Now A Film Club is able to succeed 140 characters through blog posts, we want to start featuring our members and their work in more in-depth ways. To kick things off, welcome to the first entry in our "Meet the Members" spotlight series! Through a bio and a few questions, we hope to give you a better insight into who our members are and why they love creating film content. So, without further ado...
My name’s Toby and I’m the cinephile behind thefilm.blog. Entering my final year of studying Art History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, I am a journalist in training with a passion for film. Whilst cinema is a part of my life cherished for as long as I can remember, writing about it did not unfold to me as a career aspiration until I was forced to confront myself in recovering from Anorexia Nervosa during an eight month inpatient stay in hospital last year. It was there that all became clear to me. I was never happier than when watching films and then talking about them. Escaping our world to enter another on even the darkest of days is a spoonful of sugar like no other.
If you could experience one scene for the first time again, which one would it be and why?
For me it would be the scene in Jurassic Park in which Alan (Sam Neill) and Ellie (Laura Dern) witness the Park’s dinosaurs for the very first time in all their masterfully realised glory. It is the perfect sequence. Spielberg’s restraint in holding back his trump card, John Williams’ sumptuous and uplifting score, the choreography of the reveal itself…it’s an explosion of extraordinary cinemagic. Watching the scene, audiences are returned to their childhood. For that moment, dinosaurs walk again.
How many times have you been to the cinema to see the same film? What film was it, and why the repeated viewing?
Oddly, I think it may have been Bill Condon’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast from this year. Odd, that is, because it’s a film I have many issues with – the consequence, perhaps, of having the 1991 original among my all time favourites. The reason for the repeats is less due to my having a great desire to repeatedly witness the tale as old as time than it is the sheer number of my friends and family who asked me to be their guest at a screening. When people know you’re a film fanatic who loves nothing more than a trip to the cinema, you become their first port of call when in need of company. The trouble is that I really am a film fanatic who loves nothing more than a trip to the cinema and said yes every time. All five of them…
You’re stuck in a room for 24 hours. You are allowed one film to watch, one soundtrack to listen to and one character to hang out with. What/who would you choose, and why?
Good question! That’s hard… I think my film would be Rear Window – my favourite Hitchcock and a film packed with detail to be discovered within the mise-en-scene. My soundtrack would be Amadeus – Mozart: beautiful, audacious, inspirational. As for my company, there are so many I’d love to spend time with that to cut down to one feels almost cruel in it’s denial of more! Here I’ll say Amélie – I’m trying to learn French and she’s just lovely!