I was 10 or 11 and I saw Time Bandits and The Princess Bride as a double feature. WOW.
i owe my aspirations to Jurassic Park as well as Unbreakable
Watching King Kong and Frankenstein at age 7. Then, getting one of the first video players in the country, watching stuff like Jaws, Alien etc. Seeing some of 2001 in 1978 in a theatre. Saw Barry Lyndon when I was about 12. That was probably the one that convinced me to go back and have another look – to tease out the beauty of film, as it were.
Oldboy, this not only made me love film, but made me study filmmaking.
I saw American Beauty in the theater with my family as a young teenager, and it spoke to me like no other movie at the time. It was very critical of American suburban life, which I just ate up. I also liked the fact that the boy in the film was a secret drug dealer who was obsessed with videotaping, and in love with beauty. American Beauty seems kind of geared towards 15 year old rebellious male teenagers in a certain way. But it definitely opened things way up with movies for me. Then Blue Velvet, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and finally Eraserhead and there was no turning back.
It was Fanny & Alexander that pushed me over the edge in terms of viewing, I was a casual mainstream film goer before that one. Apocalypse Now was the one that made me stop making music and start studying film sound. Dancer in the Dark had a big effect too. I’m not that big a Von Trier fan but I remember being so inspired by that film – the digital photography, natural lighting – made me feel like talent was all you needed to make a great movie.
Many will judge me for saying this, but my “gateway” film was “Garden State”. It was the first film that I saw outside of a large, mainstream-only multiplex movie theatre, and (at the time) it was so revolutionary for me stylistically. Keep in mind that I only watched popular Hollywood films up until that point. Of course, I have since seen many films that beat “Garden State” by a mile, but at the time it was a pretty significant experience.
LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD
It all started with Star Wars when I was 3 or 4 back in the mid-90’s. Then Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki work when I was about 9 or 10. Eventually, when I was about 13 I saw Blade Runner, Reservoir Dogs, and Pulp Fiction all in the course of a week. Then I knew I film was my thing. I’m still a MASSIVE Ghibli fan though. Loved Ponyo.
manhattan, virgin suicides, and royal tenenbaums
Eraserhead! Absolutely and without a doubt Eraserhead.
I remember seeing Toy Story in theatres when I was three or four, and being blown away by the story and the characters and the sheer breadth of imagination that went into making the film. Of course, being that young, I couldn’t comprehend the technology and innovation used in the production of “my new favourite movie!” While Toy Story I can safely sight as the most important work of cinema of my childhood, it wasn’t until I was fourteen and I saw The Battle of Algiers that I became fully immersed into the world of celluloid. The startling imagery coupled with the gritty immediacy of it all introduced me to a world I had never believed existed. The images that populate the film are still burned into my memory— the guillotine in the empty prison courtyard; the women their respective milkbars, knowing that everybody around them are soon to die; and finally, the revolutionary crowds at the end of the film, waving their flags and chanting their cries. The moment I laid eyes on that film was the moment I kissed any kind of normal social life “goodbye.”
Snow White, as a wee one
Jules and Jim,much later
nothing lately except an Alain Delon in a made for French Tv where he plays a Marseille detective. He still has it in his old age.
Aladdin at the very top. I watched it for the first time when I was 3 years old and since then I can´t stop seeing over and over again. Then I’d have to say Amelie, Chocolat, Star Wars and Béthune sur Nil.
Amelie, although I hate it today.
Star Wars. When I was about 5 we had rented a copy and I brought it with me to a family function because I knew I would be bored. Not only did about half the extended family end up watching it with me, I couldn’t tear myself away even when my mother threatened me with no dessert.
After that, it was French film all the way. My Dad was a French teacher for twenty-five years, and when I started taking French classes in school he sat me down with La Belle et la Bete and M. Hulot’s Holiday. After that, I devoured The 400 Blows, Breathless, and Jules et Jim on my own. I was hooked.
To be honest, it was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that did it for me. That’s the movie I think I should have done, and I cry everytime I watch it, for goodness’ sake.
It’s the film that actually made me start watching more films other than Hollywood blockbuster crap. So, I guess my obsession started pretty much later (when I was 18) and not during my childhood so I always envy people who started out watching great films earlier than me.
I considered Eternal Sunshine… my most favorite for a long time until I watched The Lady Eve, Phenomena and The Hole (which are now my three all-time favorites, all three in the same rank and the same to my eyes).
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) by David Lean
The Night of the Hunter (1955) by Charles Laughton
Le grand bleu (1988) Luc Bresson
La gloire de mon père and its sequel Le château de ma mère (1990) by Yves Robert
Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese
It’s a wonderful Life….oh Jimmy Stewart! =)
“Star Wars,” sure. (It came out when I was four and I somehow found 11 opportunities to see it in the theater.) But the love started with Altman: “Nashville,” “M*A*S*H,” and “Short Cuts,” which was released when I was 21. The idea of a large ensemble panorama view of a subject has been embedded in my aesthetics ever since. In fact, I think I’ll watch “Short Cuts” tonight.
i think the earliest credit has to be given to to “bringing up baby”, “the philadelphia story”, and “the gay divorcee”. my parents and i watched “bringing up baby” more than any other film i can think of and every time we couldn’t help but explode into fits of laughter. as for discovering film as my own, there was one strange, blessed day that i decided to pick up “breathless”, “8 1/2”, and “dr. strangelove” at the library without knowing a thing about any of them and then spent the rest of the day in a state of heady enchantment.
I watched The Clockwork Orange when I was nine or ten and left a mark…specially because I wasn’t ready for it, but the movie which made me love cinema at the early age of 15 was Betty Blue.
La Haine was my first love
I usually see about 3+ films a week that make me love film. If I didn’t I’d stop watching.
I think it was watching Alphaville that began my recent fascinations with film, after hearing about it in the Filmmaker Magazine website; reading from there came of having a short obsession with a film called ‘We Are the Strange’.
“I usually see about 3+ films a week that make me love film. If I didn’t I’d stop watching”
This just made me want to stop and clap like a family feud contestant shouting ‘Good answer, good answer!’
I’ll agree with what he said except change 3+ films to 1 or 2. I could never watch enough films to keep up with you hardcore cinephiles.
I wholeheartly agree with the above statement by 秋刀魚の味. One learns how to select potentially great films and reduce the chance to get to see mediocre films that won´t satisfy one´s expectations, and the constant exploration of rather unknown but visionary filmmaker´s works instead of watching popular films equally makes me discover at least three films a week which I consider masterpieces and make me love film. I remember the times when I finished watching those canonical films which usually appear in the “Top 100” lists thinking that most subsequent films I would watch might be inferior, but this idea was completely wrong, and I have since watched many films with just about 5-10 imdb-votes which surpass almost everything that generally appears in those lists. There are definitely some initial experiences like “8 1/2”, “The Silence” or “Andrei Rublev”, but I would say that I´m constantly making the same experience mixed with the sad feeling that these astonishing films I´m watching now are shamefully neglected and that those filmmakers probably won´t ever get the respect and admiration they deserve since many viewers are simply confusing the popularity and critical myopia with the overall quality of a film.