Without a question Zach and Miri make a porno. And Tommy Wiseau's The Room.
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs. I think it really opened up cinema to new ways of thinking and interpreting seemingly simple, yet complex, tales worthy of film reel. I also consider Metropolis and Star Wars as very crucial movies that still shape what the movie industry as we know it today.
Good question! Choosing just one is supremely difficult. Obviously the Lumiere brothers and their contemporaries are critically important in birthing the art of film, but in terms of the films' effect on the world by themselves, they're not that significant.
I can come up with a shortlist:
The Birth Of A Nation (1915) Dir. D.W. Griffith - The first 'epic', and also Griffith was crucial in pioneering editing techniques such as cross-cutting.
Battleship Potemkin (1925) Dir. Sergei Eisenstein - Early use of montage for empathy with character.
Citizen Kane (1941) Dir. Orson Welles - Precursor to all contemporary cinematography. And it's a good film too.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Dir. Stanley Kubrick - Sci-fi and cinema in itself has never been the same since.
Star Wars (1977-83) Dir. George Lucas and co. - Really the first time the mythology of a film series has permeated everyday life, of which its fans follow it as faithfully as a religion.
But, it's a fairly impossible task to pick just one, as cinema has been influenced by a whole range of things, building up on what has gone before. Star Wars couldn't exist without 2001, which couldn't exist without Citizen Kane and so on and so forth. Film itself couldn't exist without theatre and theatrical philosophy dating as far back as Aristotle.
Also "Deserto rosso" by Antonioni for using color with sense.
@innersmiff great answer and you've provided me with a great list of films I need to see if I haven't already.
"Citizen Kane" is probably number one to me. I definitely agree with innersmiff's list, but I'd add "Titanic." And "Dances with Wolves."
That is very hard to say.Heres how it works.One film is made and off of that film 8 more are made.So most of the very first movies ever made led up to all the classics today.Jimmy Cagney had a big part of the dark gangster movies.Imagine how many movies were made because of his movies.Also Lon Chaney put together the horror film genre.Then remember almost 80% of movies were based on a book or was a true story.For westerns John Wayne and Clint Eastwood put together the genre.So I must say there is not one film that is the most important in film history but a few.So id say from when movies started off from 1949 those are the most important films.I mean look at the crap they make today.Making a film is like painting a piece of art its not about the money its about the film.Now there are only a few directors and actors that still get that.Back in the day every movie that came out was a classic.Dont forget the tv shows.I mean look at the films today.30 Minutes or less.The films a hour and a half and they are able to fit 215 f-bombs in the film and non-stop sexual content.The film is a insult to movies.So I must say it may be a long time before another great movie comes out.Zach and Miri make a porno is not even close to an important film.The movies good for a few laughs but other than that the movie is trash.Also wasnt Dances with Wolves based on a book.So really if it wasnt for books movies wouldnt have ever come into play.So the real question is What is the most important book in film history?
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