Saturday, December 8

Self Analysis Through Movies

The Ten Commandments (1956)
A prince of privilege discovers the plight of those less worthy. In sympathy and political downfall, he learns a man is defined by simple things, his worth measured by his relationships with others. Slave by birth, leader by upbringing, he finds the true measure of a man is acknowledgement of himself and belief in things greater than himself.

Logan's Run (1976)
A policeman of the state, drenched in power and excess, questions his existence and the culture that bore him. Through defiance and treachery, and with a strong woman at his side, he discovers the uncomfortable and delicious dangers of freedom.

The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Men skilled in gunplay and strategy, outcasts all, band together in a hopeless cause. In doing so, they learn the value of friendship, family, and community.

Spartacus (1960)
A victim of Roman imperialism, a man refuses to be subdued, eventually leading a strong revolutionary army. A life of extreme passions, lust, hatred, and violence are tempered by his leadership and compassion of others. His life ends in unjust persecution. His unbreakable independence succeeds him.

A River Runs Through It (1992)
In a place of astounding natural beauty and raw human emotion, an eldest son measures himself against his father and his younger brother. Living by paternal code and a sense of what is right, he is overshadowed by his younger brother's charisma and larger-than-life persona. After carrying on the traditions of marriage and children, his brother's death by gambling and bravado are revered by his ministerial father.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney 1996)
A hated and ugly man discovers the source of his torment is not God, but the evil of men. His spirit conquers all but the woman he desires. He finds his goodness and optimism are enough after all.

Casablanca (1942)
A man is jaded by a woman who left him and world events turning sour. When the love of his life crosses his path on the arm of another man, he finds the strength and love to help in her happiness. He discovers a friend he did not know he had, gives up all he owns, and devotes himself to the future.

King Kong (1933)
A misunderstood creature tries to reach out, but is reviled. His attempts at tenderness are misunderstood, his lonely bravado mistaken for aggression. Finally, a victim of his desires, he succumbs to powers that he does not understand, and which will not understand him.

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
A man learns his worth, however insignificant it may seem. The lesson is uplifting, if bittersweet.

How I Chose
I listed my favorite movies, and whittled the list down to nine. I ranked them in terms of themes that spoke most clearly to me, not necessarily by which I would choose to watch over any other. It was a difficult task.

The result is not a hierarchy of my favorites, but a snapshot of who I am right now. My cursory descriptions of the films give insight to who I think I am. It might be interesting to see what others think.

I invite you to do the same. You might be surprised by what you find.

3 comments:

rennratt said...

Hm. My favorite movies (and books!) are Where Angels Fear to Tread and Postcards from the Edge...

I'm not sure what that says about me.

tiff said...

OK, my favortie movie is Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Analyze THAT.

Mom said...

"OUT OF AFRICA"...my love of lush nature, romance, African mammals, women's power vs need...and my own continuing desire to run away.