One of the most powerful tools in changing the world and giving people different perspectives is storytelling. And in particular storytelling through cinema. When I think about how I’ve become the person I’m today and why I think and see the world as I do, I realise that movies have played a significant role in my development as an individual. So I thought I’d share some of the movies I find most important for me, society and the world of filmmaking
1. Dead Poets Society (1989)
I was first introduced to this movie by my English teacher back in high school and have been re-watching it ever since. It’s one of those films you can watch over and over again and even though you know what’s going to happen, you’ll always find something new to take away from it. Although it was made in the 80’s, the movie shines light on topics, which are still relevant today. From the pressure, which is placed on young people to pursue a certain career path and goals to internal struggles, like love and suicide. Directed by Peter Weir, and starring Robin Williams, although Dead Poets Society deals with heavy subjects and will make you cry, I find it oddly uplifting and inspirational.
2. Citizen Kane (1941)
There are some movies, that are considered great because of the story they tell. Then there are those, which are great because of what they’ve done for the art of film. Even though Citizen Kane is not a film I would purposefully go and see and to be honest I wasn’t extremely excited to see it when I found out I had to in university, I have to say that its reputation as one of the best movies ever made is not without reason. I know many people don’t like “old movies”. Cinema today is fast-paced, easy to follow, has special effects and big names. And while, Citizen Kane has long scenes, with lots of dialogue and the acting could be considered even quite melodramatic, the movie tells the story of how power corrupts the individual, through the use of groundbreaking techniques, which have influenced generations of great filmmakers.
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Since seeing it when I was in high school, I’ve been rewatching it every year. Similarly to The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, is the perfect movie, addressing teenage angst through the relatable Ferris, who lives out the perfect day off many of us are wishing for. I personally love when a movie breaks the fourth wall, making you a part of the whole experience and letting you in to a secret the rest of the characters don’t know. Ferris Bueller is a must-see movie, which you’ll go back to rewatch whenever you feel down.
4. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
Directed by Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón, this coming of age, road movie is a commentary on Mexico’s geography, politics and culture. It blends the personal and the political, the comic and the tragic. What makes the movie even better is that while the characters deal with topics such as drugs, sex and growing up, the presence of an anonymous narrator adds another layer. Through his commentary on the political corruption, nepotism and the life of the poor, he paints a contrasting picture of the reality in Mexico to the beautiful visuals.
5. Jojo Rabbit (2019)
I only saw this movie last week, but I was so impressed by it I had to include it. I feel like creating a comedy-drama about the Nazi regime is not a very easy thing to do, and maybe the initial idea of watching a story about a 10 year old Nazi fanatic, whose imaginary best friend is Hitler, was what made me not watch it when it first came out. However, when I did, I loved it. It combines serious themes about that period, with universal subjects like innocence and growing up and creates a Nazi- mocking satire through the character of Hitler. However what makes this movie a must-watch in addition to the story, are the construction of the visuals, the colours, the music and the editing.