Dec 5, 2008

Five Movies that Define: RestrictionsApply

A very good post, that Movie is Me thing.

When I sat down to compile my list, I found it very difficult to separate movies that I like from movies that “define” me. This assignment is challenging in that it really forces you to sit down and think. So, after much laboring and evaluating, here are the five films that define me:

  • Citizen Kane – This is the movie that made me appreciate films as an art form, not just as entertainment. Groundbreaking, innovative, created by a figuratively and, later, literally larger than life figure who constantly battled against ignorance to share his vision with his audience. Plus, there’s a recurring theme that for some reason strikes a nerve with me – growing up too fast, too soon. I’ve always looked older than my actual age, which has worked for and against me.

  • 12 Angry Men – Of course, I refer to the original Henry Fonda film. This multilayered film is all about how truth and good prevail above all else. Liars and assholes will eventually be name-checked, no matter what. You may get away with it now, but your day will soon come. I have been burned many times for being a good guy, but this movie has taught me the value of staying true to what you believe is right and making sure your actions are based on the right reasons. Also, intelligent arguments are more convincing than brute force. A powerful film with powerful messages to live by.

  • The Third Man – Another Orson Welles film, though legally not “his.” The basic messages are simple, classic, and perennial: a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do to make it in a cruel, unfair, and harsh world; friendship, TRUE friendship, goes a long way; people, especially the ones who try too hard to be cool with you, are not to be trusted… Though Welles’ character, Harry Lime, has his faults, he is still a classic figure with qualities that have definitely played in role in my formation as well.

  • Au Revoir les Enfants – At the risk of coming off as an utter snob, I must include this French film on my list. At a time when I was in the middle of that rebellious, the-world-is-against-me, it’s-society’s-fault phase, I saw this film in my high school French class. It opened a whole new world for me. It made me appreciate everything that’s different about me and my circumstances; it whetted my appetite to discover new things and meet new people who were very different than me. In short, it made me want to get out of my funk and just live a little.

  • Malcom X – It’s difficult to discern the book from the movie, but the core messages in each are of equal value in my life: know your roots; appreciate what you have now; aspire to be better; defend what’s yours; you can always right your wrongs; there’s nothing cooler than being a smart son of a bitch. “By any means necessary”… words to live by.


Me said...

Told you it was difficult. I thought about it for at least a week before I wrote it. The challenge of choosing those that define you instead of just making a top 10 list is tough.

"...people, especially the ones who try too hard to be cool with you, are not to be trusted…"

Lord dude, this is SOOOOOOOOO true. You can't imagine how many times I've said this to some of my friends.

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