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The most inspiring film you've ever seen!


filmmusic
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Watching Rudy a couple of days ago, and seeing it's no 54 I think in AFI's list of most inspiring films, I was wondering, what would you consider the most inspiring film you've ever seen? (I'd appreciate it if you mentioned only one)

Maybe a film along the lines of following your dreams and be true to yourself..

I really love such films!

I think Dead Poets society is the most inspiring film i've ever seen!

And i'm very happy that I got to see it back then at the theaters (at 9 years old), and can treasure the memory from my childhood..

(listening to the soundtrack right now and being emotional...MSN-Emoticon-sad-crying-025.gif)

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Inspiring as in 'being influential', 'putting thoughts into your head', 'giving you ideas', the power to change you...

Yes, I understand "inspiring" means all those things you say.

My question was, what exact thoughts and ideas it put into your head? ;)

Thoughts about the essence of the human mind (or soul)?

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Office Space contains a lot of food for thought regarding the experience of working in an office, staring at a computer all day, corporate "culture," work/life balance, etc. I find myself thinking about the ending a lot when I get sick of working on the computer and start to crave a little variety.

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Inspiring as in 'being influential', 'putting thoughts into your head', 'giving you ideas', the power to change you...

Yes, I understand "inspiring" means all those things you say.

My question was, what exact thoughts and ideas it put into your head? ;)

Thoughts about the essence of the human mind (or soul)?

A simple question but almost impossible to answer since that movie has been an important part of my life for 30 years now. It has put like 10.000 ideas and thoughts into my head. I don't know any other movie that is so provocative as BR. If I had to single out one thing it's probably the power of aesthetics.

Alex

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Not a single film, but I would say the Up! series of documentaries by Michael Apted, as a whole, is the most inspiring I've seen. The ability to roughly trace fourteen lives, their personalities from childhood to adulthood, their idiosyncrasies, their thoughts and opinions, their dreams and disappointments, over the course of now almost 40 years, that's a real gift that only the movie camera can bring, so vividly. The early Lumiere/Edison silents are also very inspiring to me, for similar reasons. Seeing those always puts the invention of the motion picture camera into a cultural, social, and historical perspective for me, and makes me realize what an amazing thing it is that we can look back and see Gandhi, Hitler, Martin Luther King Jr, The Beatles, Elvis, Olivier, Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, FDR, JFK, Nixon, Churchill etc. as they actually were and not have to construct imagined versions of them through photographs, writings, and paintings, and people hundreds of years from now will always be able to see and hear them preserved, along with all of our contemporary giants, milestones, catastrophes. Even the little things, people in the year 3000 will be able to see "Charlie Bit My Finger" and laugh at two little boys from 2007. I like to think about who and what we might have been able to see today if the movie camera had been invented 100, 500, 1000 years earlier, what more we'd be able to learn, and of course how they would have expressed themselves and responded to the world around them through filmed narratives. What kinds of movies would they have made? Where would movies be today?

Of course, it also gets a little depressing when I think of some poor future anthropologist stumbling on an episode of Jersey Shore....

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Can a TV series count as well? In that case, my answer would be easy: Carl Sagan's Cosmos wins by about a parsec.

I'd never heard of this till now. I see it's a documentary from 1980 which uses special effects. Is it still watchable and fascinating or is it quite badly dated and its themes covered again more recently by people like Prof Brian Cox?

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In the random order I remember them...

Dances with Wolves, Dersu Uzala, My Name is Nobody, The Jungle Book, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Chaplin, Jurassic Park, The Lion King, Amadeus, Pinocchio, Lawrence of Arabia, Cinema Paradiso, Being There, The Iron Giant, Ed Wood...

There's probably a zillion more.

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Can a TV series count as well? In that case, my answer would be easy: Carl Sagan's Cosmos wins by about a parsec.

I'd never heard of this till now. I see it's a documentary from 1980 which uses special effects. Is it still watchable and fascinating or is it quite badly dated and its themes covered again more recently by people like Prof Brian Cox?

Some science is old (it's deliciously stuck in 1980) but you can watch the new one next year as an updated second season. Sagan is a great narrator.

I think it's my favourite TV show ever.

