I’ve been inspired by a Freshly Pressed post featured the other day, written by a film buff listing the top 10 films he hadn’t seen. The film buff in question is 15, and reading his post unleashed a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings and memories, because when I was 15, I was a film buff too.

I think it may have started as an attempt to get away from the stifling heat on my summer breaks. I lived in an un-airconditioned house backing onto scrubland and far away from the main town. It was hot, dry and dusty and there was a serious lack of things to do. From the ages of about 12 to 17, with the small allowance I received (then my modest weekly pay from my after-school job) I used to hop on a bus, ride half an hour into town, and head to the small, cheap, wonderfully cool indie cinema (which I’m proud to say is still operating and still has $1 small popcorn and $1.50 choc tops). The cinema is probably the best thing about the town I grew up in. I left the town when I was 18 and never looked back. I moved to the city and got a job, the movies got expensive and I had no more long summer breaks. My love of the movies has never really left me, but life got in the way and things were easier (and cheaper) to digest on DVD or in the format of TV.

Movies played a very significant part of my teenagehood, and childhood too. My childhood was filled with 80s coming of age movies – the John Hughes ouvre, Stand By Me. Terminator II was an early favourite. Part one was the cinema. Part two was the SBS Saturday Night Cult Film. My father and I would sit down and watch this religiously. We watched the Jackie Chan season (including ALL the Police Story series), German war films, seventies Greek sword-and-sandal epics. I remember one was a spaghetti western with Ringo Starr in it, of all people. It got awkward when they played both the Weatherwoman films. Our favourite was a terrible French vampire film involving a castle and an aquarium and in the end our human hero gets naked on a very cold beach with his vampire girlfriend. They both climb into a coffin and float out to sea. This was our bonding time, but now the Cult Film Saturdays no longer play, and my father and I live on opposite sides of the country.

I used to spend so many summer days in the cinema by myself. I can’t even remember most of the films I saw. But they were all wonderful in their own way. When I was 15, on Christmas Day, far away from home, I had what is now my cinematic epiphany. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. As I’ve previously mentioned, seeing this film literally changed my life, in various weird and wonderful ways.

I love martial arts films, especially those out of Hong Kong. You can’t go past Bruce Lee, and I remember a really fun screening of Jackie Chan’s Who Am I for Chinese New Year celebrations. I went through a phase of Jean Claude Van Damme, if only for its 80s cheesiness. When I was 17 I hung out a lot with a dear friend who would show me all these sometimes odd, sometimes wonderful films. Among them was my first and only Bollywood (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai – not that there was anything wrong with it, it was just so long!), Naked Weapon (hilarious and disturbing action movie) and my first screening of Battle Royale. I absolutely adored the first Kill Bill film but still haven’t seen the second!

Comedy is my other passion, bonus points if there’s music involved. When I was a child, I was obsessed with The Muppet Movie. When I was a teen I loved South Park, and still do. I saw the Monty Python films long before the TV series. I got into the View Askew series in my late teens but it didn’t carry over into my twenties. In my late teens I was finally able to cope with horror movies and explore my obsession with zombies.

I still try to keep up with films, but I rarely go to the cinema. Nothing in recent times has really caught my imagination, save a few things usually at indie cinemas (the last film I saw was The Trip, with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon). I’m looking forward to seeing Happy Feet 2, but that’s a little bit more of an obligation – my darling fiance worked on it! I find it hard to immerse myself into the movie experience these days, but I did get a flicker when I saw It Might Get Loud, a documentary about the electric guitar. One of the musicians featured is Jimmy Page, whom, well, I absolutely worship. They played a little vintage Zeppelin concert footage and I got so into it I had to fight the urge to scream along with the girls. But that’s more of my fangirl heart than anything else :D

So, I’m going to leave you with some lists, and take a leaf out of the young film buff’s book.

In no particular order, here are my 10 favourite films of all time:

1. Cannibal! The Musical
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I know, 3 films is cheating, sue me)
3. Monty Python’s Meaning of Life
4. Enter the Dragon
5. Withnail and I
6. The Breakfast Club
7. Terminator II
8. Dawn of the Dead (original)
9. Hot Fuzz
10. Return of the Jedi (yeah, that’s controversial!)

Here are probably the top 10 movies I’ve never seen (in no particular order):

1. The Godfather Trilogy
2. Anything by Orson Welles
3. Inception
4. Silence of the Lambs
5. Dr Strangelove
6. Blazing Saddles
7. Casablanca
8. Psycho
9. The Alien series
10. Anything by Hitchcock

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