Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Also known as paraskevidekatriaphobia. Two ridiculously long words, one common condition; a fear of Friday the 13th. The powers that be, for reasons best known to themselves, had decided to start this year’s festivities on the Friday night, meaning that my one and only phobia was likely to get another outing. I don’t know what it is, it certainly isn’t rational, but although I don’t believe any supernatural force is acting to always make that day worse for me, something statistically speaking is out of whack in terms of my much higher propensity to bad luck on that day.
Certainly, the day arrived with an unexpected change. My draw winner, Fever Dog, had to drop out of the ticket he’d bought, resulting in a final week flurry of activity on the forum. Of the remaining three people in my draw, the next two had secured tickets and the last couldn’t make it at such short notice, which left only the Empire forum as a source of a replacement. Thankfully, there was a stag do of 1 that could become 2 thanks to my intervention, so HASHBROWN76 took on the role of Fever Dog for the weekend.
My plan, due to the need to be at home every night to do certain household jobs and also to sleep in my own bed, was in theory simple. I hired a car for the weekend at very low rates, which was upgraded to a Corsa free of charge (woo hoo!), and had the plan in place. Start work around 7 a.m., so I could then finish around three, drive down to Newbury Park tube station, park up the car for the very reasonable price of £2.70, then tube into London, possibly disembarking at Hoburn to allow me a casual stroll through London on a warm summer evening to arrive at the venue at around five for pre-con drinks and general socialising with all the lovely people from the forum, who had already collectively started calling themselves Forumites.
Well, my three stage plan to take my movie obsession to the next level this summer hits stage 1 tomorrow, with my first ever IMAX double bill. Inception (my new movie of the year, as I couldn’t risk being spoiled any longer), followed by Toy Story 3. Later, in September I have a week off work where I intend to hit the Cambridge Film Festival hard, but in the middle will be the shiny, geek-infested glory that is sure to be Movie-Con III.
After the almost-debacle of getting a ticket I regaled you with in Chapter I, I thought it would then be all quiet until the day itself. However, never knowingly underobsessed and apparently not alone in that, I have been enjoying the community that has developed out of the thread on the Empire forum, where the struggle just to be there seems to have instilled a real sense of closeness among those lucky enough to have made the cut.
I like to practice what I preach, so my movie philosophy is not only to encourage others into the cinema, but for me to spend as much time there as possible. Two years ago, I set a target of seeing 100 films in a year, which I hit in mid-December that year, but since then I’ve tried to be more sensible. As with any addict, that can only last so long before temptation sets in, so this year I’ve been swallowing up films again like they’re going out of fashion – as of yesterday, I’ve seen as many this year as I saw all of last year.
But what I’ve been looking to do this year is to enhance that movie-going experience. I’ve already had one trip to the IMAX (for Journey to Mecca), and have a double bill of Inception and Toy Story 3 coming up later this month. Every time I think about that, I can already hear Gary Barlow striking up Greatest Day in my head. So how to top it? Well, I’ve booked a week off work so I can do my local thing, the Cambridge Film Festival, but there still felt like more opportunities.