Movies that "made a differance"

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  10 October 2012
wyatt, i never watched the directors commentary. i never wanted it to rob the meanings i drew and still draw from it. and every time i shed a tear its for a different scene from the last time. and to be honest, im not sure the directors intentions and explanations are meaningful for a film that has a life of its own. the last time i felt gripped was at the end when donnie was laughing before the engine fell. and i realized it was because he finally found the answer to his search and realized he doesnt actually die alone. he never existed so he never died. but everyone felt his prescence somehow in their life. thats why frank touched his eye, and all the others felt it as he vanished. when he was in the theater frank said "im sorry" and i never heard that the 8 other times i watched the film. and now i get it.

i guess i like donnie darko because its one of the few films that changed my life in the way that i see others in it. most films leave me feeling empty or entertained. DD changed me internally and it helped to realize that emotional pain is never about yourself. its always about healing someone else. the human heart has a tendancy to compare itself to those who suffer less, and with that we draw self pity. the movie helped me to understand how truly similar laughing and crying is, how dying and being born are one and the same. how profoundly love can change the world, and ultimately that our realities that cause us so much grief actually bring peace to those that love us the most. theres a reason that the "best dreams ive ever had are the ones where im dying".. and thats because death is life. contrary to popular opinion, we arent born alone and die alone. we are abundantly surrounded with love and hope in an infinite circle. life isnt linear.

and this post is what happens when you mix jäger and bubba.. ha ha
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  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: BTW has anyone here seen a flick called "All is Quiet on the Western Front"n during the rest of


Yes, brilliant film (the 1930s BW version). I was going to mention it myself.

P.S. No "is" in the title.
 
  10 October 2012
A true classic, Fritz Lang's first sound film: "M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder." (1931)
Disturbing topic (a child murderer), but even more disturbing and intense social critisism.
 
  10 October 2012
Originally Posted by HFnord: A true classic, Fritz Lang's first sound film: "M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder." (1931)
Disturbing topic (a child murderer), but even more disturbing and intense social critisism.


I saw it at a community theater screening. Print was terrible but it left a strong impression.Dont see a Hollywood version of that coming any time soon (though there was an Untouchables show in the late 80s-early 90s that covered the exact same story but had it end with the murderer unsympathetic and burning to death.

Poor Peter Lorre-apparently he hated all the films he made later in Hollywood-even though he was very good in comedy with Vincent Price.
 
  10 October 2012
I think there have been several movies that have had a profound impact on peoples feelings and have definitely made waves in the real world.

In the eighties at the height of the cold war and nuclear arms race there were two very excellent movies made, one was even a tv movie.
The Day After (1983)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_After

That was burned into my memory forever, seeing the after effects of a nuclear war.

The second is the British Equivalent, and an even more effective film in my opinion
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I also think there have been several movies in the last 20 years that have strongly increased the awareness of bullying. White Elephant, Precious, Pay it Forward, Boys Don't Cry the list goes on.

I think bullying these days is one of the most effective issues to focus on, mainly because it is the root of lots of societies ills and because upon reflection can be dealt with on a local level as well as national. Sometimes starting with the person doing the bullying.

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  11 November 2012
There's no shortage of socio-political messages in movies, and if you want, you can find a ton of them--fictional or documentaries, or based on real events. These movies all resonated to a portion of the audience to different degrees, and some have caused real changes in the world, while some had no tangible effect.

What I'm curious about though, is how much overlap is there between the movies you personally love--like your favorite movies all-time, and these movies that "make a difference"?

I find that most of my favorite movies are more intimate and focus on complex relationships between people--be it friendships, family, love, or between strangers such as:

Three Colors: Red
Other People's Lives
A Heart In Winter
Lost In Translation
Sunrise/A Song of Two Humans
Ponette
Let the Right One In
Before Sunset
Heat
Goodfellas
American Beauty
Waking the Dead
The Breakfast Club
Ground Hog Day
Shawshank Redemption

The other ones on my list are mainly just dramatically very satisfying, with strong emotional or intellectual resonance--one like:

Bladerunner
The Man From Earth
Children of Men
A Clockwork Orange
The Godfather trilogy
Queen Margot
The Big Lebowski
Winter's Bone

I guess the war movies on my list are the ones that have socio-political messages that are directly relevant to the reality of our world:

Full Metal Jacket
Saving Private Ryan
Black Hawk Down (it's mainly the heroism of the two selfless Delta snipers that really moved me)

(The above is only a partial list. The full list with comments is here: http://www.ethereality.info/etherea.../influences.htm)

Last edited by Lunatique : 11 November 2012 at 05:53 AM.
 
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Coppola did that on purpose.

In a way the movie is an allegory of the history of Vietnam.


From the US, The French Colonialism, etc.


During the Helo Attack Coppolla was showing us how America viewed itself at the time fighting the war, and proceeded to deconstruct that wrongheaded vision during the rest of the film.


