1) Pick a number between 1 and 100 (any more than 100 is just gaudy)
2) Choose that many cinematic moments that are either your all time favorites or ones that could, on any given day, be your all time favorites
3) Post them on your blog (or Tumblr or whatever) with the above header (or one you create for yourself)
4) Send me the link by either posting it here in the comments or getting ahold of me on Twitter ( @fististhoughts )
Here’s an example of what he’s looking for
We all have them in the back of our minds; those moments that make us think “man, this is what the movies are all about”. We relive those moments in our mind’s eye, remembering them and dissecting them and adoring them. They come in all shapes and sizes, from all types of films, and yet they all share one very important aspect; they define why we love the movies. It could be the way that the moment is cut; the way it’s edited together. It could be the way the moment uses it’s actors to evoke a powerful emotion from us. It could be the way that music floods the scene and draws us even closer to the moment in question. It could be a grand climax, a breathtaking introduction or a simple interchange. It could be any and all things, because for every film lover, the list is different.
1. The Swimming Pool Scene in “Let the Right One In”
My favorite scene in my favorite movie. I works so well because we genuinely fear for Oskar, and the mounting sense of dread is broken only by an act of brutal (if understated) violence. One of my horror film books described this as one of the only child-killing scenes that had people cheering and laughing at film festivals. And it is certainly understandable, despite the youth of the antagonists, to dub their fate a case of just desserts.
2. Transformation- “An American Werewolf in London”
Though “An American Werewolf in London” is a horror classic with many discussion-worthy scens, David’s lycanthropy transformation scene is a article of sheer brilliance which has never been topped by CGI efforts. A remake of “American Werewolf…?” Please! John Landis got it right the first time, bee-otches!”
3. Theater Scene- “Breaking the Waves”
A surprisingly heartwarming scene in an otherwise unrelentingly bleak film. Bess, an innocent young woman (Emily Watson) goes to see a movie with her new husband. Unaccustomed to seeing films, she is spellbound, and her husband Jan simply watches her watch the movie with a look of unmitigated joy and wonder on her face. Be warned, though, that the film is unrelentingly sad from there. Lars Von Trier is intent on crushing your soul, and this is his most compelling work.
4. Adolescent Goof-Offs- “Hellion”
Kids just being kids in an otherwise dark movie. Two brothers eat whipped cream sandwiches and jump on the furniture to heavy metal music while their dad’s out. It’d essentially harmless (unlike so much of the adolescent’s behavior in this movie,) and, like the rest of the film, it feels real and unscripted. A moment of brief joy between two troubled kids.
5. Morrell shows his true self- “A Room for Romeo Brass”
This scene is so important because it reveals a character who is initially presented as a harmlessly dopey simpleton to be a much darker force altogether. Shane Meadows is a wonderful character builder, and it shows here. I won’t tell you anything else, only that the film is alternately quirky, rib-tickling, and sad. Watch it.
6. Pop’s Hardscrabble Childhood- “Nebraska”
A troubled family enter their alcoholic patriarch’s dilapidated childhood home, and he proceeds to recall his rough and abusive upbringing to his grown children. Great scene, has so much unspoken pain and hurt. Bruce Dern does good.
7. Hanna’s Dance – “Set Me Free”
A naïve adolescent breaks into a joyful impromptu dance in the schoolyard and makes us fall in love with her innocent character even more. Innit she the cutest?
8. Nurse Mary-James Face-off- “The Living and the Dead
When a mentally retarded young man locks his ill mother in their ancestral home and begins to decompensate mentally, you know you’re in for a disturbingly unique time. In this particular scene, the unstable James races against time to lock out the middle-aged nurse, because he wants to look after Mummy, damn it. The sequence, accompanied by thudding, unsettling music, is tense and effective. The most disturbing thing about this character is his idiotic earnesty. The kid’s final babyish utterance of “Bye-Bye!” as the nurse drives away to get help is both strangely humorous and unsettling.
9. First 5 Minutes- “Blue Ruin”
Macon Blair conveys so much with so little dialogue. The introductory sequence up until the scene featuring one of cinema’s only kind and helpful law enforcement officers is technical brilliance, and the film itself is a must-watch.
10. Cross-Dressing De Niro- “Stardust”
I can imagine that Robert De Niro almost had as much fun filming this scene as I had watching it. Bad-ass fantasy buccaneer Shakespeare has a secret pastime- dancing in drag to the can-can in his quarters. Riotous, but also kind of touching how his crew accepts him unconditionally.
11. “At Last I See the Light”- “Tangled”
Certainly one of the most rapturously beautiful visual sequences in an animated movie. Great song too.
12. Derek and Lamont Folding Laundry in Prison- “American History X”
A crucial turning point for Norton’s character. Lamont is a cheeky fellow, and his good humor proves infectious for his extremely racist fellow prisoner. Another moment of fun in an otherwise bleak movie.
13. Bathtub Nightmare- “Paperhouse”
The horror is in it’s minimalism. A little girl has a unnerving dream about her alcoholic dad after drifting off in a hot bath. Uncanny rather than outright frightening, but that’s the whole point.
14. Kung-Fu Priest- “Dead Alive”
I love this movie. It’s so ludicrously campy, but fun, and, in my opinion, reminiscent of the times when Peter Jackson made movies for his own enjoyment rather than for a bonus to his already massive paycheck. A highlight is the kung-fu fighting, zombie killing, downright bad-ass priest. “Stand back boy! This calls for divine intervention!” Priceless.
15. Last Scene- “Billy Elliot”
One of most beautiful endings in cinematic history. The happy tear rolling down Gary Lewis’ cheek as he watches his son live out his dream says more than words ever could.
16. “Walkin’ on Sunshine” Rockwell Dance- “Moon”
This is a dark movie, but the scene pictured makes me laugh. Gives learning to live with yourself a whole new meaning, don’t it?