For those of you who are new to the blog we used to help run a film society in Newhaven. After 5 years of that we were ready to move on, which we did, stepping down in October 2017 – there are some great people running it now.  We hadn’t been back since then but two Saturdays ago we returned to watch the documentary The Music of Strangers which is the story of the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his amazing work with his ensemble of fellow musicians.  As these musician come from many different countries and musical backgrounds over time they’ve developed a particular style which was very thrilling to hear.  There was a bag-pipe player from Spain who just rocked that instrument – you’d have to see it it believe it.

The film was also about the interconnectivity of people as they took this music to many different venues including refugee camps, and there was a heart-stopping moment when you saw the vastness of just one camp in Lebanon. This film was ultimately uplifting and you left thinking how it would be if just a few more people around the world worked on developing friendship, connectivity and interdependence rather than the stridency and posturing of nationalism, which I detest. Leaving my anger aside, you also left feeling humbled at the dedication of Yo-Yo Ma to his music and the wider world. However, if I’ve got one criticism it is that the cutting and editing let the story down somewhat, it was a bit all over the place leaving you feeling where is this going? The thing is running the film society led to us watching hundreds of films and, over time, we learnt to look at not only the plot and storyline, but how the films were made; the cinematography, the script and the cutting and editing all count, in my view, towards a cohesive and coherent tale. Sadly I think the editor was too clever by half with his rather choppy cuts.  But don’t let me put you off, do look at the film for a sight of good people working together to make the world a better place. More power to Yo-Yo Ma – and respect.

I wrote all of this at the end of last week, and unbeknown to me Tricia Cusden’s LookFabulousForever blog post this Sunday is about films. Talk about synchronicity! Actually it’s about the kind of films targeted at us, the grey pound, the older filmgoer, as in, me.  Look, I’ll say it here and now, I really do not like these films. There’s a couple out now; The Leisure Seeker for one starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. And as for the Marigold Hotel type film no, no, and again, no.  Yes, in the interests of the film society, I have seen both Marigold films,  And in my view, they’re too safe, too predictable and too tame for me and, and, too stereotypically scripted for and targeted to a certain demographic. For me, watching that kind of film is like eating a very sweet sweet – sickly and unsatisfying. Actually, our film society’s ethos was to show the slightly unusual film that you couldn’t see in the mainstream cinema outlets – and very successful we were with that too. In fact, now I don’t have the responsibility of the film society to watch and sift, I’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming into any film that stars the usual suspects, and especially (I’m sorry to say and I know that this’ll upset some) Judi Dench, well not Philomena, that had some grit. And that’s my point, I do not like sentimental, ‘nice’ films that are targeted at the older audience.  Because why? Because in my head I’m 25 that’s why!

So, what films do I like?  I like a very, very broad range of films – you name the genre I like it.  I don’t like rubbish (ha ha, see below) but I will try anything.  I like a good script and subject matter that not only uplifts but teaches you something new.  Similar to my reading material I like to unpick and think about the film afterwards.  But I also like to be entertained and, at the moment, my totally fave films, which I am now going to rave about are the Marvel series of films, which are actually about a whole cinematic universe.  These include the Thor films (Thor: Ragnarok is the best), Captain America, the Guardians of the Galaxy series (great fun) and the Avenger series, of which the latest Avengers: Infinity War (the 3rd of a 4-part series) I can’t wait to see.

Oh, you might say. What terrible taste.  And you know what, I’d say, I respect your opinion and I totally accept that people have different views on what films they like, but, have you seen any Marvel films?

OK, I’ve not been a fan from the start as I’ve only recently realised how good they are, but now I’m smitten. (And the start would be 2008 with Iron Man, and gosh that Tony Stark is irritating). But not so long ago I watched an interview with Tom Hiddleston on his role as Loki, and I realised that yes, there was a whole world out there which I had to catch up on. I had seen some of the films, but not all (there are 19).  And why?  Because, let’s take the Avenger series, the script for a start is excellent.  For example, in some scenes of Avengers Assemble (2012) it is positively Shakespearean. And the acting.  Oh yes, even that Chris Hemsworth (a big guy – gulp) can act and he has Tom Hiddleston thesping away by his side as Loki (fascinating and quite sexy) along with Anthony Hopkins (say no more) as Odin.  Actually, I feel there is some substance to it with its Nordic and Greek mythology.  And then there is the sheer entertainment and fun in these films. We need a laugh these days and here’s just one example. In Thor: The Dark World (2013) much of the action at the end of the film is taking place in Greenwich. Thor finds himself catapulted from the Dark World into the London underground (would take too long to explain how and why).  Standing on the platform in his full Thor gear he asks how he can get to Greenwich and is told ‘it’s 3 stops further on, mate’, so promptly gets onto the tube train full of commuters. It’s hilarious. It probably hasn’t convinced you, but I’ll just leave you with the idea to never say never, because these films have a lot going for them, including laughs. I really enjoy them!