I read an interview with Coppola (or was it Milius?) long ago where he compared that scene to "squishing ants" the way a child on a playground might. It's an apt description for the feeling of God-like superiority the Americans had towards the Vietnamese. And we witness the whole thing through an almost omniscient narrator in Capt. Willard, who seems baffled by the casual disregard towards the Vietnamese, but is a killer himself. Again, it seems an apt description of the split personality Americans had towards the war.

I love that in the first scene where Kilgore appears, there's some kind of news photographer following him around (much like Kurtz at the end), and the scene where Coppola himself implores the crew to "Just go by, like you're fighting!" speaks volumes about the roles of imagery and news coverage of the war. Then there's the classic shot where Kilgore's oh-so-kind as to let an enemy combatant drink from his canteen, but yanks it away when he learns that one of the crew is his surfing hero. This classic display of American attraction to glitz over substance (or compassion) shows that some things never change.
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Last edited by Artbot : 11 November 2012 at 05:14 PM.
 
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by Artbot: I read an interview with Coppola (or was it Milius?) long ago where he compared that scene to "squishing ants" the way a child on a playground might. .

Mind Blown!
That is so spot on it is not funny.
Wow. I have to watch that the DVD again.


A couple of Movies I would like to add to the list:

Fatal Attraction
In the 80's this movie scared a lot of men out of having affairs.

Fight Club
It captured the ANGER of the Gen X generaion to a

Requiem For a Dream
THe MOST powerful anti addiction movie ever made.
BAR NONE.
Saw it once and dont plan to see it ever again. And it has AN AMAZING soundtrack.

Halloween
The movie all slasher movies are based on, and the ironay is that it is NOT THAT bloody.

The Exorcist
If you saw this film while you were a Kid I am willing to bet you have been scared for life.
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Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 11 November 2012 at 04:30 PM.
 
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: The Exorcist
If you saw this film while you were a Kid I am willing to bet you have been scared for life.


It did have lingering effects
 
  11 November 2012
Quote: I dont think war films ever change people's perception of war


the opening of "saving private Ryan" changed my perception of war
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  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by flipnap: wyatt, i never watched the directors commentary.

Ah okay, I won't ruin it for you then. Honestly, I wish I hadn't. The mystery of the movie is much better than the reality.

What it was is during a web design class I had a student who recommended the Donnie Darko website as an example of interesting web design. It no longer exists but that site was a maze of imagery that sort of eluded to the movie and got me very interested. So I watched it and that lead to many interesting discussions about what it meant with said student. The most interesting being that we got totally different takes on what was going on. This lead to me getting really obsessed and finding no good answers so I turned to the commentary. Don't do that, just let it ride in your mind.

Around about that time we were having these same discussions about the Matrix series. Especially the ending to part 2 and what was really going on. Another let down for me.

I'll add The Matrix to the list. Only the first one. Not that it "made a difference" but people got really obsessed with that film after it came out. And not in just a comic-com way but like it was a new religion.

Edit:
Had to check the archive but there it is. Original Donnie Darko website Really interesting design for 2001.
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Last edited by WyattHarris : 11 November 2012 at 05:57 PM.
 
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by Samo: the opening of "saving private Ryan" changed my perception of war


from the OP's message I thought he meant changed society as a whole for better or worse.
Obviously movies can change people's perception.
 
  11 November 2012
Regarding Apocalypse now …

I think to say that the character Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert Duval) has lost his humanity or for that matter is cool (previously said), are both not really understanding what the character is about, and his internal motivations, his experiences, nor where what he foresees, nor for that matter what he must do as a human being to survive in any war situation. Which in similar ways applies to Saving private Ryan too.

Lets understand that the character in A-Now, L.T. Kilgore is a professional solider, as he informs his new recruits that he remembers another war, 'the smell of victory', which after all is his goal as a solider, Victory. Let's also understand that he calls the enemy 'Gooks' and 'Savages' (when the helicopter is blown up) but why?

To be in any war one has to understand that to be there in the first place one has to see the enemy as sub-human, otherwise simply put, you may question why your doing this, and not kill them.

But that actually does not imply loss of humanity?

You also have to understand from the character and defined in the film L.T. Kilgore does have humanity, but only to 'his' people, which is clearly stated and shown in the warm his has to his men in beach bbq scene, and in the exposition that he wants to get 'his' people to a hospital as fast as possible in the medivac chopper. As to him, only they are worth saving, not the enemy, who he only regards as an obstacle to victory. Shown in the the scene when the full car is blown up by a missile on the bridge, and L.T. Kilgore comments not on the loss of life, but on the accuracy of the shot, and that he'll have to buy a case a beer for the shootist.

One finally sees that L.T. Kilgore is himself defined by war, a product of war, an active participant, (not a draftee) and he knows this, he knows that his existence is defined by war itself, and his lament 'that one day this war will be over', is an acknowledgement of such, as deep down he knows that his persona and reason for being, the thing that he has become, the thing that he is, will too evaporate, and be of no use once this war ends. He fails to understand that the draftee's dont see it this way.

