The 5 Films that Defined Me as a Film Fanatic By Jape Man  

In a recent Mubi post I listed the top 10 movies that "changed my life" but there were some movies that I unintentionally omitted, movies that were important to my life and defined me, possibly more so than any of the movies I actually mentioned. Here are the 9 films on that list that won't make it on this list (the number 1 on this list was also on that list):  

Annie Hall (Woody Allen) Happiness (Todd Solondz) Beautiful Girls (Ted Demme) Melvin Goes to Dinner (Bob Odenkirk) When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner) Pink Flamingos (John Waters) Inland Empire (David Lynch) Funny Games (Michael Haneke) Antichrist (Lars Von Trier)  

While all of those movies changed my life, I'm not sure if they actually define my cinematic evolution or personal taste in film. I'm hoping the following list does. I've picked 5 movies that are essentially my own cinematic viewing history served up on a plate (though omitting such cinematic "classics" as 2002's "The Powerpuff Girls Movie", which was the first movie I saw in theaters after an 8-year hiatus and "Josie and the Pussycats", a movie I rewatched obsessively on VHS) starting with the first movie I saw in theaters, at age 4.  

5. Encino Man (Les Mayfield, 1992) The first movie I ever saw in theater. My cousin and her then fiancé took me to see this movie when I was just 4 years old. It wasn't good. Ok, I barely remember it but it's an important film to me because it's such an idiosyncratic first movie to see in theaters.  

4. Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July, 2005) Flash forward many years later to a Summer day in 2005. 18-year old me trekked far to see a film I had heard about since it played sundance, a quirky character piece directed by a woman named Miranda July. Hilarious, romantic, vaguely cynical and just a wee bit twee, July's film probably has just as many haters as it does lovers but I am certainly one of this film's fervent defenders.

  3. Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine, 2009) Flash forward to 2009 where I went with my MOTHER to see Harmony Korine's radical "Trash Humpers" at it's one and only screening at the nearest art house theater. I was blown away.  

2. Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013) Now flash forward to 2013 and easily the best movie I've seen in theaters this years, without question. Shane Carruth's Malickian masterwork is ashtonishingly awesome and cool. I totally loved the heck out of it.

 1. LOL (Joe Swanberg, 2006) Now, let's go back a few years to a time where DVDs were still hip. The only movie on this list (besides the honorable mention of "The Idiots") that I didn't see in theaters is this movie I picked up for $9.99 at the local Best Buy and which totally changed everything I knew about cinema. I watched it the night before Thanksgiving and the film not only introduced me to Greta Gerwig (who has a small role) but also the music of Kevin Bewersdorf and the film's director, Joe Swanberg, who has become one of my favorites. Not to mention it also introduced me to the "mumblecore" aesthetic which I have loved ever since first seeing this film :).  

Honorable Mention: Leo's Carax's Holy Motors Lars Von Trier's The Idiots


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