And just note, you film-makers and scriptwriters out there.  Maybe the baby-boomers (who are now in their 70s) really aren’t turned on by the films you think we might like. Let’s not stereotype older people, OK!

Btw, I’d like to apologise and also thank those who commented last week.  Our internet provider had some problems and was more off than on over two days.  The blog was fine but I couldn’t do the replies to you for several days.  But there you were responding to each other – now that’s connectivity and it was quite lovely to see it happening.  Big thank you to you all for commenting.

Anyway, getting back to clothes (!) I always used our monthly film night as an excuse to dress up, and while I don’t miss the responsibility of the film society I do miss the opportunity to wear a frilly and frothy skirt!

Although I still have a few of those skirts (after my big clear-out, that is) I chose to wear a straight skirt bought, of course, from a charity shop for £5. It’s as good as new.

The label is Hobbs, so the skirt would have cost a lot of money if bought new.

And here is another view of the skirt and Mr Frugalfashionshopper.

We had a surprise! There was a little ceremony which began with the film society treasurer saying, ‘tonight is Oscar night’ which of course it wasn’t, so I was thinking, what is she on about!  But dear friends, we were given an Oscar (look closer, Mr Frugalfashionshopper has it in his hand) and a box of the most delicious chocs plus a life membership allowing us free seats to all future films – wow!   It was very unexpected. So, a big thank YOU Hillcrest Film Society – we were very happy and thrilled and the chocolates are amazing!

That’s all for now

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


And P.S. What age are you in your head?

What I wore on film night – April 2018
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23 thoughts on “What I wore on film night – April 2018

  • 30th April 2018 at 9:00 am

    My birth age is 69, my head age is 35. I agree about some of the films targeted at our age group, I see the trailer and think “That’s one to miss”. Having said that I have enjoyed a few silly ones. I loved the Marigold Hotel films, yes they are twee but I love India, and to escape into wonderland for a couple of hours is bliss. I like the Marvel films too, I love a good adventure. I go to the cinema to be entertained, not educated. If the film makes me laugh, cry, happy or angry then it has fulfilled that criteria.

    • 1st May 2018 at 7:32 am

      I love that the age in your head is younger than your actual age – as it is I think for us all. Because I feel younger than my early 70s I cannot relate to the older actresses who usually star in those films, although I do like Helen Mirren in her more feisty roles.

      The last film that made me cry was Arrival, and not at the beginning but at the end when I worked out the time shift thing. Have you seen Arrival? If you haven’t I do recommend as it’s an intelligent sic-fi with a great female lead in Amy Adams.

      • 3rd May 2018 at 12:52 pm

        I’ve just looked it up, it sounds good. I like sci-fi. Thanks for the info.

  • 30th April 2018 at 10:48 am

    We’re off to see the latest Marvel film today using our senior citizen discount cards ! My husband and I like different film genres but our venn diagram definitely overlaps for the Marvel and DC series. I like the dry humour and they don’t take themselves seriously. There was an interesting article in the Guardian a few days ago which provoked some discussion in our house. I have added the link but it doesn’t seem to be reading it correctly so I can only hope you can read it by typing the whole line in.

    I do like the Guardian’s article writers as they are not afraid to give time and effort to discussing all types of film genres and aren’t snobbish about this type of genre.

    Films like the Marigold hotel are not my cup of tea but I just find the writing a little lazy and I cannot abide lazy writers. The BBC bemoans the drift of customers to Netflix, Sky, and Amazon yet their writers keep churning out the same old hash of Eastenders, boring detective, forensic examiners, and hospital series. There are a few gems in their library but they are few and far between.

    I have the same Hobbs skirt and was about to put it into a local charity shop along with two others ! But I won’t now. I just have to restyle how to wear it and be more confident as you are in your styling !

    • 1st May 2018 at 7:48 am

      I thought that was an interesting article (the link was good, btw) and noted all the arguments for and against, even that Thanos’ view of life and death was never considered and all it came down to was ‘fight’! I still want to see the film though! Waiting for the crowds to dissipate somewhat and will, anyway, probably go to an afternoon silver screen for my tea and biscuit!

      As for the Marigolds of this world – they are just too easy and predictable, so I don’t engage with them at all.

      Amazing that you’ve got the same skirt. It was still that warm weather when I wore it at film night so I just had a black t-shirt. If it had been any cooler I would have worn my biker boots and faux leather jacket. But I think the skirt goes very well with all sorts of black tops. I’m sure you’ll find an opportunity to wear it as it really is a gorgeous skirt.

