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What movie or documentary had the most impact on your outlook on life?


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Girl, I'm going to have to start calling you, 'Queen of Thinking Up Cool Thread Topics"! wow.

 

I once saw a private screening of a 1975 made-for- British TV biopic called, "The Naked Civil Servant", which starred John Hurt playing a person called Quentin Crisp. Londoner Crisp was one of the 'original out' homosexuals of the 30's & 40's who, though beaten mercilessly on countless occasions, basically refused to hide who and what he was, going about in public dressed as a woman, dressing and behaving and speaking as flamboyantly and effeminately in public, for the most part, just as he did in private and with his like-minded friends. Hurt - who, for what its worth, isn't gay - was beyond amazing in his portrayal of the gentle, sensitive, artistic Crisp. Ok,but why did I choose this?

 

I was struck - awestruck - by Mr. Crisp's steadfast refusal to try and be what he was not, in an age where gays totally hid what they were. Period. His sweet natured, calm acceptance of peoples' disgust and rejection of him was, to me, just totally the personification of grace. He lived his life so freely and so truthfully that it was the most compelling thing I can recall ever seeing,(I was 15) at the time. I also was very much negatively stunned, shocked, by the cruelty of the people that belittled him and the montrous evil of the men who beat him up - man's inhumanity to man, for real. and in a big way. You know, I can't really even seem to be able to express just how seeing, 'The Naked Civil Servant' effected me. I do know I cried and cried, it was very thought-provoking and extremely moving.

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> {quote:title=Pia wrote:}{quote}

> Girl, I'm going to have to start calling you, 'Queen of Thinking Up Cool Thread Topics"! wow.

 

Nah, just a little off the beaten path. lol

 

I've never seen the movie The Naked Civil Servant but I did see a doc on Crisp on public Tv in the very early 70s, and he was something else. His convictions to be who he was, was remarkable for the times. His courageous story, I'm sure, must have inspired many folks to be true to themselves. However, it's taken a lot more decades for homosexuals to have their day, and, sadly, as a society we have a ways to go to fully accept the way it is.

 

I had one gay friend as a kid, and he didn't tell me he was gay until he was badly beaten and I went to the hospital to see him. I was only 14 or so. Back in my day, those kinds of things were only spoken of in whispers, but seeing that young man so badly bruised and beaten shouted to me loud and clear, something was terribly wrong with us when such harm could be inflicted because my friend marched to a different beat of the heart.

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None.

 

That is not to say they have had no impact. Many movies have affected a different part of my outlook/personality, but it's impossible to determine which is the 'most' important or had the 'most' effect.

 

Case in point -- in *The Bishop's Wife,* Cary Grant plays an angel who helps a couple recapture the love and happiness that had been slipping out of their lives. When he is finished, he moves on to his next assignment. What struck me deeply is that when he is gone, all memory of him also vanishes, leaving behind only the good that he had done.

 

Having watched that when I was young and impressionable, it instilled in me a sense that when you see someone who needs help, you do what you can, and then you go back to your own life. If you hang around waiting for thanks, credit, or a reward, that makes it cheap -- you changed a good deed into a transaction (you did something for them, and now you expect to get paid for it).

 

That movie shaped my feelings about what is expected of me, and what to expect from others, in the matter of helping strangers.

 

But that is only a tiny aspect of my total outlook on life.

*Death Takes a Holiday* affected how I look at love

*What the Parrot Saw* affected how I look at women's morals

*Jewel Robbery* affected how I look at manners

*If I Were King* affected how I look at criticizing others

etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

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I guess maybe I should add the word influence to impact. Impact is possibly too strong a word, but I?m glad it didn?t scare you away. :-)

 

I really like what you garnered from The Bishop?s Wife.

 

I get what you?re saying, each movie we take into our hearts and our heads, in their own way leave behind something for us to use and claim as our own. Some just leave more with us than others.

 

That is one of the many reasons I love a good movie, or book for that matter.

