Well over a year ago, I wrote a post called 100 Things I Love About Films on my old blog, which I later reposted here at A Swede Talks Movies. This is the sequel, adding 50 more things to the original 100. I’ve tried to avoid repeating movies and actors I mentioned in that first post, though a few have slipped through anyhow.
Credit for the original concept goes to Beau Kaelin. Thanks also to gentleman and scholar Travis McClain for bringing the idea to my attention. The original description:
Rather than posting your 100 favorite films (which has been done and overdone), you simply post your favorite things about movies. I dig the concept, because instead of obsessing over whether the films you put on a list are “objectively good enough” to put on said list, you simply jot down 100 moments/lines/visuals that have made a lasting impression on you or sneak their way into running gags between you and your friends. Just read below and you’ll get the idea.
Why only 50 this time instead of 100? Because… quality over quantity? Yes. Let’s go with that.
1. Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves, the fear and agony on her face raw enough to make me gasp in sympathy.
2. The wonderfully trashy dialogue in Bitch Slap. I love the fact that someone actually put the words “Lube my boob, skank twat” to paper.
3. Natalie Portman‘s joy-stricken face when she phones her mother from the bathroom stall in Black Swan.
4. Michelle Williams‘ dorky dance in Blue Valentine.
5. When actors produce their own films, showing a real desire to have the movies made.
6. The brief cameo by Jason Statham reprising his role from The Transporter at the beginning of Collateral. Crossover stuff of that nature should happen more often.
7. The 20th Century Fox fanfare.
8. Robin Williams capping off his love declaration in The Fisher King with the words “But I still don’t drink coffee”.
9. The shot of the sugar lump in Three Colors: Blue.
10. Watching Casablanca for the first time and finally getting some context for all the well-quoted lines of dialogue. “Round up the usual suspects” put a big smile on my face.
11. Penelope Cruz performing A Call From the Vatican in Nine. I don’t mean to sound crass, but… hubba hubba.
12. The chase sequence through the construction site in the 2006 Casino Royale.
13. The Remains of the Day lunch box in Waiting for Guffman.
14. The whole sequence with the trunk in The Ice Harvest. Great mix of tension and humor.
15. Kat Dennings trying to pronounce Mjölnir in Thor. “What’s Myeh-myeh” indeed.
16. Danny DeVito trying to look scary to John Travolta in Get Shorty.
17. Sven Nykvist‘s gorgeous cinematography in Persona. I’ve never seen black & white look better.
18. Mark Ruffalo‘s “Why the fuck did I just say that?” grimace after stating that he loves lesbians in The Kids Are All Right.
19. Speaking of Ruffalo: The Hulk in The Avengers. Every awesome second of him.
20. When a movie just leaves me completely baffled about whether I like it or not, or whether it even matters. It’s annoying too in a way, but I love how it questions the very idea of why I watch films and what I take away from them. Funny Games would be a recent example of this kind of movie for me.
21. The ending of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Teriffic execution of a sequel hook.
22. Those performances that become so utterly convincing that my brain eventually has to break me out of the trance by going “Uh, Emil, you do know that this is an actor playing a character, right? It’s not a real person.” And then I go “Shut the fuck up, brain.” A recent example: Richard Farnsworth in The Straight Story.
23. Seeing an actor I’ve never heard of before in a film and immediately wanting to find out what else they have been in since they’re so good.
24. The climax of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, a sequence that tops anything else in either of Guy Ritchie‘s Sherlock films.
25. Tippi Hedren waiting outside the schoolhouse in The Birds. Cue me gasping for breath and muttering “Oh shit…”
26. Kirsten Dunst looking stunning in the wedding dress in Melancholia.
27. Hugo reminding me that 3D can indeed be used to great effect. Thank you, Martin Scorsese.
28. Tom Cruise scaling the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Absolutely jaw-dropping.
29. The scene in 50/50 where Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes in for surgery and suddenly realizes that he might never wake up again.
30. Michelle Duncan‘s adorable Scottish accent in Driving Lessons.
31. This exchange in The Fugitive: “I didn’t kill my wife!” “I don’t care!”
32. The opening of Grave of the Fireflies. It’s good on the first watch, but it’s heart-breaking on a rewatch.
33. The lone penguin wandering off towards the mountains and certain death in Werner Herzog‘s Encounters at the End of the World.
34. The dream-like atmosphere of Robert Altman‘s Images. The kind of stuff that makes you realize how inaccurately the term “dream-like” tends to get thrown around.
35. Ellen Page in Juno. And Jennifer Garner. And Jason Bateman. And Allison Janney. And J.K. Simmons. And everyone else.
36. ))<>(( from Me and You and Everyone We Know.
“What business is it of yours where I’m from… friendo?”
37. The tense scene in No Country for Old Men where Javier Bardem makes the gas station attendant call a coin flip.
38. Seeing a scene that for some reason doesn’t work for me, only to much later have a revelation on what it meant. Guaranteed to make me love the part next time I watch the film.
39. Everything about Catherine Keener in Being John Malkovich, but particularly her dismissive reactions to everything John Cusack says and does in the early goings.
40. Uggie playing dead in The Artist.
41. The meet-cute between Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent at the costume party in Beginners.
42. This poster for 127 Hours.
43. The entire showdown between Uma Thurman and David Carradine in Kill Bill: Vol. 2. Had me at the edge of my seat when I first watched it.
44. The very recognizable video game scene in Swingers.
45. Brad Pitt‘s ridiculous accent when speaking Italian in Inglourious Basterds.
46. The suffocating atmosphere of Seven.
47. The big fight on the rope bridge in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
48. George Clooney‘s fine-tuned and low-key performance in The American.
49. Robert Downey Jr. sucking at math in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
50. Shea Whigham‘s brief part in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, repeatedly uttering “Whoa!” in the funniest fashion.