  • 30th April 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Oh what a lovely surprise the two of you got! And what a fantastic skirt! We don’t go often to the cinema, we don’t like all movies. We do love movies made by The Coen brothers, no country for old men, and Quentin Tarantino. Pulp Fiction is my best movie ever. But I did love(havn’t seen it for such a long time now) Don’t look back!

    • 1st May 2018 at 7:52 am

      I think we’ve got the same tastes. I just love the Coen brothers. Actually I’ll go and try anything, but not sentimental, I don’t do those kind of films. I’m currently watching American Crime Story Season 1 on Netflix and John Travolta is hamming it up as the lawyer who defended OJ Simpson – it’s great to see him in quite a gritty (but definitely hammy) role!

  • 30th April 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Congrats on the chocs and lifelong membership!
    Super leopard print skirt. Hobbs’ skirts are fabulous.
    Agree with you on the syrupy sweet films for Boomers. “Quartet” was another one. I’m a Boomer too (aged 57) and I hate those films. Women in their 50s are usually stereotyped as menopausal witches. There have been some better TV series’s lately – Happy Valley, The Split (new) and Last Tango in Halifax, where women have the main roles and most interesting characters. Filmland needs to catch up.

    • 1st May 2018 at 7:57 am

      Television is really the thing now. No film can do the story arc or character development contained in Breaking Bad. And there are some great female roles in so many TV series. Just started watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix – a bit dystopian but good to see a strong woman as the main protagonist. There are so many more as well, just mentioning one, Carrie in Homeland. I agree, films really do need to catch up.

  • 30th April 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Glad it’s not just me who doesn’t like The Marigolds! (I’m 69)

    • 1st May 2018 at 7:21 am

      What a hoot, Hilary! We think alike!

  • 30th April 2018 at 4:38 pm

    What a wonderful honor for you and your hubby to receive! Congratulations! And you both look great!
    Love your look! With you on my mind, I stepped into a cancer research-supporting thrift shop and found a beautiful pair of Corso Como oxfords for $15. All for a good cause!
    At 69, I, too, am a Marvel fan! Mostly due to my English PhD son who will admit to being a Marvel nerd who attends those conventions (sans costume…thank goodness!). I see that Black Panther is not on your viewed list. I recommend it! I found the two top female roles to be interesting and well done. My son brings a lot of politics into the making of this movie but it is just plain good fun.
    Hoping to see the new Avengers soon with my husband whose health is much improved (almost miraculous!) after a highly technical cardiac procedure. You were so encouraging to me during the difficult weeks…THANK YOU!
    Charlene H

    • 1st May 2018 at 7:20 am

      Hello again, Charlene, and it’s really great to hear your husband is on the mend after his procedure. So pleased for both of you.

      Ah yes, Black Panther wasn’t on the list and it should’ve been. I haven’t seen it yet as I think we were either on holiday or just couldn’t get to the cinema. I can’t wait for it to get onto Netflix or any of the other streaming services. That film is truly a game changer. And I am so looking forward to the new Avengers film which my daughter and her family has already seen. I remember that my daughter went to a Star Wars convention when she was a teenager and I can see my grandson going to a Comic Con – he’s just 12 but it won’t be long before he does, I think!

      Thanks so much for telling me your good news x

  • 1st May 2018 at 9:31 am

    I love a print skirt with a black top ! Talking of Netflix, anyone watch ” Grace and Frankie ” ? I loved it and hope some more episodes are coming up soon.

    • 1st May 2018 at 12:09 pm

      Hi, just to say that we thought Black Panther was wonderful and after seeing the latest Marvel movie yesterday we thoroughly recommend it. Very cliff-hanger ending. No spoilers – one little bit where I teared up slightly – highly unusual for me but I am sure mothers will recognise when. Adore Frankie and Grace but have not yet watched the latest series on Netflix. I love looking at their clothes and love their attitudes.

      Ref the Hobbs skirts, I notice that all of my work clothes that have gone to charity shops I have held on the longest to my Hobbs skirts, jackets, and dresses.

      Penny and Maisie – I have struggled with a black top with that particular skirt as it washes me out but yesterday I did find a lovely silky-type dark golden long sleeved M&S shirt that has sat in my wardrobe for nearly 20 years ! Now I have lost the retirement weight around my middle, it fits perfectly with the skirt. I liked your suggestion of the black leather jacket (I have a lovely lightweight plain one with a small collar I found in a London retro shop for £20) and put that on as well. Yes, the ensemble went well together with a pair of black slingbacks. Glad to see they are currently back in fashion. M&S have got some nice ones that fit well.

      • 1st May 2018 at 4:04 pm

        Yes, I missed Black Panther and is definitely one to watch as soon as I can which will probably be when it gets to Netflix. We may see the latest (the Avengers one) tomorrow!