So no he does not lose his humanity, it's selective for whom he sees as being on the same side.

To also see this personal understanding in an actual real context, rather than a film, I'd suggest you watch the "Fog of war".

Where U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara during the Vietnam and Cambodian war, looks to see how they can efficiently kill more of the enemy is a very cold and calculating way. Further the comments from General Curtis LeMay, who states, and understands, the realization that they literally have fire bombed and virtually destroyed every major city in Japan.

And that if they lose the war, be of no doubt they will be tried as war criminals. For the alternative perspective of this film, look at the film "Grave of the fireflies' to see the impact that these firebombings had on Japan at the time. To fully understand the impact know that at that time, and it was known, that Japan was nearly completely build of wood.

So in summary the character of L.T. Kilgore, is well written, and is honest, in that he not lost his humanity, nor is cool, but rather understand that war itself makes you only value humanity of those which are of like minds.

And in summary of the film I would not say it is specifically anti-war, rather just an honest (or reasonably attempt at) an account of the levels of which people have to disassociate themselves during war, or for that matter any difficult time.

That includes L.T. Kilgore, Captain Willard and the journey he undertakes and finally Colonel Kurtz, who is in the darkest place of all, or possibly the most enlightened, as is perhaps the only character in the film who realises and understands the darkness of man. Viz his offer to attain victory thru exercise of all moral judgements, as only the goal is wanted. Which thought is clearly sparked, by the enemy severing of arms of inoculated children, and finally the spy that he killed but the generals refused to order, which highlights the moral ambiguity of war itself.
 
  11 November 2012
In discussing war films, I see Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory only mentioned here once. For me it is one of the greatest war films/films ever made, not only does it portray those on the battlefield but it also shines a light on the character of the men in charge.
I notice a lot when I come across any film discussions on the net the unwillingness of a lot of English speakers to embrace films made in foreign languages, many times I've seen lists of top tens, top fifties that don't have a single non-English language film. It is sad when individuals like Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrei Tarkovsky, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini and others have had a greater affect on Cinema and success in terms of the quality of their films than all but a small handful of North American and British film makers but they rarely get a mention by the average Joe.

Some of the great 'foreign' films which have had a great affect on me personally include:

Kieslowski's Dekalog films, all of the episodes are great but no5 A short Film about Killing is particularly powerful, it changed many people in Poland's perception of the death penalty after it was shown.

I think 2001: A Space Odyssey and Tarkovsky's original Solaris really struck a cord with both film-makers and audiences of the time. My personal favourite film of this past while is Tarkovsky's other Sci-Fi masterpiece, Stalker among other things it's an allegory of the environmental destruction that occurred during the Soviet rule. After Chernobyl, those doing the clean-up became known as Stalkers in reference to this film.

Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, the Wrath of God are great examples of men on the edge undertaking an impossible journey. Without Aguirre there would be no Apocalypse Now, which of course is also a wonderful film.

Wim Wender's Wings of Desire is a spiritually very moving film. It was remade into the god awful 'City of Angels' but that shouldn't put anyone off, the original is very beautiful.

Ok so Orsen Welles isn't 'foreign' and is often lauded, correctly so for Citizen Kane but I don't think a lot of people have seen The Trial, his stunning take on the Franz Kafka novel. Unfortunately, it's very pertinent to a lot of current issues and governments around the world and Anthony Perkins is great in the lead role. Touch of Evil is also great.

I could go on and on but I'll finish with mentioning a couple of Akira Kurosawa films, Seven Samurai and Yojimbo had a profound influence on the American Western film and Ran is an amazing epic war film.
All of these shows that I mentioned are connected by having great emotional depth and awe inspiring cinematography. Sorry for rambling but I do love great Cinema.
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  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by seanser: I notice a lot when I come across any film discussions on the net the unwillingness of a lot of English speakers to embrace films made in foreign languages, many times I've seen lists of top tens, top fifties that don't have a single non-English language film. It is sad when individuals like Yasujiro Ozu, Akira Kurosawa, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrei Tarkovsky, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini and others have had a greater affect on Cinema and success in terms of the quality of their films than all but a small handful of North American and British film makers but they rarely get a mention by the average Joe.


The American cultural model works a little like this:

1) We export our culture - American culture, American narratives - to the whole world
2) We do not import foreign cultures or foreign narratives into America
3) If something foreign is too good to live without, we let Hollywood/Television Americanize it a bit, and remake it for domestic consumption in the U.S., sterilizing it in the process

This is the reason why many peoples' Top 10/ Top 25/ Top 50 film lists have no Kurosawa, Fellini, Kieslowki, Tarkovsky and similar works in them.

Many people have never heard of these internationally renowned filmmakers, let alone watched a film made by them.

This is sad. But also true, unfortunately...
 
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