It is a question that cinemaphiles eventually ask one another. What was the movie that made you love movies? What film awakened you to the possibilities of what a movie could be? It is a fascinating question because the answer is always so diverse.
The movie that changed my life was actually the second movie that I ever saw. I was six years old, the year that Star Wars was dropped into American culture and, for whatever reason, this movie just grabbed me as no film at that time really had. It may have had something to do with the films that I was exposed to. Most of the films I attended with my parents were Disney pictures, mostly comedies: Gus, The Love Bug, Pete’s Dragon, Hot Lead and Cold Feet and, the first movie I ever saw in my life, The Rescuers.
Star Wars was, for me, something special, something extraordinary. Those characters opened my mind and my imagination to the idea of the future, the idea of great storytelling, the idea of that a movie could create entirely made-up worlds and, most importantly, the idea of what a movie could be.
Of course, it would take years and many more viewings to really understand all that Star Wars meant to me. In a way, I’ve been chasing this movie my whole life, looking for that kind of grandeur and pure joy again. In the 34 years since, thousands of movies have come my way, many have meant so much to me, but none has ever grabbed onto me like Star Wars. As a kid, I wanted to see a movie, something, anything. It didn’t matter what. When I got older and was a teenager in high school, I began taking movies seriously, crawling underneath them to see what made them tick. Today, I am aspiring to be a film critic and it is possible that I have Star Wars to thank for that motivation.
So it is a question, I love asking to my fellow film lovers. What film really changed your life?