Cinema Paradiso

Do you remember a memory which sparked your dream. A place or time when you first caught seed of what it was you wanted to do with the rest of your life. That initial spark which started the fire of passion which you still carry in your heart.

Yesterday I was recalling to my boss the times I had spent as a child in my local video store. I would beg my mom to leave me in there while she went shopping. In that time whether it was 5 or 45 minutes and I would browse every single VHS cover, over and over, every single week.

I would look at the front covers which featured the posters of all these films and I would take them in. I would create my own narratives about what they may be. If they really sparked an interest in me I would turn them round and look at the stills on the back, once I could read I would indulge myself in it’s synopsis. Most of these films were ahead of my time, I was too young to watch them and also they always seemed to be classics that had fallen by the way side of the many new blockbusters.

To this day I can remember these VHS’ as if I were holding them in my hand I can see the moody drawing of Harrison Ford superimposed on top of a futuristic cityscap and femme fatale in Blade Runner, The space ship leaving the narrow launching area in 2001 and the menacing look of Malcolm McDowell staring with a brushed eye as he held a knife while another eye lay dislodged below him in a Clockwork Orange. They all spoke to me in their own unique way and these covers and posters made me intrigued in film.

There are many moments I can look back at and say that was what first inspired me. Some of them were seeing films like Star Wars, The 5th Element and The Matrix for the first time. But when I really look back and dig into my memories it’s those Saturday afternoons spent looking at VHS’ that really made me fall in love with film.