Magic On The Idiot Box
Movies are dreams that we experience collectively. With incredible resources at its disposal, Hollywood is one of the most powerful industries in the world, affecting the collective psyche in ways that are ineffable and inevitable. Some of it is good (Schindler’s List, The Lion King), some of it is bad (Transformers, The Lone Ranger) and some unbelievably ugly (Keeping up With the Kardashians.) Below are few magic movie/TV moments which stay with the viewer long after the curtains are closed, warming our cynical hearts. You know something special has happened when the screen melts away and fiction and reality blur into each other for a timeless moment.
The list deliberately does not include directors and movies that are widely celebrated for their visual style (Guillermo Del Toro, Tarsem Singh etc). It is entirely subjective, based on very many hours of procrastinating and avid TV watching. Also, be warned, a fair bit of pretentious, amateur film babble follows!
Wicker Park- the Corridor scene
Directed by Paul McGuigan, Wicker Park (2005) is a psychological drama/romantic mystery that requires major suspension of disbelief on the viewer’s part, especially if the said viewer is an avid participant in the social networking/obsessive virtual sharing of information crowd. Still, the plot is intriguing and the performances are wonderful (especially Rose Byrne.) The film boasts one scene of unadulterated cinematographical brilliance- the corridor scene. Lasting a mere 22 seconds, the shot just involves Matthew (Hartnett) walking down a lonely hotel corridor, lit with ethereal red lamps artfully reflected in mirrors, towards a frosted door behind which, unknown to him, stands the girl he has been obsessively searching for the last few years. Matthew’s footsteps synchronised with Cliff Martinez’s haunting score, the brief scene captures in an amazingly understated way the tragedy of an inexplicably lost love.
SHERLOCK S02E01 A SCANDAL IN BELGRAVIA- THE END REVEAL
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s brainchild Sherlock (2010) is unequivocally the best modern adaptation of a literary work I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. A Scandal in Belgravia tackles the almost mythical figure of The Woman-Irene Adler-and her complex relationship with everyone’s high-functioning sociopathic detective. Despite being a lesson in Hideous Sexual Politics 101, I can’t deny that the episode is breathtakingly beautiful. The performances, the costumes, the camera and the music combine to create an achingly beautiful vista. The crowning moment comes towards the end when Cumberbatch’s Holmes brings down Pulver’s Adler in his devastating Sherlockian manner while Price and Arnold’s music makes love to the scene. A video is worth a thousand gushy words so here’s the link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8dpr1G8dS4&list=PL7C815BD4BF488D0C. A close second is the Adler-Holmes Deduction Duet scene.
(P.S. McGuigan directed this as well. Coincidence? I think not!)
THE FOUNTAIN- THE MARKINGS MAKE SENSE
Darren Aronofsky’s movie The Fountain (2006) is not only a profound exploration of love and mortality, it is also breathtakingly beautiful. The scene I refer to is the point where the three parallel narratives of the movie blend into a single epiphany, accompanied by Clint Mansell’s divine music. Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of grief at his wife’s death in the movie is a moment of raw intimacy with the camera, the moment that reminds you of just how much power a story has over us.
What are your favourite movie moments? Share with us in the Comments section!