A Fistful of 13 Cinematic Moments

A week or so ago I read an awesome post by A Fistful of Films about ten cinematic moments that instilled what movies are all about to him. This was incredibly well-times because just recently I have been thinking about the idea that movies make or break depending on how good their “moments” are. And, that films depend on one awe-inspiring “moment.” It’s a concept I am going to explore further very soon with a post I’m working on about James Stewart.

And then I saw he’d decided to make it into a blogathon, so how could I not take part? Like any good blogathon, there are some rules.

1) Pick a number between 1 and 100.
2) Choose 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 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).

The most important thing to keep in mind is what constitutes a cinematic moment from A Fistful of Films’ original post:

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. Or, 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. Or, it could be any and all things, because for every film lover, the list is different.

So here are mine, the ones I could come up with anyway. I’m sure I missed some obvious ones. I didn’t want to do a really small number of films, but I didn’t want to do too many, so I just wrote them down as they came to me and I will let the cinematic moment speak for itself.

1. Thelma and Louise (1991) when Thelma and Louise drive off into the Grand Canyon and the end frame is the pair suspended in mid air, with the film ending on the pair neither alive nor dead.

2. City of God (2002) and the scene in which Benny dies to the song Kung Fu Fighting.

3. 12 Years a Slave (2013) in which the viewer has no choice but to watch Soloman stuggle to tiptoe on the ground whilst being hanged for 3 excruciating minutes, and the majority of this time is one long cut.

4. Mulholland Drive (2001) and the moment Naomi Watts’ character kills it at an audition.

5. Goodfellas (1990) when Tommy DeVito kicks off at being told he’s funny, and the audience is kept on edge.

6. The Sound of Music (1965) Those mountains, the song and that voice.

7. Amores Perros (2000) and that car crash which is edited to an inch of perfection.

8. The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Dorothy stepping out into wondrous Technicolour and realising she’s not in Kansas anymore. What a magic moment.

9. Taxi Driver (1976) when Travis is talkin’ to someone, and is psycho as hell.

10. Double Indemnity (1944) when a chance occurrence finds two people with the same murderous intentions meet.

11. Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928) and perhaps the most pioneering comedic moment in film history.

12. Gone With The Wind (1939) and this phenomenal ending.

13. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) with the most gripping text on screen ever.

So this is what I’ve managed to scrape together! Can you think of any that I’ve missed?

Want MORE?

My First Time Going to the Cinema Alone and how it made me a better person

Almost Ginger’s Guide to Cinema Etiquette

The Five Senses of Cinema Blogathon

Films that will make you want to travel

My Favourite Road Trip Movies (so far!)

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Here is my 'fistful of cinematic moments' that encapsulate why I love cinema | almostginger.com

Rebecca

I'm the human and hair behind Almost Ginger. I'm a cinephile travel obsessive vegetarian currently residing in Manchester.

0 thoughts on “A Fistful of 13 Cinematic Moments

  • April 2, 2015 at 8:56 am
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    The opening credits of Star Wars was certainly a cinematic moment – the style, the music, it tells the viewer that something fantastic is going to happen. I feel excited when I see something similar to it.

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    • April 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm
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      Oh definitely, that opening sequence is just perfect, you’re in no doubt that what you’re about to see is going to be epic, which probably would have been even more epic at the time it was made when ‘blockbusters’ were in their infancy. You’re right, exciting is exactly the word here!

      Reply
  • April 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm
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    Thank you so much for playing along! There are some great picks here. I love that you went with the opening credits to Star Wars…that’s such an inspired cinematic moment, but such an iconic moment in itself! That 12 Years a Slave scene…that Amores Perros scene…YES!

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    • April 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm
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      Yeah, I went with a few more ‘classic’ moments than I would have liked but I think I was having a bit of a mind blank to the more recent films I’ve seen. But I love Amores Perros and I couldn’t have not mentioned that scene!

      Reply
  • April 6, 2015 at 4:30 pm
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    Lots of great picks, here. Can’t believe I didn’t think of using the opening credits from Star Wars. Love that call. And that Buster Keaton moment is about as iconic as it gets.

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    • April 7, 2015 at 7:24 am
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      Everyone seems to be having a “I can’t believe I forgot Star Wars!” moment when they read this, but I’m reading everyone else’s and wishing I’d put them on my list!

      Reply
  • April 6, 2015 at 4:44 pm
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    Love that Mulholland Dr. scene you included. One of the reasons Watts performance there is my fav of all time

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    • April 7, 2015 at 7:25 am
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      Oh it’s a GREAT scene isn’t it, funnily enough I have only watched Mulholland Drive once about 6/7 years ago but that scene still stuck in my mind.

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    • April 7, 2015 at 7:26 am
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      Haha everyone agrees with Star Wars! 🙂 It definitely has a universality to it!

      Reply
  • April 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm
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    Oh yes, the Goodfellas scene is an awesome scene, closely followed the “now, go home and get your fucking shine box” .

    The Wizard of Oz scene is great, have you seen the Franco film…er…Oz The Great and the Powerful, they homage that scene pretty well I thought.

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    • April 7, 2015 at 7:27 am
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      Ah really? I’ve not seen the new film but I’ll have to check it out!

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  • April 6, 2015 at 7:56 pm
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    Terrific collection. I’m an classic movie fan so the GWTW, Sound of Music, Oz and Double Indemnity ones are my favs.

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    • April 7, 2015 at 7:29 am
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      Yeah I chose more classic films than modern ones but I guess that’s why they’re classic! Double Indemnity was a bit of an odd choice but I LOVE their relationship, I love especially in Noirs how these kind of relationships were created during sensorship.

      Reply
  • April 6, 2015 at 11:51 pm
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    so many good ones here, but I’m particularly struck by 12 years a slave. I really didn’t like that movie, thought it totally overrated, but you’re right about that moment – excrutiating on every level.

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    • April 7, 2015 at 7:30 am
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      Yeah I think that Steve McQueen likes long cuts to make the audience uncomfortable, he does it also in Shame I think but it worked well in this movie too.

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  • April 13, 2015 at 5:57 pm
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    Well, we have a few more things in common. Wonderful ’13’, Rebecca. Great to meet up with somebody who’d have GOODFELLAS and THE SOUND OF MUSIC in a set like this (I’m the only one who’s a TSOM in our household). Get’s lonely sometime. 😉

    Great to see another from MULHOLLAND DRIVE here, too…I’ve one in my ’13’ cinematic moments post. Wonderful post. Thanks for this.

    Reply

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