Sunday, 4 January 2015

Movie Moments Of The Year - 2014

Another cobbled together list of some of my favourite moments from 2014's films as well as older ones I saw for the first time. So here's a leisurely stroll through them...

2014 films:

  • The story of creation in Noah - beautifully composed as it also worked in evolution and epic timescales into the mythology of the story.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel - every perfectly centred frame.
  • Those final credits of 22 Jump Street - they're funny cuz their true...
  • Being in the same theatre with Caroll Spinney (the puppeteer of Big Bird and Oscar The Grouch) and James Randi within the same week during Hot Docs.

  • The breathless car chase in Nightcrawler.
  • The bracing last 10 minutes of Whiplash.
  • The wonderful sing-a-long in A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (more fully described here).
  • And then followed later in the film by the gut punch...
  • The docking scene and entry into the black hole sequence from Interstellar.

  • Melanie Lynskey in Happy Christmas.
  • The end discussion of the erotic novel in Happy Christmas - please tell me there are extended outtakes of that somewhere on the DVD...
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky's brief passionate anger about a director's ownership of their dream of the story in Jodorowsky's Dune.
  • Gone Girl's moment of realization that she once again has been trapped into playing a role and once again has to take action...
  • The butterflies arriving with Spring in The Duke Of Burgundy.

  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds performing "Higgs Boson Blues" and "Jubilee Street" in the awesome music doc 20000 Days On Earth.
  • The opening single take swooping shot in The Town That Dreaded Sundown which introduces all the major players at once.
  • The first reading of the play with Edward Norton in Birdman where Michael Keaton's actor actually improvises and reacts instead of sticking to the script.
  • Both times that "Une Femme Avec Toi" plays in The New Girlfriend - both are emotional high points.
  • The avalanche in Force Majeure and the immediate consequences.

  • Little Groot's dance at the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy.
  • The opening titles of The World Of Kanako - insane and perfectly capturing the tone and pace of the film to follow.
  • The hallucinogenic trip in They Have Escaped.
  • Michael Keaton enters a small New York City liquor store lit up like a Christmas tree in Birdman.
  • Norte: The End Of History's turning point: the off screen murder.

  • The Guest dispatching some bullies.
  • Ghostly visitors in the documentary The Darkside - subtle and effective at getting the storyteller's experiences across.
  • The explanation (which involves the idea of fornication with sandwiches) of why vampires prefer virgin blood in What We Do In The Shadows.
  • Scarlett Johansson in repose in Chef.

  • Though I didn't like the film much, that final shot in The Immigrant is glorious. As is the entirety of Marion Cotillard's performance.
  • Dave Franco's De Niro impersonation in Neighbors.
  • The impressive car chase in The Raid 2.
  • A royal meeting in the garden in A Little Chaos.

Older films:

  • Light and shadow in The Uninvited.
  • Those damn minions in Despicable Me - I just couldn't help smiling during every scene they were in. Great comedic creations.
  • The massive iceberg calving event towards the end of Chasing Ice. Also the time lapse photos of glaciers shrinking over a few years were remarkable.
  • "Cool" from West Side Story - the energy, anger and frustration of youth captured in dance.
  • A final walk on the beach in About Time.

  • Sorcerer - the unbearable tension of the rope bridge crossings of both trucks.
  • Every bit of spittle that flies from the mouth's of the characters of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf.
  • Russian Roulette in The Deer Hunter - after hearing about the scene after all these years, it was even worse than I imagined.
  • The over-the-top-and-around-the-bend practical effects at the end of Society. Extra gooey...
  • Trouble Every Day's two "graphic" moments were absolutely harrowing.

  • A drunken walk across a banquet table with a fire extinguisher in Ashes And Diamonds.
  • The depiction of insanity and an insane asylum in the Japanese silent film A Page Of Madness.
  • This moment from the B-movie Deadly Spawn. Baffling.
  • Meg Tilly's shrieking accusation in Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers.

  • Slim Pickens' death scene in Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid - waiting for his life to fade away like the setting sun.
  • The build up of tension towards the end of The Bedford Incident.
  • Spotting all sorts of unknown-at-the-time faces in Prime Time (aka American Raspberry).
  • Crossing water using floating pieces of wood in 36th Chamber Of Shaolin.

And finally:

  • Watching some of my all-time favourite films (Network, 12 Angry Men and To Kill A Mockingbird) for the first time with The Boy.


Alex Withrow said...

So many great scenes here. The chase in Nightcralwer, the end of Whiplash... but I love how you just said "Melanie Lynskey in Happy Christmas." Nothing more needs to be said, she's absolutely perfect.

Bob Turnbull said...

Hey Alex! A little late responding - I don't seem to be getting email regarding all of my comments (not that I get a ton...) so I just saw this now.

But yeah, Lynskey is just great. Both in Happy Christmas and as a general rule. I'm also so glad they didn't attempt to have her cover her accent for North America.