Way back in January, we talked about the 10 Best Ignatian Movies. Yesterday, as I was walking back from lunch with a couple of colleagues, we started talking about movies that changed the way we look at the world. They were not [necessarily] our favorite movies, but ones that have forever changed our perceptions. Here’s my list:
- Hitchcock’s The Birds  Looking at it now, I see that some of the effects are really cheesy, but flocks of birds still make me feel uneasy…
- Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun  Convinced me that pacifism is the only sane path.
- Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now  This adaptation of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness set in the Vietnam War gave me insight into what Hannah Arendt has called “the banality of evil” in a way that nothing else has done.
- Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane  It is difficult for me to describe how this film has changed my life, but the encounter with a director of such genius profoundly impacted me. His use of deep-focus photography and multiple viewpoints in constructing the story of a William Randolph Hearst-like figure has haunted me ever since I first saw it.
- Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain  I was determined to have one cheerful movie in the list and this is it. Having said that, I have read about the difficulties Gene Kelly faced in filming the famous “I’m singing in the rain” sequence – he had a fever, the warehouse where it was filmed was sweltering, the water & milk mixture used to make the “rain” visible caused his suit to shrink, etc. And, yet, when you watch it on video, it is breezy and joyous. From this film, I learned that what seems effortless most often is the result of a lot of hard work.
Okay, so what are some of the films that have changed the way you look at the world around you?