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5 Movies That Shaped Who I Am Today

IndianaJonesUniversityMovies can make you who you are, but more importantly, who you want to be. Throughout our evolution, we have retained observation as our greatest asset. We observe and as we do, our cognitive maps start to re-route towards a higher destination. We soak up like a meaty sponge all of the tools we need to live, thrive or just survive the rollercoaster we call life. In the last 10,000 years our observance fuelled evolution has accelerated with such force it's almost a blur. In those years we have created farming, hierarchical societies, put a man on the moon, created the silicone chip and erm, gave the world Justin Bieber. This is where movies come in. I have no doubt that the eyes that are reading this now are of a generation in which movies have become the staple diet of recreation. Now, there is a point to this pseudo-philosophical meander into the human past. I am an archaeologist; I study the footprints of humanity armed to the teeth with a tooth brush, a pointing trowel and a sandwich. Essentially, all I do is work in a field, dig up holes and make up stories about them. Yet, it is movies that got me into this line of work. You have to be blessed with idealism to be an archaeologist, and movies go a long way to enrich that sense of idealism. My passion for the dirt, the history and the mystery of which we are all comes from the film industry. In fact, almost my whole outlook on life has been shaped in part or wholly by films. I've gotten girlfriends and made memories on the back of what I've seen in movies. I believe this is the case for all of us; movies have been around as long as living memory, and now they are as part of our collective cultures as food or drink, as sleep or...that other activity. Life can be a pretty mean place to live, and nobody gets out alive. We need idealism to carve a place amongst the pantheon of our ancestors. Movies are the modern gospels; they are the fairytales of the Facebook generation. Within each one is an Aesop fable, wrapped up in pyrotechnics and computer wizardry. They teach us from an LCD window into other worlds, they reach across space and time, across racial and sexual divides, and they drag us kicking and screaming into the knowledge that we are all as unique as McDonalds, and we are comforted by this. They enable our species to actually forget the very basics of life; they scream defiance in the face of Darwinism. I mean, have you ever sat in the cinema about to have a coronary heart attack due to your bladder almost bursting, simply because you are at a part of the movie that if you miss it, it would make you kick your dog when you got home? Movies are now the soul of evolution, like the second Renaissance they are driving our cultures forward, hurtling us towards the ultimate bonding of science and art. Like a cultural double helix, moving pictures will forever form part of our cultural genetics. If Aristotle were alive today, his Ethics would be told through the medium of film. The point, which has taken me a very long time to get to, is that movies shape attitudes. They inspire us to carve out real idealism in our own lives, to actually touch the stars that everybody else tries to just get us to reach for. From the romantic to the inspirational, to the rational to the ridiculous, each movie we see holds a special place in our personal evolution into dysfunctional members of society, where we live entire lives through the eyes of others. So below, in no particular order, are five movies that I believe have helped shape who I am today. It's purely a personal journey and they are Hollywood productions for the most part, indie films being more the calling of avid cigarette smokers with little moustaches I find.
Contributor
Contributor

Historian and Archaeologist. You can follow me on Twitter but I seldom go anywhere.