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Home > Film

Neverended Stories

by Robin Ince

2 January 2004

Everyone has a list of films they have never seen to the end.

Actually that's a lie. Some people have a list of movies that they have never seen to the end, and they are big fans of Nick Hornby and think it will make them more interesting to have Post-It notes stuck on their fridge saying 'Cassandra Crossing' or 'Force 10 from Navarone'.

Sadly my fridge has a thin film of grease and so refuses to behave adhesively with Post-It notes. Also Nick Hornby annoys me as, after the publication of High Fidelity, lots of people told me how much I would like it as I was all peculiar about music. What rubbish. Oh and by the way, there are 27 matches in the box you are shaking and I can draw a 198 windowed building in 3 minutes, that's 12 seconds faster than Stephen Wilshire.

Anyway, in the spirit of Hornby, and using my leather bound spiral notebook, I've come up with this list of films that I have started many times but never got the to the end of. Here it is:

Frantic

One of Roman polanski mid-period (ie after Rosemary's Baby and before The Pianist) movies which you start to watch, get to the bit where Harrison loses his wife, then the bit where the punk girl gets embroiled, then normally drift off and wake up to watch someone signing an episode of Changing Rooms. Everyone has seen the Harrison in peril on some roof tiles bit, but they can't really remember what happens next.

Six Days Seven Nights

The film that showed that you are banned from being both an actress and a lesbian (though Tallulah Bankhead used to flaunt it, so they say). Anne Heche and Harrison Ford end up in a desert island sexual mangle, then everyone notices that this film failed not due to the lack of chemistry, just that it is rubbish. Oh look, there's a baseball on Channel 5.

Earthquake

This was the first film in tremorvison (or something, I can't remember the exact name, it was meant to convey the excitement of a tremor when you were sitting in The Plaza, Gerrards Cross). Another all-star epic of tragedy, heart ache and death (Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Marjoe Gortner), despite the fact it was thrown at us every bank holiday for 12 years, no one has a clue what happened at the end, just that this time it wasn't Shelley Winters that saved the day. Or indeed Won Ton Ton the Dog That Saved Hollywood.

Death Wish

For some reason I have only ever got up to the bit where Charles Bronson gets mad as hell after some ethnic punks have infiltrated his house and family. Most viewers get to the point of saying "Hang on, isn't that Jeff Goldblum" and are then woken by the whine of the BBC 'go to bed' tone and notice that their cocoa has stained their corduroys.

Nearly All Peter Greenaway Films

When in a good arthouse mood, believing one to be ready for a cultural onslaught of saying to oneself , 'Oh , that frame is a tribute to Giotto's fallen swan', people genuinely think they'll do a Peter Greenaway in one sitting. No no no (except for Belly of an Architect and The Cook the Thief the Wife and his Lover). Even Peter Greenaway rarely makes it through to the end and when he does manage it he merely thinks to himself 'was it really me that killed all those donkeys?'.

Plan 9 From Outer Space

A turkey that starts to fail to amuse nine minutes in. You keep laughing because you think you should, but by 43 minutes you all look at each other and say 'Is it me, or is this actually boring?'. Then you see a reflection of Tor Johnson in your eye and organize a bout of pretend Swedish wrestling near a dangerous marble mantelpiece.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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