Recently, I was reflecting on films the have profoundly changed or redefined how I watch movies and approach filmmaking. I thought it would be interesting to assemble a list of the films that have been of most impact for me. So here is a dozen films, and reason why. But being a person that has a hard time making lists of such things, I hesitate to call these the definitive top twelve movies that have changed me. The top six certainly have been of such deep and lasting impact to me that I feel confident in listing them in such high ranks, and have indicated in italics the prime reason I feel they have been of such formative influence on me as a film viewer and filmmaker. There are, of course, a vast number of notable films that did not make it on to this list. That is not to say I haven't found profound value in them. But I thought I would put this out here for discussion and further exploration.
12. Solaris (1972) - pacing, use of environments and sets, visual storytelling.
11. Chinatown (1974) - storytelling, characterization, tragic tale.
10. Blade Runner (1982) - storytelling, use of sets, visual effects.
09. Sherlock Jr. (1924) - early visual effects, visual storytelling, metafiction, early exploration of dream/cinema connection, exceptional comedy.
08. Modern Times (1936) - visual storytelling, comic genius, profound social observation/commentary.
07. Wit (2001 - HBO) - performance, simple yet universal and profound story, profoundly captures the human condition in a unique way.
06. Gattaca (1997) - pacing, character-driven sci-fi, use of environments and sets, use of original soundtrack, storytelling.
05. Adaptation (2002) - metafiction that explores the craft of screenwriting and filmmaking.
04. Children of Men (2006) - cinematography, use of environments and sets, character-driven sci-fi.
03. Casablanca (1942) - storytelling, characterization, exposition and careful and subtle decimation of backstory.
02. The Thin Red Line (1998) - pacing, visual storytelling, editing, visual metaphor characterization and the externalization of the internal lives of characters (when it comes to Terrence Malick, his blending of all these elements is what is so amazing, so all are italicized).
01. In The Bedroom (2001) - crafting an artistic yet utterly realistic experience, pacing, characterization, visual storytelling, tragic tale.
What are films that have profoundly changed the way you think about movies?