What movies have impacted your life?

Hazel Derry:

“One of the [movies] that has stuck with me is ‘Black Swan.’ When I watched it, I was in a time in my life that corresponded to some of the events that happened in the movie, so it hit really close to home. Even though I’m not a ballerina and I don’t suffer from psychosis, I still felt every bit of tension and every feeling that she felt and it felt like they were reading my mind and what was going on in my life. When the ending happened I had nothing to say, I was just staring at the screen. I don’t even know if I enjoyed it because it’s not necessarily a pleasant movie to watch. But it was the best ending to any movie that I’ve ever seen and it’s something that I think about all the time because of how much I was shocked and in awe of everything that happened. When I first watched it in July of last year, I hadn’t really been sleeping and I was not doing well. I was paranoid. I watched it at four in the morning and before I watched it I thought there was a bug in my room and I had moved every piece of furniture into the middle of my room, searching for the bug and then I watched the movie and I was like ‘I relate to this.’ I felt like if there was a perfect time in my life to watch that movie, it was right then. I felt everything so deeply when it happened. I’ve watched it three times since and each time it has to be the right time to watch it because I want to relive the first time I ever watched it. It makes me feel seen. It’s nice to have something that you can lay back on when you’re not doing well.”

Elliot Bramson

Cade Westerdale:

“A movie that has impacted my life is ‘Free Solo.’ I had started climbing when I watched it but not too seriously, just once a week. After I watched the movie, I started climbing a lot more and focused on getting better, getting on the team and competing and moving towards climbing outdoors and setting goals for outdoors. That all started with the spark of watching that movie. It’s really cool to see Alex Honnold act so courageously and climb a 3000 foot cliff without a rope. But then also it felt like when I was watching the way he acted and the way he talked about his climbing and the sacrifices he made, it seemed like there was some kind of purpose there. [That was] at a time when I felt an impending sense of purposelessness. And then I see someone who’s willing to make these huge sacrifices for a purpose and I thought that was really, really inspiring. I think I went to the theater seven times. Back then, every time I’d watch it, my eyes would be locked on the screen. Jimmy Chin directed it and it has beautiful shots of Yosemite Valley. And then you can see the tiny finger holds where he gets half of a finger pad and there’s 3000 feet of air below him. It’s insane to watch. For me, the movie was about having something I’m willing to work for and value. I always knew in the back of my mind when I was feeling purposelessness or feeling like I didn’t have anything I cared about. I always knew in the back of my mind that I could think of climbing and that was going to be a bedrock purpose that I could care about.”

Ella Rosewarne

Gabriel Semrau:

“I watched ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ at the perfect time, four years ago. The most lasting effect it’s had on me is that it’s the movie that got me into movies. It was the first movie where I noticed the visuals and how good the movie looked. It got me to think ‘how did they do this? Why did they do this?’ Movies are like the only thing I think about now. I had found the comics first, so I read through all of them. I borrowed the movie from the library and watched it. It was at a point in time when I was trying not to fail my classes in eighth grade and it helped me through that. I found this movie and it was just so much fun to watch. It got me to think about things other than the basic plot of the movie. It was a very distinct look from anything else I’d seen at the time. It wasn’t too different that I was off-put. But it was also different enough that I could notice it and appreciate it. Now I’m really into filmmaking. Everything I’ve made is terrible but I still make things because it’s a lot of fun. [‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’] made me realize that anybody can pick up a camera and make a movie. What I love about movies is that they can be anything. All you need is your iPhone camera. You can start making things and throw them on YouTube. Anybody can express what they want to express through them.”