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Movie Scenes of Note

Posted by The Swollen Goi... on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

More than a year ago, Facebookers were being "tagged" to write notes that required them to lay out their histories, thoughts, and preferences in a number of different ways. These notes often instructed them to tag others, which they would do. The focus of Facebook eventually shifted--thanks, perhaps, to Twitter--and these sorts of things were done less and less. I was busy, then, and would set aside the more involved notes with the intention of doing them later. I am still busy, but I plan to return to some of them from time to time to complete them.

This particular note involved movie scenes. The tagged person was to select ten favorites and number them in order of preference. It wasn't as successful as some notes. I'm guessing the reason is that Facebook disallowed video embedding in its notes at the time. They may still disallow it. I am going to assume they do, and post my response on Coronal, where I know embedding is allowed. I won't be doing my ten all-time favorites, because 1.) it would be hard for me to narrow it down, 2.) some scenes I love are not to be found on YouTube, and 3.) I hope to have many more movies to go and more life to live before I am in a position to settle on all-time favorites. What I am doing, then, is posting links to scenes I like a lot. I am posting them in no particular order.

I may say a thing or two about the scenes I post when I post them.

If you wish to use this space to post your own, feel free to do so.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 36 weeks ago

Up first is a scene from The Third Man. If you haven't seen it, you might want to skip this one. In fact, you might also want to avoid looking at the YouTube video's title. (It should go without saying that you should skip whatever I say about the scene following the embedded video, but I am saying it anyway: you should skip whatever I say about the scene following the embedded video.)

Here:



This is a standout scene among a movie stuffed with standout scenes.

Some of the scenes I will be posting may have no need of context. The viewer could very well be able to appreciate them by themselves. This could be one of those scenes, but I think it requires all that goes on before it for it to be truly effective.

It's a fine example of the potential power a delayed introduction can have. Orson Welles talked about it when Bogdanovich interviewed him while the two were working on The Other Side of the Wind. Here's what he had to say:

"Every sentence in the whole script is about Harry Lime--nobody talks about anything else for ten reels. And then there's that shot in the doorway--what a star entrance that was! In theater, you know, the old star actors never liked to come on until the end of the first act. Mister Wu is a classic example--I've played it once myself. All the other actors boil around the stage for about an hour shrieking, What will happen when Mister Wu arrives?" "What is he like, this Mister Wu?" and so on. Finally a great gong is beaten, and slowly over a Chinese bridge comes Mister Wu himself in full mandarin robes. Peach Blossom (or whatever her name is) falls on her face and a lot of coolies yell, "Mister Wu!!!" The curtain goes down, the audience goes wild, and everybody says, "Isn't that guy playing Mister Wu a great actor!" That's a star part for you! What matters in that kind of role is not how many lines you have, but how few. What counts is how much the other characters talk about you. Such a star vehicle really is a vehicle. All you have to do is ride." (This is Orson Welles!, 220-221)

He sells his own performance short with what's likely a bit of false modesty, but he gets at where the scene gets much of its weight.

We have been given clues to help us figure out who's hiding in the shadows. (Sidenote: people watching in 1949 may have linked Welles to The Shadow, and may have taken this to be an in-joke.) We know there's something funny about the accident that's supposed to have killed Lime. There's the mysterious "Third Man" who is supposed to have appeared from out of nowhere to help communicate his dead body from the street to the sidewalk. There's the matter of the timing of Holly Martins's (played by Joseph Cotten) arrival. But most of all, there's what we have just learned from Lime's girlfriend: the cat only ever liked Lime. We see that cat approach somebody--the same somebody Martins has determined is spying on him. The body is mostly in shadow, something no doubt meant to frustrate the viewer. How long before we get to see who's there?

Then, a pleasant surprise: his identity is revealed almost immediately. It's Harry Lime, the guy everybody's been talking about. Right? Maybe not. Maybe Martins just thinks it is. There's some distance between them, he hasn't seen him for years, and, yes, Lime's supposed to be dead. A brand new frustration follows. Lime's appearance only raises more questions.

