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May 28, 2021



This week we take a look at five films that had early an impact on us. Hard to narrow down to a single choice and at the same time not reveal too much! So in no particular order:

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1. 'FRANCES HA' - Noah Baumbach

Description: Frances lives in New York, but she doesn't really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she's not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren't really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness.
Didem: This movie is nostalgic, realistic, honest, and messy. It’s the story of Frances Ha, a woman who prefers to focus on the moments along life's path rather than any sort of destination to the path itself. We saw her growing up journey which is both a cautionary tale and an inspiration for any loss person who is struggling to let go of their youth while avoiding the lines of adulthood. The side I loved about this film is Frances’s story being very relatable to most of us; all the dreams and ambitions we have during our 20s, then trying to grow into an “adult” while swinging between the bubbly dreams and the bitter rules of life. Frances, as many of us, had full of insecurities, yet had so much joy of life, she had made many poor choices even done that so wonderfully heart-warming.

2. 'JURASSIC PARK' - Steven Spielberg

Description: In Steven Spielberg's massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are among a select group chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park's mastermind, billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt.
Sam: A movie that is as fun to watch now as when it first came out. My mum and I watch this movie whenever we are together and it means a lot to me. Dinosaurs, Ellie Sattler played by the iconic Laura Dern and the greatest theme song ever made, what more do you want?

3. 'Labyrinth' - Jim Henson

Description: A 1986 musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, with George Lucas as executive producer, based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. It revolves around 16-year-old Sarah's (Jennifer Connelly) quest to reach the center of an enormous otherworldly maze to rescue her infant brother Toby, whom Sarah wished away to Jareth, the Goblin King (David Bowie).
Jasmine: I was raised by films and television in the same way as Mowgli was raised by wolves. My favourite has always been Fantasy because I love the feeling of being in another world. Labyrinth was one film that spoke to me above all others because it felt so real, despite the cast being 97% puppets. The environments, the characters, the costumes and most impactfully, the music, all painted this glorious picture of an unsettling yet tactile universe. It was also less traumatic than The NeverEnding Story, making it easier to re-watch. RIP Artax.

4. 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest' - Miloš Forman

Description: When Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) gets transferred for evaluation from a prison farm to a mental institution, he assumes it will be a less restrictive environment. But the martinet Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) runs the psychiatric ward with an iron fist, keeping her patients cowed through abuse, medication and sessions of electroconvulsive therapy. The battle of wills between the rebellious McMurphy and the inflexible Ratched soon affects all the ward's patients. (Rotten Tomatoes).
Simon: I wouldn’t say it’s a film that made me who I am today but it’s the first ‘grown-up’ movie I can remember watching and it had a big impact on me at the time. There is a lot to still enjoy on a re-watch, yes there are some elements that don’t stand the test of time but the acting from Nicholson and the cast combined with the editing of Sheldon Kahn and the direction of Miloš Forman created a real gem that everyone should see. It’s enduring message of anti-establishment, fighting ‘the man’, being a ‘free spirit’ in an oppressive system, all obviously resonate and I would love to say it inspired me to to be the rebel I am today but that wouldn’t be true (I’m not a rebel, I'm pretty square).

5. 'Cries and Whispers' - Ingmar Bergman

Review by Robert Ebert encapsulates the feeling of the movie so vividly I have to share his words: "Cries and Whispers" is like no movie I've seen before, and like no movie Ingmar Bergman has made before; although we are all likely to see many films in our lives, there will be few like this one. It is hypnotic, disturbing, frightening. It envelops us in a red membrane of passion and fear, and in some way that I do not fully understand, it employs taboos and ancient superstitions to make its effect. We slip lower in our seats, feeling claustrophobia and sexual disquiet, realizing that we have been surrounded by the vision of a filmmaker who has absolute mastery of his art.
Agnes: I have a very vivid experience watching that movie, which title I learned a lot later. I stumbled upon it by accident as a teenager on a cold winter evening coming back home late to discover I'll be spending the night completely alone, so I switched on the TV to fill the emptiness of the flat. The movie already started. I got glued to it immediately and spend all the time on the floor cocooned in my half unbuttoned bright blue winter coat. To this day, I remember being enchanted by red rooms filled with heavy emotions and a threat of death. As a teenager, I could not understand the movie's complexity, but it made a tremendous emotional impression on me. It is not the movie that made me who I am today, but it laid the unconscious foundation to discover Bergman, Hercog and my love for Tarkovsky.