23 Years, 23 Movies: Part Two


Let's continue, shall we? This half of the list is filled with movies that are really some of my all-time favorites. I think that's because, at these older ages, I had more immediate access to movies, so the movies of these years I was actually watching in these years. As influential as some of the 90's movies were on my childhood,  these movies were influential in a different way, as I was more aware of their influence. With the Internet and what-not, I was able to really embrace my movie obsessions with DVD extras, downloadable wallpapers, website extras, IMDb.com fun facts, movie posters, and other media. And then there's just the scientific fact that I can remember my teenage & recent years much more clearly than my childhood years, so I still have strong memories attached to each of these movies.



2002: A Walk to Remember
Before there were all those Nicholas Sparks movies to choose from, there was this, the ultimate teenage, ultimate romantic, ultimate chick-flick. I remember this being the best example of the perfect love story, the perfect romantic nice boy. So, when I found a boy that said he actually loved this movie, he seemed perfect, too. Of course, he wasn't. But when you're this young, it's nice to have too good to be true love stories to help your daydreams of a perfect boy out there somewhere....

2003: Thirteen
This movie was a big part of my life story because it was one of the first movies I ever downloaded when I was 14. Which means that I watched it many, many, times because when I felt like watching a movie, I had a very small selection to choose from. Although I was a little older than 13 when I watched this, I related to it so much. Stuff I was going through currently, or had when I was much younger. The dynamic between the two girls was so familiar to me. I was also fascinated with the movie because it was "Indie", something I was just starting to learn about. Independent film. And this indie movie in particular was more interesting because I learned that one of the stars of the movie, Nikki Reed, had in fact co-written the script based on her own life. It doesn't get any more real than that.


2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This movie blew my mind. (Just like another 2004 movie, The Butterfly Effect, but I had to pick just one.) I'm sure it wasn't until after seeing it five times that I could make sense of it all. But I love movies that challenge my brain like that. Sure, it's nice to just sit back and enjoy a story going on in front of your face. But once in a while a movie comes along that really makes me think. That makes me watch it again and again. That makes me shell out the cash to actually buy the DVD so that I can see all the behind-the-scenes extras. Michel Gondry is a genius. You have to see the behind the scenes stuff of how he made so many of the movies effects live, right there, in front of the camera, not digitally in post. Amazing stuff.


2005: Elizabethtown
This movie sparked my need to travel. A road trip around America is now in my life plans. This movie just makes me want to hit the road! And also be super confident and quirky like Kirsten Dunst. As usual. I think there's a pattern in my favorite movies from high school in that they all feature a female character that I wanted to be more like. I also loved their relationship in that they're getting to know each other, becoming close, and, sure there's some sexual tension, but really they're becoming friends. This movie is nostalgic, hilarious, romantic, strange, thoughtful... Just everything I was looking for.
For my 17th birthday, it was a choice between Marie Antoinette and Factory Girl to see in theatres. I think Marie Antoinette won and I was delighted with the overall prettiness of the movie while all my friends were bored by the slow plot. But that didn't mean that I didn't see Factory Girl as soon as I could get my hands on it, and immediately become obsessed with it, the fashion, Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol, the 60's, New York, everything about it. To this day, I still love Edie and everything 60's.


2007: Juno
This movie is important to this time in my life partly just for the pop culture of it. So many jokes quoted amongst people, references and parodies in other media. I think this movie at this time is remembered by most people. I also have a very specific memory of the night I saw this movie in theatres. I was in college, just starting to make friends. A group of film students were all going to see it, so I went with my new BFF Jason as my "date". I remember we had really bad seats because the place was packed and that Jason kept joking that we should have a baby and rubbing my stomach to which I would swat him away and say "Ew!"


2008: Twilight
I'm not a Twi-hard, or anything close, but I have read the books and seen the movies and for a while I was a bit caught up in the hype. I saw the first Twilight with my friend for her birthday, without knowing anything about it, and we both came out swooning over Robert Pattinson for the rest of the night. I went on the read the books, which I enjoyed, and have kept up with the movies, but not rushing to see them in theatres. But this Twilight makes the list because, yes, for a while this was my go-to romance movie, my Hollywood crush, and I still have fond memories of that fun birthday night with Kim.


2009: S. Darko
This is one of those movies, like Marie Antoinette, that I like to watch just to be immersed in the visuals of the world, the vibe, the fashion, the characters, just the overall feeling it gives me. Yes, it gets dark with all the weird time travel stuff, and I do like that, but it's also the dreamy lightness of other parts of the movie. The girls driving across the dessert, best friends, their aloofness with strangers, the long flowing hair, the pretty dresses, the freedom of it all... And then there's the fun of trying to wrap my head around all the tiny details, and trying to fit the multiple time traveling story together. It's another movie that makes me want to jump in the car and just drive.

2010: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
I immediately loved the style of this movie. They managed to combine a movie, a comic and a video game into one delightful masterpiece. It's hilarious, it's comical, it's bad ass. The characters are all so distinct in their personality and their appearance. You can really tell that it was adapted from a comic book if you notice how every character has a very specific style, shape, silhouette. It was also really fun to watch because it is set & filmed in Toronto, where some of my friends live. Scott is so adorkably loveable, Romana is so badass, and the rest, I just want to be friends with. After seeing the movie, I wanted to read the comics and I love them even more. The story actually extends over a couple years and includes the mundane life stuff juxtaposed with the video game style battles every so often. It's such a fun world to dive into.

 
2011: Sucker Punch
I was looking forward to this movie for at least a year before it came out. The actresses, the concept, the imagery, I was addicted from the beginning. And it did not disappoint. I also got to see it in one of the new fancy theatres with comfy seats and amazing surround sound. (That was actually a bit too much sometimes. I didn't really need to feel the vibrations of the giant warriors stomping.) This movie is just exactly my definition of bad ass. The girls are sexy, but standing up for themselves, there's action and adventure and some kick ass tunes. I love escaping in this world(s). I heard a lot of people thought it was silly and stupid, but I think it's brilliant.




2012? We'll have to wait and see...

Writing about all of these movies has brought back so many memories of my life attached to these movies. I can really look back on my life match movies to times in my life. I can remember watching certain movies with certain people at certain times. Things like who introduced me to that movie, the songs that I got from that movie, the boy I was hanging out with while I watched that movie, what movies I watched at my birthday parties, at friend's houses, which ones I saw in theatres, rented, borrowed, downloaded, bought, how many times I've watched them, things I noticed upon second and third viewings, things I learned from the IMDb trivia or DVD extras. Basically, movies have defined my life, at least since I was about 13 and really started acquiring movies, learning more about them, and getting attached to visual themes, characters, stories, directors, genres. My life is defined by the movies I watch. Maybe in another 23 years, I'll look back and see what movies defined those years of my life...

1 comment:

vfredericks said...

OMG. We have the same taste in movies. Elizabethtown is one of my favorites ever - also stirs wanderlust in me. Plus Kirsten Dunst is adorable. Eternal Sunshine is also among my all-time favorites.

Stumbled upon your blog today and I love it!