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Comet in Moominland (1992)
This was my first cinema experience at the age of five. After this I saw mostly some Disney movies at cinema.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
A little later I watched interesting stuff at home from VHS tapes. My copy of this movie included song "When Love is Gone" which wasn't in the theatrical release and now they don't have it on recent DVD releases. Unlike children today watching this, I had to clearly face the fact that sometimes relationships don't last.
Jurassic Park (1993)
This was the most exciting movie I saw before Star Wars. Same thing that got Wayne Knight scared made me run behind the couch.
Great early experiences
I was eight years old when I saw original Star Wars trilogy from TV. Now I consider myself lucky for seeing the original theatrical versions first but of course back then I also enjoyed seeing reworked versions at cinema.
Maybe the first historical epic I ever saw. The Roman legions, slavery and horse races in the same package. So thrilling experience for a nine year old kid. Ben-Hur is one of the reasons why I became interested in history.
Before watching France beating Brazil in 1998 FIFA World Cup Final, I went to see Titanic on the same day. This movie seemed larger than life at that time. Real life tragedy, Kate Winslet's nude scene and chance to see how magnificent ship Titanic was, caught my attention perfectly for three hours.
Visiting the cinema
The Perfect Storm (2000)
Meet the Parents (2000)
This one had Finland's premiere in the middle of December. I had to hurry to see it when I realised that changes in content ratings were going to come to effect in next year. Unbreakable's certificate was 14 but according to new rating it would be 15 and I was only 13 years. I was afraid that cinema's doorman wouldn't let me in next year. Hurrying was worth it because movie was pretty intensive experience.
The Ladykillers (1956)
Alec Guinness passed away on 5 August 2000. That was sad news for a Star Wars fan. Finland's national public-broadcasting company aired that autumn handful of Ealing comedies starring Guinness. I watched them all and after those continued watching other classics on Sunday afternoons. That's how I started to discover classic films.
Nice way to start summer holiday. Maybe the first western I ever saw starring John Wayne or James Stewart.
Modern Times (1936)
Nice way to continue summer holiday. I watched most of Chaplin's essential films during summer in 2001.
Room Service (1938) (1938)
In that autumn I saw my first Marx Brothers film and Groucho's dance in hotel's lobby was so funny and wacky.
An Introduction to musical film
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
I was used to characters singing in Disney films but this was something different. I loved Luhrmann's crazy attitude which showed in every detail.
Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
I watched two classic musicals from TV on Easter weekend 2002. Both were something like three hours long but I still managed to watch and enjoy them.
My Fair Lady (1964)
Great cast, interesting story and nice songs made this one of my favorite movies even though it is close for being filmed theater.
Top Hat (1935)
Later that year I saw some of the best movies that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made together. Light and fun stuff.
Memorable trips to cinema
I had earlier read the book so I was impatiently waiting for this one. I remember watching some interview where Timo Torikka said that his tv-series The Hobbits is better than this movie.
Gosford Park (2001)
Amélie was quite different than those Hollywood movies I used to watch. Oh, how disappointed I was when it didn't win any Oscars. Audrey Hepburn and Audrey Tautou were my biggest movie crushes ten years ago.
I don't know what I was expecting from this one but it sure wasn't this kind of comical film about Finland's national writer Aleksis Kivi. This is one of those better biopics out there.
Gangs of New York (2002)
Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher was one of strongest performances I witnessed during my early moviegoing days.
Not so memorable trips to cinema
Rat Race (2001)
The Wonder of DVD
The Godfather (1972)
DVD was one of the key elements on my way becoming a film enthusiast. At some point I started seriously collecting DVDs and of course watched them immiediately when I got my hands on them. Most of the films I first bought were classics.
Learning that films can be serious business
I was quite naive person when I first time watched this documentary. How envious I was for these people because they were just watching film classics all day long in New York. Later I realised that they might have some problems in their lives. There was still a lesson to be learned from it and I think it was encouraging for a young person who had fell in love with cinema. I think lesson was that it is normal for you to watch a lot of movies if you happen to love them.
Citizen Kane (1941)
I was 15 when I watched Citizen Kane. I enjoyed it but wanted to know more about it and the reasons why it was considered so great. That's how I started reading some film books and magazines.
Le fantôme d'Henri Langlois (2004)
In autumn 2006 Yle Teema, the greatest TV channel in Finland, aired this wonderful documentary about Henri Langlois. Documentary's running time was over 200 minutes but I was just fascinated by these stories about Cinémathèque Française in its golden age. In that autumn I started to attend Finnish Film Archive's local screenings. There have been some criticism towards Finnish Film Archive (nowadays it's called National Audiovisual Archive) over the years for the ways it operates but I'm grateful for organizing screenings in smaller cities outside Helsinki.
The Wild Child (1970)
This was the first film I saw in Film Archive's local screening. It wasn't the first classic film I wacthed from a big screen. I had earlier seen 8½, The Good, Bad an the Ugly and Seven Samurai in a multiplex.
Chungking Express (1994)
Later there was also reasonably priced film club operating in my town and I joined it. There I saw few Wong Kar-wai films and some other arthouse stuff.
Pierrot le Fou (1965)
I tried to watch this when I was 13 but only thing that made any sense to me was dialogue about Johnny Guitar which I had seen lately. I stopped watching after 10 minutes or something like that. Today this is one of my favorites from Godard.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
I was 16 years old when my friends were starting to drink beer and asked me to join them. Well I just couldn't because I was too busy watching Uuno Turhapuro movie from TV. So Uuno Turhapuro saved me from alcohol at that point.
Blue Velvet (1986)
When I later started drinking beer I chose Heineken as my beer brand because it's all over Blue Velvet.
The Last Detail (1974)
Of course I also sometimes still remember to quote this movie when I'm enjoying my Heineken.
“Heineken? Why it's the finest beer in the world! President Kennedy used to drink it!”
How annoying and childish behavior!
I have been using Listal over two years now and I find it very useful tool for discovering films that I should see and not just classics but also something more fun.
EDIT: RIP Roger Ebert. It was no coincidence that I choce his picture on this list. I liked his writing and admired his activity. Hopefully his reviews still remains available in the future.
I have visited Midnight Sun Film Festival a handful of times and it is such a great film festival. I just watch films and eat some fast food for five days. Great place to discover films and meet filmmakers. There's something magical about it because there I can easily watch many films in a row but if I watch only a couple of films in a multiplex I feel exhausted afterwards.
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