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Baker's Dozen

"Shy People Telling Small Stories, Quietly": Jeanie Finlay's Favourite Films
Adrian Lobb , April 24th, 2014 10:40

Jeanie Finlay, director of Sound It Out and The Great Hip Hop Hoax picks her favourite films, and talks about the final days of fundraising on her next documentary, Orion


Pretty In Pink (1986, John Hughes)
This is the shy ones as well. It was really personal, this film. When I was growing up in Teesside, if you had ginger hair, it was pretty bad. But then Molly Ringwald arrived and it made it okay. I was no longer ginger, I was a redhead, and that was a good thing. I remember going to an arts summer school, and these lads from Middlesbrough kept shouting at me, "Alright, Molly". And "molly" in Teesside means unfashionable – oh, you're clothes are so "molly". It is the female of "menk". So I thought they were calling my unfashionable, but they were calling me Molly Ringwald. So for a whole group of lads in Middlesbrough, I will always be Molly. But there is so much about this film I really love. The record store scenes, the soundtrack, John Hughes has made more fun films – Ferris Bueller… is more fun – but Pretty In Pink is the one. It is full of cliches, she literally lives on the wrong side of the tracks. But that idea of America seemed so exotic to a teenager living in Teesside. She had a telephone in her bedroom! When I made my first film, Teenland, we did loads of cover versions for the soundtrack, and one of them was 'Pretty In Pink'. I liked the more romantic Brat Pack films – Ferris Bueller…, Say Anything..., The Sure Thing, which I watched again recently, rather than Rumble Fish or River's Edge.