© 2011 - Sony Pictures Classics
Regular Features, Travel Film Inspiration, Woody Allen Tourism

The Woody Allen Tourist: Midnight in Paris (2010)

It’s not an exaggeration to state that Midnight in Paris is one of my all-time favourite films. I bloody LOVE it. I knew as soon as I left the Tineside Cinema in Newcastle that it had struck a chord. I was left stunned when I recently made my boyfriend watch it for the first time. When it was over, he looked at me and said “I don’t get it.” *wimpers* The DVD will no doubt see some more action before my trip to Paris this December because it perfectly encapsulates why everyone is so barmy about Paris. It is THE film to get you excited about a trip there.  Midnight in Paris Gill, a middle-class (c’mon, this is Allen we’re talking about…) American screenwriter, perfectly encapsulated by Owen Wilson, tags along on a trip to Paris with his fiancee Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her right-wing snobby mother and father. Whilst trying to find his hotel alone one evening, Gill sits his tired, tipsy self down on a Parisian stoop. The clock strikes midnight and an old-style car drives up filled with lively Parisians who gleefully usher Gill into their car and take them to a party. When he gets there, he finds Cole Porter […]

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Sheffield Doc Fest
Film Festivals, Films

Sheffield Doc Fest 2016: Not Make Believe

You know what they say kids, truth is stranger than fiction and this is especially the case when it comes to film. My track record of doc-watching is absolutely shocking; I’ve barely watched any apart from the odd animal rights expose and popular environmental docs. Since I love Film Festivals and Sheffield Doc Fest is one of the most coveted documentary film festivals in the world and only 50 minutes away, I booked 3 films on the Saturday of the festival and hopped on a train to Sheffield. Sheffield Doc Fest Granted, what ended up fitting my schedule and gave me a range of venues ended up being… 2 environmental documentaries and the 1967 Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back. A girl tried, you know? Here’s what I saw… When Two Worlds Collide (2016) This documentary played at Sundance Film Festival this year and won the Best First Feature prize in the World Cinema Documentary category, so I knew going in that even if the film wasn’t perfect that it would have some redeeming qualities that would make it a worthwhile choice. The film follows the 2009 events in Peru where the Government claimed the rainforect from Peruvian minorities living there to sell it […]

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© 1994 Miramax
Film Studies 101, Films

A-Z of Film Terms to Fake it as a Film Buff

Fake it ’til you make it. That’s a fairly well known phrase, banded about to hopefuls preparing for job interviews and those who know they are well out of their depth. I, for many years, faked it pretty damn well as a film buff which is why I am the perfect person to show you how to fake being a film buff. We all have those really annoying friends (on Facebook, I mean) that think they are all critics when it comes to the latest superhero effort, listing directors from heart and bullshitting about character arcs and authenticity to the comics. Urgh, bor-ring. Wouldn’t you love to put them in their place by chucking in some of these words and responding to questions like, “Yes, it was interesting that the cinematography was largely composed of long takes panning around the action rather than adopting the traditional shot/reverse shot technique that is so typical of Hollywood film. It made the mis-en-scene quite cluttered but worked in this particular genre.” Okay, so you would sound like a massive dick, but… It’d be fun, right? A for Auteur Definition: A film director (or potentially another member of the production team) who influences their films so much […]

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© Sony Pictures Classics
In Flight Movies, Regular Features, Travel Film Inspiration

In-Flight Movies to… Spain

Ahhh Spain… The Brits home away from home. The land of flamenco dancers, bull fighters and Estrella Damm. This is the first time on my In-Flight Movies series that I have actually been to a country I’m recommending films to inspire you to go there. I know. I’m a fraud. What cha gonna do about it? Spain has so many different faces and personalities, it’s quite easy to go back there year after year and have a completely different holiday every time. There’s the traditional package holiday, there’s the lads holiday to Magaluf, there are city breaks to Barcelona, there are quieter city breaks to Seville. Not to mention festivals, skiing… There are so many that it’s difficult to find the best films to watch to inspire you to visit Spain as it can pretty much be whatever you want it to be. Nevertheless… Here are my top Spanish themed movies! Ole!  Spain Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) …You saw this coming, right? Was this pick not totally obvious? Yes, I adore this film by Woody Allen and that’s no secret considering I have already written about the film this year. The film is about two American women (the titular characters) both […]

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David Bowie in Manchester's Northern Quarter
My Year In Films, Regular Features

That’s a Wrap! May on Almost Ginger

I’m writing this sat at my desk on a sticky warm Sunday evening. I’m sipping on a can (yes, a pre-mixed can) of Blackberry & Elderflower Pimm’s that I bought yesterday evening for a house party. I am currently on the wrong side of ‘comfortably warm’, I can smell myself a bit too much due to lack of personal hygiene today and my ear piercing I got months ago still hasn’t healed and it’s hurting a lot today. But I am half-watching Daredevil, I’m going to have a lovely relaxing bath after I write this, and who could ask for more? What I’ve been watching I’ve done exceptionally better than last month at getting through my ultimate list, which has lead me to setting up a new goal for myself. So far this year, I have watched 72 new films. I’ve worked out that if I were watching the equivalent of a new film every other day, both at home and cinema, I should have watched 76 films by the end of this month. That seems like a totally realistic goal and easy enough to catch up on, so I’m gonna go for it! Re-watches: Midnight in Paris (2010) several times, Angels and Demons (2009), To Rome […]

