Film, Robert Zemeckis, Michael J Fox,It would have to be one that we both love. So horror is out. And since my wife’s favorite romance movies aren’t the same as mine, romance is out too. That leaves a few, notably from the 1980s. So I think I’d choose to watch either Back To The Future or The Breakfast Club.

5. If you can choose one character from a movie to be your significant other who would it be and why?

Weird Science, Kelly LeBrockHaha…another great question!

…and very tough.

But, again, I’m leaning towards nostalgia and first “loves” in cinema. How about Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science – you know she’d love you unconditionally plus she has magical powers too!

6. What was the first movie that made you fall in love with the cinema?

Jaws, ending, classic scenes, Top 10 Films, Roy Scheider, Steven Spielberg,I think, given the length of time it has been a favorite, I would have to say Jaws. Spielberg showed how cinema could take me through so many emotions utilising every single aspect of the medium from sound to editing to music, performance, special-effects and photography.

7. How did your passion for movies turn you into a movie blogger?

Top10Films_logo_2013I have two “loves” in my life (well, three if I include my wife!): movies and writing. Becoming a film critic was a natural progression for someone whose scripts weren’t being optioned in Hollywood.

8. What is your favorite date from a movie?

Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese,Taxi Driver. Socially inept Travis Bickle takes stunner Betsy to a film and it turns out to be a Swedish sex education movie.

I also like the amusing reveal in Notting Hill when Hugh Grant goes to the cinema with Julia Roberts wearing his prescription goggles because he can’t find his glasses.

Have a go at answering some or all of the questions in the comments below – I’d love to know your responses too…

Written by Daniel Stephens

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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    Caitlin Reply

    Great choices Dan!

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      Dan Reply

      Thanks Caitlin!

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    jjames36 Reply

    This is a great read. Well done!

    I agree on Ghostbusters, by the way. And Alien is a pretty grand selection, as well.

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      Dan Reply

      …I think, when you love a comedy such as Ghostbusters, they become so rewatchable…they never get old. That’s why they become those “rainy day” pick-me-up movies.

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    ruth Reply

    Fun answers Dan! Ahah I’m so with you about nookie at the cinema, I’m there for the film and wouldn’t even think twice about kicking my date if he ever tried to make out during a movie. Luckily my hubby felt the same way, hence I married him! 😀

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      Dan Reply

      Haha! Yeah, I think the question might get a different response when asked to a more general audience but we’re all lovers of the cinema here… I think anyone reverting their attention away from the screen to their date would lose his or her movie buff credentials pretty quickly! 😉

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    Rodney Reply

    Kinda figured your’d get a Jaws reference in Dan, LOL!!

    Kudos for picking Aliens as your Final Film. I shoulds gone with that one too….

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      Dan Reply

      …I have a set bank of films I roll out for these things: Jaws, Back To The Future, Aliens etc.! All long-time favourites! 😉

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        Rodney Reply

        Ha ha, maybe I should try the same. Armageddon, Moulin Rouge, Transformers!!!

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    sati Reply

    Oh I love that Notting Hill scene, such a cute movie!

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      Dan Reply

      …For me, it’s the “reveal” of the goggles that makes it so funny and endearing.

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    Jaina Reply

    Awesome choice for favourite movie relationship. Bromances in films, especially films from that era, just have a lovely feel to them.

    Also share vivid memories of going to see Jurassic Park. And with me I remember being far too pre-occupied with a group of kids who were there without their parents. It was a PG – where were the parents! I was such a bizarre child.

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      Dan Reply

      I can’t remember what film it was but I was inspired to write an article for the student magazine while at college about “unruliness in the cinema aisles”…or something like that. There’s certain things I can’t abide and talking/making noise or walking about during a film is one of them!

      …this coming from a guy who, when I was about 6 or 7, was nearly thrown out of a cinema for playing hide and seek during a film. It was my birthday and several of my friends were with me. My mum was supervising and I think struggling to cope with so many kids. I learned my lesson though…! 🙂

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    Ben Russell, [The Movie Man] Reply

    The Exorcist, The Omen, and An American Werewolf in London are all childhood favourites of mine. My mother was a horror movie addict, so I was raised on these films (particularly John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ [1982]). They still scare the living crap out of me to this day. It’s cool to see that they had such an impact on you 🙂

    John Candy and Steve Martin… that relationship was both hilarious and touching. I adore that choice on your list!

    Travis Bickle’s date was so painful to watch for me… interesting choice for your favourite ‘date’ within a movie! haha 🙂

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      Dan Reply

      …I think my tongue was in my cheek with that choice although it’s a “date” that definitely sticks in the memory! 🙂

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    Novroz Reply

    Love reading your answerd, Dan 🙂
    So many movies I like, Alien and Back to the future.

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