Celluloid Shenanigans

My pal Dulwich Mum handed me the meme baton and I am helpless but to respect her orders. She asked me for some of my favourite film moments. I must say that these days I have rather gone off the silver screen but as a teenager movies had a vice-like grip on my imagination and I became certain leading ladies in movies for a few weeks in real life - I mean wearing their clothes, styling my hair like them etc - these included Jean Seberg, Louise Brooks, Marianne Faithfull and Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. I was frequently holed up for hours at the triple bills at the Everyman Cinema (Hampstead) and at the King's Cross Scala (which went into receivership after losing a court case over an illegal screening of A Clockwork Orange but then reopenened in 1999).


Jean Seberg - terrible American accent but coolest girl in the world

There are many film moments imbedded in my memory from Au Bout de Souffle but not many are available on youtube without some ghastly soundtrack so this will have to do. When I was sixteen my girlfriends and I thought Jean Seberg was the coolest girl in the world. And she is.


My God those cigarette pants and the Herald Tribune t-shirt. Those fifties dresses. That elfin haircut. Top that with Jean Paul Belmondo and lots of pretentious French existentialist talk and I was in heaven. The Jean Seberg character inspired me to take a train to Paris when I was sixteen with a friend but I did not bump into a Jean Paul Belmondo lookalike (or any other French male for that matter) and after about three days we'd run out of money and had to content ourselves with living off supermarket baguettes and Gitanes, sneaking into museums and throwing water balloons down at innocent passers by from our one star hotel.

Another girl I wanted to be for a while was Diane Keaton in Annie Hall and there was a phase (luckily no photographic evidence exists of this period) where I walked around in baggy men's clothes and a big scarf until it dawned on me that I looked less androgynous-sexy and more like a tramp. But I'm really much more like the hyperneurotic Woody Allen character in this queue who is irritated by the pretentious git who's droning on behind him. I absolutely adore Woody although I would draw the line at sleeping with him. He is very funny but not funny enough for me to get beyond his looks.



I was also obsessed with the film Withnail and I for many a moon and could recite it word for word. My favourite scene is when the two degenerate actors meet Uncle Monty who is just such a wonderfully realized character and comes out with such hilarious lines as:

"Flowers are simply tarts; prostitutes for the bees," and

"I think the carrot infinitely more fascinating than the geranium."

Priceless. This scene really makes me proud to be English - that such raving eccentrics are celebrated and nourished in the UK!



And now I am asking my blogging pals Misssy M at The Misssy M Missives,Sexy Scarlet at Scarlet Blue, and Kevin at El-Kevo - The coffee house guitarist to share their favourite film moments.