Friday, December 7, 2007

What work of art (film, book, record, whatever) changed your life?

What work of art (film, book, record, whatever) changed your life?
The Question of the Day Submitted by bodhibound at VOX.


-Film: Say Anything
It was the first film that I can truly say that I fell in love with John Cusack

-Film: (TV)
I don't Like it here Anymore
A film that starred Talia Shire and Burt (Adrian and Paulie from the Rocky movies) that introduced me to the concept of death and that kids can die if they run out in front of a car...

-Film: (Holiday-TV)
Dark Night of the Scarecrow
The first tv-film that truly gave me nightmares. I still find it creepy today as desensitized to gore as I am these days.

-Film: (Holiday)
The Amityville Horror
The first film that truly gave me nightmares. I still remember my mother being upset with my aunt for taking us wee ones to it. I also remember finding out that Siskel and Ebert of then "Sneak Previews" said that this was not a film for children and so being a long love affair with the reviews of these two gentlemen, who sadly have been hit by cancer-Gene Siskel succumbing to it and Roger Ebert battling back to it.

I also have to mention Scrooge, starring Albert Finney. The songs in this are plain fun but they also speak to Dickens' themes more than any other production I have seen.

-Animated Film (US): The Rats of Nimh
Don Bluth hit it out of the park with this film that introduced me to the voice at least of John Carradine, David, Keith and Robert's dad. A story simply told with a mom (albeit a mouse) as the hero and not shown nearly enough. It does justice to the book, which is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. When I look back at the animated movies put out by the US that were and are good, this one comes to mind immediately.

-Animated Film (US): The Last Unicorn
I saw this recently and it still holds up (though I can see how the soundtrack by the group 'America' could get on your nerves if you are not a fan of folk/filk/soft rock). Peter Beagle, the author of the story the movie is based on, did the script and it works well alongside of the compelling imagery. This was one of if not the best of Rankin-Bass's fantasy output (those guys who were responsible for the holiday cartoons that we skewer every year along with things like the Thundercats, which a work like The Last Unicorn foreshadows a bit as a signal for the direction this company takes in the stories it decides to tell-less holiday and music groups and more fantasy and action). This is the other film I hold up when I say that there were some good animation of the 80s from the US. I always remembered one of the themes of this movie, which is that people see what they want to see and not what is really there. I've been better about seeing what is there.

-Animated Film (Japan): The Wings of Honnemaise
I saw this as a young adult. It was made in the 80s and had a lot to say about faith and science. People generally cite "Akira" as the great Japanese animated film of the 80s, but I think that people should look at this one too.

I also have to mention here the Robotech series as it is known in the US. There had been other Japanese imports before and since but if there was ever one that could play with the big dogs in terms of sweeping tv miniseries epics, it's this one. More mature than anything shown on broadcast tv at the time and somewhat since, this series focused not just on the battle and good vs evil but on all the thorny issues that foreshadowed the writing on series like Firefly, some episodes of Star Trek: DS9, and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica.

One of the biggest strengths of the writing in this series are the little moments. To this day, one of my favorite scenes is when soldier Scott Bernard blushes as he zips up the dress of the beautiful and quiet Marlena 2.0 (she was given the name Marlena after his dead fiancee when she was found. She later turns out to be an alien and one of the enemy and her name is Ariel-aren't they all named Ariel?) in a sequence that leads up to what becomes a romantic outing for two of the last people that you'd suspect would be attracted to each other.

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