James shares his first cinematic memory: "Jurassic Park," which came out June 11, 1993.
“Jurassic Park” opened in theaters across America 22 years ago today.
I was 6 when it came out. My dad took me and my sister to see the epic dinosaur adventure on the big screen and to this day I’m thankful for having my first cinematic memory.
There is one scene in particular that haunted me for months: The raptors in the kitchen. My sister likes to tease me that when one of the raptors jumped up onto one of the metal tables, I leapt up from my seat in the theater and screamed.
It felt as if I was right there in the kitchen hiding from the stealthy dinosaurs with John Hammond's grandchildren, Lex and Tim. In a way, my sister and I were Lex and Tim; we could perfectly relate.
Following that theatrical experience, I had nightmares for months that I can still remember this to this day. I would be crawling through vents in our house avoiding dinosaurs, which were waiting outside our windows.
That’s the power of film — and a really good blockbuster.
Universal Studios re-released the film on the big screen in 3-D in April of 2013. I was there for the late Thursday night opening. Twenty years later, it was still flawless. I was immersed back into that world. The 3-D was fine, but the dinosaurs still stole the show. I spoke about it the next morning on local TV, giving it five out of five stars.
Watch the kitchen scene:
In preparation for “Jurassic World” opening this week, I spent some time online reading stories and comments about the 1993 film and what people thought of it.
It appears that loving “Jurassic Park,” especially when comparing it to other Spielberg films, is subjective.
Like all works of art, everyone takes something away from each film and brings individual life experience along the way. That’s why some may love a film, while others hate it.
Three of my favorite films were introduced to me at a young age: “Dark Crystal,” “Jurassic Park” and “Hook.” I have a deep connection to these films because they are part of my cinematic knowledge and framework.
While these movies can be frightening to children, they speak directly to them.
The awe and wonder experienced in “Jurassic Park” brings two kids along for the ride, which turns terrifying and treacherous. “Hook” is about a boy that never grows up and “Dark Crystal” follows a young boy who must bravely help save the world after his elder passes on.
These stories all connected with me and I can recognize that, while they may not speak to others in the same way, to me they are my cinematic foundation.
I'll always be grateful to my dad for taking me to see "Jurassic Park" and giving me my first cinematic memory.
Share your first cinematic memory in the comments. Does it still hold resonance for you today?
Here are some of my favorite moments from the film and some behind-the-scenes videos.
Rehearsing the kitchen scene:
Welcome to Jurassic Park:
Glass of water: