GFT Blog: To Our Younger Selves


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To celebrate the launch of Glasgow Youth Film Festival's 10th programme (revealed tomorrow, Wednesday 15 August!), the Glasgow Film team got thinking about what films we would recommend to our younger selves. Have a read below, and let us know yours in the comments or by e-mailing marketing@glasgowfilm.org

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Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Watching Rubbish and Love Film

Hello?... Uh... Hello G- uh hello Young Gavin? Listen uh uh I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?... Oh-ho, that's much better... yeah... huh... yes... Fine, I can hear you now, Gavin… Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh?... Good, then... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine... Good... Well, it's good that you're fine and... and I'm fine... I agree with you, it's great to be fine... a-ha-ha-ha-ha... Now then, Gavin, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with watching bad movies…  *Movies*, Gavin… The *boring* movies!… Well now, what happened is... ahm... one of our programmers, he had a sort of... well, he went a little funny in the head... you know... just a little... funny. And, ah... he went and did a silly thing... Well, I'll tell you what he did. He ordered this cinema… to not let you watch Dr Strangelove… Ah... Well, let me finish, Gavin… Let me finish, Gavin… Well listen, how do you think I feel about it?... Can you *imagine* how I feel about it, Gavin?… Why do you think I'm calling you? Just to say hello?... *Of course* I like to speak to you!... *Of course* I like to say hello!... Not now, but anytime, Gavin. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened... It's a *friendly* call. Of course it's a friendly call... Listen, if it wasn't friendly... you probably wouldn't have even got it... They will *not* let you watch it for at least another five years… I am... I am positive, Gavin… Listen, I've been all over this with your older self. It is not a trick... Well, I'll tell you. We'd like to give your film taste a complete run-down on the directors, actors, and films of the coming years… Yes! I mean i-i-i-if we're unable to show you the film, then... I'd say that, ah... well, ah... we're just gonna have to help you imagine it, Gavin… All right, well listen now... Ah-ah-eh-uhm-hm... I'm sorry, too, Gavin… I'm very sorry... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well... I am as sorry as you are, Gavin! Don't say that you're more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are... So we're both sorry, all right?... All right.

Gavin Crosby
Design and Digital Coordinator

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I wish that I had seen Hans Christian Anderson (1952) as a child. I was in love with films like Oliver! and Annie as a child and would have been blown away by the magical story telling in this film and the childlike joy that Danny Kaye brought to the screen. The songs in it are all adorable and the wide eyed innocence of it is so specific to its era yet timeless for any aged audience. I can see a younger me happily cross legged in front of the TV singing along to this! 

Karlean Bourne
Front of House Manager

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The Magnificent Ambersons

I became a little obsessed with Orson Welles around the age of 20 after first seeing Citizen Kane on the big screen (at GFT, of course). I watched most of his other films and read Frank Brady’s excellent biography, Citizen Welles, but never had the urge to watch the director’s second feature. I was so put off by the stories of how RKO had “butchered” the original cut, removing more than 40 minutes and then tacking on a hideously happy ending, as well as Bernard Herrmann’s demands for his music credit to be removed. Welles summed matters up by saying that "They (RKO) destroyed 'Ambersons', and 'it' destroyed me." It wasn’t for me. Or so I thought. 

Fast forward twenty years, and I finally watched it on one wet Saturday afternoon. And it was truly magnificent. The story is compelling, Stanley Cortez proved to be the equal of Gregg Toland behind the lens and much of the same cast from Kane returned and continued to be exceptional. They however are blown away by Tim Holt’s performance as the spoiled man-child, Georgie Minafer, one of the most brilliantly-appalling characters in American cinema history, for whom no comeuppance could ever be harsh enough. Yes, of course, it would have been great to see the now-lost original version but perhaps I can take solace from Robert Wise’s assertion that the Welles cut wasn’t any better than the studio’s final cut. (Then again, Wise was editor on the film, so he might be expected to say that.) So the only remaining frustration now is that I waited so long to see it.

