Graham John

A November Make Life Special Challenge

This month I want to bring back a little magic from my youth and for some of you perhaps, depending upon your age, introduce you to a wonderful new experience.

I grew up in a world without pause (technically I didn’t as the pause button was first created in the mid 1960’s) and it had a magic to it, a joy that came from having to be involved, focused; blink and you missed it.

When was the last time you watched a film without the pause button being pressed at some point? How many of you watch a film whilst doing something on your phone? How often do you hit ‘pause’ to go and make a drink or get something to eat? Who hits pause and then tries desperately to remember ‘what have we seen that actor in before’? ‘Where was this filmed on location’? Perhaps you hit rewind because you didn’t hear what was said or press pause to read more clearly the note being held. Perhaps you recognise a landmark, a building or even someone you know in the background? Pause.

I challenge you to watch a film uninterrupted from start to finish, more than that I challenge you to make something memorable of it, make it an event.

On a bigger broader scale you may already be booked to enjoy The Leeds International Film Festival this is a film lovers festival sure to provide something for everyone. Why Leeds? I’ll let Alice Miller explain in her blog.

If you can’t make it to a film festival think about visiting a cinema (here’s a link to a list of various cinemas around the UK), you don’t have to see the latest release, many cinemas have special screenings so you can relive a memory or experience a film on a big screen that you are too young to have seen when originally released, or one you just happened to miss at the time.

Not inclined to go? What was the first film you ever saw at a cinema (mine was ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’)? A harder question: What’s the most memorable film you’ve seen at a cinema and why? (Hmmm. Thinking on that one).

Film can be good for us all! ‘The study, conducted by researchers from UCL’s Department of Experimental Psychology (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences) and Vue Entertainment, found a direct link between watching a film and the impact it has on our brain function, social connections, productivity and creativity. ‘

On a smaller level why not organise a film night for family, friends or treat yourself to a selfish evening in with a great film. This is a ‘Make Life Special’ challenge, it isn’t just about sitting down to watch a film. Plan and prepare so you can sit all the way through: No PAUSE!

What will you drink? Will you have some snacks to nibble on? What about popcorn! (see below for a guide to perfect popcorn).

Plan and prepare. It seems like an easy challenge but we think it will be the hardest one yet to complete – watch a film from start to finish without interruption!


Perfect Popcorn!

Why watching a movie could improve wellbeing- UCL Brain Sciences

Leeds International Film Festival

British Council of Film – Festivals

Cinemas around the UK

Independent Cinema Office

Share this post


  1. Thank you Matt
    You always provide a moment for reflection and to think.

  2. A lovely idea, Matt. I used to go to the cinema a great deal with a couple of great friends. I miss those days. I wonder became of those friends…

  3. Matt,
    Always thought-provoking and interesting. I usually only get to go to the cinema now with my Son…
    Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


2024 All rights reserved. Designed by The Wow Factory.