Since I mentioned it in the last post, I thought maybe I would flesh it out here: My Top 5 All-Time Favorite movies. If I were headed to a deserted island, these are the five I would want with me for all eternity. However, having said that, let’s pray I never, ever have to resort to just five movies forever.
I would like to present this list in “no particular order”, but in all honesty that’s only because my favorite would change from day to day–depending on which one I wanted to see. As soon as I want to peg one for the coveted top spot, a reason why another one should be there springs to mind. So, alas, in no particular order, my top 5:
This move struck me from the first time I viewed it, when I was in the fifth or sixth grade. It spoke to me on several levels: the strong sisterly connection, feeling helpless in a situation not of your choosing, and finally finding the power within to demand justice for pain suffered. “Until you do right by me everything you think about is gonna crumble!”
I spoke about this in the last post in remembrance of Robin Williams’s performance as John Keating, but this was not the only aspect that secured its placement here. The story of the boys at the academy, bucking tradition and stifling parental/societal expectations to follow their dreams, their hearts. It is uplifting, full of passion and heart, and being sad at the end does not hinder the message that following your heart is what brings you joy, true and fleeting.
I remember feeling like I might be too young to watch this when I was 12, having only heard the title and seen the movie cover; but after “The Time Warp” dance number I was sold. Following dreams and being the beauty you wanted to see the world resonated with me. Not to mention breaking out into song every time you had a different emotion. I’d been introduced to lots of other musicals long before seeing this in middle school, but hearing Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) practically shout at his new fiancee Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon), “Damn it, Janet, I love you!” made me a fan of the movie musical forever.
The first horror movie I ever watched was Night of the Living Dead, and simultaneously it scared the crap out of me, incensed me, and taught me that some things just aren’t what they initially seem. A Nightmare on Elm Street scared the crap out of me and taught me that sometimes evil will stand up, spit you dead in the eye, and then laugh while it hacks you to bits. Pulling from stories about death while sleeping and that old adage about sins of the father, Freddy Krueger was born to remind us just how real dreams can be.
I remember working hard to try and see this movie. When I first heard about it, no one I knew owned it. It certainly wasn’t available at my local public library–or any college libraries I’d checked into at the time. The internet was a fledgling concept and not the network of media geeks it is today (LOVE YOU GUYS!!!). So, I had to wait a bit before I ever saw it. When I did, finally, watch it; I was immediately hooked. I remember thinking of it as a darker version of The Who’s Tommy, which I’d been long familiar with. They both followed an iconic male figure, overcoming severe familial trauma, to determine who they were on a grander world stage. Oh, and there’s the kick-ass rock music.