Columnist Tuesday Mahrle shares four personally influential movies

By Tuesday Mahrle, June 2020 Issue.

In my 33 years, it’s difficult to calculate how many movies I’ve watched, re-watched, or watched more times than I’d like to count. Films have the ability to make us laugh, teach us a lesson, change global mindsets, or simply help us escape from the day-to-day monotony.  While my list of favorite movies is a mile long, these four movies truly influenced me as a child and continue to play a huge part in my life today.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Premiered 1963 | Not Rated | 129 minutes | Crime, Drama

As a young child, I knew little of what my father did as an attorney. I knew that people were different but not that a black man could never have a fair trial in the South. Relating myself to the tomboy character Scout, who is also the narrator, this movie taught me about my family, race relations, injustice, poverty, oppression and how judgement should land on someone’s character and no other trait. I would later learn that a book is always better than the movie.

Dead Poets Society

Premiered 1989 | Rated PG | 140 minutes | Drama, Teen

Why yes, young Tuesday, high school does suck, no matter where you go. Overbearing parents, weighing the pros and cons of following your true passions, checking off the list of extracurriculars in hopes of being just ahead of someone else for an Ivy League college spot. With all that said, one teacher can change not only your point of view, but life as you know it. I strive to be that as a professor. Plus, Robin Williams...

A League of their Own

Premiered 1992 | Rated PG | 128 minutes | Comedy, Drama

Growing up with an older brother, I followed close in his footsteps. If he played t-ball, I played t-ball. If he liked basketball, I liked basketball. Sadly, at a young age, I was almost always the only girl on the team and as thus, relentlessly teased. I would cry on the way home from practice because no one wanted to pass the ball to the ‘stupid girl on the team’. This movie taught me I could be tough and there was definitely “no crying in baseball.”

American History X

Premiered 1998 | Rated R | 118 minutes | Drama

Hate is real and it is taught. No child is born knowing how to hate. In the same vein, hate can be unlearned and no one is too far gone. One of my favorite films cinematically, its use of toggling between color and black and white filming screams the underlying themes and concepts without being preachy. Sadly, although American History X premiered over 20 years ago, the topic is relevant, if not more relevant, today than it was then. Also, Edward Norton...

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