#WeAreQFT: Jan Carson

09 June 2020

Author and friend of QFT Jan Carson is this week's #WeAreQFT guest. Find out what era of James Bond films is Jan's guilty pleasure, why she would love to see a new adaptation of Midnight Children and what film is the worst thing her eyes have ever seen.

WeAreQFT Jan Carson

weareqft-jan-carson.jpgYou are stuck at home and your favourite cinema is closed. What five films do you watch?

Say Anything… (1989)

Being There (1979)

Rear Window (1954)

The Lobster (2015)

Frances Ha (2012)

What three words would you use to describe QFT?

Home from home.

What is your earliest cinema-going memory?

We weren’t really allowed to go to the cinema as children so the only time I can remember actually being in the old State cinema in Ballymena as a child was a special exemption for a friend’s birthday when I was about 10. The movie was Dick Tracey.

What film do you dislike that everyone else loves?

Groundhog Day (1993).

What is your guilty pleasure film?

James Bond. Roger Moore era, especially View to a Kill (1985). My brother and I spent all our school holidays watching Bond movies taped off the TV and I still finding them really comforting to watch.

What is your favourite film soundtrack?

Reality Bites (1994) (soundtrack to my teenage years).

What film character would you love to meet?

Agatha Christie’s Poirot in any or all of his onscreen incarnations. I’ve been reading Agatha Christie and idolising the little Belgian since I was about eight and as a child used to have this fantasy where I would get to be his sidekick and we would solve elaborately complex crimes together.

What is the best thing about going to the cinema?

Nowadays there’s so much temptation to glance at your phone when you’re watching films or TV at home. The cinema forces me to properly concentrate and focus on the film for the whole duration.

Do you have a special place in the cinema where you always sit?

Four rows down, left side, seat next to the wall. Every time.

Who is your favourite film villain?

Jaws from the Bond movies. He featured very heavily in my nightmares when I was a child. This might also be where my dentist phobia came from.

What film do you think justifies a remake?

My favourite book is Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and they made such an awful job of the adaptation a few years back, I’d love to see a really well done, thoughtful remake. The book has such huge cinematic potential and the film really didn’t do it justice.

Have you ever changed your opinion on a film?

Can I say a whole genre here? I’ve always hated musicals but since I’ve been programming films for our Dementia Friendly Screenings at the QFT I’ve had to programme quite a few musicals and I will say there mostly still all terrible in my opinion but I have found a few I quite like: Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Easter Parade (1948) and White Christmas (1954). Oklahoma! (1955) remains the worst thing my eyes have ever seen.

What is your favourite movie quote?

I regularly attempt to quote and usually mix up Lloyd Dobler’s dinner table speech from Say Anything…: “I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.”

What film would you love to see at QFT when it reopens?

To my shame, I’ve never seen Gone with the Wind (1939) from start to finish. I know I wouldn’t concentrate properly for the whole duration on TV but I’d love to see it on the big screen.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

I really love Emily Watson. She’s one of those actors who everyone’s aware of but she never seems to get the attention she deserves and I think she’d do a stellar job of playing me.