In an ongoing series, Lumičre asks a diverse range of film critics about the movie(s) that got them into movies.

ANDREW LANGRIDGE: Movies have been getting me (deeper) into movies all my life, and I couldn’t possibly limit myself to a single one, but here are some personal rabbitholes from which there has been no escape.

Scream and Scream Again (Gordon Hessler): When I was eight, I decided to become a horror movie aficionado after inexplicably receiving a couple of books about the genre for Christmas. This was the first one I saw, but all I remember now are two great shocks (only two?) involving involuntary dismemberment. Longer lasting treasures from my early gorehound phase were Roger Corman’s lush Masque of the Red Death and Michael Reeve’s scabrous The Sorcerers.

The Trouble With Harry (Alfred Hitchcock): I graduated from horror films to thrillers to Hollywood classics, mostly through the convenience of cheap TV programming (we’re pretty much talking pre-home video here), but it was a big deal to finally be able to see that kind of film on the big screen with the mid-80s re-release of some key Universal Hitchcocks. This immediately became my favourite, even over Rear Window and Vertigo, seen at the same time.

Ran (Akira Kurosawa): I saw my first foreign films on late night TV (Bitter Rice, Knife in the Water, a mind-blowing Ivan Part 1). This, my first Kurosawa (and first film festival screeing), was seen at a full house, from the Gods of the St James, with grown women swooning all around me from the heat.

The Colour of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradzhanov): As soon we were of age, my brother and I joined the Film Society for the express purpose of finally being able to see Citizen Kane. We went to see almost everything else to justify the cost of the membership. Welles was all well and good, but the real eye openers in that season were Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Gertrud, Raoul Ruiz’s Three Crowns of a Sailor (now there’s a great Welles movie) and this uncategorisable beauty. This, Ran and Harry were all, at some point, my all-time favourite film, but only Pomegranates has remained right up there.

Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky): I went to Charley Gray’s to see Pink Flamingos. The print didn’t show up so they showed this instead. So it’s not my fault.

Andrew Langridge is a film critic for the New Zealand Film International Festivals’ Souvenir Guide.