Adding to the mood are wet Viennese streets at night, a well-thought-out use of light and dark, Anton Karas's zither, the loud bitchings of an Austrian woman awakened by the racket, and an exchange of glances that tells us just enough about what's going through both men's minds.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 36 weeks ago

Next is the scene from Casablanca in which Laszlo leads Rick's patrons in an impromptu rendition of "La Marseillaise":


The video I wanted to link you to can be found here. That link contains the scene in which Laszlo appeals to Rick, and it ends with a comic scene that helps balance out the seriousness of the "La Marseillaise" moment preceding it.

The reason I want to show the conversation leading up to the song is that it gives the viewer a sense for how bitter a person Rick has become. Rick acknowledges that Laszlo's cause is one he feels to be just, but his feelings for Ilsa (the Ingrid Bergman character) are getting in the way of him doing "the right thing." In other words, he's being petty. Also, he's become something of a self-preservationist whose acts of defiance have, up to this point, been tiny enough to fly under the radar. "I stick my neck out for nobody," he tells us, he means it. (In the years to come, Han Solo's character will echo a lot of what makes Rick Rick. The big difference: Han Solo gets the girl.) Then Ilsa shows up. Unlike a lot of the other great screen romances, we don't encounter these lovers for the first time on their initial meeting. Instead, we see two broken hearts rejoining. One of these hearts (Ilsa's) seems to have mended and moved on. The other hasn't even come close.

On first viewing, I was inclined to side with Rick, and maybe even to wish Laszlo ill will--despite his good intentions, and despite the character being painted pretty likably and heroically. The "La Marseillaise" scene brought me around to Laszlo, though. In fact, it brings pretty much everyone around to Laszlo, including Rick and Ilsa.

The scene starts as an interruption scene. Laszlo is appealing to Rick, and is getting nowhere. What is sure to develop into an argument with Ilsa at its center is put aside when the men hear the Nazis singing "Die Wacht am Rhein." A quick scan of faces shows mild annoyance (Claude Rains's Captain Renault) and resignation (Rick). Then you see Laszlo's response: a mixture of barely contained fury and disgust.

He does something, then, at great personal peril. That is, he actually *does* something, unlike anyone else in the bar. He's supposed to be in hiding, and has been. By stepping out into plain view, he is essentially signing a death warrant. He knows this, but simply can't bear to hear a patriotic German song being sung. He's not untouchable, though this scene might have the viewer believing otherwise.

He instructs Rick's band to play "La Marseillaise," and in doing so moves Rick to action. It's a small action. The band won't play without Rick's go ahead. Rick gives it with a nod. With the nod, Rick is essentially in the fight. His neck is officially stuck out. What's striking about the scene is that small gesture though the nod was, it took someone like Laszlo to get it out of him--and this despite Rick's bitterness over Laszlo being with the girl with whom Rick is clearly still in love.

Basically every non-Nazi picks up and sings along, and with a ferocity that moves me every time I see the scene. Check out the emotion on the woman's face at 1:18 (in the embedded video), then check out the look of devastation on Ilsa's face immediately afterward. She's sure she's witnessing her husband's last act of defiance, and it's destroying her. The camera cuts back to Laszlo, singing with utter conviction and pumping his fist to the beat. The next cut reveals Ilsa, whose devastated look has been replaced by one of loving pride. If this is to be the way her husband ends his rebellion, then so be it. (Also worth checking out is Conrad Veidt's look of defeat around 1:10. He sort of looks like a pissed off Billy Bob Thornton in the scene. Veidt, best known as Cesare in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Gwynplaine in The Man Who Laughs, was one of many German actors who fled the country when the Nazis took power. Despite this, and despite his marriage to a Jew, he takes one for the team and plays a believable Nazi like the professional he is.)

The viewer may have been wondering, up until this point, whether Ilsa would choose Laszlo or Rick. The choice is on her face. Laszlo is a great man, and after this scene, not even Rick can deny it, however much he wants to.

Casablanca is famous for its having been a "happy accident," written more or less on the go, and with constant revisions coming in from a team of writers. Not even the actors knew how it would end. I'm guessing a lot of the indecisiveness went back to many of those involved wanting the typical happy ending. The ending they arrived at is bittersweet, but it seems to me to be the right ending. For me, the seed for that right ending germs in this sequence.

It's worth noting that this movie was made during World War II. The emotion on the faces of the singers was likely real.

Mal Shot First
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Posted: 10 years 36 weeks ago

I never noticed until I looked at the extended cut of the above scene, to which you linked, that Conrad Veidt's theme (heard around 2:11) is a more threatening rendition of the German national anthem, played in by loud brass in a minor key. That's pretty cool.

Mal Shot First
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Posts: 3180
Posted: 10 years 36 weeks ago

A movie scene that has long been one of my favorites is the final scene from The Godfather: Part II. (As with Goiter's posts, possible spoilers about Coppola's trilogy might follow, so you might not want to read what I've written below. I also apologize for using MegaVideo, but Paramount Pictures seems extremely vigilant when it comes to copyright infringement.)

In fact, all the closing scenes of the Godfather films are especially effective at showing Michael Corleone's isolation from the rest of the world, even from the people to whom he is supposed to be closest. There are a couple of reasons, though, why to me the ending of the second film stands out from the endings of the other two.

First, this final sequence is preceded by the scene in which Michael orders the death of his brother Fredo. The clip I've selected is a flashback that is juxtaposed directly to the murder of Fredo and thus dramatically shifts the somber mood of the film to one of nostalgia. The entire family is gathered for Vito Corleone's surprise birthday party: we see Fredo again, whom we just saw killed, Sonny is still alive, and so are Sal and Carlo. Coppola reminds us what the family (and we as the viewers, who are made to identify strongly with the characters) has lost over the course of the two films. My heart gets heavy every time the scene starts and I see the family back together again.

Second, the scene perfectly summarizes Michael's character. From the start, i.e., after Sonny has introduced everyone at the table, the shot presents a view of the dining room that displays the characters' roles in the family: as Vito's intended successor, Sonny sits at the head of the table, Michael sits to the viewer's right, while everybody else sits to the viewer's left. The composition of the shot already makes clear that Michael is a bit of the odd man out in the family.

The conversation that follows reveals the basic opposition of Sonny's and Michael's personalities. Sonny is the hotheaded tough-guy mafioso who takes after his father, albeit more as a bad imitation of the Old Man than a genuine representation of what makes Vito Corleone the godfather. When Michael tells him, "That's Pop talkin'," it's not an acknowledgment of Sonny's similarity to their father, but a criticism of Sonny's blind repetition of their father's worldview. Michael, on the other hand, is determined to make his own decisions about the course of his life, even if the path he chooses is not the easiest or the most popular with his family. This makes him a strong-willed but also a stubborn man, who alienates those who love him by insisting on being in control at all times.

The ending of the third film reflects this personality trait of Michael's. I sometimes hear people complain about his pathetic death in that movie, sitting all alone in a chair somewhere in Sicily. If you think about it, though, how else would Michael Corleone die but a miserable and lonely old man?

With those sunglasses on, he looks kind of like Christopher Walken.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 36 weeks ago

I felt physically weak after finishing The Godfather: Part II. Believe it or not, I watched it last. The first one I watched was the third one. They did a "Coming Soon" profile on it at the end of one of the Paramount videos I owned (I'm guessing it was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, since the timeline would work out fairly well), and it looked really cool to me. Either it wasn't available for purchase from Wal-Mart (the only place my mother ever took me that sold movies), or I couldn't afford it (it was two tapes, and probably cost somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty dollars--far from chump change for an eleven-year-old).

Some time in 1991, we got a Columbia House brochure (or some similar promotion) peddling fifteen movies for the price of one. Subsequent movies were full price, with the promise that cancellation was possible after buying the first movie at the full price. (I've heard people bitch time and again about this not working out for them, but we got our sixteen movies and got out without a problem. They didn't, as Michael Corleone would say, keep pulling us back in.)

I can't remember what all I got from the promotion. I remember getting The Hunt for Red October, Dances with Wolves, Lonesome Dove (this counted as multiples. It came in a set of four. A few years later, they would release the entire series on a single Extended Play tape for the price of a regular movie), The Godfather: Part III, Serpico, Scarface, and Dog Day Afternoon (yes, I had a bit of a "thing" for Al Pacino--mostly because he was what I liked most about Dick Tracy, which I liked about as much as I had liked Batman, which is to say I liked it a lot; also, though, he was in a handful of movies that were double tapes, and the total length of the movie figured into my selections [I wanted more bang for my buck]).

