Three Films

Day 29: 3 – “Write about your top 3 favorite movies.”

If you have the book that I am using, then you know that I have swapped a this prompt for another one.

The first film is from my childhood. I watched it on the television every year. Anyone older than Netflix would probably have seen it too. It is The Wizard of Oz.

No other film gave me more hope as a child. I watched it each year in hopes that one day I would find a place to call home. Perhaps, I would find a friend like the scarecrow who had the biggest heart. Maybe I would go on a golden trail to meet someone who was going to help me out. But mostly I wanted to escape from the wicked witches in my life and be able to afford a nice pair of shoes.

My second favourite film is Lars and the Real Girl. This is the story of a boy named Ocean (Lars) who is lonely and doesn’t have any close friends so one day he decides to buy a blow up doll off the internet. He introduces the doll to friends as his new girlfriend. The whole town supports his delusion until he is healthy again.

I never felt so much comfort and anguish in a film as I did watching that film for the first time. I have never felt such a strong paradox of whether to cry or laugh. I was fighting with myself internally and any film that can do that deserves to be mentioned in my favourites. Ryan Gosling is the greatest actor of this generation.

The third film is a bit harder to name. I have so many films which have made an impression on me, such as Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Notting Hill (1999), Heaven Can Wait (1978), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Psycho (1960), Europa Europa (1990), and many other films, but in the end I came up two films that I had to choose from: 500 Days of Summer (2009) and Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1998). Both films are important to my life story, but Nuovo Cinema Paradiso is a film lover’s film. It is my story, your story, and many other cinephiles reminder of our childhood and our journey to the cinema. I have seen this film many times and I have never grown tired of it.

The cinema was always my place to escape from reality. I remember seeing Grease (1978), Star Wars (1977), and Saturday Night Fever (1977) as a kid on the big screen. Fortunately and unfortunately, my mother did not filter what I saw in the cinema or the television. I was the dancer, the Jedi, and boy falling in love with Olivia Newton-John during the Summer break. I was someone in every film I ever watched. I was not me anymore and that was a great thing.

Today, I do not enjoy films as much. Everything is so political and the stories are saturated with a message I can read about in a book or see on the daily news. I went to the cinema to escape from life, not to be preached at. Sometimes a great films sneaks into our lives, but it has become rarer than an Albino Alligator.

Excerpt From: Scott Green. “397 Journal Writing Prompts & Ideas.” Apple Books.

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