Take me away, oh take me away from this frail existence. Lead my mind through uncharted realities as well as familiar mundanity through new eyes. Let me escape into the vision of another and see the world, life, and human experience as they do.
First of all, I love fiction, or more accurately, or maybe more generally creative works. I like lots of forms of it to, from comic books to classic novels, bad science fiction to contemporary documentary. Whatever it is, just as long as it gives me a glimpse into reality as seen from a different perspective than my own. It widens my view. It inspires my dreams.
For this reason, I love movies. At our present level of technology, they are as immersive an experience as we can get, at least in my opinion. Books may be more thorough an exercise for the imagination, but movies put as much there as is possible. But now the tricky part, picking just one that had an impact on my life.
After a bit of contemplation, I'm going to go with 'The Electric Metropolis', though to be fair I should admit that I originally watched the "doctored" version with added color washes (black and blue instead of black and white, though the alternate color varied by scene with some attempt at artistic overlay, I think). They also added Queen music as the score instead of the original instrumental. Still, the movie itself had several effects upon me.
First, and maybe this was just cause I was in college when I saw it, but it opened my mind to universality of human experience. Here I was watching a movie from roughly 50 years before I was ever born, and it still resonated. And music from Queen, also before my time, fit perfectly with the movie. Sci-fi was not created by my generation or even the one before it. Men have always dreamed of what could be. And even underneath the "fancy" sci-fi idea of a [gasp] robot woman, lay a tale about lust, greed, and class differences with love ultimately triumphing over evil and obsession. So, across time, and across cultures, common themes are bound to emerge, however you dress them up.
Also, having enjoyed the experience, this movie opened my eyes to the humble possibilities of story-telling. In other words, the window dressing doesn't have to be silk and gold-plated if the heart is there. The movie itself could probably be produced today with better effects by a bunch of tech-geeks over a weekend or two. But the story is there. I guess it just helped me get over the idea that "good" movie, or a "good" book for that matter, had to be something fancy and over-done.
There are lots of movies I've liked and many of those which have helped me gain a great understanding of life in some respect. But this one stands out in my mind as one of the first, one of the best to open my eyes to the magic of storytelling and the power inherent to artistic expression, however sophisticated or simple it may be.