Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inspired by a Turtle

Robynn Tolbert, aka The Ranunculus Turtle, has inspired me to post a list in which I was tagged on Facebook. Instead of just sending out to certain tagged people, I'm putting it here, like she did hers.

So here goes. I'm supposed to list fifteen movies that affected me in some way. Not my favorite movies, per se, but those that struck me emotionally.

1) "When Harry Met Sally"--Alright, look at me, breaking the rules with the very first one. This is a favorite movie of mine, but it's because it is SO quotable. I'm not one who easily remembers movie lines, but this one is different. I can remember almost every line of this movie, and it seems there is a quote for every occasion.

2) "The Joy Luck Club"--I resisted watching this movie for a long time. I thought it was going to be one of those the-critics-loved-it-which-means-I'll-hate-it kind of movies. I came home from college one day and started flipping through channels, and Joy Luck Club was on. I was immediately sucked in. This movie did a beautiful job of portraying the roller-coaster that is the mother-daughter relationship.

3) "Funny Farm"--The story of a sports reporter who moves to the country to write a novel, only to discover he's better off a sports reporter and his wife is the novelist. I've watched this movie over and over for many years, and for a long time I couldn't pinpoint the feeling I had at the end. It's a comedy, so why did I always feel kind of down and...longing...after watching it? It hit me, though, one day. Jealousy. It was one of the first indicators to me that I really wanted to start writing.

4) "Nightmare on Elm Street"--I grew up watching old black and white horror flicks on Saturday mornings, so when some friends of mine got the first Elm Street video I was all in. I was fourteen. I could barely make it through, and ended up having nightmares every night for a month. I thought for years it meant I didn't like horror movies. It took a long time, but after seeing....

5) "Silence of the Lambs"--the movie I saw on my first date with my husband. I realized it's not "horror" I have issues with, it's mindless slasher movies. Psychological thrillers and "thinking" horror movies are great.

6) "The Lion King"--the only movie that every made me cry during the opening scene. Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just admitted that....

7) "The Passion of the Christ"--well, if you don't understand this one, there's no point in me explaining.

8) "Highlander"--OK, here I am breaking the rule again. This is just flat-out one of my favorite movies. Not the sequels, not the TV series. Just this one. I love the whole medieval thing, the whole sword thing, the whole immortal thing. And the villain in Highlander--Kurgan--is the best villain ever. "There can be only one!"

9) "Blazing Saddles"--I think this movie makes a statement that the world needs right now. Political correctness has gone too far. It's making us look too closely at race in an attempt to pretend we don't see it. Blazing Saddles looked race straight in the eye, and by mocking it showed us how ridiculous we are for making it an issue. We are people--black, white, red, green, purple, whatever. It's a color, for crying out loud. We can be different colors, and recognize that we are different colors, and still love and respect each other.

10) "The Number 23"--dark and disturbing and wormed its way into the recesses of my mind. Another film that hit that hidden spot of wanting to be a writer--the spot I didn't know existed for so long.

11) "Sid and Nancy"--this one is too hard to explain. If you've seen this movie, your imagination will probably take you to some bizarre places. Some of it might be accurate.

12) "Maximum Overdrive"--I saw this in the theater, and was fortunate enough to be among an audience of people who liked to heckle. It was a blast, listening to all the jokes being thrown out. Sometimes, a movie being awful is what makes it great.

13) "Heathers"--because I am from this generation. And yes, this is pretty much how I felt about "the populars." Not that I'd go to such extremes, of course. Good grief. But going to my twenty year reunion a couple years ago showed me that the popular girls from MY high school are STILL the snobs they were as teens. It made me think how accurate fiction can be.

14) Bram Stoker's "Dracula"--I loved this movie when it came out. Then I actually read the book. Now, I can't get through it. The only redeeming thing it has for me now is Gary Oldman's performance. Everything that made this book amazing was twisted into something rotten for the movie. Sigh....

15) "A Clockwork Orange"--a movie that should be pretty well disturbing to anyone who sees it, yet developed a bit of a cult following. I've seen it a few times, and can't really say I "like" it, but I surely couldn't forget it. And there's a funny story related to it. I was in college, in an Animal Behavior class, and the prof was talking about negative reinforcement. He mentioned "a movie" that illustrated that concept really well, and the words "A Clockwork Orange" slipped out of my mouth, just loud enough for the guy sitting in front of me to hear. Moments later, the prof said that the name of the movie was, of course, A Clockwork Orange. The guy in front of me turned around and looked at me like I was an alien: a mix of amazement, respect for me knowing the answer, and complete weirdness--for me knowing the answer. I will never forget that movie because I will never forget that guy's expression.

OK, there you have it. A dive into the movie mind of Kat Heckenbach. A little comedy, a little touching drama, and a seemingly large portion steeped in shadow and weirdness.


Caprice Hokstad said...

Wow, this is the most alien list I've seen yet. Alien in the sense that I have only seen two of the movies on this list (Lion King and Blazing Saddles) and there are some I have never heard of at all (which is quite a feat considering I worked two years at Blockbuster and knew the wall almost by heart).


Kat Heckenbach said...

That's funny, considering a few of these are major blockbuster movies.

I worked at a video store a long time ago, too--one that offered six movies for like $2.50 or something crazy, and I was allowed to watch anything I wanted. I went through a lot of movies that year, including some REALLY, REALLY obscure ones I considered putting on here. They were quite disturbing: Boxing Helena, PIN, Parents, Eraserhead, Suburbia, Dogs in Space....I could go on.

The one I "forgot" until after I had all fifteen was "IT." I hate clowns, always have, and that movie completely freaked me out. I've never watched the whole thing, but the image of that clown head in the fridge will never leave me, I'm afraid. Stephen King, you are brilliant, but I will never forgive you for that :P.

Frank Creed said...

I should have included Highlander in my own movie list. Yes, the Kurgan is an arch-typical villian!

KM Wilsher said...

Oh, I wanna play! :)

JK. . .great list, Kat! So much fun :)

Silence of the Lambs. . .ohhh the Joy Luck Club so deep. Probably the first movie to make me think!

I remember at the end of Passion of the Christ thinking "Uh, that's it? That's not the end of the story! It's just the beginning!. . ." LOL

Robynn Tolbert said...

The Lion King almost made my list, but I cry at everything, so that isn't enough of a reason for me ;) .
I should have included When Harry Met Sally. I absolutely agree with Harry's view of men-women friendships and I was surprised to find a movie where a man actually admitted they were impossible.
I was furious with the movie Dracula. Furious, and not just because I WATCHED IT WITH MY MOM! Can you imagine? Oi!

Unknown said...

Great list!

No Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Kat Heckenbach said...

Oh, Sharon...

Not sure I can say that movie had a real effect on me. Other than making me even more of a night owl :P.

Joe Chiappetta said...

Kat, I imagine that your short story "The Gift" should be made into a movie and added to this list of top movies. That story is simply breathtaking.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Great list! Nice variety. :)
I must say, I love love loved "Highlander" as well.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Oh, wow, Joe....not even sure what to say :). Thank you! I'm really glad you liked my story so much!