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"The Best Days of Our Lives" haunts me as my husband is in the Army. After a 15 month deployment Iraq's "triangle of death" and another one comming up to Afghanistan, the movie is eerily on point. I had seen the movie before he returned and as fate would have it, it was played within a month of his return. Reconnecting with your family and friends seems like it would be no problem. Without getting too personal...it is heartbreaking and confusing at times. The movie could not have had more of an impact that second time. I watched Myrna Loy's character for answers.

 

"Being There" reminds me to hug my kids and do the best I can each day. The movie started a habit I have now of never watching the news or reading the papers. Other people's thoughts, advise or behavior I now try to temper. I've also tried to stop interrupting people and to listen, listen, listen.

 

"Limelight" Life can really stink but with a kick in the can, love and faith in yourself and with determination that includes ignoring dirty looks, rolling eyes, and whispers...you can accomplish a goal. Even if it's effort put forth only day by day or breathing through an anxiety attack. No one can purely accept happiness but you...UPS does not deliver it and there are no announcements made in public letting all those you know and even yourself that YOU ARE NOW HAPPY.

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"Working Girl" came around at a time when I was trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B without the background and credentials that others had. I understood it was entirely fictional but it was good to see all of that (gender politics, class issues) put up on the screen and validated.

 

'And The Band Played On' was a movie that solidified my feelings about the Reagan administration.

 

'Harlan County, USA' still haunts me.

 

As someone mentioned earlier, it is harder to point my finger to a specfic movie and say Movie A led to Action/Behavior B.

 

All I know is that something outside of myself and my enviroment growing up had to have a big influence on me. I am bookish, artsy fartsy, a little to the left, love museums, big cities, etc. And I come from none of those things.

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Wow, that is as poignant an homage to a film I?ve ever read. I don?t think a seasoned critic could do it such justice.

 

That movie is one of my all time favorites and, up until this moment, after reading your heartfelt and gut wrenching post, I?ll ever look at it the same way. I think if Myrna Loy were here today to hear your words, she?d be honored to know after all these years, and many wars later, her performance had such a profound impact on your life.

 

I really don?t know what else to say to you. Your whole post has touched me in so many ways, I?m at a loss for words, and that?s not typical of me.

 

All I can say is, please know my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and your husband and his comrades in arms. May God speed and send them all home safely, whole, and into loving and caring arms of those they left/leave behind.

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Ella -

 

Not just my own thoughts, but all of us TCM-er's thoughts are with you. I can't imagine what it is like to have a loved one in such a dangerous situation. CERTAINLY I haven't had to re-integrate a relationship in wartime --- and many forget that the US has soldiers fighting overseas every day, and in more than one country.

 

*The Best Years of Our Lives* is one of the best movies ever made, and it says a lot about how good it is that it rings true to you today. (I won't even tease you about watching too many soap operas and making that title goof).

 

Generally I wouldn't suggest looking for personal inspiration from a 60+ year old movie role, but if Myrna Loy is that inspiration...heck, she's probably still got the right stuff.

 

Ella, if you need to talk to friends, you have friends.

 

Georgie -

 

I'm gonna have to agree with my BFF Pia that you start some very interesting threads. And this is one of them.

 

Georgie & Pia -

 

I was actually pals with Quentin Crisp. Lived across the street from him, and even threw his (final) birthday party. If you want I'll PM you some stories.

 

SO, what movies most impacted my life (as no one is still awake to read this endless post, but that is Georgie's initial question....)?

 

*Saturday Night Fever* and *The Rocky Horror Picture Show* -- they came along when I was 13 or so, and they pretty much defined who I became, in some senses. With a dash of *Cabaret* and three dashes of *What Ever Happened to Baby Jane* ? Sordid, but true.

 

Sorry, I can't front *How Green Was My Valley* as the model of my life....

 

Message was edited by: ChipHeartsMovies, because he can never figure MFing Plain Text...

