Written By: Rick Masters
Welcome to the first FOR THE LOVE OF THE MOVIES… A weekly deep dive into what makes our movie viewing experiences so special – from your favourite directors to all-time greatest scenes and unforgettable moments.
This week we sat down with Chris Ebdon and discussed obscure rom coms, sequel disappointments and being shaken, not stirred.
First film you ever saw in the cinema and what do you remember?
101 Dalmatians when I was about 5 years old. It was my first visit to a cinema and I was captivated by the surroundings, the atmosphere, astonished at the size of the screen. All this andice cream were way too much for a child like me to take in!!
What is your all-time favourite film?
It’s an impossible question…like asking which family member you love the most, (That’s not a film title btw)
Has there ever been a stand out moment you’ve experienced in a cinema?
Not personally but apparently the 1975 screening of ‘The Exorcist’ had cinema theatres all over the globe in total uproar with people passing out, screaming, vomiting and making for the exits on mass. My mother went to see it on a works night out and she said it affected her for weeks afterwards. The movie must seem tame by today’s standards but at the time was an absolute shocker. It must have been quite some experience.
Which genre of film would you say best fits your life?
Romance. Done well though, not cheesy like Richard Curtis stuff but moving and thought provoking. I think it’s a peek into a world I have never been part of for so long and these movies make me believe that maybe true love is the most important thing in the world and that maybe it really does exist somewhere out there. I guess it’s a comforting thought in a big bad world.
If you could only watch one directors works forever more… who would it be?
The one and only Steven Spielberg. A truly gifted director capable of delivering moments of genius across a wide spectrum of genres
Let’s deep dive… What do you truly LOVE about film?
The sheer escapism. To be able to put yourself in the shoes of a movie character that could be involved in absolutely anything…love, murder, war, betrayal, absolutely anything. A good movie will entertain, challenge opinions, evoke emotions and draw us out of our usually mundane existences into a world of intrigue and sheer make believe if only for a couple of hours
Has a movie ever had a big impact on you and possibly changed you in some way?
Yes, there are two. One is a film made in 1980 called ‘Somewhere in Time’ starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour which is a truly beautiful story about someone who finds a way to time travel to find his love from the past. Also, a movie from around two years ago called ‘Life Itself’ which is a story of love and life across a period, tying together two families on different continents. I’m not sure if they changed me but both had a profound effect. I was affected for months by ‘Life Itself’ and it’s haunting and beautiful storyline and no matter how many times I revisit ‘Somewhere in Time’ I never fail to be filled with the kind of warmth and familiarity akin to coming home after a long time away.
If you could have a sequel to any movie…
Sequels generally only serve to disappoint and take the sheen of quality away from the original. There are exceptions of course but unless there is a long tale to tell, why spoil perfection?
Is there any particular movie scenes that you’ll never forget?
Many shocking scenes from various movies but my favourite of late is a scene from ‘Life Itself’ where Antonio Banderas explains to Sergio Peris-Mencheta about his upbringing at the hands of his cruel father. Although the scene is in Spanish with English subtitles, Banderas is spellbinding, and this fine piece of acting is the reason that this is my favourite scene right now.
Is there an obscure film that you’d like to recommend?
Sorry but I feel the need to come back to ‘Somewhere in Time’ a movie that flopped in the Box Office due to an unfortunate mixture of bad timing and poor marketing. However, some years later it was re-released on VHS and this time it finally reached its target audience and became a cult success across the world. In fact, such is the film’s popularity today that the movie has fan clubs and appreciation societies across the globe and even annual pilgrimages to Mackinack Island (where much of the movie was filmed) where devoted fans indulge in ‘Somewhere in Time’ weekends. It’s difficult to explain exactly why I and so many others love this movie so much and how we all seem affected by the strange magic spell it weaves over us. Is it the beautiful location, the simply stunning soundtrack, the fine acting of Reeve, Seymour and Plummer or simply the wonderful thought of true love reaching out to stretch over the confines of time? Whatever it is, today’s ‘Rom-Coms’ need to watch and learn.
Which film have to re-watched to death?
When I was a kid I watched ‘The Towering Inferno’ so many times I almost wiped it off VHS cassette. I could virtually recite the entire script of this 3-hour long movie word for word. So much so I could have acted all the parts! Had I not been only 12 of course…
What’s on your guilty list? A film you really should have bloody watched by now?
Okay, okay. ‘The Matrix’. There, I’ve said it. Alright?!
Which future film release are you most excited for?
The latest Bond though I fear I may be setting myself up for disappointment. Will it be Casino Royale quality or Quantum of Solace? Although I’m intrigued by the ‘Top Gun’ sequel I’m kind of in fear of it tarnishing the original. I am hugely anticipating the sequel to ‘Avatar’ whatever it ends up being called. I loved the original and there is still a huge story left to be told. I hope to see this sequel before I retire…
If every film ever made was replaced by just one sole actor… who would that be?
Tom Cruise. So versatile and throws himself into every role with such gusto putting his heart and soul and often putting his body on the line. Plus have you ever seen a bad Tom Cruise movie?
Last film you watched and a score out of 5…
Independance Day 2…………a very generous 1 out of 5
Thankyou Chris for taking the time to share your film related stories.