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Can a TV series count as well? In that case, my answer would be easy: Carl Sagan's Cosmos wins by about a parsec.

I'd never heard of this till now. I see it's a documentary from 1980 which uses special effects. Is it still watchable and fascinating or is it quite badly dated and its themes covered again more recently by people like Prof Brian Cox?

Some science is old (it's deliciously stuck in 1980) but you can watch the new one next year as an updated second season. Sagan is a great narrator.

I think it's my favourite TV show ever.

This. I regularly re-watch it. In fact, I have the strongest urge to start again now, but I'm trying to leave at least a few months between viewings. Sure there's some dated science because, well, science (ideally) changes, but the bulk of it is right on. It's also far more palatable than a lot of recent science-documentary fare: it plays out like a big bed time story by Carl about the universe, history, art, religion, etc. rather than just a dry academic presentation. Not to mention that the underlying message and philosophy are decidedly unaffected by age. I'm looking forward to the "sequel" series, and hope that it gets the attention it deserves. The world could use that.

Anyway, sorry for that pontification.

Probably The Tree Of Life or LOST if we're doing TV series.

I'll echo the Lost suggestion; that show had a really deep impact on me and a lot of people I know.

Inspiring as in 'being influential', 'putting thoughts into your head', 'giving you ideas', the power to change you...

By that definition, for me it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Some of the biggest influences on who I am today.

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By that definition, for me it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Some of the biggest influences on who I am today.

I can't imagine how the Lord of the Rings can inspire someone to be, to think or to do something.

I can understand 2001. A question about the human existence.

But lord of the Rings? What inspirations or thoughts does it bring?

The only thing I can think of, is to inspire someone (who is an aspirigng film director) to make a so grand and epic film.

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By that definition, for me it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Some of the biggest influences on who I am today.

I can't imagine how the Lord of the Rings can inspire someone to be, to think or to do something.

I can understand 2001. A question about the human existence.

But lord of the Rings? What inspirations or thoughts does it bring?

The only thing I can think of, is to inspire someone (who is an aspirigng film director) to make a so grand and epic film.

2001 and Kubrick in general influenced me quite a bit as far as my taste in storytelling and aesthetics goes. LotR was more about the emotional experience, both in the films themselves and my experiences of them. I would go with my father to see whichever film was out, every weekend, until they weren't in theaters anymore. I just have a lot of very fond memories of them, and as a whole, Tolkien's work I think shaped a lot about my "values." There was also the element that you mentioned though: it was the first time I really noticed film music as something that I didn't just enjoy, but wanted to do myself.

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I'd never heard of this till now. I see it's a documentary from 1980 which uses special effects. Is it still watchable and fascinating or is it quite badly dated and its themes covered again more recently by people like Prof Brian Cox?

Some of the effects and their use look a bit cute today, but that doesn't hurt the viewing experience. It's documentary making on an artistic level that makes it highly watchable. Sagan's passion and skill in painting on an imaginary canvas, combined with great music choices (with lots of Vangelis matching the visuals and atmosphere perfectly) turn this from "just" a documentary series into (as the subtitles say) "a personal voyage", in a highly emotional way. Some of the science may be outdated, but most of it still largely applies, and that's only part of the fabric anyway - first of all it's Sagan conveying a mindset and a passion for science. It inspired me when I saw it as a kid, and it still did when I re-watched it last year.

I have high hope for the upcoming remake/sequel, but even if it should be on the same level as the original (which would be a major accomplishment), Sagan's version will always remain worthwhile.

It might be the single most inspiring thing I've ever experienced.

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Inspiring as in 'being influential', 'putting thoughts into your head', 'giving you ideas', the power to change you...

By that definition, for me it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Some of the biggest influences on who I am today.

Of course, 2001: ASO is up there too but mainly because the aesthetics inspire awe which is a very powerful emotion (the sublime) . It hasn't put as many thoughts into my head as Blade Runner though.

Alex

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I find it difficult to separate between one's favourite films and films that are the most inspiring, as they tend to overlap.

