Film firsts… can you remember yours?

First film that made you cry as an adult?

CINEMA PARADISO. I’d never seen anything so beautiful in all my life. I was 16 at the time. There were plenty of wobbles along the way, but when he watches the film of all the kisses at the end, I was gone. I had to be discreet, as I was watching it with my older brother, and I thought he’d take the piss. He was probably doing the same.

First film that made you want to write?

I can pinpoint many films that made me WANT to write, but A ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS by Shane Meadows was the first film that made me think that the stories that were going around in my head, stories of growing up in the Midlands, could be told on screen, and that you didn’t have to be a Londoner, upper class or from Hollywood to “make it”. It was a huge turning point for me, circa 2003-4. I would’ve been early twenties, a bit disillusioned.

What was the first film that traumatised you as a kid?

Like many kids, WATERSHIP DOWN was traumatic. But essential viewing, I think. Kids need to learn about conservation, and the consequences of the way we treat the countryside, and the earth in general. Hazel being shot was horrific as a kid, and the dog at the end. When I watch the film now, it’s the ending that kills me. But not because it’s traumatic, it’s just a beautiful, melancholy way to end a film. A fucking kids film! Hazel looking over to his people, seeing that they’re safe and don’t need him anymore, and laying down to die on his terms, as a legend. Aww, man. It’s simply stunning.

First awkward watching a sex scene with your parents moment?

I remember watching The Terminator as a 5/6 year old and my Mum not being happy about it, but my Dad didn’t give a fuck. People got shot and shit blew up, Arnie pulled his eye out and punched a hole in a punk. But I could see his finger hovering over the fast forward button when Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor got it on. Watching it now, I wish the scene didn’t happen. It looks like an 80s music video. It’s one of the best films of all time, but I bet James Cameron would do it differently now.

Have you got any firsts you would like to share from the world of film? Leave them in the comments and lets discuss them.

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