Tag Archives: Best Moments in Film History

The Best Moments in Film: A family drowns at a beach in Under the Skin

Under The Skin

I came out of the theater in a mix of frustration and puzzlement back in the summer of 2014. Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin was, and still is, many moons later, a difficult film to embrace. Every shot seemed to stretch out into infinity, relentlessly demanding that we observe, analyze and break apart every moment and every bit of dialogue. For every thrilling bit of film reel that was full of mystery and suspense, there were equally frustrating shots that seemed void of substance.

Continue reading The Best Moments in Film: A family drowns at a beach in Under the Skin

The Best Moments in Film: Josh and MacMillan play the big piano at FAO Schwarz

The Big Piano at FAO Schwarz

More than a silly comedy about a child suddenly coming to grasps with the implications of being an adult overnight, Penny Marshall’s Big is more about how adults tend to forget how to let loose, have fun and enjoy life’s little gifts.

Continue reading The Best Moments in Film: Josh and MacMillan play the big piano at FAO Schwarz

The Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (part two): Strangers on a Train (1951)

Strangers on a Train

The master of suspense made 54 feature films during his very long and celebrated career. Having only seen a couple of his films before I started this challenge, it is time for the author of this blog to become a lot more familiar with Mr. Hitchcock. The minimum goal will be to watch and review at least 24 of his films in 2013, though I will try to aim for 30. I will start with the must-watch classics, slowly making my way to the lesser known part of his work.

Continue reading The Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (part two): Strangers on a Train (1951)

The Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (part one): North by Northwest

Hitchcock Marathon 1

The master of suspense made 54 feature films during his very long and celebrated career. Having only seen a couple of his films before I started this challenge, it is time for the author of this blog to become a lot more familiar with Mr. Hitchcock. The minimum goal will be to watch and review at least 24 of his films in 2013, though I will try to aim for 30. I will start with the must-watch classics, slowly making my way to the lesser known part of his work.

Continue reading The Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (part one): North by Northwest

The Best moments in film history: John Doe in “Se7en”

May contain some SPOILERS !!

For most of its running time, Se7en is a non-remarkable crime drama starring a young Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow.

It is only when a great actor by the name of Kevin Spacey comes into the picture, quite dramatically I might add, that Se7en is taken to a level of thrill and excitement that did not seem possible for most of the film.

Spacey plays a psychopath named John Doe who believes he is to set an example about the evils of society by making his severely flawed victims suffer their worst nightmare before they finally die at his hands. He chooses his victims carefully, based on the seven deadly sins, each one being guilty for committing one of them.

What is remarkable about Spacey’s John Doe is not what he has done, but the convincing way in which he portrays a man that is void of any moral compass, of feeling any sort of remorse, who is not able to feel bad for any of his victims because he feels they are not worthy of clemency. At first, John Doe surrenders while covered in blood in the police station. The detectives don’t understand why he would, knowing by then that his plan was not yet complete. John had killed only 5 of his victims, 2 were still missing. Somerset, who is the more inquisitive of the two detectives in charge, challenges this notion, always suspicious that there is certainly more to come. As the audience, we relate to Somerset as we automatically think that a serial killer as grotesque and merciless as John Doe would never give up when he is so close to completing his so-called “masterpiece”.

By the end of the movie we know that his plan was indeed complete and that he left it to the inexperienced and anger-prone detective Mills (Brad Pitt) to have the power in his hands to make it possible. The cleverness of his plan is shocking and we, as the audience, are probably as surprised as the characters in the movie.

At the end, we are secretly in awe of Spacey’s Doe for the precision of his plan. His serial killer is the incarnation of psychopathic behavior. He welcomes death, in fact, he looks forward to it, knowing that once he passes he will probably be immortalized by the media. What is unsettling about Spacey’ performance is that we believe in what he believes. He is so convincing in what he says that we cannot argue against it. We are lost in Spacey’s eyes, devoid of emotion or fear. His voice is malignant yet thrilling, revealing in hints and pieces that we are speaking to someone who cannot be persuaded or coerced.

