Thursday, April 8, 2010

my favorite film scenes

Recently, @fayedilla mentioned that, during an interview, she was asked what her favorite film scenes were. Given that I'm a web developer by trade, if I'm ever asked that question, I doubt my answer would have quite so much riding on it as her's did, yet I couldn't help but ponder what my response would be....

This list is a first attempt, is utterly incomplete, and is in no particular order:

Assault on the Third Castle Scene (Ran, 1985, Akira Kurosawa).

The emotional impact of the stunning and horrifying images are heightened, not dampened, by the suppression of their corresponding sound effects. The sinister score and the detached cinematography masterfully illuminate the frank cynicism that pervades this classic.

Walking on Water Scene (Being There, 1979, Hal Ashby).

Without this final scene, we would still have a great film. Yet both the ambiguity and the caprice of Peter Seller's character suddenly walking on water elevated this film beyond mere social commentary into a philosophical category all it's own.

Club Silencio Scene (Mulholland Drive, 2001, David Lynch).

Words can not communicate the terrifying weirdness of this scene. I'll simply say that watching this scene for the first time in the theaters, I discovered filmmaking. Powerful, terrifying, transformative filmmaking. Congrats to David on catching this big fish.

The Realities of Growing Up Scene (Up, 2009, Pete Doctor).

Leave it to a kid's film to devastatingly encapsulate our collective failure to live up to our dreams. If you've seen Up, you know exactly which scene I'm talking about. If you've never seen it, then I pity you.

Interrogation on the LaPadite Dairy Farm Scene (Inglorious Basterds, 2009, Quentin Tarantino).

If you ever had any doubt that Quentin Tarantino is the MASTER of dialog, then look no further than this opening scene. The polite banter, the bigoted sophistry, the masterful building of tension - not since Billy Wilder has America had such a gifted writer of dialog.

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