        I will look at Frankie and Gracie again.

        The colour gold is of course, just right for the Hobbs skirt. Your ensemble sounds and must have looked great.

    • 1st May 2018 at 3:57 pm

      I have attempted to watch Grace and Frankie but kind of didn’t get it. I will actually watch a couple of episodes again. Because I really must follow my advice and try everything! Here’s one I adored – it’s The Good Place starring Ted Danson. It’s the best thing he’s done for years. If you try it and don’t quite get it, I urge you to watch to the end of Season 1 where…………. no, I cannot say! So good!

  • 1st May 2018 at 8:12 pm

    I feel relieved to hear that others don’t like those movies like the Marigolds and other “senior citizen”-targeted ones, so predictable and sappy. I’ve thought maybe I was just being cranky. I’ve never seen any of the Marvel, etc. ones. Now I want to check them out.

    Your film society sounds like so much fun (and work for you organizers). When I was in England in 2016, I stayed a week in Sedbergh. The town has a monthly film showing, and I’m on their email mailing list. Even though I’m not there, I like to feel a part of it and see what they’re showing. I’ll be in England this August and will see if I can find a similar event where we are going.

    Your outfit is perfect. Personally, I love a black t-shirt – it gives some sort of great edge to a skirt or jeans. Takes out the frilly or too tailored or serious look.

    • 2nd May 2018 at 7:34 am

      No you’re definitely not alone Evie!

      If you’re going try the Marvel films I’d advise absolutely don’t go to the latest Avengers: Infinity Wars. There was an interesting article on the Guardian recently that said although films can’t do what the TV series are now doing in giving you a story arc over time this has been achieved by the 19 films in the Marvel series, which started in 2008. You might even have seen one or two. The thing is this latest film will have references to all those films, plus you understand the history of all the many leads. I’d suggest starting with the first Avengers film which came out in 2012 – it seems to have various names but on Netflix it’s Avengers Assemble (2012). If you like that one then continue with maybe a Thor, which has Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddleston plus the mighty Chris Hemsworth. The best of those is Thor: Ragnarock which if you want to laugh nearly all the way through that is the one – not slapstick btw, just a brilliant script and storyline. On the other hand it is the 4th Thor. I must sound like an expert on these, but actually seen less than half of the 19.

      But that’s what running the film society did for us – we learnt so much about films. So we could recognise weak films – the Marigold types; note the fun but good ones – Marvel (but maybe not quite what our film society does!) and pick the excellent ones: Ida, Hidden Figures, Searching for Sugarman, Letters from Baghdad and so on and so on. It was a lot of work, which was a labour of love – most of the time!

  • 2nd May 2018 at 8:36 pm

    I’ve only started getting back to going to the cinema in the past 6 months. I went off going to the cinema originally because the films on offer didn’t interest me and before I knew it years had passed since my last cinema trip!

    I’ll give most films a go but I do like to be moved by a film; it must make me laugh, cry, think, get angry or provide some escapism – I liked the Marigold films for this very reason; the colours, the clothes and the scenery.

    Congratulations on your ‘Oscar’ and chocolates. You deserved them after all your hard work and dedication.

    The Hobbs skirt is fab and an excellent find!

    • 5th May 2018 at 8:50 am

      Hi Vronni – glad you’ve gone back to film going – there are so many good films out there. And don’t listen to my views (!) and especially don’t go to the latest Avenger film because that film funnily enough needs a lot of engagement with and knowledge of all the characters and their backstories. Who knew that there was a whole world in that Marvel universe???? They are silly, of course, but such fun.

      That Hobbs skirt is amazing – I am a skirt person, definitely – and it was so good to find that label in the racks. Hope you’re still hunting the charity shops 🙂

  • 3rd May 2018 at 5:02 am

    Well done on the Oscar and life membership , hope you enjoyed the chocs too.
    The skirt is very smart and a very useful addition to your wardrobe.
    I am not too much of a movie goer as our only cinema tends to only show the trendy commercial ones and they are not me at all.

    • 5th May 2018 at 8:58 am

      Cinema going could be seen as the poor relation to theatre, but we all know what we like and have our views and for us, films are the superior form. Funnily enough we don’t go to the cinema as often as you would think as we find the tickets quite expensive, and we rely on Netflix a lot. But when we go (maybe twice a month) we are a member of two independent cinemas in Brighton (which gives us a reduced price) then we go in the afternoon to a Senior Screen (another reduction) and then because we get our insurance through on a Tuesday or Wednesday we get a buy-one-get-one-free (that’s another huge reduction), so we go to the pics for next to nothing. Frugal with clothes, frugal in our cinema going! And don’t forget the free tea and biscuit at Senior Screen! There are some compensations to getting to my age!!!

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