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It can never be one (1) film or documentary...there are so many films that have touched me through the years in 1 form or another...some films remind me of my mother before and after her death ...some are just films that touched me for what ever reasons.. ,,,other films are just my own little favorite.

 

 

As for documentaries....There have been so many that I have seen. Some good...others forgettable...But I have listed the one's off the top of my head that have stuck with me through out the years...These are some of the documentaries that I recommend to my friends, and other film festivals! Enjoy!.

 

 

 

*_Documentaries that impacted or gave me a different outlook on life_

 

 

*_One Day in September_ (1999)* - This world event happened the week I was born...and I was born in Germany at the time...Years later, mny mom & I toured the Olympic compound where the events took place. Very surreal.

 

 

*_Harlan County U.S.A._ (1976)*

 

 

*_Roger & Me_ (1989)*

 

 

*_Super Size Me_ (2004)*

 

 

*_Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?_ (2008)*

 

 

*_Paragraph 175_ (2000)* - Film chronicles the lives of several men who were arrested by the Nazis for homosexuality under Paragraph 175, the **** provision of the German penal code, dating back to 1871.....Very eye opening!

 

 

*_MGM: When the Lion Roars_ (1992)*

 

 

*_The Thin Blue Line_ (1988)* - about a man convicted and sentenced to die for a murder he did not commit.

 

 

*_The Celluloid Closet_ (1995)* - eye-opening movie serves up a dazzling hundred-year history of gay men and women on the silver screen.

 

 

*_Bowling for Columbine_*

 

 

*_Jesus Camp_ (2006)*

 

 

*_Taxi to the Dark Side_ (2007)*

 

 

*_Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood_ (2009)*

 

 

 

 

*_Movies that impacted my life ...changed my view on life_:*

 

 

 

 

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

Star Wars (1977)

Schindler's List (1993)

Parapluies de Cherbourg, Les (1964)

Woodstock (1970)

Two Weeks (2006)

The Miracle Worker (1962)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Great Santini (1979)

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

Boys Don't Cry (1999)

Torch Song Trilogy (1988)

Der Himmel ?ber Berlin (1987)

Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Dolce vita, La (1960)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

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Oh, wow. You were pals with Mr. Crisp. That must have been some inspirational man to be around. Talk about rubbing elbows with an icon.

 

I'd love to hear a tale or two, but why not share them with all of us? I wish others who knew/know celebs would give us their personal stories. I've talked to many stars, but I've never had one as a friend or even an acquaintance and I think it would be neat to share those kinds of behind the scenes.

 

That's quite mix of movies. I know I could add a bunch more to my list, but it'd take me a while to think of all of them.

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You also have an eclectic list of movies and docs, some there are on my list of faves.

 

There isn't a movie made in the 20-30s that's doesn't remind me of my mom and dad, especially if they're Manhattan tales. I so wish I could have lived in their day or go back in time and be a fly on the wall in their lives. lol

 

 

The doc, The Celluloid Closet really opened my eyes. I was like, no! I must have been very naive, because I never saw what they revealed to us movie lovers. Live and learn. :-)

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Cell...in Paragraph 175....is there a man interviewed who talks about the "screaming trees"? This might not be the words he used but I almost fainted from looking at his face while recalling the nighttime shrieks. This is when a man from the camp was taken out into the bordering trees and totured/killed and the rest of the prisoners could hear the poor soul's, painful, frightened and final hours of life.

 

I have to add that Documentary...I just didn't know the title. The man who recalls this is almost in a daze-like protective bubble so he wont hear what comes out of his mouth and memory. This made a huge impact on me as i never saw someone suffer of recollection and pure fright on camera. His eyes are still waiting for a Nazi to say its his turn.

 

Also...there is a documentary on the surge of Jewish children into England/Australia. "Kinder???"

The stories of how they made it out, found homes (some families taking in the children for their own sense of patriotism, some families thinking the kid would be reunited with their parents after the war and basically "babysat" them. The grown -up perspectives are heart wrenching...as they waited for their parents to pick them up.

