The movie that made movies come on the radar-- the original Star Wars. I'm just that age. It was the summer between my seventh and eighth grades that it came out, and I and everyone I knew became a cinephile at that point. But it was all about blockbusters, then. Star Wars, then Close Encounters, then Indy, etc. And if a movie was to get on our radar screen, it had to look like a blockbuster. It had to be a cultural event, not just a movie.
But the first film that really made me realize how all films communicate, not just the big ones was Being There. I'd seen Peter Sellers do his usual slapstick routine and his multiple personality deal, but this movie was subtle and quiet and funny, but not in a laugh out loud way. I understood the political satire and the funny sadness that made Chauncey such a great character.
So I think that it was when I saw this film, two years after Star Wars, that I realized what the power of film was. Not just an entertainment, but a force that can change minds, and so change lives.