Films that Changed Me

Sattelite Dish Leaves

There are things in our lives that change us. Change in a fashion that we are not the same person as we were before. Making a new friend, the first kiss, a hallucinogenic experience… Sometimes, movies strike a deep chord in our souls.

Eleven years old, alone at home… It was the early days of cable, we had HBO (the only game in town). I’d seen advertisements for The Elephant Man. It was rated PG. I decided to watch it. It disturbed me so much. I felt so sorry for him. The story stirred such profound feelings in me.

I researched The Elephant Man for this article, to remember the discomfort my brain felt. I’ve seen the particular scene from Robocop (the “glitch” scene) too many times too look at it again. It’s the part where the giant robot wastes the guy. He knew that he was going to die in ten seconds. Nothing was left to the imagination. It still haunts me.

While living in Nashville, I worked at a video store. There was an older black man with two young children. The little boy found a children’s cartoon about dinosaurs. The older man said, “That’s for kids. Get a good movie, get Robocop.” I wanted to say something, but it wasn’t my place. The kids just lost their innocence at an early age.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice • Natalie Wood in a bikini.

Encarta Dictionary: surrealism: early 20th-century movement in art and literature that represents the subconscious mind by creating fantastic imagery and juxtaposing ideas that seem to contradict each other.

Coming from a man who sees a Satanic influence in Schoolhouse Rock, Smile Guide has been deemed fit for consumption. Made in Poland and set in Mushroomland, it centers on a young woman named Agatha. Her makeup is the creepiest I’ve seen since The Exorcist. I am not the same as I was before I saw Smile Guide. Fair warning.

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