My Top 10 Films of 2014

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a Friday night in, watching a good film. Topped with a friend and some chocolate, and the best part is, I can wear my pyjamas whilst doing so! So I get a bit excited whenever I see a good film because I feel that the world needs to know how good it is, so we can talk/cry/laugh/debate about it and we can later on watch it over and over again! So, these are my Top 10 favourite films from 2014 (note – they definitely weren’t all made in 2014, I love discovering good old movies too).

Interstellar - from https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/hOJ7McacTpu0RzTlhG1SszXoI10=/assets.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2396034/interstellar_holy_shit_shot.0.png
Interstellar – from https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/hOJ7McacTpu0RzTlhG1SszXoI10=/assets.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2396034/interstellar_holy_shit_shot.0.png

1. Interstellar – A movie that will leave you questioning everything we know about life. It leaves you in awe of our Earth and inspired to look after our fragile planet. For hours afterwards, I had conversations with my boyfriend about love, life, destruction, society, time, space and the never ending question of the meaning of life. It is a thought provoking film that is truly spectacular.

2. Trainspotting – I first watched this Scottish film with my friends at college. I love anything Scottish and therefore instantly loved it. It also has Ewan McGregor in it, so I was pretty much sold on the film before I even knew what it was about. It’s a dark, grim, realistic view of the world and the effects of drugs on individuals, relationships and the mind (something I’ve always found fascinating). It left me pondering the possibilities of the mind and the strength we have yet fail to use as humans.

3. Before Sunrise – After a strong recommendation from my friend with a PhD in film, I had to check it out. I related to this film so much! This movie envisioned so many of my experiences whilst travelling… I laughed, cried and was so inspired by the beauty of taking a chance, meeting new people and finding adventure.

4. In to the wild – Based on a true story, this movie made me question society and our purpose on this earth. The stunning scenery and sense of adventure and drive is truly breathtaking.

5. Midnight in Paris – If you haven’t made it to this beautiful city yet, the first five minutes of this movie will give you a beautiful, lively and detailed introduction to Paris. The idea of going back in time to the 1920’s is incredible as I’ve always had an unhealthy obsession with the roaring twenties. Featuring iconic artists from throughout time with the romantic backdrop of Paris, it just makes me want to go back and explore the streets at midnight.

6. In Bruges – Very unexpectedly dark, hilarious and filled with action. Featuring two Irish assassins in the wonderful (but extremely boring) Belgian city of Bruges.

7. Her – I love the futuristic (yet scarily present) theme of this film. It got me thinking about love, what is it, who we can love, how we can love… Definitely got me thinking a lot! And it’s got the voice of Scarlette Johanson, what’s not to love?

8. Sex and the City – not just the movies, but EVERYTHING Carrie Bradshaw! So there’s two movies, but the TV series are AMAZING! After watching them all, laughing, crying and filling my heart with love. It’s awkward, funny, secretly or not so secretly relatable and all four women represent a tiny part of us, leaving you feeling strong, confident and sexy.

9. La Vita e Bella – A beautiful Italian movie about the holocaust. The title, Life is beautiful, says it all about the movie, it’s simple yet beautiful. Warning, you may want to purchase a whole box of tissues prior to watching it.

10. How to train a dragon- Is this not the best kids movie ever?! I love it! The animations are awesome, the characters are brilliant and they have Scottish accents! The only sad thing about this movie is that you wish that you had a pet dragon!

Let me know if there’s any movies I have to see in the comments below!

x A

What do we want? Nollywood! When do we want it? Now!

 

Movies have a way of delving into our homes and hearts, conveying important messages, themes, social issues, morals and great acting. Directors push the boundaries, question certain restrictions and spark debate over social, personal and political issues. This is no different for the world’s 3rd largest film industry in the world… Nollywood. 

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With hundreds of films being churned out on low budgets, basic and amateur equipment and taking only 10 days to produce a film, Nollywood films possess a strong sense of realism, reflecting, raising awareness and questioning current issues. Nollywood films aren’t generally viewed in the traditional way we in Australia are used to. Instead of sitting in the lounge room with just your family watching a film, the streets of Lagos become the loungerooms of Nigeria. This ‘street audience’ that occurs on the street corners bring people together to engage with eachother and the film (Okome, 2007). Popular culture, in Hollywood or Nollywood, helps with the ‘construction of identity (in relation to) environment’ and is ‘locus of public debate and of individual and community agency’ (Abah, 2009).

Nigeria is plagued by corruption, and their is a strong desire for social change. According to Abah, social change occurs through ‘communication, coordination and collective action by groups of citizens who wish to change institutions and policies which govern them’ (p 737, 2009) Because of the amount of people who access Nollywood films, the way in which they engage with them, independency from government, potentially allows Nollywood to act as a mediator to generate and encourage social change and improve the democratic process by providing a ‘progressive outlook; equitable distribution of power, curb injustice and the enforcement of civil and sexual rights’ (Abah, p 738, 2009).

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http://www.nigeriaintel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Bring-Back-Our-Girls.jpg

Media, especially film has the potential to create social change not just in Nigeria but across the globe. The sense of unity created through national film industries can strengthen communities an countries and together can create change. It is far easier in a place like Australia or America where we are influenced by liberal Hollywood cinema where we have better democratic processes, unlike Nigeria where corruption, lack of education and poverty intervene with citizens power to act on their ideas. As Nollywood gets stronger and stronger, so will the citizens of Nigeria, allowing Nollywood films to mediate and encourage the country’s much needed social change.

References

Welcome to Nollywood – Trailer – YouTube. 2014. Welcome to Nollywood – Trailer – YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSNC5UIdj0I. Accessed 28 August 2014

Okome, O 2007 Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption, Postcolonial Text, Vol 3, University of Alberta.

Abah, A.L. 2009, “Popular culture and social change in Africa: the case of the Nigerian video industry”, Media, Culture & Society, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 731-748.http://mcs.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/31/5/731, Accessed 28 August 2014