As movie lovers, we all have that one film that completely changed our view of cinema and even the world. So, we’ve put together a list of the films that have heavily impacted our lives. Tell us which film did the same for you.
PULP FICTION (Michael, Blog Writer)
I was still in my Smokey and the Bandit / Die Hard mindset when I purloined my father’s rented VHS copy of Pulp Fiction to watch it in 1995; at that time, if the movie didn’t have a car chase or scores of terrorists being mowed down, I probably wasn’t going to like it. Then I threw in Tarantino’s masterpiece and my mind was flung open like a screen door in a hurricane. It was the first time I recognized the importance of words and dialogue in films as the profane, hilarious screenplay rang around my head for days and days afterwards, and the jumbled, mysterious structure of the film intrigued me to no end. Seeing Pulp Fiction wasn’t just entertainment – it was an experience, and my movie-watching mind would never be the same.
THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Cassie, Blog Writer)
A title like There Will Be Blood has a moderate promise to it; the audience is guaranteed bloodshed, come hell or high water. So going in completely blind to an art house theater with fold out seats to see this one random sunny afternoon, all I expected was someone to die. That wasn’t strictly the case, and while there is bloodshed in the film it’s far more interesting on a cerebral level. Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, and all around a stellar film, There Will Be Blood did more than just give me a real cinematic experience. It was the first movie I saw that truly left me dumbfounded by it’s beauty and ending. Not long after that I started getting into film properly, and I have had other favorite films, but nothing will ever make me feel the same way There Will Be Blood did in those folding chairs years ago.
TITANIC (Alyssa, Member Experience Associate)
I think if asked what my life changing movie is, most of the MoviePass team would safely reply for me, “James Cameron’s Titanic.” I didn’t really understand the power of film as a kid until my mom took me to see this movie. Then I started to get it- The costumes, the acting, the special effects, the mushy love story that actually gave me the feels.
It moved me so much I tricked my grandma into bringing me to see it again, knowing she would fall asleep and I’d be left alone in that theater. Just me and Titanic.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (Sydney, Member Experience Associate)
The movie that changed my life was The Princess Bride. It’s the first movie I ever remember watching. I remember just being absolutely enthralled by it and to this day I can always return to that world and remember being 4 years old again.
CASABLANCA (Juliet, Member Experience Associate)
CINDERELLA (Faridah, Member Experience Associate)
Many movies have greatly affected me in many ways but one movie that really sticks out is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Brandy was kind of my idol, I wanted to be her; she had braids like mine, she was a similar tone to me, she was a little tomboy-ish in style, she was the definition of cool but approachable, she was the ideal version of myself. It was so awesome seeing someone who looked like me play a princess. I also love/d Whitney so seeing the two of them together made my world. Representation matters, I am ever so thankful for The Princess and the Frog and Tiana for the newer generations but Brandy in Cinderella was my first black princess.
CELINE & JULIE GO BOATING (Eli, Blog Writer)
I’m not sure if any one movie is exactly life-changing for me in the grand sense of the term; but my favorite movie ever, Celine & Julie Go Boating, has certainly impacted my life in that I can never seem to stop talking about it. Get me going at a party, and I won’t shut up about how special it is and how happy I feel when I watch it. And (a bit pretentiously) its ideas about narrative are inspiring to me as a writer. I think about it so often that maybe some neuroscientist somewhere could argue the case that it’s fundamentally changed my brain chemistry. Plus, it’s had a theoretical influence on my life in that sometimes I consider getting a tattoo of the opening title card (except I’ll never actually do that since I’m afraid of needles).
MYSTERIOUS SKIN (Dan, Blog Writer)
A film that changed my life: Mysterious Skin. The first time I saw this film was by pure chance – my first year and first day ever attending the Tribeca Film Festival, a screening had gone on too long creating a disruption in my (and my mom’s) personal schedule and plan to see The Sisters (which did not prove to have staying power, as it is). I was familiar with the Araki film (but not his prior work), playing at the same theater we saw our last (the Kiarostami/Loach/Olmi triptych Tickets), via an online friend (s/o to the IMDb message boards, RIP), and we were offered comp tickets by the venue manager. Truth be told, it’s a difficult film, but also a very beautiful one (the acting and soundtrack!), one that confronts difficult issues with frank grace and aplomb – that, as a queer person, was a comfort (and a fun car ride home). A few months later during its general theatrical release when I was on vacation with my father in San Francisco, I dragged him to see it. Uncomfortable viewing #2. And a lifelong obsession with Strand Releasing begins… (I saw Tropical Malady a few days later, by myself, as he watched Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room).
BICYCLE THIEVES (Alexandros, Blog Writer)
There are a lot a of films that have made an enormous and sizable impact on me but perhaps none more so than Vittorio De Sica’s “Bicycle Thieves”. Prior to seeing this film in High School, my understanding of Cinema’s potential was truly limited. I didn’t know such simple stories could be so intensely powerful and the simple techniques De Sica employed to draw emotion out of every frame was something that I found incredibly captivating. It opened the doors of Art Cinema and from there I knew I wanted to explore cinema of every decade, country and style. Furthermore, the film managed to be personal journey of sorts as I heavily related to the plight of young Bruno who comes to understand his father.
GUMMO (Veronica, Blog Writer)
Harmony Korine’s debut feature Gummo is one of the weirdest and most unsettling films you’ll ever watch. Made for under $1 million after nineteen year old Korine gained indie fame from writing Larry Clark’s shocking cult film Kids, Gummo is an avant garde experimental film shot in Xenia, Ohio with mostly non-actors as Korine films loosely narrated vignettes of everyday life in a run down town inhabited by bored to death white trash youths. Gummo is one of those films that stay lingering in your mind for days and weeks after watching it: being it iconically bizarre shots of bacon taped to bathroom walls, a bleached blonde Chloe Sevigny, children hunting cats and sniffing glue and memorable quotes like “Life is beautiful. Really, it is. Full of beauty and illusions. Life is great. Without it, you’d be dead.” Gummo finds beauty and lyricism amongst society’s invisible rejects and doesn’t shy away from exploring themes of sexual abuse, animal cruelty, drug abuse, mental illness, poverty, racism, prostitution and many more gritty realities that are part of an America that audiences don’t get to see on the big screen. It’s one of those movies that change the way you look at life for better or for worse and questions the role of cinema and what it can do for visual storytelling and everyday life.