We have a particular way to connect through the visual arts. Some films we simply can not forget. They stay in our memory no matter how you end up watching it. Some may not be for many of your tastes, but for me they have huge significance. Maybe you can share your movies and the way they changed your life. I will not put them by order of preference though. Here’s my list:
I mean, Joaquin Phoenix, just WOW! I can’t believe I was expecting some Batman-related shit and ended up being almost traumatized by the way the film deals with mental illness and social discrimination. Joker was that type of film that I would recommend to anyone. I still have a big attatchment to it. If not by the message that we should be kind to one another and that psychopathic behavior is right around the corner if we keep being bad to other people.
I am a newbie at the vegetarian realm, and this was absolutely the reason why. I was appalled at the animal cruelty, so much I actually had to go to the bathroom and throw up. If you think you know what is wrong with the world, you’ll change your mind completely after watching this. It is available on YouTube!
We all love our families, right? Specially when the scenario is identical to some personal experiences. I am very close to my grandmother, who is 91 years old, and she is still here among us. Coco makes me cherish all the love I have for her. Knowing that I don’t know when will I see her during this apocalyptic pandemic really makes me cry. But still, to all of you who love your families, this is the perfect match.
La La Land (2016)
I never thought I would see myself in this colorful musical. I mean… when I started watching it, I was expecting that cliché of girl meets boy with songs… but instead I find myself thinking about my dreams. Would I leave someone I love if that means I need to stop pursuing my dreams? Well… I still don’t know the answer to it, but a film that is powerful enough to send me that message it’s a reminder of how our lives are doomed to choices we don’t want to make.
This one is the one I always cry about. It reminds me of my best friend and how we fought against the odds of becoming precisely that. I call him my little warrior because of this. Pictures that unite people and touch them to the very core of their hearts are the ones to keep in mind in these times of isolation.
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
This documentary is probably the one that destroyed every little piece of my heart. I will not say why, but it changed everything on how I now give value to the ones I love. Just by watching the trailer, I start to cry. But please, do not do so. The trailer is spoilery and will ruin your viewing experience.
Into the Wild (2007)
I mean… who doesn’t love freedom? Who wouldn’t want to put everything aside and go on an adventure? We live so deeply connected to the capitalist world that we forget sometimes that survival is not the same thing as living. Being who you are, doing what you love and finding your own identity is key for a healthy and productive mind. Into the Wild is that movie.
Sin City (2005)
I always remember Sin City because it was one of the most gratifying experiences I had with my parents at the movies. We liked the film so much that we just couldn’t stop talking about it, and I miss those days like hell!
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
I would just love to take some people that were part of my life out of my mind. When I saw Eternal Sunshine, I was in a very dark place. The film made me realize that life may not be what we thought it would, and that some people are just there because they scarred you, or you just miss them, but they are part of it. Removing them becomes impossible, when you had such strong bonds with one another.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
I live in a small town in Portugal and we only had one movie theater here. Now this is fun, I was eleven when I saw The Fellowship of the Ring and my father worked just above the theater and every Friday I would ask him for some money to go watch a movie. I saw the first Lord of the Rings and I was astonished. I was mindblown by everything on it… I was a fan of Harry Potter, but this. This is a cinematic masterpiece. I watched The Fellowship of the Ring THREE TIMES on that theater and every sequel that followed. That theater is now closed and everytime I walk around it I always remember this particular moment.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
You may think… what now? But I absolutely love the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Jack Sparrow is my favorite character of all-time! I knew all of his lines, I watched the movie more times that I can possibly remember now and it was a huge surprise since I was set to watch the second Tomb Raider and ended up watching this picture. What a relief!
This good hearted film just makes me smile every time I watch it or remember it. The soundtrack, the positivity, it’s so helpful when you suffer from anxiety. It reminds you of the best thing about being human.
Hayao Miyazaki Movies
Hayao Miyazaki is one of my personal favorite directors. And this is because his imagination is limitless. I find myself in these dark and strange worlds, and I see the pictures spitting so much metaphors about life, about dreams, about how we should let our imagination flow and be creative with it.
You can find almost all of them on Netflix by now.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
I never thought I almost went to the hospital after watching a film. When I saw Requiem for a Dream I was shaking so badly, had anxiety and panic attacks so strong that I had convulsions. After a while, I stabilized and just thought, what the heck was this? Seeing the downlow of these characters that destroy themselves because of addiction, I was, in fact, proud of watching it and feeling good about never following that path in life.
La Vita è Bella (1997)
I think I never cried so hard in any movie in my life. La Vita è Bella is such an instant classic, filled with humor and love in a time of horror. Sometimes we don’t value the simple fact of being alive, and La Vita è Bella proves that it is, in fact, a blessing, and tests our ability to know what will we do to protect the ones we love.
The Lion King (1994)
I think this Disney masterpiece needs no introduction, and the reason why it sits here is simple: Mufasa’s death. I was shocked at 4 years old, cried and I think now that The Lion King has a bigger and more educative power for kids. It reminds them of how there is good and evil in the world, and that when we grow up we will be faced with cruelty as well as happiness.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Probably one my favorite movies of all-time. You know why? I love monster movies. The good ones. Jurassic Park combines the perfect imagery with robotics and special effects and no other film gives me more nightmares than this one. One of the craziest dreams I had while being in deep sleep (which, believe me, is very rare), is being chased by fucking velociraptors through the night and BEING EATEN! I always wake up screaming!
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Oh gosh… like La Vita è Bella, Cinema Paradiso is that one movie I can’t hide my tears from. It’s so powerful and has such a beautiful story about friendship. This is why it is so important, because through it, we can see how friendship is so meaningful to human beings, and that it can portray the most pure feelings from a screen into its audience.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
Another one that has me on my knees, and my tears. Grave of the Fireflies is one of my favorite tearjerkers. I don’t like to talk about it very much, because the film is so powerful and I remember that, in all my life, the only thing I cherish the most is my relationship with my brother.
What are the films that changed your life?