But if by 'inspiring' you mean films that have spurred creativity within you, I actually have to go for a tv series too -- namely TWIN PEAKS. It inspired me to write a whole novel when I was a teenager (unpublished, currently lying in my parents' attic somewhere). I wrote a little bit about it here:

http://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=1&threadID=1885&archive=1

When I told Angelo Badalamenti about this a couple of years ago (I met him in Ghent), he told me to "make a film out of it, and give me a call!". :)

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Indeed. The difficulty is in avoiding just listing one's favourite films, since they're all bound to be 'inspirational' to the person who adores them, but that wasn't filmmusic's meaning when creating the thread I believe. I think he was getting at films whose central themes are considered inspirational and humanistic and those being the main motivation behind the movie - to directly inspire the viewer.<br />

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I read it as films that make you question and think. Once Upon A Time In The West is my favorite film but I would never call it inspirational. Maybe on a technical and filmmaking level but in terms of existentialism, not so much.

LOST is sort of the epitome of inspiration personally. It's themes and ideas cover a large canvas of philosophies and thoughts and emotions. It made me think about religion, science, free will vs. fate, relationships, bonding, devotion, the ability to change; and even on a technical level it inspired me to write. The whole shebang.

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The most inspiring film you've ever seen!

The Killing Fields (1984).

Initially viewing this movie aged around 11 or so, it proved to be one of those - "dose of reality" films that had a profound effect on me back then at that age, and ended up influencing me in all sorts of ways in future life really. I could say 'inspire' I guess, but I'm not sure if that's the word that I'd choose. It has all sorts of powerfull scenes in it about human conflict, obsession, fortitude, resilience, loyalty and stamina.

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This was really difficult, but after hours of careful deliberation I've settled on my final choice and what is for me the most inspiring movie ever made:

prXJTv7.jpg

Nothing made me want to be a lethal alien sportsman more than this movie.

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There are a number of films that were (and still are) inspirational to me -- many of them by Spielberg.

But if I have to really pick just one, I will go with Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Which I guess I'll watch again tonigh :)

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Nothing made me want to be a lethal alien sportsman more than this movie (Predator 2)

If we're going down that route, in that case nothing made me want to be visited at my house by Richard Burton when I'm over the hill and about to settle into a semi retired comfortable life looking after a currently unmanifested son, for Burton to somehow through manipulative use of words call upon the old mercenary dog within me and convince me to, in - "one last mission in the spirit of our old adventures together" wreck my quiet life to volunteer and parachute into some god forsaken failed state in sub saharan africa to rescue some random local politician for one reason and one reason alone (cold, hard cash).....more than The Wild Geese (1978). Plus, there was the chance to operate alongside veteran actors like Roger Moore, Richard Harris and others. It's a tempting proposal that would be very hard to turn down.

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Regarding films that were successful and many peoples' favourites, but wouldn't necessarily be considered inspirational, let me cite The Wrath of Khan as a positive exception: The themes it touches and the way the script integrates them, together with the optimistic semi happy end, make it unusually inspiration for a film of its type, in my opinion. It's really exceptionally well written.

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I'd also add From the Earth to the Moon to my list. I guess still in the TV category, though it was a mini-series. Was one of the key ingredients in my "other" passion after music, which is science, and really opened my eyes to some things. Plus, beautiful music by some great (and a few unexpected) composers. Wish they would release more than just the Kamen main/end titles.

Edit: Also Apollo 13. I definitely like too many things....

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So in all seriousness, I think Spencer Tracy's presiding judge in Judgment at Nuremberg is for me one of the most inspirational portrayals of wisdom and impartiality in a film which I found to be profoundly affecting.

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......let me cite The Wrath of Khan as a positive exception:.....

Agreed. It has multiple themes going on. I suppose the glaring one is spock's martydom.

Braveheart just came to mind, too. I can't say it had a 'major' effect on me personally, but I do recognize 'why' the story did effect many others so much. I've met people in all sorts of obscure areas of the world who have seen that film and hold it up as an inspiration due to the David VS Goliath narrative. For them, the setting is irrelevant because it applies to all sorts of struggles.

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I'd also add From the Earth to the Moon to my list. I guess still in the TV category, though it was a mini-series. Was one of the key ingredients in my "other" passion after music, which is science, and really opened my eyes to some things. Plus, beautiful music by some great (and a few unexpected) composers. Wish they would release more than just the Kamen main/end titles.

I never knew about that. I want to see it now.

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