#WeAreQFT Jennie Carlsten

26 May 2020

For today's #WeAreQFT, our Film Hub NI colleague and brilliant academic Jennie Carlsten fills us in on the films that have been keeping her company and the legend she'd get to play her in the film of her life.

WeAreQFT Jennie Carlsten


You are stuck at home and your favourite cinema is closed. What five films do you watch?

Wait – this isn’t hypothetical, is it? I’ve been watching some of my favourite ‘feel good’ films with my daughter: West Side Story (1961), Sing Street (2016), Slumdog Millionaire (2008) (yeah, I realise these aren’t supposed to be feel good films!) And some films I missed at QFT: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) and Burning (2018).

What three words would you use to describe QFT?

Culture, comfort, memories.

What is your earliest cinema-going memory?

The first film I remember watching in the cinema is Bambi (1942), when I was 4. Obviously, that was completely traumatic – I sobbed for hours. Later that evening, my mother discovered I had chicken pox. Yay, cinema!

What film do you dislike that everyone else loves?

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). As an 80’s teen, as a Chicago native, as a woman – I hate this film so much on so many levels.

What is your guilty pleasure film?

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). It’s wrong to love a film with such a reprehensible premise.

What is your favourite film soundtrack?

I was going to say Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), and maybe I should – but today, let’s go with Bob Roberts (1992).

What film character would you love to meet and why?

Lloyd Dobler. I’d like to see how he’s keeping in 2020.

What is the best thing about going to the cinema?

Just one thing? Trailers.

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

Don’t tell my boss, but it’s the second row from the front.

Who is your favourite film villain?

The Woman from the City.

What one thing would you change about your favourite film?

Why would I want to do that?

What film do you think justifies a remake?

This is more a case of the book deserving a remake… I would love to see a realist adaptation of For Whom the Bell Tolls (sorry, Ray Bradbury!). 

Have you ever changed your opinion on a film? What one?

Home Alone (1990). I rewatched it this Christmas – after avoiding it for years – and I have to admit, it is a perfectly structured Hollywood script.

What is your favourite movie quote?

"Suppose you're thinking about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly somebody will say like 'plate', or 'shrimp', or 'plate of shrimp', out of the blue, no explanation. No point in looking for one either; it's all part of the cosmic unconsciousness."

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

I’d love to see QFT reopen with Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Go epic or go home.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

I would fight to get Laura Linney.