Girl on Girl – 1. Holly

This is going to be the first in a series in which we talk to some of our favourite girls about the films they love and why, their opinions on issues surrounding film and the importance of women in this industry. To start things off who better to interview than…(drumroll please…) US!! Yep that’s right, you get to look into the twisted mind of us Girls

So I thought it was about time all you lovely readers out there got to know us a little better. You have (maybe) read some of our stuff, seen the kind of things we like but because we love you all, I thought it would be nice to get show you a bit more of ourselves. Everyone has their favourite films and the reasons why they love them, so heres my top questions for Holly Dolly, my bestie, fellow lizard lover and business partner/partner in crime, about what movies she adores and why.

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So firstly, Holly, can you tell me a few films that you would say are you faves?

Oh hey! It’s an ever-evolving list that changes all the time. We all use art to help us connect to certain emotions, I think, and I definitely use film and music in this way; so it all depends on my mood! Anyway, at the moment I’d say… The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960), The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980), Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson, 1987), Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine, 2011), Cleo From 5 to 7 (Agnes Varda, 1962), Marty (Delbert Mann, 1955) and Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991).

Out of those films is there one that, for you, is the standout, the top, the cats pyjamas as they say?

The Apartment is probably my top, but I’ll go for The Shining because that had the most catalyzing effect on me, je pense.

What is it about that film that you love? What makes that film special?

So many bloody things. There is so much energy in the frame, everything oozes meaning. I think Kubrick taught the film world that you don’t need loads of shots to create meaning – you can use the contained aesthetic itself, the actual movement within the frame, and not just post-production. Even though I know it’s a story being told, in the process of watching the film I start to really think about and believe that people can go mad, be possessed by the past, be isolated, and it is this emotional process that gets me every time. There is just this weighted atmosphere the whole time. It isn’t post-modern, or trying to be clever, or trying to entertain, it’s just very real and jarring. That film unearthed feelings about the subject matter in me that I didn’t know were there – isn’t that amazing?

Can you remember the first time you watched it? How did you feel?

Yes, it was the moment I knew I wanted to work in this medium. I especially remember the shot of Jack Nicholson walking down the corridor to the bar – just pre-Lloyd scene – mumbling to himself, with the musical drone loud in the background, walking towards the camera slowly. Something clicked in my brain (insanity? Maybe I was being possessed also by Mr. Grady).

Why do you think films are so important, both as an art form and as entertainment?

I think it’s the most all-encompassing form of art going and I think it has and continues to change the way people think, the way they view themselves and others, to educate them, and make them experience a range of emotions in a cathartic and healthy way. It’s a medium that has so many tools available to it! It reminds me of by-gone times and people I’ve loved and lost. It makes me feel powerful.

Do you think the female voice in cinema is getting louder? Why is this so important? Who are some of the key players for you? What lovely ladies inspire you?

Well, I’m not sure if it’s getting louder just at the moment, but the women are out there making the films, telling their stories, making audiences see things from their perspectives, and I’m confident that the market will continue to grow for these visions by women, as more bog-standard narratives become just too repetitive. This is what I mean about the empowerment that cinema offers: it is absolutely essential that female filmmakers continue to grow in the filmmaking community so that gender equality can grow in turn. It is such a powerful means of communication that people crave, so accessible, and that’s why women need to grasp it as their own. It can change how people think.

In a nutshell, film is not merely a ‘reflection’ of a historical moment, like a history book telling us events. It is a way of experiencing moments in itself. It is, in my opinion, the very most convincing, far-reaching, and efficient way of making someone see your viewpoint. Not just read it or listen to it but experience it and live it. Therefore, the potential for the female perspective, which has always been under-represented and second to the male, to deeply infiltrate and convince societies and encourage equality where there is inequality through the medium is unbounded. And it’s not just issues of sex, of course, but race, religion, class, sexual orientation, age, and all the other classifications we are born with. It’s a means of giving people information and confidence which leads to action. I just think it’s a total miracle that the medium of film can package a cause that needs support in so beautiful and pleasing a way that millions of people pay to see it – amazing.

As for players in the game who inspire me… I’d say Clio Barnard (who made The Selfish Giant last year), Agnes Varda (classic…always) and Jennifer Kent (The Babadook, 2014).

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