Monday, January 8, 2007

Movies That Moved Me

Thinking back, I cannot remember seeing one movie that made me love movies.

There was no singular occasion that comes to mind that inspired me to invest serious money in Super 8 cameras and film. Or start a Film Club in High School. Or go to film school.

It's kinda sad, really. I don't have that great story to tell everyone what inspired me to be such a movie freak.

But here's what I got. I've got a handful of movies that changed my DNA forever.

And here they are.

La Femme Nikita A film school buddy was watching this when I stopped by his apartment. I had never heard of it. I came in a little bit after the beginning when Nikita is asked to execute her first assassination in the restaurant. I saw this scene and then asked my buddy to rewind it to the beginning so I could watch the whole thing. The whole movie was incredible and so unexpected. The scenes were powerful and the combination of music was spot on.

Reservoir Dogs For some reason or another I hadn't heard of this movie before. And when I saw it I was blown away. I hadn't experienced such a dialogue driven movie. Tarantino obviously had to simplify the sets because of budget, but you wouldn't know it because you're captivated by the characters and dialogue. It's like a one act play.

Battle Royale I had read about this movie on a website and knew that I had to see it. I bought it and watched it on a plane from Kansas City to Los Angeles. I couldn't stop talking about it the entire trip. The concept is disturbing and fits in right nicely with our reality competition mindset. The scene where the students are told exactly what has befallen them is funny/tragic/disturbing. I think this movie is still not sold in the US because of its violent nature, but I got it here.

Fight Club I saw this in a hotel room and it didn't really hit me until DVD. I felt like this is the only movie that spoke to my generation (that being Generation X). It speaks of roles that have been set for us and the materialism of our generation. The fighting was a metaphor for feeling alive, I never took it for anything else.

Royal Tennenbaums Again, I didn't really grip this movie until I got the DVD. This movie is as close to art on film as I have ever seen. Wes Anderson didn't miss a detail and every shot is framed as if it were a masterpiece. And with the exception of Scorsese, no one shoots slow-motion with music better. It's like they created it.

Blue Velvet I can't remember the first time I saw this film, but I remember every time since. I once e-mailed a friend and said that in twenty years, I don't know where film will be with advancements and plots and whatnot, but I can't imagine a movie getting under my skin more than this one did. I am an incredible fan of the dirty underbelly plot being that I grew up in a small town myself. This movie is beautiful and disturbing all at once. And I still can't get the fat lady dancing on top of the car while Roy Orbison plays on the radio out of my head.


cheepcheep said...

Wow, your comment about Reservoir Dogs is so succint. I never thought of it as similar to a one-act, but that makes so much sense. It was the first Tarantino movie I saw...totally blew me away, too.

garrett said...

I was very surprised that this one came to mind. Donnie Darko. After seeing Donnie Darko in the theatre with my future wife and brother in law we were all blown away. I guess because when we went to see this movie we had not expectations whatsoever. I just knew there was a creepy rabbit involved, but we were thrown for a loop when the time travel element came into play. We spent the entire night talking about the movie and trying to answer the questions we had. It was great, 3 hours after the movie we were still excited about it. I still appreciate the movie very much but dont feel it would be a movie I couldnt live without.

PIPER said...

Donnie Darko is a fantastic film. This is a hard article because it leaves out a lot of my favorite films like Goodfellas and High Fidelity. But the movies I listed are ones that were so breakthrough that it's almost like can you remember where you were when... They moved me that much

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Reel Fanatic said...

When I first heard about Battle Royale, I just couldn't believe that it would be as cool as it sounded on paper .. however, like you said, it was even better ... I hear they're working on some kind of sequel, but I don't have high hopes for that

* (asterisk) said...

These are all great films, Piper. Indeed I have all but Nikita on DVD, and Nikita is also the only one I've never seen on the big screen.

For my money, Rushmore is still better than Tennenbaums, though.

Blue Velvet: I first saw this on TV late one night, and it scared the bejeezus out of me! You can read here about the disappointment I felt the first time I saw it at a cinema -- but it wasn't disappointment at the movie itself.

Great post, by the way.