Movies We Love

On The Couch: TOTAL FILM

Charging By The Hour:

Okay, so we laid our hearts on the line by revealing to the Features Ed the movies we love and why we love them... And then he gleefully sent them off to Dr Rachel Andrew, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, for a no-holds-barred analysis. Tears ensued...

Here are our choices:

  • Mark Dinning, Editor - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Jamie Graham, Features Editor - Stand By Me (1986)
  • Jonathan Crocker, News Editor - Blue Velvet (1986)
  • Andy Lowe, Reviews Editor - Watership Down (1978)
  • Jonathan Dean, Staff Writer - Donnie Darko (2001)
  • Jayne Nelson, Production Editor - The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  • Nev Pierce, Deputy Editor - Fight Club (1999)
  • Sarah Tully, Picture Editor - Oliver! (1968)
  • Steven Whitchurch, Art Editor - Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
  • Chris Deacon, Deputy Art Editor - Jaws (1975)
  • Liz Hawkins, Online Editor - It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Matt Hobbs, Designer - The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • Matt Mueller, Editor-At-Large - Annie Hall (1977)

You'll have to get your hands on issue 115 to see what we wrote and Dr Andrew's analyses. But here are a couple to whet your appetite:

Mark Dinning, EDITOR
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Dinning says... Star Wars took cinema on a hyperdrive spurt to new possibilities, new worlds; Empire takes that entire saucer-eyed spectacle and builds on it – the AT-AT attack! Cloud City! – before layering in deeper relationships and darker themes. The most adult of all six of the Star Wars movies, its escapist fantasy with dangerous spikes: severed hands, sliced guts, frozen carbonite. All this and the climactic reveal of Darth being Luke’s pa. Life-changing.

Dr Andrew says... Daddy is the operative word here, as this is widely recognised as the ultimate Oedipal film: son fights and kills father in order to become his own man. It’s also seen as an Id vs Ego epic, emphasised by Luke’s own internal struggles alongside his battles with others. A person who chooses this as their favourite? You may well struggle with your own dark side. And I’d be interested in your relationship with your dad. Life-changing? Therapy could be.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Hawkins says... Okay, so maybe it’s a bit cheesy. But, honestly, it swipes away all ‘trendier’ films. The ending lingers (Family! Christmas! Angels!) but it’s the frantic build up to the cathartic burst of joy that makes it: Jimmy Stewart stumbling through the snow after being given a glimpse of what life would have been like for others had he never been born.

Dr Andrew says... A film about life and purpose. The crux of this one is how many people are touched through James Stewart’s character’s existence, even though he doesn’t originally think his life has particular meaning. I’m guessing that you’re reassured in your life, even if at times you wonder. It may also make you feel warm inside because of the family element. Unfortunately, the reality is that you probably don’t do anywhere near enough for your family, friends or charity.

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.