Spacey’s performance is all the more thrilling and relevant because the film desperately needed it. What the picture lacked for most of its running time, Spacey’s Doe brought it to the fore and exceeded our expectations, delivering a surprising knockout punch to the story.

Spacey’s brief performance in Se7en elevated the film and he was the deserving recipient of several awards for his extremely electrifying portrayal (surprisingly overlooked by the Oscars). His John Doe, in my opinion, rivals even that of Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Lecter anyday.

Niels

The Best Moments in Film History

With today’s post I start yet another series in this blog of mine. My attempt will be to talk about, as briefly and concisely as I can, about what I consider to be the most memorable moments in the history of film. This new series will have its own sub-category under the umbrella of FILM (please refer to the categories tab).

In this series I will be focusing on specific scenes or sequences that left the biggest impression on me. Some will be violent, others will be surprising, a few will be charming, and there will be some that are highly emotional. Some will be extremely famous phrases or scenes that are known by most of the populace, but I am certain some will be a little more obscure. There are many great films that do not have one particular moment that sticks out and, for that reason, I will stay away from trying to come up with one.

For now, I will give you a preview of my favorite moments in film by revealing the first 50 I could come up with off the top of my head. I expect to be touching upon these over the next few months, probably covering anywhere from 1 to 3 moments per post.

If you haven’t seen some of these films, I suggest you thread carefully for there may be some SPOILERS.

1. Se7en – John Doe’s reveals the last piece of his murder series

2. Apocalypse Now – Colonel Kurtz talks about horror

3. The Godfather – Michael Corleone murders the drug lord and the chief of police

4. Taxi Driver – Travis and the mirror

5. Ikiru – Mr. Watanabe sings while sitting on a swing

6. Braveheart – William Wallace calls for “freedom!” just before he is executed

7. Alexander – The Battle of Hydaspes

8. The Great Dictator – Chaplin breaks the silence to call for world peace

9. City Lights – The girl recognizes the Tramp

10. The Shining – “Heeeere’s Johnny !”

11. Schindler’s List – The Girl in the Red Dress

12. Milk – Dan White goes on a killing spree

13. Unforgiven – William Munny steps in the whorehouse to seek for revenge

14. The Departed – The cellphone rings

15. Alien – The birth of a monster

16. Children of Men – War pauses as a baby cries

 

17. Little Miss Sunshine – The family dances

18. Lost in Translation – Bob Harris whispers in Charlotte’s ear

19. The Shawshank Redemption – The Hole in the Wall

20. Toy Story – To Infinity and Beyond !

21. Amelie – He is still standing by your door

22. Groundhog Day – Phil tries not to fall asleep

23. Silence of the Lambs – Dr. Lecter’s first appearance

24. Pulp Fiction – Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace dance to a Chuck Berry tune

25. Big Fish – A dying father is laid to rest at the sea

26. Singing in the Rain – Gene Kelly sings in the rain

27. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – “Luke, I am your father”

28. Saving Private Ryan – D-day landing

29. Battleship Potempkin – The Odessa steps

30. Life is Beautiful – The allied tank

31. The Sixth Sense – “I see dead people”

32. 2001: Space Odissey: HAL-9000

33. Goodfellas – “You think Im funny?”

34. The Godfather II – The Kiss of Death

35. A Streetcar Named Desire – “Stella!”

36. Network – “Im mad as hell!”

37. Big – The giant piano at F.A.O Schwarz

38. Citizen Kane – Rosebud

39. The Wrestler – The final fight

40. The Godfather III – Michael’s mute scream on the steps of the Opera House

41. Full Metal Jacket – Suicide at the barracks

42. Patton – The speech

43. Inception – The zero-gravity fight

44. Beauty and The Beast – The dance

45. Aladdin – “A Whole New World”

46. The Matrix – Dodging bullets

47. Up – The opening sequence

48. M – Citizen’s arrest

49. Inglorious Basterds – Colonel Landa interrogates a French dairy farmer

50. Capote – Truman weeps before Perry is hanged

Niels