Here at The Edge, we have many filmies amongst our midst. However, film fans aren’t something that are born, they are something that are created in the magical moments where the world on screen completely captures our hearts and minds. Sometimes it’s a moment, sometimes it’s a scene or a character, but often it’s a film that helps us find our love for cinema as an art. In this week’s edition of Closer to the Edge, our writers have reflected on some of the films that have helped their love for cinema flourish and become what it is today.
Lord of the Rings
There’s a whole generation who live with the original Star Wars trilogy as their formative movie going experience, but I have a trilogy which impacted me much more. I have a more impressive cinematic trilogy. I have a, dare I say it, better trilogy. I have Lord of the Rings.
Still in my mind the single most impressive cinematic achievement of all time, the Lord of the Rings trilogy captivated 7 year old me in a way that no other film had, could or would. It was a story I loved instantly, a world to escape into and characters I could believe in. All the pieces fell perfectly into place and resulted in what remain my three favourite films of all time. I bought all the toys, I had the dress up costumes, I owned the DVDs (both theatrical and extended editions), I played the video games and I even went on holiday to New Zealand to visit the production locations; I simply lived for the Lord of the Rings.
What Peter Jackson achieved is unmatched: the sets, the costumes, the props, the make up, the dialogue, the characters, the performances, the visual effects, the battles, the emotion. Everything about these movies impacted and moved me, this is cinema and this is why I love cinema.
words by David Mitchell-Baker
The film that made me fall in love with cinema is Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. I’d always had a passion for film but whilst watching Slumdog Millionaire something clicked. I suddenly became aware of and grew an appreciation for cinematography:that beautiful use of camera work in film. From the minute the film started, with an unnerving close up on Jamal’s face and the screen abruptly turning black as he is slapped, I was captivated. The tension had climbed out the screen and taken hold of me in a way that I had never experienced before. I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative of the film and how each question revealed something about his life. It continuously left me guessing and I was on the edge of my seat gasping for answers. Even though the film has its heart-wrenching moments which truly pull you in emotionally, you cannot help but feel happy at the end when fate brings the two characters together and fully celebrate with them in that dance number finale. The film made me question everything I thought I knew about cinema and made me understand the power a film could have. I will forever be thankful that I watched it.
words by Laura Davis
Romeo + Juliet
I fell in love with Baz Lurhmann’s adaptation of Romeo + Juliet the first time that I saw it. The stunning imagery, brilliant acting and heart wrenching musical score had me entranced from start to finish, weaving a web of beautiful deception around me as it went. For the first time in my life, Shakespeare’s work became more than just words on a page; they had been brought to life in a fantastic and modern way, creating a world both extraordinary and yet believable. Indeed it seemed like something that I could imagine taking place in this world and in this time, and being such, it seemed even more heartbreaking. While it may seem stereotypical to choose this film as the one that made me fall in love with the industry, I can honestly say that it was the first film that made me feel involved, that held me captive and didn’t release me until the end. In short it was the first film that truly affected me.
words by Becca Barnes
Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street truly opened my eyes to the possibilities that cinema can bring. It is beautifully artistic, and perhaps wrong, to glorify such debauchery, but the film itself is visually stunning and Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie amongst others are faultless. My favourite scene by far is the office party, where the events all seem to spiral into one blur under the music and madness, and it truthfully represents how out of control Jordan Belfort’s life had become. Of course it is built on true events, something that I later discovered, and from this I began to appreciate how films are transformed from true-life accounts. Belfort was obviously a notorious criminal for conducting his business and behaviour in such ways, but I feel the film manages to portray how easily tempted he was by his demons and the thrill of living for the moment. With the eye-watering budget of $100-155 million dollars, it’s unsurprising that the film was such a commercial success, and although the film is long at around three hours, it shows in detail that actions really do have severe consequences.
words by Madeleine Armour-Chelu
Quentin Tarantino’s unorthodox crime-drama Reservoir Dogs, is the film that made me fall in love with cinema for a number of reasons. It was completely different from anything I’d seen before in terms of storytelling and structure, with the standout feature on my first viewing being the use of flashbacks. Used throughout the film from the perspective of the main characters to slowly bleed details of the plot, I was amazed at the fact it never gave too much away. I loved the characters and the way they interacted with one another, with each conversation being engaging and believable. It was also the first movie that made me appreciate the use of soundtrack in film with every song complimenting the scene it was in and bettering the experience overall, from ‘Little Green Bag’ in the opening titles to ‘Coconut’ during the credits. Also, the film’s climactic ending scene remains one of the tensest viewing experiences I’ve had to date. Reservoir Dogs remains one of my favourite films today with its brilliance motivating me to keep exploring the world of film in order to find other movies that would entertain me as much as this one had.
words by Tom Wilmot
La La Land
Despite it only coming out this month, and perhaps not the first film to do so, La La Land certainly made me fall in love with cinema. A fresh, raw, deep, intimate love for the art of film. From its beautiful cinematography and use of colour to the captivating performances of its leads, and the truly magnificent score: this film quite truly blew my mind. I can not remember the last time that a feel left with such a deep and pure feeling of warmth and contentment. It was a film that captured the reality of being a dreamer, not skirting around the negatives, even though it’d be so easy to do so in a feel-good musical. It was a film that reminded me what an emotional impact cinema can have, and it has completely overtaken my life. The epilogue scene is up there with my favourite film sequences ever captured. I am so grateful that Damien Chazelle was as indulgent as he was, because it’s an ode to the classics, and is a well-needed reminder to the film industry of what made those old films so great: their heart.
words by Rehana Nurmahi