Day 48: Five Movies You Should Totally Watch

Welcome to day 48 in my 100 days of photography series! I am a huge movie fanatic and I’m guessing you are too… I mean, who isn’t? There are five movies that really speak to my photographer heart and I want to share them with you here! I’d also love to know yours and we can keep this list rolling!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:
I am putting this at the top of my list. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is about a reserved man who works with negatives for LIFE magazine. A legendary nature and travel photographer, Sean O’Connell, sends Mitty his film to be developed, processed, and printed. After realizing one of the negatives for the final issue of LIFE magazine is lost, Mitty leaves his safe basement office to travel the world looking for the photographer and missing the negative. You guys… this movie is filled with so much heart. It’s hilarious, adventurous, inspiring, and at the very heart of it is photography and a reminder that life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

This movie is a bit weird. Like, let’s get that out of the way right now. The full title is “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus.” Diane Arbus was a real life photographer who documented subjects that could be seen as odd or disturbing. From amputees and nudists, to Siamese twins and Circus performers, Diane was known for creating art from those that usually went unseen or ignored. The movie is inspired from one of her images of a man with hypertrichosis or “werewolf syndrome” and follows their story. I love this movie because it reminds me that it’s okay to be different. It doesn’t even take that much bravery, rather all that is needed is acceptance of yourself.

Big Eyes:
Not so much photography related but definitely a movie for artists. This is a true story about a painter in the 50’s named Margaret whose husband took credit for her paintings for over a decade. Margaret, a true artist, is a single mother trying desperately to make money with her art that no one is buying. Meanwhile, she meets another painter, Walter Keane, who can easily sell his lackluster art for loads of money. They marry, and soon Walter realizes a giant gold mine in Margaret’s paintings. Taking credit for her work, he builds an empire off of her style of haunting children with big eyes. The thing I loved most about this movie is that Margaret, through the entire story, has the heart of an artist. She has knowledge of art history, technique, style, grace, and often drops very simple, understated pieces of knowledge like “I think people buy art because it touches them” and “Artists have to be able to handle criticism.” Meanwhile her husband is raving and ranting about dollars and critics… it’s interesting to see the two side by side. Margaret, a wonderful artist with the heart and eyes of an artist would likely have never sold anything if it wasn’t for her tacky and arrogant husband. Which left me thinking: As an artist, do you have to have a bit of tacky arrogance in order to be successful?

This is a true story about a single mother who invented the mop that I use. It’s not about art (although one could argue anything of creation is art) but it is about someone making something and putting it out into the world. I love this movie because the character is met with struggle after struggle after struggle. We’ve all seen that graph showing the path to success with a big squiggly line right in the middle, but we rarely see movies that actually show that. We usually see a formula of “Dream>>Small Hiccup>>Massive Success.” But throughout this movie, Joy is met with conflict and doubt from her family, she is shot down by a seemingly endless line of people, she takes huge risks, and puts everything on the line for her product and it’s inspiring to say the least. I will recommend this movie to everyone who is trying to make their dream come to life!

Bohemian Rhapsody:
I just saw this. If you saw this then you just saw it too. It only came out recently and when I went to see it, I didn’t expect to include it in this list but I have to. Everyone knows the story of Queen and Freddie Mercury, but seeing it laid out in front of you is a whole different world. The character, Freddie, is… well, excessively different, but there is this one part in the movie where he is gaining momentum in his band and he says to his fiance, “I am exactly the person I was always meant to be. I’m not afraid of anything.” I was so moved by that line that I started to cry. How wonderful to not be afraid of who you are. To know that being the most true and honest version of yourself will be met with hate or love, but it doesn’t matter because what matters most is that you are who you are. This story is wonderful and gorgeous and extravagant and tragic and worth experiencing.

That’s my list, what’s yours? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 49: The Biggest Mistake You Make When You Have An Idea!

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the next 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!  If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris