Interview with Sarah Moore, BBC film reviewer, 7th Feb 2018
- When did your passion for film start? Probably when I was around thirteen. I used to walk down to our local video shop and would spend ages browsing the shelves for films I wanted to watch. I used to spend all my pocket money on hiring movies and used to get often three or four at a time! Believe it or not, I did have friends that I’d spend time with but I valued time to myself from an early age.
- You reviewed 500 films in one year for a YouTube challenge, did you re-visit your favourites or completely new films? Find any gems? I wanted to see as many new films as possible but I ended up seeing quite a few I had seen already, especially if I was watching a new entry in a franchise (I like to “revise” the older movies in a series, just to refresh my memory on the plot). I had the pleasure of seeing so many movies I would perhaps never have seen if I’d not done the challenge; some of my personal favourites include – Baskin, Arrival, Shelley, Before We Go, Trolls, Christine and The Girl on the Train (quite an eclectic mix!)
- How many films do you watch on average per week? Around seven.
- Who are your favourite directors? I really like David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Roman Polanski, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Alfred Hitchcock but I am currently keeping a close eye on Antonio Campos’ work – he hasn’t got a huge amount of features under his belt but he has a fantastic style which I want to see more of…
- If you had to choose what are your top 5 films and what draws you to them? I honestly can’t answer that – there are just too many hugely impressive films out there, I feel it would be wrong to try to rank them! My sentiments about movies also change over time; I have seen a number of films I loved in my teens and twenties but hated them when I’ve seen them again in my thirties…
- Do you have a favourite genre? I adore horror! Even though those movies have a bad reputation, I find horror can be very fresh and original and it’s always fun to be scared, especially as I don’t scare very easily!
- I have my own annoyance with remakes, believing its lazy filmmaking… do you have any irks about the Hollywood machine, or movie making in general? I would definitely rather see a completely new concept over a remake and feel as if certain classics should never be touched (The Wicker Man is an example I freely use when illustrating that point!) On very rare occasions, Hollywood can come up trumps with regards to classics being made again but reboots tend to be more successful that remakes, in my opinion.
- You are a BBC film reviewer, do you review films which would attract to their demographic rather than your favourite choices for that month? Has this made you view films you wouldn’t normally opt for? I tend to do a combination of both. I want the listeners to be interested in the films I’m reviewing so I do bear the demographic in mind but I will always throw in a curve ball, just in case they’d like to see something a little left of centre that month.
- When you review a film, what do you look for exactly, what stands out for you as vital to being an engaging film? I feel as if well-rounded characters and high calibre actors are key to an engaging film. I also like visual beauty in a movie, which I have seen achieved in many different ways over the years. Lastly, the score and soundtrack are massively important to me.
- What films have stood out for you recently which are unique, fresh and original? That’s a tough question! I think the same ideas and plot structures are recycled time and time again in Hollywood. Strangely, the first film that popped into my head, which I wouldn’t say was at all original, was The Greatest Showman. I enjoyed that movie particularly as the songs provide a commentary on the characters’ trials and tribulations and every scene is a riot of colour and energy – everyone looks like they are having such a good time and it was impossible not to smile when watching it. I am not a fan of musicals in the slightest but The Greatest Showman managed to bring something unique to the table which forced me to think again.
- Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to give me ahead of this mammoth challenge? No matter how tough it gets, never give up!!
Sarah, thank you so much for you time taking this interview, I appreciate your help!
You can listen to Sarah’s film reviews on the Kerry White Show, BBC Radio Devon on the second Saturday of each month, at around 10.00am (GMT).