A Life in Film, Jon Wallis

Jon Wallis retired after a career in the IT services business.  He has been a member of Chiltern Film Society since he moved to Amersham in 1978, and became a committee member soon afterwards.  He has been Chairman of the Society for more years than he cares to remember and is passionate for us to continue to show the best films locally!

1)      What was the best film of your childhood?

I remember being fascinated by 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, the 1954 film of the Jules Verne story with its marvellous submarine – must have been my engineer inclinations coming out early.

2)      Best date movie?

American Graffiti (1973, George Lucas) - an indulgent portrayal of teenagers in 1960’s small town America; sentimental and hitting all the buttons of my youth.

3)      Have you ever walked out of a film and if so what and why?

Fellini’s Satyricon (1969) – we thought this daring portrayal of ancient Roman debauchery would be fun and sexy but just found it wantonly unpleasant and indulgent.

4)      Everyone should see?

Cinema Paradiso (Guiseppe Tomatore, 1988).  A sentimental rite of passage movie which celebrates the lost art of cinema going.

5)      No one should see? I have seen it so you don’t have to

I couldn’t relate to the religious symbolism and bleak medieval cruelty of Bergman’s The Virgin Spring (1960).  Despite it winning the Best Foreign Film Oscar, don’t feel you need to see it!

6)      Marooned on your desert island you can only save one film to watch over and over again.  What film would you choose. (We will give you a DVD of the Greatest Story Ever Told and Shakespeare in Love)

Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1962).  I could watch Jeanne Moreau’s enchanting character endlessly while delighting in Truffaut’s cinematic technique.

7)      What film is your guilty pleasure? The film that someone with your good taste in cinema wouldn’t want anyone else to know about.

The non-PC and wickedly funny There’s Something About Mary (Farrelly Brothers 1998).

8)      What  would be the last film that you would like to see before you meet the great film maker in the sky

I’m going to cheat here – in the hope that it will be some distant time in the future, the most recent Coen Brothers film released before I go!

9)      Inheritance films. Which film did you inherit and from whom and which film would you like to pass on and why?

Inherited: My mother’s love of musicals and Frank Sinatra introduced me to High Society from which I progressed to The Philadelphia Story and into a love of Jazz in all its forms.

To pass on: I am worried that today’s audience don’t think “old black and white films” are worth bothering with, so I would like to pass on my love of the classics, such as Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot.

10)   Who would play you in the film of your life? Two actors please, one for the younger you and one for the older version.

  • Younger me: Eddie Redmayne – he should be able to portray my geeky student times!
  • As I am now: Jim Broadbent.