The most profound influences are believed to be in the home within the parental relationship itself. Experts may even suggest the most important influences take place in schools amongst classmate or through the forging of friendships. For children who are their own guidance from early on in life as I was may have a different infrastructure that has molded and made them who they are as adults of today.
The following lists consists of films that most influenced me. The memories of each these films some dating as far back to when I watched them for the first time in the 80’s stay with me today. Somehow haunting me, somehow guiding me. I see mirrored in the choices I make remnant of various aspects of each film.
Aspects that manifest themselves in the things I do not trust in life or the personas I am drawn toward in everyday interactions. Each film fills me with feeling of delight or of sheer horror, which mirror me as person. My lack of gray area mind set that allows me to be one hundred percent for something or someone or one hundred percent not.
1. Excalibur (1981) directed by John Boorman is my most distant yet fondest influential movie memory. I remember being the last one up the night it aired on cable. I recall maybe being not quite the recommended age, and just the same waiting all day for the moment I would behold something to me then and now so captivating and mystical.
The story of a king, and knight, the round table and the woman they both loved haunts me in the most beautiful way. The passion between the two forbidden lovers intrigued me and filled me with sorrow for the lost of honor that goes hand and hand with such surrender. The betrayal of King Arthur by his trusted Knight Sir Lancelot causing great soul-destroying pain and rage became my very own life’s lesson.
The uncontrolled deeper need for another that surpasses logic, obstacles, and adversity that lets two people know everyday mutually that he or she is the one became an inexplicable influence upon my own relationships later in life.
The mystical figure of Merlin the sorcerer and his own hidden and unknowns left me more certain that I one day would not have the capacity to settle for less than the most intricate and spiritually divine unions in matters of love. Lifelong confidant to King Arthur foretold of the unknown and the unforeseen, but nothing has a more powerful hold over anyone persons soul than love.
King Arthur and the Knights of his round table faced the woes of his kingdom. But before the entrance of Genevieve, the future wife and Queen to the King, King Arthur first conquered the obtainment of the sword known as Excalibur. A sword believed to be created by God meant only for a king. The mighty sword drawn from a stone by Arthur the would be King changed the course of a nation and history. However, Morgana the evil half-sister of King Arthur who sires a son with him that ultimately brings about the end of the King and great court of Camelot.
This beautifully told tale of honor, love, and mystical entanglement affirmed the inner thoughts about love and relationships that begin to formulate within each of us at an early age for me. I find myself draw toward honorable relationships, shivering which I truly belief is like a dying art form in today’s day and age sadly and only the deepest of loves in the world. Shallow or superficialities will never do. Being an all or nothing kind of girl makes the obtainment of love by others more challenging I am sure But, what is love worth if it is not worth everything and only thing that matters.
2.Romeo and Juliet (1968/I) directed by Franco Zeffirelli starred Olivia Hussey as Juliet and Leonardo Whiting as Romeo told the timeless story of star-crossed lovers. The power of love threaten to tear apart to opposing family leading the young lovers to go to great lengths to conceal their passionate affair. The beauty of this story unfolds in this Shakespeare’s classic tale of romance and tragedy.
Two opposing families are of Verona, the Montagues being relative to Romeo and the Capulets relative to Juliet feuding with each other for years only but intensifies the need and the overwhelming desire the young lover feel for one an another. This is an important component to love that somehow continues to play out in my own person relationships. I have predisposition to love met with the challenge of obstacles which are out of my control.
The effect on the relationship is that the harder the strife the more respective I am to the process of love in general. As in the case of Romeo and Juliet, more challenges they face the greater their love for one another became.
Romeo spies Juliet at a party held at the Capulet’s home. In this moment he falls hopelessly in love with her. He pursues her in many ways, but it is the famously known balcony scenes that their declarations of love solidify they’re being one another’s forever. Juliet returns his affections. The protecting of their love and stealing away time together is all they consume themselves with until Juliet’s father makes other arrangements for the daughter who changed before his very eyes from his little girl to love of his enemy’s son.
The concept of being sought and pursued seems to be poignant in that which molded me as a person early on. This movie especially shown the course of true love is not an easy one, but a love all consuming and deeper than life itself is worth standing by for eternity.
