Three Outdoor Screenings in Washington, D.C.

If anyone’s wondering what got me to commit to a return to the film blogging world, it was my recent trip. So much film; so much inspiration! I got to experience cinema in places I’ve (lol) only seen in the movies. One of these was outdoor screenings; DC is brilliant for this, and I almost trekked to Virginia for a fourth, but then it poured down rain for a full week. Here’s what I saw, where, & what I thought.

Dirty Dancing

It was the waterfront in the beautiful Georgetown. My first week in DC. I was so tired, but who can say no to an outdoor film screening? The grass was a bit scratchy and the crowd really got into it (you should’ve seen me and 20 Brits looking at each other and sighing, Americans. . .) but I’d actually never seen this one before and while I think my expectations were way too high, it went to places I didn’t expect (with the pregnancy storyline) and Swayze absolutely won me over. So all in all, nice. I mostly like being able to tell the context around nobody puts Baby in the corner, as I do quote it regularly.

A League of Their Own

I enjoyed playing baseball in school. But I understand why our gym teacher didn’t let us play it more than once a year. How does it take so long to play? We went to see this close to the Nationals stadium, a special screening put on for the upcoming All-Star Weekend (which we then went to watch), and I really sympathised with & rooted for the women so eager to play baseball. After seeing the game? Not so much. How do you not get bored?! The historical context and the plot itself was so so good, and I went away feeling empowered and so proud of these wartime ladies who kicked so much ass, but I can’t get past the fact this is something people pay to watch. Regularly. I know my hero m.brown from Two Dollar Cinema would disagree, but I am honestly baffled.

Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle

My first two weeks were spent at a summer course at GWU with people from my university. On the last day, after heartfelt goodbyes, I checked into my hostel, a tall building with a slow elevator next to an active construction site crawling with rats, and wasn’t really sure what to do next. I sat down at a Starbucks, as us basic white girls like to do, and looked for stuff to do in the city. I could see Jurassic Park at a cemetery, or I could go to see Jumanji to a park that was a ten minute walk away. I trekked to Whole Foods, got some sushi and a San Pellegrino (what kind of a f–king supermarket doesn’t sell Coke?!?!! in AMERICA??!!) and had one of the nicest evenings ever. Jumanji was so filthy I can’t believe they let children watch it. But also so much fun. That’s really all I have to say about it (I have a tiny crush on the Rock. Ok there you go.) Would recommend.

(Also, if anyone is a DC native, they’re still doing screenings all over and you can find them here.)

20 things I love about Brooklyn Nine-Nine

20 things I love about. . . is a series where I talk about a big film or TV love of mine. This is a place void of criticism. A space to share my unabashed love for something wonderful. Let’s get on with the one, the only, Brooklyn Nine-Nine!!

1. Rewatchability


This is an important one for my ilk. The kind of people who literally watch each episode tens of times. Nine-Nine isn’t my first rodeo; before, there were Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and Parks and Recreation. It’s like comfort food. I’ve seen it enough to memorise most episodes, which means I can put an episode on and fall asleep to the comforting sounds of good comedy.

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3 Snakes (but really films) on a Plane

I spent most of July in the U.S. It was my first trip out of Europe & I wasn’t really expecting much. I stayed at a local university, our dorm located two blocks from the White House. I was blown away by the city. I don’t think I’ve ever loved travelling anywhere more. My three weeks in D.C. were brilliant.

But do you know what else is brilliant? VIRGIN AIRLINES. Holy shit. The farthest I’ve ever travelled is London to Athens, and while they had a big screen everyone could watch Spiderman’s Homecoming (fun because I absolutely loved it) on, nothing compares to having films straight out of the cinema in front of you. For a glorious 7 hours. It’s now over a month since that beautiful day but since I watched more films there than I had in 2018 combined, I figured I’d write down what I thought. Mind you, I’ve not read reviews of any of these.

The Greatest Showman

laundry rooftop scene the greatest showman

We have the radio on in the office I’m interning in over summer, and all through June, every single hour, This is Me would come on. Sometimes twice. This type of prolonged exposure changes you. In the end, it became a part of me. The film itself — I loved it!! It felt like a fairytale. It was just a ton of fun, and drama, and singing, and what’s wrong with any of that!! When the notorious This is Me actually came on, it moved me to tears. The cast was so great throughout, even if the Zendaya/Zac Efron storyline (and Rewrite the Stars, another classic on rotation on our office radio) were underwhelming. An absolute highlight was the scene with the laundry lines. All in all, I felt like I straight up needed this; something fun, heartwarming, and a little bit inspiring.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

three billboards bug

Holy SHIT. I’ve seen this on the top of everyone’s lists and Oscar buzz all around, but was still blown away. That’s how you tell a story. From the writing to the cast to the pacing to the visuals. . .take these f–king Oscars, all of them.1 (Mind you, I’d not checked this year’s Oscar winners — the farthest I got was reading up on Brittani’s predictions.) It reminds me this rare format I’ve encountered — where it feels less like a classic rollercoaster structure, but where things start to get better and just as your heart starts to heal, they tear you back down, and so on, breaking your heart and giving you hope, just to f–k it all up again in five minutes. I can’t believe how funny they made it. Definitely the best film I’ve seen this year (not that it’s competing against many).

Black Panther

black panther

Watching this after Infinity War was such a change of pace! Seeing Martin Freeman anywhere than Sherlocks f–ks me up. Everyone else in the cast killed. I’m definitely giving it a re-watch, but even my truncated view (I kept falling asleep because I’d been awake for about 30 hours by this point) showed that this was awesome — the ‘bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage’ line haunts me because it wraps up Killmonger’s character — and a whole bigger phenomenon–in just one sentence. It’s not my favourite Marvel film but I don’t think that’s the point–the cultural significance of this is far greater. I’m also so thoroughly impressed how they let women take charge all throughout, even if T’Challa and Killmonger were men.

On the plane back, I was travelling Norwegian and the film selection was underwhelming on the whole — but they had The Shape of Water! I managed 10 minutes and fell asleep. I woke up as we landed. RIP. Anyway, what did you guys think?! (Would love it if you linked to your own reviews!)

1 OK, I am of the belief Academy Awards don’t matter — theoretically. In practice, I’ve grown up with them, they’re still exciting, and ‘Oscar-worthy’ means something different to me than literally winning Oscars. So please bear with me as I try to resolve this internal conflict.

Selma (2015)


My dissertation’s thesis is that nonviolence is an overemphasised narrative in civil rights’ movements. About 8 weeks into my phenomenal American history module (the first I’d ever studied the U.S.!) in autumn last year, I emailed my professor to say ‘I always imagined people just became more aware of human rights and basic decency and that was why civil rights movements worked, but obviously that was not enough.’ (Reading back on my questions to lecturers is a mix of hilarious and deeply embarrassing, but I guess I’m here to learn.) And nonviolence is such an elegant fill-the-gap between segregation and the post-racial era — I just don’t think it’s enough. By attributing the victories to Dr King we do a disservice to the staggering courage and drive of the grassroots activists — and more dangerously, we think we do live in a post-racial world (or America), because the Civil Rights Movement finishes neatly in 1968, with King’s assassination and the second Civil Rights Act.

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