A week in film – week 43

Hooray! I actually have things to write about this week! Fresh* off my trip traversing the North of England for work, I’ve come back for a few days before travelling across the world to North America (a bit of a contrast). In between these trips, though, I’ve found a little bit of time to gesture beyond my watching funk, even if I haven’t fully escaped it yet.

The typical shows have still made an appearance though. I am a little behind on The Great British Bake Off: Masterclass this week, after missing Friday’s, but I am motivated to catch up as soon as possible. It’s so warm and fluffy and full of delicious-looking (still haven’t done any baking myself yet) snacks. Evenings are going to be getting darker earlier now, so I’ll really genuinely miss Bake Off and how comforting it is.

Adding to the familiar list, I’ve watched a couple more episodes of The West Wing – all in one go, because I am terrible at pacing myself – and just the one episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I’m taking that as progress, because I’ve been mainlining it over the past few weeks. I mean, sure, I may have just replaced it with The West Wing – and I’ve probably seen both shows as many times as each other – but it’s nice to know I’ve stopped before fully exhausting its charm.

I’m also wondering if, as I’m now on the third viewing, I should count The Martian as part of the usual list. Yeah, I’ve gone to the cinema to see a film clocking in at 141 minutes three times…and I’ve seen in in 3D twice. It sounds crazy, but I’m still surprised by how well the 3D worked for me (apparently the two-pairs-of-glasses scenario is more awkward with IMAX 3D lenses) and how riveted I continue to be by that film. Three times is probably enough in the cinema now, but still, it is completely wonderful and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should. Although in my experience the further away from a film’s release date the more badly behaved the audience, and the screening of The Martian I went to last Sunday kind of reinforced that. Seriously – why would you pay a whole bunch of money to see a 3D film if you were going to use your phone for the running time?

A better-behaved audience was out in force for Suffragette, though, which is the only new thing I’ve seen this week. Suffragette, if you don’t know, is a film which tells part of the story of the women who fought for the right to vote in the United Kingdom (a right which, in the film’s closing moments, you understand came to the country shockingly late – but it wasn’t the latest). Boasting a brilliant female cast – including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne-Marie Duff – a female writer, and a female director, it’s unsurprisingly a great film for women. Also unsurprisingly, it’s quite a gruelling experience, because a lot of people lost a lot fighting for a cause in which they believed (and it’s one of those things which always baffles me: like, OF COURSE we deserve the vote, and how can you doubt that). It’s a story that needs telling and I am enormously glad I saw it, but I feel a similar way about it that I feel about 12 Years A Slave: I don’t know if I could watch it again because while the first time is an education, the second time almost seems a bit voyeuristic. What I would say, though, is that it is a really well-made film and it’s sad and moving, and if you can go and see it, you should.

Ending on a more breezy note though – a small low-budget indie called, er, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out in December. There is a final trailer. You’ve almost certainly seen it, but if you haven’t take a look below. It gives me shivers and I’m not even sure I could count myself as a Star Wars fan. But hooray for it anyway!

*Not even remotely fresh. Ouch. Seriously. So tired.


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