British film buff watches 1,028 films in a year during lockdown | The best thing on the web

What do you do as a true film lover during a coronalockdown if you also lost your job? For Phil Watts from Somerset in the UK it was simple last year: watch as many films as possible. He just ate 1,028 in a year’s time.

Phil Watts is the son of a former film operator, the man who used to be responsible for the projection of the film. He was born with a love for cinema. His father, Roger Watts, converted a garage into a small eight-seat cinema in the 1970s, he recalls. In his own network, Phil Watts is also known as ‘Not George Lucas’, a reference to the famous ‘Star Wars’ director whom he looks a bit like. Watts considers himself a “super geek” when it comes to cinema.

He worked for a wood processing company until he was fired from there during the corona pandemic in November 2020. Since the beginning of 2021, he has been involved in a number of side projects at home, but he also watched a lot of movies. In the spring of last year, he came to the conclusion that he had already had a lot of work to do. He took notes so as not to forget what he had seen. “In March I was already at least three to four hundred films and thought that I might be able to make a thousand in a year.”

Watts went for it, for his movie marathon. He saw all the films of ‘James Bond’, of ‘Star Trek’ and of the ‘Fast and Furious’ series. On December 28, 2021, he was ready for his thousandth, ‘Gone With the Wind’, which he had never seen before.

Up to seven a day

Some days he had to work or have other things to do and didn’t see a single film, he tells the BBC. But on other days, he watched up to seven movies in a day, usually shorter ones of about 70 minutes from the Universal Monsters series of the past. “Towards the end, I tried to fit in a lot of movies. That became a bit more difficult, but for me watching movies is a way to relax.”

According to Watts, his wife had no problem with him spending countless hours in the darkened living room. “She was happy in the garden while I was inside,” he claims. “We have very different tastes when it comes to movies. We found a few that she wanted to watch with me, but she was happy to let me have my way.”

Of course, the film buff also has an absolute favorite. That is Giuseppe Tornatore’s ‘Cinema Paradiso’ from 1988, because that film shows a connection with Watts’ personal life. After all, in the film, an Italian boy learns the art of cinema from a local film operator. “I cried really hard at the end, but in a good way,” Watts concluded.

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