Thursday, March 3, 2011

And Scene

Alas, The Oscars have come and gone. Now is our time to reflect. I won't even get into the poor choice of hosts (apparently Franco CAN'T do it all) or completely mundane acceptance speeches. Anyone else notice the resemblance between Kirk Douglas and Mason Verger in HANNIBAL? I will say congratulations to Mr. Firth, it was well deserved. In my own reflection, I began to wonder how the Academy chooses which scenes to show during the nominations. This then got me thinking about iconic scenes in film and my own personal favorites.

As a kid, some scenes that really stuck with me were the Prom scene in CARRIE, the scene with all the heads on the wall in RETURN TO OZ, and the bathroom scene with Joker & Pyle in FULL METAL JACKET (Advice of The Day: Probably shouldn't let your child watch FULL METAL JACKET before bed...or at all). These scenes have stayed with me forever and have become more vivid than some of my own memories. Most of us remember the first time we saw the shower scene in PSYCHO more than our first day of school. We remember the mirror scene in TAXI DRIVER better than our tenth birthday.

Film has always been a huge part of my life, even before I was aware of it. I'd like to share some of my favorite scenes. Here goes:

THE GOONIES- pirate ship scene
How many of us went hunting for buried treasure after seeing THE GOONIES? THE GOONIES is probably responsible for my infatuation with pirates, skulls, and Brolin. Just think about the first time you watched this film and remember the first time you laid eyes on the pirate ship. You may have been so wrapped up in the story that you forgot what they were searching for. Then out of nowhere, the biggest most glorious ship ever! The cast wasn't even allowed to see the ship until they filmed the scene so their reactions were all genuine. As an adult, that scene still makes me smile.
Goonies never say die.

I'm obsessed with spoilers; I generally do not like surprises. However, when BASTERDS was on the verge of release, I restrained myself. I waited patiently like a child on Christmas for this film. When I finally saw it, my mind was fucking blown! QT went and did it again; he's a true master of film! My favorite scene is the montage with Shosanna. From the beginning when she's staring out the window to the part where she prepares to meet the Nazis is just brilliant. I can't think of a more fitting song than Bowie's "Cat People." I've seen BASTERDS dozens of times since and I still get chills from that scene.

ALMOST FAMOUS- Penny Lane's dance
This film touched the hearts of anyone who considers themselves a music fan including myself. I first watched ALMOST FAMOUS in a hotel room while traveling which was very fitting. It's hard to put into words how I feel about this scene without crying. Watch it and make your own assumptions.

This film is definitely in my Top 10 Favorites list. It's the first film we really got to see a different side of Bill Murray. For several decades we knew him as a comic genius (like in CADDYSHACK the greatest film of all time). Then suddenly we see him as this forlorn shell of a man in the midst of a midlife crisis. We are left to wonder: Did we ever really know Murray? The scene in which he sings Elvis Costello's "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding" just had me in tears. That was the moment I fell in love with Bill Murray all over again. The only thing that could rival it is the final scene; it's the best use of a Jesus & Mary Chain song.

AMADEUS- party scene
This was one of my favorite childhood films. I loved the music, costumes, and dialogue. And my mother loved it because it kept me occupied for almost three hours. It was really hard for me as a kid to comprehend the plot but I got the jist that Mozart was a little crazy. Looking back now, this is a stunning scene. It shows Mozart's raw talent as well as his absurdity and lack of constraint. The masks are also kind of scary.

Honorable Mention
OLD BOY- octopus scene
This is a hard one to sit through. It gives squeamish a new meaning.

It's intersting how most of my favorite scenes include music. It just goes to show that the montage is a very powerful thing. What are your favorite scenes?


  1. good topic! there are so many (in no order):

    top five as a kid:
    1. Wesley and Inigo's sword fight on the Cliffs of Insanity
    2. The museum sequence in Batman
    3. Conan the Librarian
    4. Marty and Doc visit the future in II
    5. Flying the spaceship in Flight of the Navigator

    top five as an adult:
    1. Tyler Durden puts a gun to the store clerk's head and changes his life
    3. Normandy beach-SPR
    4. Schwarzenegger defends John Connor, starting at the mall, from the T1000
    5. Edward Scissorhands making the sculptures

  2. 6. Daniel Plainview's final scene in TWBB
    7. Joe Pesci- every scene in Casino
    8. The Anchorman news team street fight
    9. Sean Penn and Al Pacino on the boat-Carlito's Way
    10. The intro to Pee Wee's Big Adventure
    11. Frog rainstorm