David Gattens
Finance/Commercial Director

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"You can't sit with u-" Margaret, "Stop trying to make fetch-" Margaret… "Four for you Glen Coco! You go Gl-" MARGARET, STOP. Stop watching Mean Girls on repeat. Soon (but not soon enough), when you're 22, a work colleague is going to give you a lend of a DVD she got free in the paper (remember when that was a thing?). This will be your introduction to Heathers. Oh why have you never watched this before? You'll still have time to watch Mean Girls approximately 1,000 times before your 28th birthday, and incessantly write about it on any platform you manage to get your little hands on, but you can at least intersperse repeat viewings with the iconic Heathers… and start quoting something else, just sometimes. How very.

Margaret Smith
Press & Marketing Coordinator 

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Dear younger me. I’d really recommend that you watch Sergei Parajnov’s The Colour of Pomegranates as soon as possible. It’s the most beautiful film you’ll ever see and the images will change the way you view the world. Go and see everything you can at the cinema and buy all those weird DVDs at Fopp. Read every book you can find on the history of film, study female filmmakers, don’t be afraid of black and white and turn up to your university lectures. Spend your student loan money on film festivals instead of gin. You’ll thank me (you) in ten years.

Charlotte Ashcroft
Programme & Marketing Coordinator

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Make Way For Tomorrow

 My younger self was definitely guilty of shying away from films with any real romantic sentiment and I know for a fact that I would’ve turned my nose up at this film in favour of something with a bit more action. However, I have no doubt that this movie would have had the same effect on me then, as it did when I finally watched it. 

Make Way For Tomorrow follows an older couple as they are separated due to circumstances outwith their control and sent off to live in different households. The sense of loss and yearning for their other half pours out of the screen and washes over you which makes their eventual reunion hit you in the feels even more. 

This film is ultimately heart breaking but within its core lies a wonderful portrayal of true love and what it means to be connected to someone and additionally it made me think more about my parents and how important it is to show them appreciation for all the things they have done for me. Time is fleeting and Make Way For Tomorrow serves as a reminder to cherish the time you have with the people who are important to you.  

Chris Kumar
Programme Assistant 

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The Wickerman

When I think back to my film student days I was discovering all sorts of cult classics such as Withnail and I, Don’t Look Now and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. For some reason The Wickerman completely passed me by. I had heard the critical praise that this film was the ‘Citizen Kane of horror movies’ but it was lost in the endless excess of films on my ‘to watch’ list.  I finally saw the movie about a year ago and I absolutely loved it. Christopher Lee is terrifyingly charming (and hilarious) as Lord Summerisle. I was surprised about how much I laughed but also how creepy and horrifying it could be without usual splattering of blood and gore. So donning my cap as Captain Hindsight I would recommend The Wickerman to my film student self as a must see British classic.  

Laura Lawson
Festival Industry Coordinator

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I’m a big fan of musicals and luckily I watched Cabaret when I was young. It's one of my two favourite musicals, alongside Rent that I only saw a few years ago. There are lots of films about AIDs activism that I would recommend my younger self. I am always inspired by the collective spirit and solidarity of those who fought to survive, and still do today. Rent is not about AIDs activism but it captures the collective grief, anger, love and friendship of those living and dying from the disease. Alongside this is everything you want from a musical – songs and dance that gives you exhilarating joy and tear inducing emotion. Every song bar one is a favourite, and even the song that some say is bad… to me is perfect. Unlike other musicals its characters are from diverse backgrounds, with a variety of sexualities and gender identities. All of these things would be have been such strong inspiration to my younger self. Plus, I love anything that’s set over one year, with a heart-wrenching medley of all the songs at the end. So I would recommend that my younger sits himself in front of RENT and experiences those ‘five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes’ of the year of 1989 in New York. And then sing all the songs badly on the walk to school.

Adam Castle
Film Audience Network (FAN) Training Co-ordinator


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