Saturday, 31 December 2011

Movie Moments of The Year - 2011 in Review (Part 2)

Stealing the ideas of hundreds of bloggers before me, here's my list of movie moments from this year that will stick with me:

2011 movies

  • The beautiful beach scenes in Beauty Day.
  • The image of the still born baby from the documentary Wiebo's War - truly gut wrenching.
  • The closeup shot of the baby looking straight into the camera in The Tree Of Life. The perfect representation of a new parent gazing at their child.
  • Any of the moments of the boys playing together in the fields and around town in The Tree Of Life.
  • The on screen chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau. They made it so easy to believe in love at first meeting.
  • Alison Pill's playful turn as Zelda Fitzgerald in Midnight In Paris.

  • Marion Cotillard's smoldering turn in Midnight In Paris.
  • Each and every one of the brilliantly choreographer sustained (and very brutal) fight scenes in The Raid.
  • The bookends of The Artist - the wonderful opening with the premiere of George Valentin's latest film (including his appearance on stage thanking the crowd afterwards) and the giddy joy of the closing moments.
  • The farewell from the kindly old folks in Hirokazu's Kore-eda's I Wish. Certainly one of the sweetest moments of the year.
  • The perverted fun of Astron 6's Father's Day.
  • The slow zoom into darkness in the Indie horror Absentia.
  • Emma Stone being Emma Stone in Crazy Stupid Love (or at least what I like to believe Emma Stone is really like).

  • The moments in Super 8 when The Boy (sitting next to me on the couch) made exclamations out loud.
  • The mother of the kids who were traumatized by a young man's robbery ("I'll kill you") gives the robber a hug several years later when he is out of jail in The Interrupters.
  • Any time Beaker is on screen in The Muppets. And pretty much any reference to the old Muppet Show.

And my very favourite moment of the year which has made me tear up twice and will no doubt do it again when I see the film for a third time in a few weeks:

  • The first meeting between Laurent and Vero (the two Down's Syndrome kids) in Cafe De Flore.

Older movies

  • Peter Ustinov and Charles Laughton sharing the screen in Spartacus. Just delightful.
  • The miles away view of a distant figure popping out of the horizon's wavy texture in Lawrence Of Arabia. A mirage? Nope. In 70 mm, you could see it from its very first flicker.
  • The end of The Discarnates (directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi who also did the great House) which was one big eyes widening moment.
  • The caves of glinting sparkles on rocks in Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives which looked like stars in the sky. It could very well have been a complete open view of the night sky up until the flashlight's beam changes direction and shows that it is indeed the wall of a cave.
  • The cinematography of Five Easy Pieces. I did not expect that level of gorgeousness in the film.
  • The use of red, blue, green and yellow in Wild Grass. Truly marvelous.

  • The dueling Michael Caines in The Trip.
  • The single shot chase through a crowded football stadium in The Secret In Their Eyes.
  • The single shot escape driving backwards and crashing in Let Me In.
  • The locusts, the train, the "magic hour" and every other beautiful image in Days Of Heaven.
  • Werner Herzog in My Best Fiend talking about the natives' reactions to Klaus Kinski (I'm paraphrasing the line): "They were going to kill him for me, but I said 'No, I still have shooting to do...'".
  • The punch straight into the camera in Caliber 9.
  • The gazillion mirrors in World On A Wire.
  • How gorgeous Cybill Shepherd was in The Last Picture Show.
  • The classroom scene in Kes.

  • Seeing Black Narcissus on the big screen. Loved it already, but this was revelatory.
  • The final very physical fight scene in Allan King's documentary A Married Couple.
  • The anger I felt watching The Pat Tillman Story and Waiting For Superman.
  • Dean's triumphant rendition of "More Than A Feeling" in FUBAR II.
  • The opening single shot in the original 1932 version of Scarface.
  • The appearance of the  "ghost" in Fine Totally Fine.
  • All the women of Alan Zweig's Lovable who talk about being single at their stage of life.
  • The hot coffee burns on the woman who sued MacDonalds for their coffee being too hot in (wait for it) Hot Coffee.
  • Charlie Chaplin rapidly counting money in Monsieur Verdoux.
  • Watching Chaplin's The Great Dictator and then realizing it was the inspiration for several scenes from the Looney Tune "Rabbit of Seville".

  • The exhausting non-stop pace of Zazie Dans Le Metro.
  • The huge burning silver shoe in Passion Of Darkly Noon.
  • The absolute charm of Radio Days. I can't wait to watch it with my Dad.
  • The subtle interracial relationships in Shadows (my first Cassavetes).
  • The last 30 minutes of 13 Assassins. The lead up was great, but the battle was fantastic.
  • The music in The Music Room.
  • The switching between intimidators in Intimidation.
  • The highly enjoyable insanity of the end of Phantom Of The Paradise combined with the surprisingly solid music.
  • The colours of Amer.

  • Leningrad Cowboys Go America managing to make me like "Born To Be Wild".
  • The car chase in The Seven-Ups.
  • Fellini's "Toby Dammit" segment in Spirits Of The Dead, in particular the airport scene with the cutout images of old presidents and movie stars.

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