3. Deer Hunter (1978) directed Michael Cimino starred Christopher Walken as Nikonar “Nick” Chvotarevich, Robert De Niro as Michael Vronsky, and John Savage as Steve in a heralding story about three friends working in a Pennsylvania factory. The simply life of the three complicated by the pregnancy of Steve’s girlfriend was as it turned the lesser of several life changing events that would shape these men from whom they once were when the three enlist in the Vietnam War.
The most complication for Michael and Nick before Vietnam was that they both were in love with Linda played by Meryl Streep, who seems to juggle them both. Days of hanging out and drinking became the nightmare that was the Vietnam War. The three endured treacherous condition only to be taken captive by the Vietcong.
I remember knowing nothing about the film even though I was profoundly drawn to watch it. The powerful story telling of the movie draws you into another world and another dimension. I lost all concept of time from beginning to end of this movie. I was moved to tears in some of the more horrific scenes and shook to the core through the Russian roulette scene, which featured the captured men being forced by their captives to play against each other.
I was most moved by the loyalty these men felt towards one another and their determination to keep hope alive and return home. It is Nick who does not return much to my shock. Instead, he decides to stay in Vietnam seemingly suffered mentally from his ordeal worst then the other two touched me most. I wanted to save him myself after watching his torment.
I never questioned the inner working of a man mind or emotions so much before than but found a need to understand both just a little more thereafter. The silence of a man hides so much that becomes never spoken for better or worst became something that intrigued me and influenced my interactions with men and woman after watching this film. I felt a better person for experience and struggle of those who believed they were serving their country.
The honorable cause and belief that one must feel when they enlist or get called up. And, the horror that they can possible become as a result of trying to serve and protect this nation gave me empathy for humanity on a deeper level that I never expected. I greatly appreciate those who do have the strength of character to stand and deliver for this nation and those who love and wait their safe return.
4. Bram Stokers Dracula (1992) directed by Francis Ford Coppola starred Gary Oldman as Dracula, Winona Ryder as Mina Murray/Elisabeta, and Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker brought to life a tale that once signified horror and terror for me as little girl. No good could come of watching a Dracula film; I strongly believed as a child and carried the belief sufficiently into adulthood. That is until Francis Ford Coppola filled the scene with the opulent tale of lust, passions, tormenting all consuming love and wanting desire.
This version of the old horror tale of Dracula humanized the evil villain to the point that I felt him a sympathetic character. The story opens with the explanation of how Dracula, a former Prince, became cold hearted and blood sucking. The lost of the love his life was the source of his soul-destroyed pain to the extent he forsake his God in despair at the loss of beloved Elisabeta who returns to him centuries later.
The flowing of red robes worn by Dracula fill many scenes in a seducing and seductive way that lures you into the world of Dracula. You feel his longing and burning desire for the woman he believes is his beloved returned to him. The pursuit of her by Dracula trilled me as she returns his affections with litlle thought or understanding why she felt the deepest of connection to her seducer left me without words.
I found myself routing for the lost and found love of Dracula and Mina and torn between wanting her to be saved by noble Jonathan Harper. I never pondered the possibility of love throughout centuries, but found myself on a deeper level a believer. Love finds a way to which it is meant to love forever no matter the time, the centuries or the obstacle. I enjoyed the battle of good verses evil with love being the most powerful factor in the face of both.
5.Gladiator directed by Ridley Scott starring Russell Crowe as Maximus, Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus, and Connie Nielsen as Lucilla is a glorious tale of valor and gallantry. Maximus provides an example of manhood of old in the form of raw gladiator strength and courage. This is a story about the essence of honor and dignity before betrayal and lost.
The ultimate underdog story of a slave who became more powerful than his King is told with the magnificent cinematic genius of Ridley Scott who has an incredible way of setting not just the scene but the era in an action packed breathtaking journey.
The prince on a horse riding up to rescue me kind of girl I am not, but I seemingly am not adverse to the knight and shining armor type. This movie made me wish for a time long gone when men duel at sunrise and fought to the end for their principles in a gladiator ring. The notion of a man fighting for the honor of his woman I have to say appeals to me and where are these guys.
Maximus vowing to avenge his murdered son and wife even when all else was lost and his being reunited with them in the end especially moved me tears. Ridley Scott’s depictions reminded me of what I secretly long for in men, but more than too often find I am the gallant one fight for their honor.
These movies symbolized the concepts I hold dearly through the influences they have had on me. I cannot wait to see what influences future films will continue to have on the world. I expect to be pleasantly surprised no matter what.