The first time it happened . . .

Jerry Roberts
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The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry Roberts » Thu May 31, 2012 3:27 pm

So I have to pose a question that I always pose to fellow cinemaphiles: When did you know? What was the first moment that you realized that the movies were the medium that you felt so passionate about.

For me, I've been watching movies my whole life. I started with "The Rescuers" in 1977 (I'm 40 now), the first film I ever saw, but I think the first movie that had an impact on me was "Star Wars". I know it sounds a bit familiar, but there was something about that film that just captured my little imagination. It was the first time that I saw R2D2 and C3PO in the desert and they were bickering like many of the adults that were around me. They had arguments that were cleared up under the worst of circumstances. That, do me, was magic because it reached out and connected with something in my own life.

Gregory J. Smalley
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Gregory J. Smalley » Thu May 31, 2012 4:26 pm

I'm about your age, Jerry, so I remember being knocked out by Star Wars as well... though the first film that amazed me was actually Young Frankenstein.

But I think the first time I realized I was passionate about the movies is when VCRs started becoming commonplace when I was a teenager. While my friends all wanted to see Top Gun or Ghostbusters again, I was thrilled to get to check out movies from before my time: Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver, The Godfather, the Monty Python movies, Plan 9 from Outer Space... Since my buddies all turned up their noses at those selections, that's when I realized I viewed movies as something fundamentally different than disposable entertainment with an expiration date.

Jerry

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry » Thu May 31, 2012 5:22 pm

Same here. I got a VCR when I was 16 (which would have been around '87) and it was an opportunity to see all those movies that my folks watched after they sent me and my brother off to bed. Movies like Terms of Endearment, Kramer vs. Kramer and Being There. I was never interested in what my friends went to see like Top Gun or Police Academy. I wanted to see something great.

I got the bug for out-of-the-mainstream films when I started watching Siskel & Ebert and they would recommend smaller films that I had never heard of. Without them I would have never seen The Scent of Green Papaya, The Joy Luck Club, AfterLife, Hoop Dreams, The Thin Blue Line. Through them, I fell in love with Erroll Morris' pictures. It was a great tutorial for me.

John J. Puccio
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby John J. Puccio » Thu May 31, 2012 8:57 pm

My earliest recollection of motion pictures having a profound and moving impact on me was in about 1951 or '52 when my dad took me to see "All Quiet on the Western Front," the 1930 film in rerelease. I remember the lobby was filled with display memorabilia--World War I uniforms, rifles, a small cannon of some sort--fascinating stuff to an eight-year-old kid. I loved the movie, I loved the action, I loved the main character, and I was totally shocked and shaken when at the end he was killed! This was the hero. Heroes didn't die. Not in the movies. Not anywhere.

It wasn't for another day or two that the second revelation sunk in. The hero was a German. Understand, I saw this film only seven or eight years after the Second World War, and the Germans had been our enemies. When my friends and I played army men, the bad guys were always Germans or Japanese. The hero of "All Quiet," Paul Baumer, was a German, yet I was totally sympathetic toward him. Remarkable. And I've loved movies ever since.

Ferdy

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Ferdy » Thu May 31, 2012 10:51 pm

Is there one moment? I can't be that specific. I always watched movies. When they used to televise The Wizard of Oz, it was a special network event. Same with Mary Martin in Peter Pan, a televised play. The importance the networks put on these events made me look forward to them that one time of the year. I might have started seeing films as something more intricate and exotic when I was 15 and given summer passes to the Wilmette Theatre, which showed nothing but French films. I saw The Murmur of the Heart that summer, and it was a real eye opener.

Guest

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Guest » Thu May 31, 2012 11:44 pm

Like many film geeks of my generation, my passion for cinema can all be attributed to one film, a total game-changer that made me go from casual moviegoer to the kind of guy who would spend five years working in a video store, almost more for the fun of spending all day talking about movies than for the pay, and who'd eventually become a professional film critic.

