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The Butterflies film festival: films we ought to have seen, but haven’t


If the sudden flurry of blog posts hadn’t given it away, this week I’m on holiday.  I should have been working yesterday and Tuesday but a case settled and suddenly a long weekend turned into a whole week off.  We thought long and hard about going on an adventure, but northern France was nixed by my current lack of passport, the weather wasn’t entirely tempting for the UK, and we decided that the grown up, responsible, buying a house sort of a thing to do would be to have a staycation.  At the beginning of the week I unearthed our local Ordnance Survey map and started planning some new to us circular walks to get us all out and about in the sunshine. Yesterday we headed back to the yellow fields of my Siblings photos to see where the path went, and had a wonderful walk ending up in a picnic by the little lake, and today we’re planning on heading a little way away to Hatton, where the canal rises 45 metres through 21 locks over about about a two mile span.  It’s crazy wonderful engineering and a favourite spot of ours.

And when the children head off to bed I’ve been rediscovering what an evening without work looks like.  John and I have been hosting our very own tv and film festival.  We may not have a cinema in the basement, or something like a UHD TV Panasonic, it’s just us curled up on the sofa with a bottle of beer, a glass of pink for me, a little something purloined from the children’s Easter Egg hunt booty, and our version of cinema lighting – keeping the little spotlight on so I can see to knit, but it’s a lot of fun.  Years ago we had another mini film festival in which we watched a whole load of classics that one or both of us hadn’t seen, the sort that get quoted or referred to all the time but it turns out that you’ve never actually seen.  I can genuinely say that I’ve seen Casablanca (and loved it), and Brief Encounter (and loved the Victoria Wood spoof more), as well as Meet me in St Louis and all four hours of Gone with the Wind .  This week we decided to repeat it, albeit that some of the choices are a little bit more modern than last time.

So, this is our list for this week: another five films we really ought to have seen, but haven’t yet:

Space for the Butterflies - a festival of the films we've never watched, but really ought to see

The Breakfast Club

It’s no secret that Pitch Perfect is one of my favourite films; I love both the first film and the sequel, I’m very curious to see what they do with the third film, and the soundtrack has been the background to many a late night tapping away at the laptop.  The Breakfast Club is part of the inspiration for the Barden Bella’s finale (and yes, a plot device to get the two leads back together, but we can forgive them that).  I know very little about it, I think I only heard of it from Pitch Perfect; but surely one good film could only recommend another?

Dirty Dancing

I know what you’re thinking; I’m a child of the 80’s, how have I not seen Dirty Dancing? It’s a bit like admitting you haven’t seen Top Gun (which I have to the point that I can quote large chunks of it – sometimes it’s worrying what your brain chooses to retain), and in truth I suspect that I’ve seen snippets when I was in my teens, just not enough to have enough conscious recollection of the plot to tie together the fragments.  I suspect and hope in equal parts that it will be utterly 80’s cheese, although both John and I retain a full veto if something is just too corny to cope with.

The Ladykillers

We’re talking the original 1955 Ealing version here.  I have actually seen this before but John hasn’t so it makes the list.  I think I was relatively young when I first saw this, probably in my early teens, along with Kind Hearts and Coronets which should definitely be the second film in an Alec Guiness double bill.  It’s a brilliantly dark film and hilariously funny and knocks the 2004 remake into a cocked hat.

When Harry Met Sally

Well yes, I’ve seen that lunch scene, because you really have to have been living under a rock not to have at least encountered a clip in passing, but truly I’ve never seen the whole film so I have very little idea how it works in context.  It’s another 80’s effort, which seems to be a popular theme for this week’s festival so I’m hoping for big hair and giant mobile phones as well as a very good Nora Ephron plot.

Pool of London

Of a fairly eclectic selection, this takes the crown for unexpected. Pool of London is another 50’s film from Ealing studios; this time a drama about a heist in the City.  It gets fairly good reviews but we know if from Compton Verney.  Last year the featured exhibition was all about 50’s style and design.  It was beautifully curated, especially the mocked up rooms and the enviable collection of vintage dresses, and it only reinforced my love of mid century design.  In one corner was a mocked up 50’s cinema, complete with vintage red velvet seats and a projector showing Pool of London.  It’s not exactly a film for the tiniest among us, so we watched for a little bit and then headed onwards, and ever since I’ve had the IMDb page open on my phone to remind me that we really are going to watch it all the way through, and so it makes our list.

All we need now is for the children to sleep deeply and peacefully tonight and we can declare our festival open.  But if you were doing the same, what would be on your list? What films have you never seen but always meant to?

Thank you to Panasonic who commissioned this article. If you are interested in collaborating on a post, please take a look at my Work With Me page