Unforgettable, or The Tropes of my Mind's Eye
255 7.7 7.51. Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
"You have never seen a film like this before. You may not enjoy it but you will not forget it." :: Roger Ebert
Certainly the case for me. Often bewildering, always strange, seemingly pointless yet uniquely endearing--many of these haunting scenes still linger in my mind.
Most Memorable Scene: The end, with Kalle tossing his unsold Crucifix figures onto a garbage pile--and slowly, the camera pans to the left...
764 7.5 7.22. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Filled with big ideas, Kaufman gives us a glimpse of the world through the eyes of an obsessive theater director, who sees the world filled with extras--all of whom have their own stories worthy of being heard. But what keeps it in my mind is how Caden (Hoffman) fits into his own story. It's as if he has forgotten himself while he inhabits this directoral dream-world, more concerned with the extras of his life while his body slowly decays; his loves fading into memory or flowing into someone else.
Most Memorable Scene: Sammy re-enacts Caden's attempted suicide...
138 7.3 7.43. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
I have never seen a film that so wonderfully sums up the struggle everyone has with this life--of wanting to be free yet confining yourself to the shackles of society for the sake of comfort and entertainment. Whether you pay attention to it or not, humans around the world are struggling and succeeding. What life unfolds for you is the life you wish to partake in.
Most Memorable Scene: Wally's taxi ride home...
495 7.3 74. Bronson (2008)
When anger rises in humans, we typically say it's a bad thing--yet show me a person with no anger and I will prove god exists. This film is a reminder of the power of anger and violence and their uses, when all other means of accomplishing goals are taken away. Sometimes you must unchain the Bronson within and take it back.
Most Memorable Scene: The final solitary confinement scene...
142 7.9 7.75. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
It is comforting to know that even in this world that we know so well, there is still so much we don't know and so much to be in awe of. Herzog reminds us of the connection we have to all of it--and whether it matters or not that we are a way for the cosmos to know itself, there is great power in that idea and perhaps enough to save humanity and our Earth.
Most Memorable Scene: The long tunnel that leads to the precise coordinates of the south pole, and the frozen sturgeon that lies there, enshrined...
916 8.5 8.16. Stalker (1979)
This is a mesmerizing film, following a three men on a journey to find the physical manifestation of their greatest desire. The environments are always dilapidated and ruinous, with nature slowly crawling up through the cracks to reclaim its rightful place as dominator of man. What do you truly desire, and are you sure it is your desire and not someone else's? And what would you give up for it?
Most Memorable Scene: The slow pan across shallow waters, and the succession of past eras now succumbing to algae and rust just beneath the surface...
1292 7.5 7.37. Eraserhead (1977)
David Lynch's most personal nightmare put to film, and in my opinion, it remains his most effective movie to date. This bleak, black and white horror of a father's first child born deformed and alien surely haunts others and myself just as much as it haunted Lynch.
Most Memorable Scene: The Man in the Planet pulling levers with such madness...
313 6.8 7.28. JCVD (2008)
As I grow older, I wonder about my impact on the people around me, about the mistakes and accomplishments I've made. I wonder what good they do, if any. I doubt my own abilities when I see so many others with such great talent. I think about my relationships and how I've hurt and been hurt in the name of love. So when Jean Claude Van Damme gives his soliloquy near the end of this movie and talks about those very things, I knew I'd never forget it.
Most Memorable Scene: Jean's soliloquy to the camera as he is slowly elevated into the rafters...
15 7.1 79. Transcendent Man (2009)
Ray Kurzweil is possibly the most optimistic man on the planet, and yet in his opening monologue, he reveals how haunted he is by his father's premature death. Despite this, he shrugs it off and returns his focus back onto avoiding death altogether. This puts into perspective, for me, the very real global problems that confront our civilization in today's world, and how insurmountable those all seem--however, Kurzweil's bright outlook on the exponential growth of technology gives me hope in my darkest hours. While technology has the potential to cause just as many problems as it solves, I would say that it is the very nature of humanity--that humans, for as long as we have existed, have been a triumphant force for both good and evil. The two are inseparable.
Most Memorable Scene: Kurzweil's opening monologue...
1137 6.9 6.510. Antichrist (2009)
A man and a woman lose their child and go into a depression thinking about the meaninglessness of it. Instead of seeking help, they try to help each other get through it alone in their cabin in the woods. The nihilism is unbearable, however, and the bizarre images von Trier unearths are ethereal and disturbing. Is there a right way to grieve? Can two lovers heal each other or will their own shortcomings devour the other?
Most Memorable Scene: A flower rests in a vase on a shelf, and the camera slowly zooms in on the cut of its stem...
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