Some films are integral to our lives, even going so far as to help form our personality and moral compass. We’ve all got a little list of our favourite films. The ones that made us laugh, cry, jaw drop or even have meaningful, passionate conversations with complete strangers. But what if we found ourselves with a completely blank slate? Full on, movie amnesia where you can’t remember anything about the films you’ve watched in your life. If you were to hand yourself a list of films to check out, ones you know you’re going to love or never see the twist coming, what would you tell yourself to watch? It’s a question that has been knocking around in my head for a while, so here are some of FinalBoss’s answers.
This article is spoiler-free! You know, just in case you haven’t actually seen the film for the first time.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Right at the top of my list would easily be the original Star Wars trilogy. More specifically, though, The Empire Strikes Back. Not only are they incredible films, with a fantastic plot and score, they really are formative to many people. Star Wars is their thing. Luke, Leia and Han are their heroes. But one thing that has always upset me about Star Wars is that many people of my generation, or the generation before and after, go into Star Wars already knowing what happens or are so young, they don’t remember the feeling of watching the trilogy for the first time. Since its original release in cinema, who has actually seen Empire Strikes Back without knowing the big twist? Last year I had the chance to see Empire Strikes Back in the cinema and one of my primary thoughts at the end was “Weren’t the first people to see this film so lucky?”.
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
FinalBoss’s Shaun and I would also put The Fellowship of the Ring high on our lists. If you don’t get Lord of the Rings, then you don’t get it. But if you do, it becomes an incredibly encapsulating thing that forces you to read everything Tolkien wrote, see every extended edition multiple times and quote the films relentlessly. To see this cinematic triumph, this cornerstone of cinema again for the first time would be incredible. Feeling the suspense and pain of the Mines of Moria or the bittersweet ending on Amon Hen for the first time would be orcsome.
Yes yes, I know ” the first rule of Fight Club is blah blah blah”, I’m gonna talk about it anyway. Although I would never put Fight Club at the top of my list of favourite films, I would put it at the top of my “What?! I did not see that coming!” list. It was easily the most fooled I have ever been by a plotline. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter were fantastic, and the visual bleakness of the film is really quite extraordinary. It’s an experience and quite thought-provoking. Certainly something amnesia me needs to put on his watch list.
Avengers: Infinity War
I almost went with Endgame instead of Infinity War. In the cinema, everyone was hyped, I mean REALLY ready for Endgame. It was an experience like no other I’ve had in a cinema. However, the reason why everyone was so excited was because of how Infinity War had left us. I didn’t see the ending coming. It left many of us feeling properly emotional, like we had just seen our family go through the wringer. Now, people in the future generations are going to have the same problem that I did going into Empire Strikes Back. They are going to know what happened before watching the film, and I find that sad. Unless they are living under a rock, they will never know the shock or the Russo brothers astonishing bravery to do what they did in a genre criticised for its predictability and filled with a fan base that will go after you if you mess it up. Infinity war is the Empire Strikes Back of my generation.
The Sixth Sense
I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen this film. But do you know why I haven’t seen it? Because the twist at the end of the film is one of cinema’s biggest spoiled secrets. Most people who are aware of Sixth Sense, even if they have not seen it, know exactly what happens at the end, which is a bit shameful, I think. Even if it’s a big spoiler for a film many people have seen, do NOT talk about it on the radio, TV, or social media (unless it’s a Sixth Sense fan page or something)! So, if I woke up with amnesia and a list of films, I tell myself I need to watch, Sixth Sense would be on that list. From what I hear, it’s a great film and one of Bruce Willis’s best.
The Dark Knight
At the very top of many people’s best superhero film lists, The Dark Knight occupies a certain mythical superhero film tier all to itself. Although some of my other favourites have begun to creep closer and closer to the top spot over the years, The Dark Knight is, objectively, the best superhero film of all time. In a film that is essentially about defeating chaos and unpredictability, Nolan shoves a dizzying amount of twists into the Dark Knight. And every twist is amazing. I feel jealous of everyone who gets to see this film for the first time, knowing that this will be their first time seeing the twists, Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker and practical effects we come to expect from a Nolan film.
Another on this list that I haven’t seen, Predestination is recommended for a first time watch by FinalBoss’s Roy. This 2014 science fiction/ action film directed by Michael and Peter Spierig, follows a temporal agent on his last case, as he hunts down a criminal through lots of time travel shenanigans. According to Roy, Predestination is one of the trippiest time travel films he has seen and reckons that experiencing it fresh would be right at the top of his list. Well, I’m sold! The premise sounds very interesting and I look forward to giving it a go.
The last film on our list (and another I haven’t seen but look forward to giving it a go for the first time), is Signs. This film is FinalBoss’s Ryan’s choice. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this 2002 science fiction film follows a priest (played by Mel Gibson) who discovers that the crop circles in his field are caused by aliens. Ryan thinks that the film builds tension well but after the first viewing, the rewatchability of Signs suffers greatly. So, if he could watch any film again for the first time, Signs would be his choice.
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