Ten days, ten screenshots of films that have had a significant impact on you. No words, no titles, just images. That’s the 10 Day Movie Challenge I took until just a couple of days ago. Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen those stills, but I’d love nothing more than to share them (again) on here, this time telling you all about why I chose those exact ten films, what their impact on me has actually been, and which films were pretty close to the top 10 but didn’t make the cut. Honourable mentions, if you will. Ready to talk movies? Let’s go then!
Big Fish (2003)
I’m a big Tim Burton fan to begin with, and Big Fish is definitely one of his masterpieces. The images, the imagination, the beautiful story (that ending! Tears! Every. Time.) and just the whole idea of living on through the wacky tales you’ve told all your life? It just got to me and left me absolutely awestruck the first time I saw this film based on Daniel Wallace’s novel of the same name, and every time after that. Throw in Ewan McGregor, a painfully beautiful Pearl Jam ballad during the end credits and a style of film-making no one will ever be able to truly imitate and - bam - easy decision to include this one in the challenge.
The Mummy (1999)
This one just had to be in the list because there’s probably no other film - no, not even Star Wars - I’ve seen as often as The Mummy. Honestly. It’s simply the works for me: adventure, Egyptian mythology, a couple of laughs, a bit of love. My favourite kind of film in a nutshell, really, and also the one and only film I’ve ever lost sleep over because - well - I was a bit scared after seeing it the first time. Mind you, I was ten when I saw it in the theatre (I just HAD to, you know?) and usually not that easily frightened, but it just so happened that it was a late-night slot AND a full moon AND a very stormy night in my bedroom attic that day. So, that, and the fact that I can even remember all of this (plus all the press and promo before the film even came out, which is absolutely crazy) make this film quite deserving of a spot in this top 10, don’t you think?
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
This one just hits me right in the feels every time I see it. It’s such an absolutely gorgeous and quite heart-breaking film, actually. What intrigued me about it is that it has no clear plot whatsoever (something I don’t usually like, except - apparently - when the Coens are behind it), but is just story-telling at its best. I think it’s probably the whole thing about being talented but not really getting there that got to me in the end. And the cat. Definitely the cat, as well.
Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) (1977)
Oh, how do I even begin to explain in what way Star Wars had a significant impact on me? Seeing it for the first time was just so mind-blowing and new to me that it was love at first sight the minute our Dad thought it was the time, you know? An entire, space-y world opened up to us, full of adventure, an impressive villain with a twist, a nobody who turned out to be a somebody, exciting space battles (still dying to have that X-Wing Pilot outfit, the only orange that will ever suit me like a glove, I tell you), a badass princess (I said A BADASS PRINCESS!), a crush-worthy scoundrel and EPIC music. So there you go. The impact.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Favourite Animated Film. Hands down. I liked Wes Anderson’s work before this one came out, but I can only faintly remember watching them. After this one, the tiny obsession with all the perfect details and general prettiness of his so recognisable style truly kicked in. It’s a work of utterly brilliant story-telling, partly thanks to Roald Dahl’s brilliant book anyway, but there’s no one who could have done it more justice than Anderson, of that I’m sure.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
I guess Lord of the Rings marks my first - and probably biggest - fangirl experience. First of all, I remember seeing the trailer for the first time on the big screen before god-knows-which film like it was yesterday. My mouth literally fell open. I had scrapbooks, all the Behind the Scenes books in existence, posters, the - brilliant - soundtrack, sticker books, … in short: oh well, everything. Rightly so, because it surely was a feat for film-making in general and not just for me. The locations, the realness of those special effects (wish he’d stuck with makeup for The Hobbit, am I right?), the perfect casting,… All reasons why I’m sure it’s made an impact on a lot of people along with me.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
It taught me a flawless cockney accent, what other impact do you need? No, really. Although it probably WAS one of the first films I could talk along to from beginning to end (including that flawless accent, as mentioned), I also remember being absolutely crazy about seeing the kind of ending that brings a lot of stories together for the first time in my life. I. Loved. It. Great soundtrack, too.
Jurassic Park (1993)
You’re hearing the music right now, aren’t you? So am I. I mean, real life dinosaurs on your screen instead of in that favourite toy box of yours? Can’t do anything but leave a kid impressed, can it? It inspired a lot of standard play-time routines after we’d seen this one, I can tell you that. Rain storm? To the attic we went, because “T-Reeeex!” If we’d like to build a zoo with blocks and bricks? Nah, we built a dinosaur park from then on. Barbie? Got eaten by the T-Rex action figure quite a lot, the poor thing. 🤷🏻♀️
The Breakfast Club (1985)
All in favour of making The Breakfast Club obligatory viewing material for every teen out there say ‘aye.’ Big aye! I’m probably not skilled enough to describe how important this ultimate 80s teen movie truly was AND is, so I’ll just say this: I saw it as a teen and was absolutely blown away. It was everything I was feeling at the time but couldn’t put to words or identify, even. Perfectly summed up in an hour and a half. Legend, that John Hughes, and relevant for generations to come.
Last but not least, this Spielberg classic. Well, classic is a big word because it wasn’t received all that well when it first came out and even now. Well, I don’t get it, because I LOVED this film as a kid and still do. It’s basically a lesson about treasuring your inner child and imagination as you grow up (which you should avoid if you can. It’s a trap, it really is), brought to you by the brilliant Robin Williams. The soundtrack absolutely makes me giddy sometimes when I hear it, too, just because it’s such a perfect fit for the story and Neverland in general, and just brings the particular scenes to life right before your eyes. Dare I even say it’s John Williams’ best for me, personally? I dare.
Close but no cigars
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Oh, I don’t care if it’s not bloody historically accurate, I cry my eyes out anyway. No other film gets me going like this one, actually. I’m talking ugly sobbing, people, which is why I’ll probably only ever watch it on my own.
Don’t even try to tell me Ewan McGregor’s singing voice didn’t have any kind of impact on you. That’s impossible.
Singin’ In The Rain (1952)
The Goonies (1985)
I mean, who doesn’t love The Goonies? That’s right, no one (in their right mind).
Singin’ In The Rain never gets old for me. Is it the best musical ever made? Possibly. Let those iconic dance numbers (Make ‘Em Laugh!) help you decide for yourself.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Despite it definitely being one of my favourite films ever, this one wasn’t featured in the 10 day challenge because I couldn’t for the life of me think of how it’s had an impact on me. Other than that it makes me smile every time I see it. Cary Elwes. ❤️
This one quite possibly triggered a love for all things mythology archeology, etc. And I bet Raiders did that for a lot of people. Besides, it’s simply a great film, featuring an image (the one right above here) I’ve always considered one of my favourites of all time.
Which film(s) had an impact on you and would make it onto your list? Any specific screenshots you’d want to use?