In the second ever ‘My Life In Films’, Sophie bares all and tells us all about the films that made her the person she is today.
Toy Story (1995)
Dir: John Lasseter
The year was 1996. My Mum sat three month old me down in front of the television and put Toy Story into the good old VCR. It ended up being the first film I ever watched, and has been a part of me ever since. I watched it religiously. Well, not as much as I used to watch The Lion King, but still. It was on par. The older I got, the more obsessed I became. I have so many memories tied to this film, and it’s sequel. Both of which I still have on video. I even have the original toys of Woody and Buzz that my Dad bought me back from America in ’96. It’s one of those films that the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve understood the jokes that were supposed to go over your head as a kid. So the film I found hilarious back then, is even more hilarious to me now. The scene above is an example, since I grasped the concept of sarcasm through my teenage years. But every time I think of Toy Story, this scene always comes to mind and brings back waves of nostalgia.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Dir: Steven Spielberg
1999. Three year old me had her first encounter with Spielberg, which ended up being a love affair for the ages. Spielberg has been my favourite director since then, much to a lot of people’s disdain since I started studying film. But if a film director can make a film that a three year old can understand, fall in love with and cry at for the first time, well. He should be up there with the greats. E.T. also signaled my fascination with everything extraterrestrial, helped along by my casual viewing of The X-Files whilst my parents watched it. Of which I barely remember but who’d of thought I’d find it again two years ago and become more obsessed with it than my parent’s were. It was meant to be.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Dir: Steven Spielberg
Other than my love for extraterrestrials, I also had a fascination/obsession with dinosaurs. Mainly fueled by my first viewing of Jurassic Park when I was six or seven. Whilst every other girl my age were pining over the new Barbie doll, I was trying my hardest to purchase every dinosaur related thing – whether that be toys or books – that I could get my hands on. Jurassic Park also introduced me to the wonder that is Jeff Goldblum, who has fascinated me ever since. Ian Malcolm ended up being a childhood hero of mine, and I have now realized has totally influenced my monochrome wardrobe and leather jacket combo. But even to this day, watching Jurassic Park still gives me that sense of wonder and awe that I had the first time I witnessed it. I’ve had the chance to go to both Universal Studio’s in America and literally been to Jurassic Park. It was like a pilgrimage. Albeit a pilgrimage that involved going on a ride that made me feel like I was going to die, but hey. I survived and also purchased a rad Jurassic Park beach towel and keychain.
Back to the Future (1985)
Dir: Robert Zemeckis
Around the same age I watched Jurassic Park, Back to the Future came into my life. Back to the Future is my favourite film. It has been ever since I first laid my eyes on it (and it’s sequels). I can’t even remember how many times I’ve watched it. Enough to know the script off by heart, that’s for sure. It’s one of those films that I have so many reasons as to why it’s my favourite film, yet I can never articulate them. It was the film that afterwards, I just sat there staring at the screen saying to myself ‘I wanna do THAT’. Whatever ‘that’ was, it was definitely something to do with film. Whether that was making them or writing about them, Back to the Future awoke something inside of me that I’ve been thriving on ever since I watched it for the first time. Again, ever since I started actually studying film, a lot of people I study with look down on me because this is my favourite film. When a film can evoke a seven year old to know what they want to do for the rest of their life, that’s when you can constitute a film being a masterpiece. Whatever film that may be. I hope that when I have kids and I show them this film for the first time, they react exactly the same way I did. I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing now if it weren’t for this film. It changed me.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Dir: Ron Howard
I watched a lot of impressionable films when I was seven years old, this being another one. Saturday night’s have always been designated movie nights in our household, and I think my Dad had recently purchased this on DVD so it became the night’s screening. My family also has a huge love for Tom Hanks, I think I’d watched Cast Away a couple of weeks before this. So this film was next on our list. When I mention how young I was when I watched these films to my friends, they’re always astounded as to how I actually sat through them and understood them. It helped that I was more mature for my age, and grasped and understood things a lot more easily. But it also helped that not only was I obsessed with aliens and dinosaurs up until this point, I was also obsessed with NASA. More so after I watched Apollo 13. I was always fascinated with space and the stars, but I never realised that you could actually go up there until I witnessed this film. Since then I’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center three times, watched all the documentaries you could think of and just fallen in love with the whole idea that there’s a whole other world out there and we’re already starting to explore it. It gives me such a comforting feeling to look up at the moon on a cloudless night and think ‘…we’ve been up there’.