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*Also...there is a documentary on the surge of Jewish children into England/Australia. "Kinder???"*

 

Ella,

 

I think the title you are trying to remember is *Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport*

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Georgie,

 

Yes, I was chums with Quentin Crisp --- we lived literally across the street from each other in the East Village in NYC. I mean, his front door was directly across the street from my front door.

 

We were chums, not great friends. I have no deep insight into his life, I just liked him a lot. And I was lucky to hang out with him at parties sometimes, and occasionally when we were walking out the door simultaneously we walked a few blocks together, or had a quick lunch together.

 

I did throw what sadly turned out to be his last birthday party. And when he arrived at the venue he wanted something I hadn't planned for (since he hadn't told me he wanted it!) ---pizza. So pizza we ordered, pizza we had, and pizza we ALL enjoyed.

 

Did I mention his birthday was on Christmas Day? So yes, on Christmas Day (actually, Christmas Night, around midnight), I was ordering Late-Night Emergency Birthday Pizza Deliveries for Quentin Crisp.

 

Ah, I loved him. I'm glad you do as well.

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Great story! And it's only in NYC you'd be able to get a pizza on Christmas night. lol

 

I, of course, didn't know Mr. Crisp, but I admired his strength and courage to endure the obstacles put before him. If it weren't for him and others, my cousin could not have come out and lived the full life he is living. The pioneers of the gay movement opened doors, though I don't think that was Mr. Crisp's intention just living out his life in honesty for the world to see, but he opened not only doors but the eyes of lots of folks. Mine included as a young girl, and I hope in turn I have, and will continue to help open the eyes of others who feel 'that lifestyle' is an abomination upon this earth. It's not easy, but one day and one step, one person at a time. :-)

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I am so glad Chip mentioned *The Best Years of Our Lives*. It is the movie I keep thinking about. It strikes such a powerful note in me; it gives me a sense of deja-vu whenever I watch it. Maybe there is reincarnation, of a sorts. In fact, I feel that way about MANY of the post-war movies. I identify with the ambiance so strongly.

 

The Documentary that really woke me out of an non-political slumber is *Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.*

The only thing to protect America from the excesses of the free market mentality of the Corporate Elite, is a _free press_...

 

The Documentary that really frightened me was *Jesus Camp*.

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I just watched The Best Years of our Lives yesterday for the sceighty-eight upteenth time, and I'd watch it again today if it was on. Absolutely brilliant movie.

 

I'll have to watch for Jesus Camp. Never saw that one, either.

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Another good documentary is: _Paper Clips_ (2004).

 

The movie features interviews with students, teachers, Holocaust survivors, and people who sent paper clips.

 

_The Paper Clips Project_ is a project by middle school students from the small southeastern Tennessee city of Whitwell who created a monument for the Holocaust victims in Nazi Germany. It started in 1998 as a simple 8th-grade project and evolved into one gaining worldwide attention. At last count, over 30 million paper clips had been received.

 

 

 

Another documentary ....I enjoyed ..but I "_wouldn't_" say it "IMPACTED" my life was:

 

 

_Phoenix Lights Documentary_ (2005) ...This documentary plays every few months in the local art house theater here in Phoenix...I also shows on TV arounnd Halloween....it has become a Phoenix "Legend"....It's kinda retro fun... I was living in Denver, Co at the time the "event" happend..LOL!

 

 

Celebrating the historic and still unexplained Arizona mass sighting of 1997 this critically acclaimed and internationally award winning Documentary is based on the bestselling book, "The Phoenix Lights...A Skeptic's Discovery That We Are Not Alone".

 

Over 30 credible eyewitnesses, children, scientists, military, pilots and experts give compelling testimony to the reality of these mysterious global visitations, including former AZ Gov. Fife Symington who discloses that he witnessed the event and it wasn't military! Astronaut and moon walker Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Sc.D. confirms that these phenomena are real! A Commercial & Vietnam pilot witnessed the silent, mile wide craft glide above his head. A Veteran 911 Phoenix Police operator tells all about that fateful night. NASA footage confirms that these phenomena are here. UFO buffs call it the most documented and important mass sighting ever recorded. But still today, the military and government can only offer questionable explanations as to what the anomalous lights truly were. In over 11 years, the strange phenomena have never been duplicated or re-enacted [although the military tried fruitlessly, three years later].

 

Many experts and witnesses insist that what appeared in the Arizona skies was something beyond this world.

 

Check out the _Phoenix Lights Documentary_ (2005)

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*_Other documentaries I enjoyed were_:*

 

 

 

*_Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream_ (2007)*

 

 

*_Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills_ (1996)*

 

 

*_The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters_ (2007)* - If U grew up in the 70's/80's and played arcade video games...then U need to see this!!

 

 

*_Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt_ (1989)*

 

 

*_The Times of Harvey Milk_ (1984)* Needs to be placed into theaters again!!!

 

 

 

*_Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story_ (2007)* - Chronicles the last great American showman, filmmaker William Castle, a master of ballyhoo who became a brand name in movie horror with his outrageous audience participation gimmicks ..I *finally* saw this at _Sedona International Film Festival_. Very fun. Wish this was on DVD!

 

 

 

*_The Kid Stays in the Picture_ (2002)* - The life of high-living showman Robert Evans - famed egotistical Hollywood producer at Paramount Pictures.

 

 

*_Fast, Cheap & Out of Control_ (1997)* - It's about four eccentric individuals (a topiary gardener, a lion tamer, a mole-rat expert, and a robotics scientist/inventor), ....I saw this in theater and loved it! This is "Before" the TV show "Dirty Jobs"!

 

 

*_Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse_ (1991)* - IF U "CLAIM" to be a film buff....then U need to see this.. Eleanor Coppola provided a behind-the-scenes look at the disaster-ridden making of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979)!

 

*_Inside Deep Throat_ (2004)* - Another film I saw at the _Sedona International Film Festival_.

With controversial, sexually-explicit scenes from the original 1972 film, told the story of the most notorious (and successful) porn film of all time with Harry Reems and Linda Lovelace. It frankly recounted the cultural phenomenon that resulted, and how it became a rallying cry for both censors and free-speech advocates ..... Some people walked out ....but very interesting!

 

 

*_A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies_ (1995)* personal four-hour documentary with film-maker Scorsese providing commentary on dozens of carefully-chosen film clips from some of the greatest examples of US cinema......I own this on DVD!!! GREAT STUFF. I Love Marty!

 

 

*_The Atomic Cafe_ (1982)* - Great retro stuff.... I own this on DVD.....hard to find now ...very rare... assembled 1940s-50s footage from US governmental sources about the atomic bomb to show the falsity, naivete, and absurdity of many of the statements about radiation danger during the Cold War.

 

 

*_Capturing the Friedmans_ (2003)* - Graphically portrayed the issue of child sexual abuse and molestation within a dysfunctional middle-class Long Island family, while examining the elusive and conflicting questions of guilt and innocence. .......*THIS IS WHAT A DOCUMENTARY IS "SUPPOSED" DO ...MAKE YOU ASK QUESTIONS LONG AFTER U LEAVE THE THEATER!!!*

 

 

*_Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography_ (1992)* - Saw this late 1 night on PBS. WOW! Wish this was on DVD!

 

 

*_Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood_ (2009)* - Brand new PBS documentary! Saw it 2xs. Very interesting ...again needs to been seen ....U will never look at Casablanca (1942) the same way again!!!!

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*Hollywood* by Kevin Brownlow, David Gill and David Shepard

 

*The Men Who Made the Movies* by Richard Schickel

 

Both influenced the work I do today.

 

*Eyes on the Prize* by Henry Hampton 22 years later I still remember the power of this series.

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