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3 Days in Lisbon - A Perfect Weekend Guide | almostginger.com
Europe, Lisbon, Portugal

3 Days in Lisbon: A Perfect Weekend Guide

How did I not know about Lisbon sooner? It’s simply perfect for British travellers on a budget who are looking for a weekend city break. It’s south enough to have great weather (mostly) with the old worldly feel of Rome and the frugality of Budapest. Why don’t more people know about Lisbon?! I recently spent 4 full days in Lisbon with my boyfriend, but if the weather was better (we were so unlucky) and if we left the apartment before 11am (we were on our holidays, okay?) we could have done it in 3. Let me convince you that 3 Days in Lisbon is the city break you’ve been looking for! This map is the only map you’ll need for your weekend in Lisbon! The icons in red are must-sees, must-dos and must-eats, and are featured in my guide below. The icons in blue are recommended places that I thought were rather dull, or places I was recommended but didn’t get around to seeing, but are there so you can decide for yourself. In green is the airport and Metro/Train station you are very likely to use.  Before we begin: Since I’m veggie, I’m not gonna go around suggesting places that you omnivores might like, so […]

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© 2012 - Gravier Productions
Regular Features, Travel Film Inspiration, Woody Allen Tourism

The Woody Allen Tourist: To Rome With Love (2012)

I’ve had Rome on the brain recently, ever since coming back from Lisbon. Lisbon’s centuries old alley ways and faintly Catholic churches had me pining for the epic history lesson paired with all the pizza, pasta and ice cream I could eat… which only Rome could offer. I last went to Rome when I was 17 and I definitely think it’s time for another visit. Alas, this year is supposed to be focused on UK travel and I need to stick to the promise I made to myself, so I’ve been keeping my Roman thoughts satisfied with watching Roman films. Recently I watched Bicycle Thieves (1948) for the first time, and then watched Angels and Demons (2009) purely for the extensive locations of Rome and the Vatican (okay, okay, I actually like the film) and then finished off with a slice of To Rome With Love (2012). Out of the three, To Rome With Love builds a more idillic and romantic portrait of Rome with the usual tourist haunts, the amazing food, the fine wine… But that’s about it. To Rome With Love I’ll say it now, To Rome With Love is not a good film. Do not confuse feeling nostalgic or or wistful towards the subject matter of […]

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Films set on American Summer Camps | almostginger.com
Film & TV Specials, Travel Film Inspiration

Films set on American Summer Camps

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where Timehop reminds me how excited I was about working on American Summer Camps a whole 4 years ago now. I still remember I left for camp on Friday June 15th like that date will be embedded in my brain like my birthday or my wedding day. As with every holiday or upcoming occasion, I watched a ton of films and TV shows to get me excited about going to the States. Blue Bloods was getting me excited about going to New York in a I-can’t-even-contain-myself kind of way, as was the weird UK TV show Beaver Falls which was about 3 guys who do exactly what I was about to. I also watched many of the below films set on American summer camps before crossing the pond, and even now I seek them out knowing that even if it’s a crappy film, the nostalgia element (can you get nostalgia after 4 years?) will pull at my heartstrings regardless. The Parent Trap (1998) I’m sure my sister would be very disappointed in me if I didn’t mention The Parent Trap first. It’s an AWESOME film. Wet Hot American Summer (2001) Warning: If you […]

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© 2009 - Corinth Films
Regular Features, The Blind Spot

Bicycle Thieves (1948): May Blind Spot

The last time I visited Rome was six years ago. That would have been around 50 years after Bicycle Thieves and most wouldn’t presume your average city to still be recognisable. But Rome isn’t your average city. Considering many of Rome’s buildings are hundreds, even thousands of years old, I would expect a little comparability, a hint of a feeling that tells me this is the same city I grew to love walking through it’s famed cobbled streets a mere six years previously. Bicycle Thieves But the world that the classic and highly regarded Bicycle Thieves introduces you to isn’t the ancient world I had witnessed. Our main man Antonio Ricci lives on the outskirts of town in an estate, if you’d call it that. It reminded me of built up apartments in rough areas or urban cities as exhibited in La Haine (1995) and Fish Tank (2009). The mid-sized tower blocks were stripped of any detail, any design that I had known of Roman buildings. It was not the glamourised Rome I was objected to, it was not a fantasy. This was post world war II Rome and a far cry from birthing the modern world. Ricci is an average, Roman man. He lives with his […]

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Europe, Lisbon, Portugal

39 Photogenic Reasons to Visit Lisbon

The capital city of Lisbon holds a surprise around every cobbled corner. The quaint alleyways, funiculars, mosaics adorning every home are a photographer’s delight. An amateur photographer, like myself, would find it effortless to capture Lisbon in all it’s splendour as I did last weekend, in both the sun and rain. I miss it already. Everyone should have the chance to visit Lisbon as only in Portugal’s most diverse and multi-cultural city would you find… Vespas parked on every street These beautiful front doors And the colour coordinated neighbours The rustic orange roofs Old worldly street lamps An elevator from the 1920s connecting street levels Many, many tiles… everywhere Literally, everywhere you look The jaw dropping scale and detail of this Monastery And the contrasting design of the churches The fruit trees that reside on ordinary streets like this orange tree The cute little fishes at the Aquarium And of course the famous street art that juxtaposes against the centuries old buildings And the funiculars that are covered in street art And the architecture is jaw-droppingly gorgeous This hipster living room in an ordinary restaurant And this striking monument Or this sunset across the river Not forgetting the well-preserved castle […]

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