Friday, March 21, 2008


If your life is lacking in quality music conversation, you would be well-served to give a listen to the Free Movement to Music podcast. Produced about once a month or so by friends Gareth Moses and Matthew Griffiths, FMtM is a rocking good time where the best new and classic tunes are played and talked about. Stretching out well over an hour, there's a constant energy to the podcast and never a lack of interesting subjects. The pair seem to have the world by its ears, as they count the all-knowing DVD Savant as a fan. Moses also has plenty to say about movies, and you can find his words at the FMtM blog -- with subjects ranging from ponderences of Raiders of the Lost Ark as a perfect movie and The Eye of the Devil as very far from perfect movie.

EARLIEST MOVIE-WATCHING MEMORY: 'Weeping copiously as BAMBI’s mother is shot. My mother had taken the day off work due to a terrible cold and has taken me to the local flea-pit to get some rest. As my heart broke I looked to her for emotional salvation but she was fast asleep. Trauma and unhappiness followed…
'And then LIVE AND LET DIE!'

LAST DVD YOU BOUGHT: 'I have quite an appalling DVD habit. I love having thousands of movies I adore at my fingertips so I can bore my friends and family with examples of shots or sequences (Lined up on the wall arranged in different ways: Criterion, Hitchcock, Hammer etc…/). My most recent haul included This Sporting Life, Green For Danger, Blood From the Mummy's Tomb, Lifeboat and a pirate of Island of Lost Souls.'

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES RECENTLY WRAPPED UP A MONTH OF GUEST PROGRAMMING -- IF YOU WERE A GUEST PROGRAMMER, WHAT THREE MOVIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BEST REPRESENT YOUR TASTES OR A FAVORITE GENRE OR THEME: 'I’d attempt a thematic connection, perhaps to do with film itself and the various arts and crafts it utilizes. So we’d begin with Minnelli’s The Bad and the Beautiful as a perfect film about film and a great example of the highs and lows of the studio system; then for a dark satire about the actor’s art we’d see Theater of Blood with Vincent Price; and finally end with Leigh’s Topsy Turvy, better to understand that all this hard work and heart ache can be at the service of silly, insubstantial, superficial and wonderful entertainment.'

FAVORITE GROSS-OUT MOMENT: 'From the grubby 1970s, it has to be Shiela Keith stabbing her daughter’s boyfriend in the head with a pitchfork in Frightmare. A recent glory is the fabulously squirmy sewing the eye shut in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.'

WHAT MOVIE ARE YOU ASHAMED TO SAY YOU HAVEN'T SEEN -- AND WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE?: 'I’m not particularly ashamed but I‘ve tried twice to get through Le Regle De Jeu – a film often in the top ten of all time - and failed miserably both times.'

Four Rooms
Four Brothers
The 400 Blows-- 'Forgive me Truffaut, I still haven’t seen your coming-of-age classic. (There’s the shame from question 6!).'
Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter.

FAVORITE KIND OF MOVIE TO REVIEW: 'The best film to review or analyze for me is an undiscovered (at least unknown by me) gem of a B-movie; something that had small ambition and less money but still retains some strange power or fascination. I love the idea of the small band of filmmakers with few resources and barely a hope of getting the thing made. A Canadian horror called Rituals was a recent such discovery for me.

LAST TIME YOU WERE AT A DRIVE-IN, AND WHAT DID YOU SEE: 'Raised in London I have never experienced the splendor of the drive-in but I did used to take myself off to the Odeon cinema on Saturday mornings; they’d show cartoons, some obscure and usually cheap looking British flick followed by a beefed-up swaggering American import (Battle of the Bulge was my favorite). It would start at 9:30am and would finally wind up around 1pm.'

FILM ERA OR GENRE YOU'RE A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH: 'Many! I love the lurid excesses of British horror films in the seventies (Blood On Satan's Claw, Witchfinder General, House of Whipcord etc…/). I also adore the fantastic run of films by the Archers, which include such outstanding classics as I Know Where I'm Going and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.'

LAST TIME YOU VEHEMENTLY DISAGREED WITH SOMEONE OVER THE SUBJECT OF FILM: 'I haven’t argued much of the subject of film since university days but there’s much discussion over particular films in our household. Predictably the most recent free-for-all concerned the coda of There Will Be Blood and just exactly what that final showdown represents.'

FAVORITE BOOK ON THE SUBJECT OF FILM: 'I’m in the thick of Patrick McGilligan’s enthralling book on Hitchcock, A Life in Darkness and Light, so that’s going to join the list along with Jonathan Rigby’s English Gothic, Denis Gifford’s A Pictorial History of Horror Movies and the BBC Film Guide in which you’ll find the occasional review by me!'

DESCRIBE THE FREQUENCY OF YOUR FILM INTAKE: 'I’d say I watch between 6 and 8 movies a month in the theater and 3 or 4 movies at home a week. I’d watch more if I could but the usual excuses apply – work, family, sanity…'

THREE THINGS YOU'VE LEARNED FROM WATCHING MOVIES: 'One point perspective can be both beautiful and terrifying (The Shining); the true awesomeness of the unknown can be the most uplifting and rare emotional experience in the cinema (2001, Close Encounters); and there’s nothing better than a really good cry (Bambi, It's a Wonderful Life, Love Story, Elephant Man, E.T., The Iron Giant, Brokeback Mountain, The Royal Tenenbaums, Atonement etc…/).

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