F is for 10 films that have influenced me

I was reading this Facebook chat with someone I knew and his friend, who suggested that the world was black and white until the early 1960s.

beingthereThere’s some online game in which you name ten films that heavily influenced your way of thinking, or world view, or whatever. They need not be GOOD films or your FAVORITE films. If I picked Annie Hall, which may be my favorite, it would be selected, as I noted before, because of my hatred of going into a movie after it starts, just like Alvy Singer (Woody Allen). But let me look elsewhere.

Being There (1979) – Can a guy uttering stuff he’s heard on TV be embraced as a wise and profound leader? Seemed ridiculous at the time, save for televangelists, but now reality-show “celebrities” often drive the national dialogue (see: Jersey Shore, Duck Dynasty, The Real Housewives of Topeka, et al.)

Field of Dreams (1989) – While I LOVE the baseball talk, especially as espoused by the James Earl Jones character, for me, the key is the relationship between Ray (Kevin Costner) and his late father, which ALWAYS gets to me.

King of Hearts/Le roi de coeur (1966) – Blurs the line between who is sane and who is not.

Long Night’s Journey Into Day (2000)- After apartheid fell in South Africa, there was a Truth and Reconciliation Commission designed, not to punish, but to have people own up to the abuses that took place. (A similar action took place in Rwanda, to great effect.) If only the United States had had something similar after the Civil War, instead of a brief Reconstruction, followed by years of Jim Crow segregation.

Midnight Cowboy (1969) – one can find friendship in the most unlikely places. Plus a pedestrian should assert his right to cross the street.

Pleasantville (1998) – I was reading this Facebook chat with someone I knew and his friend; the latter suggested that the world was black and white until the early 1960s. I suspect that perception comes from photographs and television largely being in b&w until then. The conceit of this movie is that once someone becomes really engaged in life, they turn from b&w to color. (Notice in this Pentatonix video, Evolution of Music, it segues from b&w to color in the early 1960s.)

The Truman Show (1998) – To his surprise, a guy’s whole life is actually a television show. Now, it seems, there’s no end of people who are willing to be on television, spilling intimate details, in exchange for counseling, money, fame. There’s even drama in going on those home rehab shows on HGTV. EVERYBODY is a star, for the requisite 15 minutes, it appears.

War Games (1983) – I didn’t think at the time that someone playing video games could almost start World War III. Since then, I’m less convinced of my initial convictions.

West Side Story (1961) – The movie looks a little dated, last I watched it, yet the music is timeless.

Woodstock (1970) – Music groups I was introduced to, such as Santana, plus groups I saw in a different light, such as Sly & the Family Stone. Someone on Facebook wrote last month, “The New York State Thruway is closed, man,” and right away there was a whole dialogue about brown acid and kosher bacon.
5 Famous Movies That Shamelessly Ripped Off Obscure Ones.

ABC Wednesday – Round 16

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

21 thoughts on “F is for 10 films that have influenced me”

  1. You have seen so many films! You are quite an expert. I have only seen two of them. Westside Story is one of them. I love that music very much. I also saw Porgy and Bess and more musicals.
    Thanks for sharing your list of films.
    Have a great week!
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  2. Being There, Midnight Cowboy and West Side Story (loved the music but was disappointed with the storyline) were amongst my favourites but I just loved, Doctor Zhivago and Fiddler on the Roof, not forgetting The Sound of Music….My current favourite has to be Les` Miserables`, memorable!
    Who can forget One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest… or all of Doris day’s daffy films and Dean Martin and Gerry Lewis…. the list goes on Roger !
    All these films have influenced me, mainly by bringing joy and laughter, understanding of how harsh life can be in some other countries…The struggles at Le Bastille and never to laugh at people with problems within their minds.

    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  3. I probably have seen some of your mentioned films, but the titles are often different in French, so I don’t know the original title. All films are translated into French here.

  4. Great that you have written about ‘Films’.
    Yet to watch these movies. Will do 🙂
    By the way, even I have posted F for Film & Five Lessons! I loved the film ‘Birdman’ that I watched recently.

  5. The Truman Show showcased what a fine actor Jim Carey is unfortunately he seems to want to sabotage that fact with overacting in a lot of his roles.

  6. Good list! Totally agree with Pleasantville. Drawing a blank on my own 10….2nd glass of Apothic Red

  7. Thanks for your words on Black Jack’s blog. So many people and so many kind words. I’ve only seen West Side Story from your list. Probably “The Robe” was an important movie to me when I was a young teen. Imagine.. our whole school was actually taken to see this movie and it was a public school. Wouldn’t happen today. Hope to be back at ABC Wednesday soon.

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