Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen movies you've seen that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes, then tag fifteen friends.
(I cheated spectacularly on this. I did not fill it out in 15 minutes. I thought about it on and off for about two weeks before typing a word. I tag whoever cares to fill it out.)
1. Heathers - I'm sure there are probably better examples of female empowerment in film than Veronica Sawyer, but when I was twelve, I could not think of one. Considering how many stories there are where a girl gets involved with the wrong guy and then gets pregnant or smacked around or killed or something equally horrible and damning, I thought it was so cool (and still do) that Veronica is not only allowed to get into trouble, but that she's also allowed to get herself out of it with equal effectiveness. This was also one of my first exposures to dark comedy and stylized dialogue - I don't remember previously thinking that a character dying could be funny, or that they could say things like "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw."
2. Annie Hall - My favorite movie of all time. Among many other things, it changed my mind about nonlinear storytelling. I used to not like it. I don't know why. It was a dark time in my life.
3. Zodiac - It mercilessly exploits both my love of a well-constructed screenplay and my probably inordinate fear of being a victim of random, violent crime. I made the mistake of watching it alone in my house at night. At one point I paused it and got up to do something, and when I came back into the room, my cat was sitting on the back of the couch - except she was curled up in a ball so that at first glance, from a distance, it looked like the hair on the back of a person's head. I was for one second completely sure that a stranger had snuck into my house and was sitting on my couch. I don't think I've ever been so terrified in my life.
4. Romeo + Juliet - It's big and crashing and epic and garish and fabulously melodramatic, and it fostered a lifelong love of other things that fit that description. I would still rather watch this than than the Zeffirelli version any day.
5. Fantasia - I don't see how anyone who loves music or art could have grown up without loving this movie. It is so awesome.
6. Crush On U - This is without question the worst movie I have ever seen. Yes, it is worse than "Plan 9 From Outer Space". If nothing else, there are individual frames of "Plan 9" that you could show to a person who hadn't seen the movie, and they might go, "Oh, well, that's kind of cool-looking." Nothing like this can be said about "Crush On U". An IMDb user described it as "truly dire," and they're right. It is baffling in its horribleness. It is for this reason that I think anyone who is any kind of artist who sometimes feels insecure in their talent should watch it. Even if your worst fears are true, and you really are a talentless, inept hack with nothing important to say, you are still capable of producing better work than "Crush On U". You have to be. And "Crush On U" was, a) completed, and b) distributed on DVD. So you have no reason whatsoever not to follow your dream.
7. Rashomon - I feel like the term "mind-blowing" gets thrown around too much, but it's the best way I can describe the effect that seeing this for the first time had on me. I remember thinking at the time that it may have been the best movie I'd ever seen. It felt like someone had thrown open doors inside my head that I didn't know were there.
8. The Truth About Cats and Dogs - An excellent movie for anyone who's felt like they were living in a world built for people more beautiful than them. Yes, the plot is kind of stupid. (If Ben Chaplin really can't figure out what's going on with these two women, then I'm surprised he hasn't drowned in the shower yet.) But it's funny and charming, and the friendship between Janeane Garofalo and Uma Thurman is actually one of the most well-developed female friendships I think I've seen in a romantic comedy. Also, any movie in which Garofalo asks a cosmetics saleswoman if she has any pore maximizers, because sometimes she just needs a place to stash her keys, is my kind of movie.
9. Hedwig and the Angry Inch - It was unlike anything I'd seen before, and I actually got in huge trouble with my mom for seeing it, because she thought it was horribly inappropriate. I saw it at Sakari's house, and she threatened to not let me go over there anymore because she was so angry. Awful at the time, but sort of funny to look back on now, and I think the sense of transgression only made me enjoy the movie more. It also jump started a period of weirdly intense infatuation with Michael Pitt. I still like him now, but for a while, I was REALLY into him. I may or may not have an autographed photo left over from this period.
10. Walking and Talking - If I ever make a movie, I'll basically be trying to make this one. And the way that Liev Schreiber says "Hello, cookies! Me likey!" is one of those things I can think about at any random moment and laugh out loud.
11. Pocahontas - The first time I remember crying in a movie theater. It also made me aware of the difference between seeing a movie on the big screen and watching it at home. I was ridiculously excited when my mom bought it for me on video, but was disappointed to find that it didn't move me as much in my living room as it had in the theater.
12. Grease - Like everyone else, I watched it over and over as a kid, and I'm still a little disappointed that high school wasn't actually like that. Luckily, I got to be in the play during my senior year, and that was almost as good.
13. Alive - I have never been someone who was afraid of flying. In fact, probably because I do it so infrequently (I haven't been on a plane since I was in eighth grade), I've always found it kind of fun. Well, "Alive" has made me afraid to fly. The plane crash sequence at the beginning is one of the most unsettling things I've ever seen in a movie, and I know that when I do set foot on a plane again, I will have a hard time not thinking about it.
14. Secretary - Causes you to find things sexy that you never thought you would. On a shallow note, I also really love and want all of Maggie Gyllenhaal's clothes.
15. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Another movie I saw at Sakari's house that I felt cooler and more adult for watching. I still have my Columbia costume from when we used to go to midnight showings at the Riverview all the time. Sadly, I don't fit into it anymore, because I am no longer fourteen.