Why do we watch the films that we do?

Why this one and not another? 973 films were rated by the BBFC last year alone. There is enough stuff out there to spend all of your nine lives watching and still not be done. And unless we work for the British board of film censors no one is making us watch anything. We’ve only ourselves to blame for seeing the things that we see.

It is easy, as a film fan, to become academic about it. Pursue the work of a favourite actor, the oeuvre of a director, the cinema of a certain time and place. There is something to be said for this, having a particular interest, a specialist subject. You start lingering by the film studies books in the library. Mentally writing your PhD. Planning imaginary film seasons. But this kind of film watching serves to confirm to ourselves what we already know. Show us that we were right all along. Our minds will not be changed.

I have become more interested, of late, with the happy accident. Seeing a folded and dog eared film poster on a friend’s wall and wondering what that could be about. The look in an actors eye from a still that draws you in. A song from a film they are playing on the radio. A nudge to try something else.

Which brings me neatly, to our last screening. A meeting with an old school friend passing through Sheffield on her way back to London. Half a conversation in a pub yard before she caught her train. We talked DIY, girls, music, films, old friends and what our respective families were up to. She suggested I checked out the Fabulous Stains. I did. It became half of the double bill for our Christmas special. We’re still not certain what 2015 will bring for Film Club. And it’s kind of exciting not knowing. Here’s to happy accidents, unexpected moments that take us to places we wouldn’t, if just left to our own devices, ever go.

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