With the Oscars over, I’m left thinking about movies that have influenced me. Ironically, it’s usually not the Oscar winners, or nominees for that matter. No, the movies that most grab my attention and hold it with a ferocity I can’t deny are the lesser known, non-award-winners. The King’s Speech aside, that is. I’ve watched that movie at least five times.
That’s the thing about movies. Once I find one that I like, that I really like, I will watch that movie over and over and over (and over and over). Becoming just a little obsessive, I devour these movies, eager to discover something I’ve missed. Eventually, after numerous viewings, I move from finding new, subtle plot twists to simpler things, yet no less important, like how an actor uses their eyes, their bodies, their mannerisms to convey emotion.
As a writer, watching a movie is not the perfect inspiration. It’s a movie, after all, when the story is played out in front of your eyes. In a book, you must use the power of words, your words, to create a world that the reader simply can not escape. But, alas, a story is a story is a story. And when you find one, either in print or film, that speaks to you, it can change your life, molding itself into the fiber of your being, altering your view of the world, opening your mind in ways nothing else can. Endless inspiration can be had from watching a movie that really, well moves you.
What movies have inspired you, moved you, changed you?
Are you a person who watches a movie once or repeatedly, like me?
Here’s a brief list of some of my favorite movies. These are the movies that I’ve seen at least five times, that pull me from active life into an alternate world, that leave me blinking in confusion at the end when reality makes its cool return:
The Princess Bride: For the timeless love story between Buttercup and Wesley; for the countless quips of humor that keep me laughing, and quoting, all day long.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: For the timeless beauty and grace of Audrey Hepburn.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: For the insane brilliance of every single fiber of these movies; for the lure of the fantasy that has found a permanent home in my mind and now influences every paranromal I write; for the best battle scene ever in the final movie when good ultimately wins over evil.
Bend It Like Beckham: For just being a darned good movie! I’m not sure what it is about this story – maybe the interracial love story? The fight inside us all to achieve our dreams? The beauty of the Indian dress? I’m not sure but I’ve seen it at least ten times.
My latest craze: Sucker Punch. This movie didn’t live up to box office hype. Fine by me. It has now, though, developed a cult-like following and I count myself a member. It’s the haunting way it’s shot; the hynpotic music that moves the story along; the beauty, vulnerability and iron will of a group of young women who refuse to be beaten. It’s a must see! Not for everyone, but definitely for me.
So on this rainy Saturday when the children’s sports are cancelled, the baby is sick and the husband is doing the grocery shopping, I think I’ll watch a movie. After all, “No one can bend a ball like Beckham!”