There is only one at the top of my list A Clockwork Orange, I saw it when I was 15 and it blew my mind. Made me look at cinema in a whole new way.
Taxi Driver is a close second
When I was very young, like 1st grade, Elephant Man was on HBO what seemed like every night. My mom tried to deter me from watching it, but I was horrified and fascinated at the same time and would often sneak into the living room to re-watch when ever I could.
When I was around 13 I remember seeing letterboxed version of Rebel Without A Cause on one of those classic TV stations. At the time, I hadn’t really thought of film in anything other than a basic story and special effects sense. Just seeing the film in widescreen and absorbing James Dean’s performance piqued my interest and thus my love of film. My tastes have changed wildly since then, but Rebel was my gateway.
Filmstress: I saw “A Clockwork Orange” at the cinema three times when I was 17, then saw “Taxi Driver” six months later at its 20th Anniversary screening. I could scarcely believe it: I thought “Taxi Driver” was one of the greatest things I’d ever seen, so I went back to see it again. I’d just seen “Casino” earlier that month.
A few years ago I caught “Network” (fittingly if not ironically enough) on the tube. The screenplay stunned me: I couldn’t believe somebody (namely Paddy Chayefsky) could have such audacity to make such statements, and even more impressively, the film got produced. I think people deliberately avoid films like this because they don’t want their illusions shattered.
I saw “The Elephant Man” on television expecting some freak show curiosity that I would not have to take so seriously, but I was amazed how deeply emotionally I felt about the film! Please keep in mind, I was twelve years of age and knew little about the actual person portrayed in the film, although I’d always heard about the “elephant” man. I haven’t seen it since, but it would be one I’d relish experiencing again.
Clockwork orange and the holy mountain.
I wans’t even close to being born when clockwork came out. Would loved to have seen it in a multiplex. I remember watching the thin red line in the cinema and hating it. Wasn’t til I saw days of heaven at uni that i decided to go back and rewtach.
Un chien andalou
I really don’t know any one film that made me fan. I’ve been going to film since the late 1940s.
I was 5 or 6 when my parents took me and my cousin to the El Monte Drive-In Theatre to see an old film my mother had primed me for. I couldn’t wait. She was right. It was the re-release of “The Wizard of Oz” and the next we kids were acting out the best parts.
Other movies that impressed around at that time were “King Solomon’s Mines.” I remember double-truck full color-ads in Look Magazine and billboards. Everyone was talking about seeing it and loved it. Still do. Deborah Kerr was so gorgeous in real Technicolor.
My second M-GM musical was “Two-Weeks With Love,” and I fell in love with Carleton Carpenter.
When I was in my 20s I went to a sneak preview at the Regent Theatre in Westwood. It was “Network,” which I loved. But I thought this is either going to bomb or be a big hit. Now its a classic.
“EL” by Luis Buñuel
eraserhead by david lynch
Singin’ In the Rain and Cool Hand Luke
Flash Gordon serials at the kids Saturday morning matinee.
When I was a kid I was blown away by Star Wars Episode V: The Empire strikes back. I guess this was the movie that started my interest for films all together. However, Psycho and 12 monkeys has also played an important part in my “film-life”.
For me it was the mixture of three very different ones: Lost Highway (Lynch), Domicile conjugal (Truffaut) and Age of Innocence (Scorsese)
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.
Probably, like many others, A Clockwork Orange. Saw it for the first time when I was 14 years old. I’m only 18 years old now and these last 4 years have been nothing but movies for me.
The Film’s and music our parent’s introduce us to at a young age helps shape our developmental identitiy. I was fortunate that the first films my mother introduced to me, remain timeless favorites like:
To kill a Mockingbird, Field of Dreams, Batman(1989), It’s a Wonderful life, and several animated classics…. her taste in music is another story… James Taylor was about the only decent artist she listened to. I was raised on soft rock, and easy-listening pis$ water… Luckily, I came out of it…..
The First R-rated movie I saw at a sleepover was “The Shining”, and I have still seen nothing in horror genre that could ever compare to that film….
Blue Velvet was where it all started for me
(edited for 1980 Los Angeles TV, recorded on VHS and watched obsessively on that format)
2001: A Space Odyssey
It’s definitely hard to say, but I first realised film could be an art form with films like The Vanishing and A Clockwork Orange… I saw those 6 years ago for the first time… I was 12 years old. However those are only the films that made me appreciate movies. The films that made me want to be a director myself were those by Michael Haneke. Ok, so I’m a pretty messed up 18 year old, but at least I’m not Michael Bay’s biggest fan.
Pulp Fiction. Before I even knew it was a movie, or who tarantino was, my dad had the cassette tape of the soundtrack with the cover of uma laying in the bed with the gun and It stayed with me till a few years later when I saw it on the cover of a movie and rented it. Still my favorite no matter how many movies I see.
I’ve shared this in other threads BONNIE & CLYDE, 1967.
I was just a kid but I got such a rich wallop from this film…. one that made me seek out equally rich experiences in other films.
For one thing, I was completely gobsmacked the way the filmmakers had BONNIE & CLYDE be (what appeared to be) the “good guys”…….. And yet they still got murdered violently in the end. The audience has to sort of re-examine everything they had just seen theretofore in the picture…. to justify an end like that one… In other words, an audience had to “work” a little….
That twisteroo made me wake to the fact that film can examine moralities from all sorts of (equally valid) vantage-points…
One of my favorite stories is the day I watched, completely oblivious to the power of cinema or what I was getting into, Lost Highway, Requiem for a Dream, and Fight Club back to back. I was hooked. Now I’m here.