October 5, 2016

Watch: Celebrating the Cinematic Images We Can't Get out of Our Heads

Which cinematic images have made a lasting impression on you?

What is your first memory of watching a film? Maybe the first thing that pops into your head is the music or the story, but if I had to guess, I'd say that it was an image: E.T.'s finger lighting up, a flashlight beam focused on the eye of a T-Rex, the Death Star being blown to smithereens. The magic of cinema lies in its profound ability to make us feel in large part through the moving image, and Andrew Saladino of The Royal Ocean Film Society has put together this video to talk about the images that we can't seem to get out of our heads.

I love how this video is an open-ended musing. It may teach you something or help you realize something new about the art form, but really it's just about nostalgia—remembering the images that made us fall in love with cinema or made us want to become filmmakers.

To this day I still remember the one image that has been burned into my memory ever since I first saw it. I was sitting in one of my first film classes in college watching a documentary on Quentin Tarantino or something, and all of a sudden I see a clip from a black and white movie—three individuals racing across a bridge. It was only a few seconds long, which gave me just enough time to quickly jot down the title that appeared on the lower third—Jules et Jim.

The world of cinema immediately became so much wider and wild and mysterious as I began my love affair with the French New Wave, and each time I see a new image that stops me in my tracks, it gets even wider, wild, and mysterious still.

Now, this might've been the first cinematic image that made an impact on me in my adulthood, but there are so many more that changed me as a child. Watching that iconic roar from the T-Rex in Jurassic Park convinced me that real dinosaurs were used in the movie. Watching Regan's throat swell in The Exorcist showed me what real terror felt like. Guido comically marching to his death in front of his son in Life is Beautiful gave me my first idea of what kind of parent I wanted to grow up to be.

It's kind of nice to think back on all of the images filmmakers have made that have affected us so greatly, and it's exciting to wonder which ones will affect us in the same way in the future.

Which cinematic images have lasted for you? Which films are responsible for your love affair with cinema? Let us know in the comments below!     

Your Comment


This was really awesome! The influence of film on our life and early memories is a huge interest of mine.

I think it's great you had this animated movie example. I remember watching Wizards when I was 7 and the imagery from it always stuck with me. So much so that wanted to try and capture that fear and wonder that it instilled in me back then. Here's what I came up with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsMomckM4_0

October 7, 2016 at 3:52PM

Andy Paul
Freelance Videographer

Royal Ocean Film Society !! Found this guy's channel a week ago. So happy to see the love he's getting. I've recently started doing video essays and he's a big inspiration.

October 8, 2016 at 6:05PM, Edited October 8, 6:04PM

B.D. Sharples
Cinematographer and Director

The scene in Ashes and Diamonds where Cybulski and Pawlikowski light the shots in remembrance of their dead comrades.

Guido with his whip in 8/12.

The merging of the faces of Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann in Persona.

Travis Bickle, watching the seltzer tablet dissolve.

The pagans appearing in the woods in Andrei Rublev.

The birth of the universe in The Tree of Life.

October 10, 2016 at 6:48AM

English Cinephile