Five movie moments that changed my worldview

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1. Jesus Christ Superstar

Want to teach a bunch of bored primary school kids the New Testament? Then show them Jesus Christ Superstar, a free-loving musical opera featuring a bunch of singing and dancing hippies.

Great soundtrack. Terrible movie.

But in the mid-70s, when I was ten years old and crammed into a school hall with fidgeting classmates, I thought the film was a masterpiece.

My worldview changed when Judas sang ‘Heaven on Their Minds,’ and explained that Jesus and his fanatical followers must stop antagonising the Romans.

In this context, Judas’ betrayal makes perfect sense and I gained another point of view.

Overall, a dreary book was bought to life and our teachers spent a few peaceful hours enjoying a cup of tea.

2. Barbarella

A cult classic starring Jane Fonda as a sexy astronaut on a mission to save a missing scientist.

It was soon after Jesus Christ Superstar and I was probably still humming some of the tunes when I saw this movie.

My worldview changed with the entrance of the Great Tyrant, played by Anita Pallenberg. She’s wearing tight black leather, an eye patch and is twirling knives that make a ‘whoosh, whoosh,’ sound when she flicks them.

‘Hello, pretty, pretty,” she says to Barbarella. “Do you want to come and play with me?”

Play with her? I didn’t even realise it was possible to look like her. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen and I wanted to grow up and wear an eye patch and flick knives that go ‘whoosh, whoosh.”

Unfortunately, I had more chance of playing Judas than looking like Anita Pallenberg.

3. Star Wars

There’s a scene in the original Star Wars where Luke Skywalker wistfully watches Tatooine’s two suns/moons (whatever the hell they are), setting or rising in the sunrise/sunset.

He is yearning for adventure but is stuck on Tatooine, a planet in the backwaters of the Galaxy. Growing up in Australia in the 1970s, I knew exactly how he felt.

4. The Matrix

Don’t we all wonder sometimes whether we are living in an artificially created version of reality?

Morpheus explains that our world is a construct and we’re nothing more than human batteries stuck in an artificial womb to supply machines with power.

Mind you, that doesn’t sound too bad considering reality consists of killer agents hunting down anyone unplugged from the Matrix.

My worldview changed when soon after this movie I read that scientists hypothesised we are living in a hologram and are no more real than the characters manipulated in computer games.

In which case, if the agents look like Anita Pallenberg could you plug me into the Matrix?

5. Logan’s Run

Probably directed by the same mob responsible for Jesus Christ Superstar. The acting is woeful, the sets terrible, the music awful (even the JC Superstar hippies did a better job) and the dialogue excruciating.

The movie’s premise is that people must die at 30.

I liked this idea when I was 13.

My worldview changed when I turned 30.

Note: You can read more of Sue Bell’s writing in the upcoming book: Amanda Seyfried stole my face

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About the author

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.


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