That film, you might have guessed, was Pulp Fiction. Before then, I loved movies, but I pretty much only watched action flicks and broad comedies. But once I went to see Pulp Fiction, this all changed. Before that, I watched a movie, enjoyed it or not, then didn't think about it too much. But Pulp Fiction was so different than anything I'd ever seen before that I was compelled to read whatever magazine article about it I could get my hands on. And as you probably remember, much of the coverage of the film was about how it was an homage to all kinds of genre filmmakers, cult movies, foreign films... Which led me to discovering everything from the French New Wave to Spaghetti Westerns, Blaxploitation, Film Noir and Hong Kong gangster movies, not to mention the works of Scorsese, De Palma and the Coen brothers.

Kevin Laforest
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Kevin Laforest » Thu May 31, 2012 11:48 pm

Guest wrote:Like many film geeks of my generation, my passion for cinema can all be attributed to one film, a total game-changer that made me go from casual moviegoer to the kind of guy who would spend five years working in a video store, almost more for the fun of spending all day talking about movies than for the pay, and who'd eventually become a professional film critic.

That film, you might have guessed, was Pulp Fiction. Before then, I loved movies, but I pretty much only watched action flicks and broad comedies. But once I went to see Pulp Fiction, this all changed. Before that, I watched a movie, enjoyed it or not, then didn't think about it too much. But Pulp Fiction was so different than anything I'd ever seen before that I was compelled to read whatever magazine article about it I could get my hands on. And as you probably remember, much of the coverage of the film was about how it was an homage to all kinds of genre filmmakers, cult movies, foreign films... Which led me to discovering everything from the French New Wave to Spaghetti Westerns, Blaxploitation, Film Noir and Hong Kong gangster movies, not to mention the works of Scorsese, De Palma and the Coen brothers.


FYI, that was me posting!

Jerry

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:31 am

It sounds a tad pathetic, but when I was a teenager, the movies were my best friends. They were special to me. I took dates to movies and if I wanted a relationship, I would show them my favorite movies, Star Wars, The Last Picture Show, Chinatown, The Godfather, Some Like It Hot, Young Frankenstein, Rebecca. I would show them one or two of these films and if they didn't like them, I didn't go out with them again. It sounds snobbish, but it runs along the principle of "Like me, like my friends".

Rick

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Rick » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:15 am

I can't put it down to just one film, but I can hit a few. I remember watching Howard the Duck as a kid and being so horrified I felt it my duty to warn people away. Conversely, The Boy Who Could Fly held some magic for me that created an emotional response, one that I still respond to. I also remember when Satyajit Ray received an Honorary Oscar and the film clips simply stunned me. It was the first time I saw movies could be art, beautiful art.

Jerry

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:43 am

I also remember when Satyajit Ray received an Honorary Oscar and the film clips simply stunned me. It was the first time I saw movies could be art, beautiful art.


I thought that the first time I saw
The Scent of Green Papaya
. It was a lovely film, like listening to peaceful music.

JakeCole
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby JakeCole » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:00 pm

For some odd reason I bought the Criterion DVD of Seven Samurai on a whim after I graduated high school in 2007. I thought it would take forever to sit through a 3-and-a-half-hour movie, but the only time I moved was to switch discs. I was transfixed. I never looked at movies the same way again. To this day I learn new things about film from rewatching it.

Rick Aragon
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Rick Aragon » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:34 pm

Jerry wrote:I took dates to movies and if I wanted a relationship, I would show them my favorite movies, Star Wars, The Last Picture Show, Chinatown, The Godfather, Some Like It Hot, Young Frankenstein, Rebecca. I would show them one or two of these films and if they didn't like them, I didn't go out with them again. It sounds snobbish, but it runs along the principle of "Like me, like my friends".


When I'm ready to get serious with someone, I show them Casablanca if they haven't seen it. If she doesn't like it or thinks it's boring, I dump her. If she doesn't get why it's so perfect, then she'll never get me.

Dan Jardine
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Dan Jardine » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:52 pm

Watching 2001: A Space Odyssey in its initial theatrical release as a ten year-old. Blew my formative mind. Still recovering.

eleiko56
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby eleiko56 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:58 pm

For me it was a screening of Ladri di biciclette at the Museum of Modern Art in NY. I was a young adult and really didn't "get" art films at the time, but that one just blew my mind. I think it was partly context--I was waiting in the rush line when completely out of the blue someone came up and gave me his ticket. I don't know the circumstances, but the good fortune when I wasn't expecting it may have put me in the right mood to appreciate the film.

Adam Batty
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Adam Batty » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:20 pm

I have a couple of notable filmic experiences that got me to where I am -

1) The Aristocats, sometime around 1985, my first theatrical experience.

2) Typical Spielberg infatuation around 1992/93.

3) Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, Natural Born Killers and Reservoir Dogs, sometime around 1996, courtesy of a slightly irresponsible babysitter that brought VHS tapes of semi-notorious mid-90's flicks around when he was looking after my younger brother and I.

4) Godard's Breathless, 1999, the first film of my first film studies class when I was 16 years old.

OscarGuy
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:54 pm

I always liked movies, but never really got into them in a serious way until Driving Miss Daisy. I remember seeing the film and going in thinking I knew something about it. I had went with my mother and had heard it was nominated for 7 Oscars. I spouted off some categories I thought it was nominated in, though I had been wrong. It was around this time that my fascination with the Oscars developed and from there on, I began watching more and more movies to see where my tastes compared with Academy voters.

Jerry

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:14 am

I always liked movies, but never really got into them in a serious way until Driving Miss Daisy. I remember seeing the film and going in thinking I knew something about it. I had went with my mother and had heard it was nominated for 7 Oscars. I spouted off some categories I thought it was nominated in, though I had been wrong. It was around this time that my fascination with the Oscars developed and from there on, I began watching more and more movies to see where my tastes compared with Academy voters.


WOW! I think you and I must have been living parallel lives. I noticed the academy awards on the night that Driving Miss Daisy won, but it wasn't until the following year when Dances With Wolves was the winner that I began to take it seriously. It became my new year's eve. I made it my business to see every single nominee even long after the show had ended. I became fascinated by the voting process, the campaigning process and the show itself.

I also became obsessed with the winners. I've seen every film that ever won the Oscar for Best Picture. A decade ago I started working on a website in which I took the voting academy to task for their choices of Best Picture, Actor and Actress, from 1927 all the way up to the present. It took me 12 year, but Armchair Oscars was the result. Check it out:
http://www.armchairoscars.com/

OscarGuy
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby OscarGuy » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:27 am

Aren't you a member of the OFCS? You should probably log in to post if so.

Jerry Roberts
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry Roberts » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:51 pm

Aren't you a member of the OFCS? You should probably log in to post if so.


Done!

Sounds like you've been to my site,

OscarGuy
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby OscarGuy » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:00 pm

I'm on the governing committee. I remember most members by name, though I miss a few on occasion. I was on the GC last year when you were admitted, so I'm more recently familiar with your work.

Jerry Roberts
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry Roberts » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:55 pm

I'm on the governing committee. I remember most members by name, though I miss a few on occasion. I was on the GC last year when you were admitted, so I'm more recently familiar with your work.


So I must ask. What have you read, and do you think I'm any good?

OscarGuy
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:40 pm

That's not something I am permitted to discuss, nor would I even if I were. The important part is that you were approved for membership.

Jerry Roberts
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry Roberts » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:26 pm

Sorry. I was just asking.

ruralcritic1
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Name: Robert Roten

Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby ruralcritic1 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:58 pm

For me it was "The Graduate" in 1967.

It was innovative in its use of sound and it captured the way I felt at that time as a college student, alienated from my parent's generation, searching for a new direction.

Jerry Roberts
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Re: The first time it happened . . .

Postby Jerry Roberts » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:38 pm

For me it was "The Graduate" in 1967. It was innovative in its use of sound and it captured the way I felt at that time as a college student, alienated from my parent's generation, searching for a new direction.


Oddly enough, I saw "The Graduate" six months after I got out of college. Not by design, but sort of by accident.


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