I remember two things about being 15.

We had a cultural studies class in school for which the students were allowed to pick the movies we’d watch. Two of the movies that made it onto our roster were The Matrix and Fight Club.

Now, if you’ve been around for a while, you’ll already know that The Matrix is one of the pillars of my narrative understanding.

I watched it obsessively, curiosity and fascination driving me to watch it again and again. All I knew was that I was looking for some kind of answers I didn’t yet even have the questions for.

Fight Club was another one of those movies that, upon first watching it, I had no idea what I’d just seen, but I couldn’t look away.

The thing that still stands out to me about 1999, was that while I’d been writing stories for a while by the time I was 15, those two movies kick-started something in my brain that led me down a path that I’ll be ever grateful for.

Because it was a path full of interesting narratives and weird places that weren’t exactly hip with my peers at the time.

So, in no order of significance, here are some of the movies that shaped my narrative understanding by challenging everything I knew and pushed the boundaries of what seemed possible.

1997 – Gridlock’D

1999 – The Matrix & Fight Club

2000 – Spirited Away & For The Birds

2001 – Vidocq, LOTR & Ocean’s Eleven

2002 – Equilibrium & Reign of Fire

2003 – The Sin Eater, The Last Samurai, Brother Bear & Kill Bill Vol. I

2005 – Constantine

2006 – The Illusionist & The Prestige