Idea Machine, Day 8: 10 Movies

Idea Machine, Day 8: 10 Movies

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Today’s prompt for the Idea Machine project is to list 10 movies that made a deep impression and explain why.

This project was inspired by Claudia Altucher’s new book, Become an Idea Machine, which itself was prompted by her husband’s 10 ideas practice.

I’m listing these in the order they popped into my head as I wrote them in my moleskine. They aren’t necessarily my favorite movies (some are), just the ones that made deep impression on me.

1. Star Wars

I’m talking about the original. I saw Star Wars three times the week it was released in 1977.

Why? Something to do with the Force, which I believe in. Even if it’s not exactly the same kind of force that George Lucas was writing about.

2. Georgy Girl

This is the first movie I remember seeing in a theater. I was about 3-4 years old so I guess my young parents (they would have been in their very early 20s at the time) wanted to see a movie and didn’t bother with a baby-sitter.

As I got older, I didn’t remember the details of the movie. I just remember being in the theater at a very young age and seeing an English movie. My mom had, at some point, told me the name of the movie, so I knew it was Georgy Girl. The theme song registered with me and I had always liked it. And I think the mod clothing and accents registered with me, as well. But it wasn’t a conscious thing.

When I later saw the movie at age 21 as a VHS rental, I was shocked by the theme but suddenly realized that Georgy Girl was another reason that I was so attracted to the music and clothing of  mod-60s England, even though I had no inherent reason to even know much about it. I won’t go into all the details here, but the movie made an impression on me, for sure.

3. Bonnie & Clyde

This was the second movie I saw as a child. Probably not too long after Georgy Girl. I might even have the order switched. The scenes near the end where Blanche is shot in the eye and Bonnie is shot in the breast totally stayed with me. I could vividly picture the blood.

Bonnie & Clyde was one of the first movies I sought out as VHS rentals began in the 80s.

4. Swiss Family Robinson

I loved the idea of living in a tree house. Everything about this movie appealed to my sense of adventure and living an independent life.

5. Into the Woods

This one might not stand the test of time, but it made the list because of timing. I saw Into the Woods a few weeks ago. I’d decided on a lark to go to a movie because I was looking for something with a creative angle. When I checked the listings to see what was playing, I just felt compelled to go see Into the Woods. I didn’t know it was a new release!

The timing was pretty amazing. At the same time I went to the movie, I was reading a book about Inner Vision. I saw Into the Woods on a Sunday afternoon and later that night I picked up the Inner Vision book and resumed reading. The journaling prompt for that night suggested using a favorite fairy tale from childhood as a prompt for journaling about what might be an unconscious fear.

Coincidence? I think not.

6. Mary Poppins

Independent female, one of my role models. All about being true to yourself, having fun, doing the work, feeding the birds, and using your imagination.

7. The Wizard of Oz

We already have everything we need. External validation is not required.

8. Stage Door

I saw this as a teen. Found it on a Saturday afternoon while flipping between the four channels available at the time (no cable). Sparked my love of old black-and-white classic movies.

I also absorbed a message about friendship and that striving for “success” at any cost might not be the best way to live. The success that came from that relentless pursuit would be at a cost. I didn’t explicitly register that message, at least not that I recall, but I kept returning to watch Stage Door again and again, whenever it noticed on Turner Classic Movies. Eventually, I realized why I kept watching it over and over again.

9. Harry Potter (all of them)

The books might have made an impression on me more than the movies, but I’m an unapologetic fan of Harry Potter.  I love the message in these movies and I love the imagination they inspire.

10. A Room With A View

Why? That’s the question George Emerson kept asking.

More seriously: Another strong, independent minded female who fights against the oppressive mores of her social system. And well, there’s Dame Maggie Smith. Before she was a Dame. And Dame Judi Dench, before she was a Dame.

11. Honorable Mention: The Legend of Billy Jack

Maybe it was the theme song, or maybe it’s the fact that my cousin, Tommy, loved this movie and we watched it umpteen times as kids. Or maybe it’s a bit of a fondness for the lone hero who’s fighting for justice.


About Sheree

Change Catalyst, Idea Explorer, Dot-Connector, Square Peg