Thursday, 7 July 2011

Friday Night Film


In the mid eighties, as I went from being interested in films to being REALLY interested in them, one of my great pleasures was the Friday Night Film. This was not a particular feature of any specific channel, it just seemed that, on a Friday night, at around midnight, telly ditched all the westerns and war films and transmitted an odd assortment of the off-beat: horror films, subtitled art films, twisted genre works and misfiring mainstream films starring, say, Richard Burton or Marlon Brando.

These films were never out and out bizarre; they weren’t avant garde or experimental or consciously weird and they were most often well made and from respected film makers - but they were definitely not like normal films – there was something askew and slightly broken about them.

The pleasure of the Friday Night Film was the random nature of the selection, and the fact that it would start just before or just after I got in from a night out. Sometimes I’d be drunk or tired or confused from some complicated romantic experience, and this would enhance the viewing, especially if I’d missed the start. I realised that watching films wasn’t just about entertainment, it was also about being educated, and confounded, and challenged – the Friday Night Film in all its variety was the trigger that took me from fan to fanatic.

Why am I telling you this? Well, to introduce a new feature called, yes: Friday Night Film. Some of the posts will be about films I actually saw at the time, and others will be ones that would ease right into that slot. Stick around, the first one is a cracker.

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