Monday, April 12, 2010
The Movies that Made Me: Ten Films that Shaped My Life Part Two
Here are the next two films in my recent series of posts, The Movies That Made Me.
5. Annie Hall - College, as I'm sure is the case with a lot of people, was a really enlightening time for me. I was turned on to new, exciting books, great music, and, of course, a lot of classic and foreign films. Woody Allen was a guy that I really never gave a chance until 2003 - my second year of college. I'd seen Celebrity a few years earlier, and really didn't enjoy it. But, I had a pair of friends (one of whom can be found here) that were fairly big Allen apologists, always raving about the philosophy, wit, and hilarity of his films. One night, I finally gave in to them and watched Annie Hall. It turned out they were right. Here was an intellectually thrilling, romantically endearing comedy that is zany as hell. Having just started delving into the repetoire of the Coen Brothers, and listening to the likes of Bill Hicks this excited me to no end. I went to a used book store and picked up Without Feathers and Side Effects (hilarious, btw), and became a full-blown Allen fan.
4. Mulholland Dr. - Mulholland Dr. was released in 2001, but I didn't get the chance to see it until 2004. I remember my first watching pretty vividly. I was already a pretty big fan of David Lynch, Blue Velvet being my favorite of his films. I had already seen Lost Highway, so I was fairly prepared to have my mind fucked. But nothing I had seen before compared to the epic beauty/tragedy of Mulholland Dr. If you've seen the film, you understand - whether you like it or not - that the film subverts the viewer's expectations from film in very strange ways. The narrative is shattered, and watching the film is a bit like piecing together a puzzle that's been doused in kerosene. It's a true experience, as the viewer takes an active role in the film by working as detective. I'm not exagerating when I say that this film reaffirmed my faith in film as an artform. It's hard to describe why it works so well for me, but it instantly became one of my all time favorites, and encouraged me to make a few shorts of my own. Just a two years later, I would find myself visiting some friends in Los Angeles (the same ones that encouraged me to watch Woody Allen), and I was able travel along Mulholland Dr. It wasn't as good as the movie, but it was pretty awesome anyway.