Thursday, May 14, 2020

Making Possible the Impossible

by Jan Bottiglieri
My friend Patrick once said about horror movies that he didn’t love them because they were “scary” – he loved them because they presented so many possibilities. That simple observation made me see horror in a new light, and instantly deepened my own appreciation for the genre. What’s more, Patrick’s comment reminded me of my favorite quote about poetry: it makes possible the impossible.

With that, I’d like to share my Top 5 FTM Impossible Possibilities:

Movies can allow us to live in the past or the future; they can make two hours run faster than the zombies in 28 Days Later or shamble along like the zombies in Night of the Living Dead. If I want to feel time stop altogether as the outside world melts away, I need to be in one of my Happiest Places on Earth: FTM’s palatial underground headquarters, i.e. Patrick’s Movie Basement. Some of my very favorite times with the FTM crew (actually some of my very favorite times ever) are our annual Scary Movie Night and F This Movie Fest. When it comes to programming movie marathons, Patrick ABSOLUTELY knows what he’s doing. The movies, the camaraderie, and the soul-satisfying bliss of an entire day and night of movie-watching create a time-stopping alchemy. Want to play “Time Lord” at home? Choose one of Patrick’s “24 Hours of Movies” columns (my favorites include “…Robots!” because Blade Runner and “…Back in Time” because I love time-travel movies.)


If Sept-, Oct-, Nov-, and Dec- are prefixes that mean 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th, why are September, October, November, and December the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th months? Because when you’re the freakin’ Emperor of Rome, you can start a bunch of guilds, put your face on money, and add NEW MONTHS to the calendar. That’s what Numa Pompilius did about 2,700 years ago. #CalendarFactswithJan
F This Movie has also added two new months to the year! Because Patrick respects the investment you have made into funny cat calendars for your office, he re-named two existing months and turned them into the two most movie-tastic times of the year: Junesploitation and Scary Movie Month. What makes them so awesome? True to the F This Movie vibe, they’re all about coming together as a community to write our 7-word reviews, explore new themes and genres, share recommendations, and lean into that sweet, sweet movie love. It’s terrific fun, even without togas and live sacrifices to the gods.

A steady diet of F This Movie is like putting your movie love on steroids—without the blurred vision, hair loss, or Hulk-like rage. I’ve read plenty of comments and columns that back me up: being a fan of F This Movie will kick your movie love up to 11. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved going to the movies and discussing movies with friends. I didn’t think it was possible for movies to become an even more important part of my life, but that’s what happened. The passion, curiosity, and openness with which the FTM crew approaches movie-watching is infectious. If you’re like me, you can’t imagine living a life without movies, and FTM is here to insure we don’t have to.

By this time, it’s become almost a cliché around here, but truth is truth: our F This Movie community is the best. Whether you’re a long-time contributor or a first-time listener, there’s a place for you at the table. Want to pop in for Scary Movie Month? Fine, see you again next year! Look forward all week to the podcast dropping? You’re not alone. Do you read every column, but never comment? That’s okay (but don’t be afraid to comment—everyone here would love to meet you). Maybe you just pop by every now and then; feel free to explore. After TEN YEARS of columns and podcasts, you’re sure to find old favorites and new things to add to your “must see” list. If you had told Patrick 10 years ago that his crazy podcast idea would have grown into everything FTM is today, he probably would have told you it wasn’t possible. Yet here we are. Being a welcoming community makes it happen.

I may only be an occasional contributor, but I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in one of my favorite F This Movie experiences ever: the 18-hour “F Breast Cancer!” Podcast-A-Thon to raise money for the Magnolia Tree Foundation. As a breast cancer survivor, this meant a lot to me. I believe in the work Magnolia Tree Foundation does to raise awareness of the BRCA genetic mutation. I was honored to talk with Patrick—and, by extension, to all of you—about the strength I draw from movies (Wolverine is my spaghetti.) Someone else I love has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and I wish there was more I could do to help her; remembering the Podcast-A-Thon reminds me that, when caring people rally, so much becomes possible.

The Magnolia Tree fundraiser is not the only way this site has changed the lives of people in every part of the FTM family. We’ve heard from listeners who found belonging in times of loneliness. We’ve read comments about how the engaging podcast conversations have made long commutes bearable. Several writers for the site have been brave enough to share the profound effects that movies, and the opportunity to write about them, have had on their lives. Maybe movie love has saved your life too—or maybe you’re just here for the laughs. (Honestly, the FTM crew are the funniest people I know.) Either way, we’re glad you’re here. If you’d like to show your support, there’s a little “DONATE” button at the top of the page! Or just join in the conversation with a comment, a social media share, or by inviting a friend or two to check us out.

Here’s to 10 more years of making this impossible amount of Movie Love possible. Thanks, Patrick, and congratulations to everyone!


  1. Jan, this is lovely (as anything with your byline is guaranteed to be).

    I feel like you're the fairy godmother and poet laureate of this site, and still the most approachable and down to earth human ever. <3

    I'm so glad to know you and I hope we get many more excellent Jan contributions in the future.

  2. I love this, Jan. Thank you for reminding us all about these special events and memories. <3 YOU are the best.