Monday, September 19, 2011
On My Second Birthday: 10 Movies That Changed Me
It's Moblog's second birthday! The result of the past two years has been 100-word commentaries on up to 350 movies (at a somewhat creepy rate of a movie every two days), and a nurturing collaboration with readers around the world (including a great new film-loving friend: Toast!).
The highest 3 movie reviews viewed by readers during these two years, in descending order, have (weirdly) been: The Human Centipede, Inception and Thor, and the highest number of hits have been from USA, Iran, UK, Canada, and South Korea (then Germany, Malaysia, India, Ukraine, and France), while my only method of blog advertisement, has been internet communication among friends.
This year as a treat, I thought I might add another "list" - a list of a top something I've never seen among other writers (as I did in My Favorites of Favorites entry last year).
I'll list the top movies that changed me. These are neither the top 10 movies of my life, nor the top movies I would enjoy to see over and over again. These are films that contain a quote or a scene or a concept that have significantly changed the way I think, or who I am. I was trying to avoid making it a round number of 10 movies, because that would seem too fake - especially when we're talking about such an arbitrary subject. But somehow, it still strangely came down to 10 movies.
So here they are, the top movies that changed me, in order of date released - obviously an extremely subjective list. I've offered the reason the movie impacted me.
1. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
Another person's narration of an event, has almost no value in understanding the event. It's just a very circumstantial glimpse of the event. Huge lesson in sociology, and how much you believe in history.
2. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957)
"I just want to talk ... It's not easy to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first."
And the world has never been the same.
3. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
Too many quotes. Too many moments. But one stands out:
"Only don't tell me that you're innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and it makes me very angry."
4. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try. "
5. Heat (Michael Mann, 1995)
"Don't let yourself get attached to anything you're not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."
6. Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier, 1996)
The bells toll in the final scene: Even prostitutes go to heaven. Von Trier definitively deconstructs and reconstructs any notion of religion.
7. Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine (Bahman Farmanara, 2000)
Dying is a responsibility like any other. Plan ahead.
8. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
"Maybe their best isn't good enough."
Not proving yourself at a certain level justifies elimination.
9. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
Your enemies will change sides, as long as you give them a chance to spy on you.
10. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
The power of words for the inception of ideas into one's mind - or the lack thereof to prevent the spread of ideas. Changes history.
I'm sure you have your own list of movies that changed you. Care to share them?