Film taste can tell a lot about someones character. It’s fascinating when finding out people’s favourite film or genre and figuring out what it is about a certain film that intrigues them. You’ll also have conversations with people who will stay away from a certain genre because it may not reflect their personality and it may not keep their interest. However I’m sure there are people like me who has an eclectic film taste which may be harder to pinpoint who they are as people.
I’m writing this blog post because I’ve had lots of conversations with people regarding my film taste and I’ve been surprised by how confused or shocked they are about the films that I like. It’s not a daily occurrence where everyone expects me to only watch Disney films (which has happened on occasion) but it’s that people may be surprised that I enjoy darker films or even films from the 1930’s etc. I like to surprise people by showing them my varied film taste because it allows me to engage in more conversations regarding film because I’m not close minded.
In order to showcase my diverse film taste I’m going to highlight five films that are so different from each other (which will be scratching the surface) and hopefully it will help you to get to know me better and what it says about me as a human.
1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
What is your favourite Disney film? That is a loaded question. In terms of animations there’s so many titles to choose from that mean so much to people for various of reasons. You could pick a classic from the 40’s or 50’s, you could select a one from the renaissance era like Beauty and the Beast (1991) or Aladdin (1992), or one from the 2010’s like Tangled (2010) or Moana (2016). So when someone asks me which Disney animation is my favourite it all boils down to which one captures the essence of Disney animations: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
First of all this film is an achievement (being the first full length animated film ever) which to this day is impressive and its impact is indisputable. This film is ingrained in my from childhood and there are so many iconic moments that I know off by heart, but also there’s something you get from the film watching it as an adult. I don’t know if it’s me but the music in this film evokes a lot of emotions, there’s almost an eerie quality to it which seems purposeful given that it’s about a Queen wanting to kill a young woman. There’s a lot I could say in terms of my love for this classic animation and without this film who knows what would have become of Walt Disney studios. That is how it captures the essence of Disney animations; something that appeals to all ages and that stands the test of time that no other animated company can replicate. This film represents my love for family friendly films that does not limit its appeal to children but to anyone with a heart.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
This film perfectly encapsulates my love for huge scale storytelling. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is pure escapism and reflects my love of fantasy storytelling, but it also has depth and Peter Jackson does a phenomenal job of allowing each narrative strand to breathe and for each character to have their moment. This has literally been my number one film for most of my life and I highly doubt it will change any time soon.
The trilogy is pure magic and I love the first two dearly; however it all boils down to the third film where everything that has been accumulated over the past two films and now it’s all or nothing. The huge battle scenes at Gondor and Mordor as well as seeing Eowyn defy what was expected of women by fighting for her land, Frodo continuing taking the burden of the ring on himself and of course seeing Aragon embrace his destiny. There is so much to unpack in this film and that is why it has always and will remain my favourite film; it’s exciting and thrilling yet emotional and engrossing. This film definitely represents my love of imagination and getting lost in different worlds.
3. Roman Holiday (1953)
Audrey Hepburn strolling around in Rome during the 1950’s, what is there not to love about this film. I love classic films and I’m always on a mission to watch more but I have seen my fair share, and I think that surprises people but a film that is in black and white does not alienate me at all. This film is so beautiful and has a special place in my heart from watching it as a child on VHS and being mesmerised by this film but then watching it as an adult and seeing the depth that this film has emotionally and in its storytelling.
Many young people I know will not venture further back than the 1980’s in terms of what films to watch and that upsets me. Some of the greatest films can be found in the 1930’s and 1940’s; Gone with the Wind (1939), Citizen Kane (1941), Casablanca (1942) to name a few that have influenced cinema for generations to come. What you will discover should you give older films a chance is that you realise that all these stories are universal and can resonate with modern day audiences.
4. Gone Girl (2014)
Contrasting my love for family friendly Disney animations I present….Gone Girl. If you’re familiar with David Fincher’s filmography and Gillian Flynn’s writing then you know you won’t be expecting a musical number in this film. Gone Girl is one of my favourite films because it’s such a layered, complex, deliciously dark film that has an incredible narrative structure. I remember reading the book and having a feeling of whiplash when the huge reveal happens halfway through and then it escalates and becomes something completely different from what you expected in the best way. The ending is powerful as well because it’s not what is meant to happen at the end of a crime thriller but that’s what makes it more scary and to a degree realistic (in a lose sense of the word).
People may be surprised that I like darker films such as Gone Girl but films like this that explore all natures of humanity and aren’t afraid to show the ugly side of what makes us human are bold and fascinating. If we stick to just one way of thinking how are we expected to understand the multi fascinated nature of who we are as people? Film allows me to take myself out of my bubble and realise that people have different experiences from each other and its important not to become complacent and think our experience is the only one that matters.
5. The Princess Diaries (2001)
Anne Hathaway couldn’t have asked for a better way to introduce herself to people than through this gloriously fun film. The many quotable lines, the music, wishing your grandparents would come to your home and tell you you’re royalty (and that pear ice cream!) there’s so much to talk about when thinking of The Princess Diaries. A film that is part of my childhood but also a film that still retains its charm and feel good nature.
That’s what this film represents; that feeling of switching off your brain and wanting to just enjoy a fun film that doesn’t take itself seriously. Yes I love my critically acclaimed films and yes I love films that are dark and gritty yet you have to balance out with a touch of lightness to keep your mind open and to have a broad film taste.
(La Vie en Rose – 2007)
As I mentioned previously, these five films barely scratch the surface of best describing my varied taste in film. There are many other examples I could have used to illustrate how I watch films for other reasons; La Vie en Rose (2007) for my love of foreign language films, Transformers (2007) for my love of trashy switching your brain off type action films, Beast (2017) for my love of independent film and the list goes on.
The reason why I love watching films that reflect all different walks of life because it gives me a broader sense of the world, it allows you to be open minded and not be so restricted in our worldview. So referring back to my previous statement about how film can tell you a lot about someone’s character: I guess mine says that I am able to be empathetic and listen to different experiences that people face and not be afraid of any other experience than my own.