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?