I am a sucker for comfort.
When I find something I like, I go back to it again and again. It’s why I order a venti americano with a splash of milk, no sugar, every time I make a Starbucks run, without fail. It is also why, as a child, I’d find a couple of movies I liked, and would watch them over and over again. For me that movie was the Back to the Future trilogy. For me that movie was Home Alone. For me that movie was Aladdin, Lion King, and all of the other classics that were trotted out of the Disney treasure trove.
Those movies were fun. They were familiar. They were entertainment. You would pop in a VHS (remember those things?) and stay transfixed for hours. And then a film came and changed the entire experience for me. Movie-watching became more of a philosophical experience, rather than one of sheer pleasure. A film came along and taught me that within all of its powers, resided the power to challenge my core beliefs and change the way I think.
That film, for me, was Dogville.
By Lars von Trier.
I remember watching the ending credits scroll up, to the tune of David Bowie’s “Young Americans,” as a series of photographs depicting depression-era zeitgeist was portrayed on the screen – and my figurative jaw just dropped to the bottom of the floor. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen.
And so, I toss out this question to fellow cinephiles – what film opened the floodgates for you? What film changed the way you looked at films forever, hungry for just one more experience like that – searching for that next discovery of an auteur in full control of his/her powers?