A new academic year rimes with new beginnings and a bunch of first times! To celebrate the kick of the term, five of our writers talk about the first film that ever had an impact on them, from influencing their career choice to forging a true role model.
Spider-Man (2002), directed by Sam Raimi
I was just seven years-old when Sony Pictures’ first big-budget foray into superhero fandom landed. Up to this point I had grown up on a staple diet of cheap 90s cartoons, but everything changed when Tobey Maguire swung onto screens as Peter Paker, the science nerd who gained the ability to climb walls and punch bad guys really hard in the face after a radioactive spider bite. As a nerdy kid with big glasses and scrawny arms myself, there was a lot to admire and look up to in Maguire’s Parker. The second I left the cinema, I knew I had to either become Spider-Man (which proved rather difficult) or, at the very least, tell the world how great he is.
words by Ben Robins
Jurassic Park (1993), directed by Steven Spielberg
Watching Jurassic Park for the first time is one of my earliest memories, if not the earliest. Not only did the film influence my chosen career direction, but it did so twice! For about two whole weeks I was fixed on the idea that I was going to be a paleontologist like Dr. Alan Grant, until I realized that I didn’t really have the temperament for science and digging. Then, I understood who it was that really inspired me: Mr. Spielberg! Whatever he did, that is what I wanted to do. I was 100% sure of what I wanted to be when I was older: a director – and this time the idea lasted for more than a couple of weeks.
words by Harrison Abbott
Despite its release being nearly 70 years ago, Sunset Boulevard holds a dear place in my heart in the year 2014 because of it encompassing everything that enthrals me. The film focuses on an aspiring writer that meets a former silent film star, Norma Desmond, who views her place in the cinematic industry as immortal. Its sensational and startling examinations of the complex nature of fame and stars sit alongside the deathly obsession that pumps through its veins: Sunset Boulevard carefully unravels the enigma of the ‘film star’ and the mortality that works directly against its desirable durability. Wilder’s, arguably best, film is a piece of genius, skilfully layered with observations of the art industry’s erratic and ruthless core. It’s provocative and theatrical and just as Norma wanted, I’ll remember her forever.
words by Lewis Taplin
I Am Slave (2010), directed by Gabriel Range
I Am Slave is a tear jerking, nail biting and enthralling story of modern slavery. This drama sees how slaves are transported through modern security ‘legally’ – it really is an eye openers, the film is gut wrenching. The film narrates the story of Malia, a slave trapped in London engaged in the fight for her freedom. This will have you on the end of your seat, often with a tear you savagely brush away.
words by Kirsty Bradley
The Silence of the Lambs (1991), directed by Jonathan Demme
I remember my dad insisting on watching The Silence of the Lambs together. Up until viewing it, I had remained bored and unaffected by any ghosts, gore and Jurassic Park dinosaurs thrown at me by my Dad over the years, after he had made a mission of finding a film that would utterly disturb me. The Silence of the Lambs is the first film to have an impact on me because it’s the first film that succeeded. Anthony Hopkins’ chilling and seductive Hannibal Lector became and has stayed my favourite villain of all time. From the moment he is introduced, motionless and whispering in his prison cell, I find myself craving the cannibal’s presence in every scene of the film. It’s a film that affected me to the point of choosing to study film at degree level. It’s a shame the sequels didn’t live up to expectations.
words by Polly Bussell