You may have read about some of the influential films from my childhood, but I figured that it was only right to share some of the films that have shaped me as an adult. I’m breaking these up because there are SO MANY. Let me know what movies make you tick.
The trials of the dutiful eldest daughter, Elinor, who guards her emotions so much that she convinces herself that the man she wants could never want her back.
Not that I can relate or anything.
To be honest, I haven’t yet read the Jane Austen novel this movie is based on, so I won’t speak to this as an adaptation at all. I will say, however, that this film just strikes all the right chords for me. Elinor and I have a few things in common (/understatement), so I suppose that I connect to this story because of her struggles… And because she is ultimately triumphant in love (even I can dig a happy ending every now and then).
In the “not so distant future,” one’s genetic make-up is of the utmost importance, making it very difficult for anyone of a less-than-desireable genetic background to have a successful career. Parents are expected to pick and chose desireable traits for their children so they have the best future possible.
And then there’s Vincent. Vincent’s conception is due to his parents’ love, and he is born without any particularly extraordinary traits– an in-valid. His health outlook isn’t so good, which means he must struggle to find success by subverting the system and lying about who he really is.
Why this movie? Firstly, my good friend Darth Batman (remember, DB for short) introduced this one to me with a simple “We’re watching this” approach. It blew my mind. Gattaca does exactly what good sci-fi should: Teach us about ourselves, the world around us and the possibilities that lie ahead (whether good or bad). Popular Mechanics listed it as one of the Ten most Prophetic Sci-Fi Movies Ever.
Simply: Gattaca and Contact were my gateway drugs to science fiction– a genre I hadn’t had much exposure to until then. (You can thank these two movies for my obsession, BSG.)
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
I was perhaps already a little more prone to appreciating the fantasy genre than any other thanks to the influence of my mom and my own heavy consumption of fairy tales as a child. I read this trilogy in college right before the movies came out and became just a teensy bit obsessed over Tolkien there for a bit. I mean, only in the sense that I owned books on Elvish and and maybe spent a little bit of time contemplating LOTR tattoos (not that I still am… ahem) and read the Silmarilian on my own and read a fanfic Livejournal and took a course on Tolkien’s literature.
See? Just a wee, teensy bit.
I could probably write a fucking dissertation on these films, but I’m sure it’s best that I spare you. Instead I’ll assert that really, when it comes down to it, it’s all about The Journey: We’re all on one and baby, I want to be the Sam to your Frodo. Or the Pippin to your Merry. Or the Arwen to your Aragorn (because he’s hot, broody and scruffy, and she’s graceful; and I could honestly use a little bit of that in my life). In any case, that’s why the books and movies are so damn awesome and influential– we get to go on a fantastical journey through an awesome world and be part of bringing down the Big Bad.