Sarah: I’m a writer (to see details, please visit my website http://www.sarahlefanu.co.uk) and part-time teacher, and have always loved films and loved going to the cinema. My film-watching career started in the late 60s but had a hiatus of ten years or more (while I was bringing up babies) from the early 80s. I’m still catching up.

To paraphrase Francois Truffaut (1932-1984): Everyone has two jobs: our own job, and being a film critic. 

For the last ten years or so I’ve been going regularly to the cinema – most often to Bristol’s Watershed, but sometimes to a multiplex – with my younger daughter Ismay. How lucky I am, to have a daughter who wants to spend time with me, sharing this passion. Sometimes, however, I go on my own in the afternoon – the privilege of the freelancer, while Ismay is hard at work – just as my mother used to take herself off to whatever was showing at the Screen on the Green in London. And I also go to the cinema with my mother-in-law Muffet, although not to films that I believe will prove too upsetting or sad; and sometimes a friend comes with me, or with me and Ismay.

I love films that make me laugh (I worry that I embarrass Ismay by laughing too loud). I love films that make me cry. I love films that make me scared (but not too scared).

Some of my favourite films: Les Diaboliques (which I first saw with my father when I was about 13 – I still get a frisson of fear, even now, when I go into a bathroom at night), Some Like It Hot, A Night at the Opera, Aguirre Wrath of God (also Herzog’s volcano documentaries), Thelma and Louise, the Coen brothers’ True Grit (and most of the Coen brothers’ films), My Dog Skip, Dark Horse (and most films with animals, even the doomy Icelandic one about the sheep), Shaun of the Dead, Grand Budapest Hotel, Bridesmaids.


My name is Ismay, that is me
I am the daughter of Sarah, I’m one of three.
I recently got married, a new chapter in my life
But I enjoy nothing more than being with my mum even though I am now a wife.

I work for the NHS and have done for years
I love my job completely even if sometimes it brings me to tears.
It is exciting and fun, at times very hard
But I am proud of what I do and I wouldn’t change it, not even a yard.

We watch films together and critique them to the end
Then analyse our thoughts although our opinions may bend.
A film makes you forget, takes you away to another place
You can immerse yourself completely and just enjoy the chase.

Watching a film is always fun
But is is so much nicer with your mum
Being able to share with her the emotions a film brings
Is an ongoing memory I cherish, along with many other things.