So, anyway, back to feeling physically weak after watching The Godfather: Part II. What happened is that I didn't see The Godfather or The Godfather: Part II for a few more years after I had seen the third one. When I watched them, I watched them in order and back-to-back. I was sad that there was no more Godfather to watch, and sadder still that I knew Michael's fate.

Corporal_Hicks
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Posts: 1664
Posted: 10 years 36 weeks ago

There's not enough CG in those films to catch this crowd's attention.

I had an acquaintance tell me, once, that the fight between Sonny and Carlo "looked fake". *groan*

Sent from Dalton's IPad.
Mal Shot First
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Posts: 3180
Posted: 10 years 35 weeks ago
atrejub
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Posts: 739
Posted: 10 years 35 weeks ago

I'm going to share two. For now. They both come from 2 of my favorite movies, which share certain elements: they are funny, very colorful, and the number 5 plays a significant role in the title/plot of each.

1. The Opera from The Fifth Element




2. Food + Fight from Survive Style 5+
Context on this one:
This movie (a Japanese surrealist comedy) weaves together 5 different stories (one features Vinnie Jones as a hit-man) - This is part of the first. The man just finished burying his wife in the woods, just to come home, get a bit of milk, close the refrigerator door, and then turn to find... his wife.

The above video is a bit blurry, unfortunately.
The family in the car happily singing along to "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" is part of one of the other narrative lines.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posts: 14343
Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago



This is the way my Star Wars ends. A person can champion the Special Edition music until he is blue in the face, but I still won't have any emotional connection to it.

Some people prefer the 2004 DVD ending because it shows that the victory is being celebrated on a galactic level. I don't need to see celebrations anywhere but on Endor. Pretty much all the characters we're made to care about over the course of the trilogy are right there (even some of the dead ones), and it's their personal victory we're celebrating more than the Rebellion's. From the private moment of Vader's immolation, to Luke's joining up with the rest of the gang, to the appearance of Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin, we stay focused on a group whose personal sacrifice and active role in overthrowing the Empire have been greater than most. I don't give a damn whether or not they're tearing down a statue of the Emperor on Coruscant, or whether or not the Gungans can finally shout "Wesa free!"

I really don't think my preference stems from bitterness over revisions. It may in part. For me, the ending of Return of the Jedi never needed to be anything other than what it was when I saw it in the theater in 1983. I wouldn't even say its ending is the best of the trilogy (though all three end in a way that is remarkably emotionally satisfying to me), but it feels appropriate. Even the goofy final shot where the cast (minus Lando, who is clapping like an idiot to a beat only he seems to be hearing and looking off to his left) is practically staring directly into the camera works for me--maybe because it feels something like a curtain call, and because it seems to me that the movies have earned it.

I like having the Sebastian Shaw Anakin there, because it wasn't young Anakin who redeemed himself. The old man who dies isn't Vader--he's Anakin--and I think it takes something away from this latter-day redemption to wedge the Hayden Christensen Anakin in there at the end of the movie. Why not the Jake Lloyd Anakin? Wasn't he "purer of heart" (or whatever dumb reason it was that made Lucas switch Anakin's? I think the official reason had something to do with Anakin last having been a "Jedi" some time during Revenge of the Sith; if there's anything the series as a whole taught us, though, it's that the Jedi have their own deep flaws) at ten than he was in Episodes II and III? it really makes no sense to have Christensen there--and they don't even bother to swap out Shaw's body for Christensen's. (Give it a close look; all they did was superimpose Christensen's head over Shaw's.) For the most part, though, I just don't want to be reminded of the prequels while I'm watching the Star Wars movies I actually like.

Another reason I prefer the original is that I genuinely like "Yub Nub." Again, it has a more personal feel to it. I know Mal Shot First disagrees with me on this point, but the new music sounds too World Music-y for me. It reminds me too much of latter-day David Byrne or Yanni, and doesn't feel Star Wars enough to me. I felt the same way about the ending music of Phantom Menace, though it has probably grown on me more than the revised Return of the Jedi music. Both have a kind of hollow distance to my ears that won't let me connect the way I want to the films' endings.

* * *

I realize I spent a lot of time talking about how the above version of Return of the Jedi's ending resonates more for me than the revised ending, and very little time talking about what I think is so great about the scene. I apologize for that. When/If I get around to doing a writeup for the last scene in Empire Strikes Back, I won't make it a comparison piece. (Mostly because I don't have to, since no changes beyond cleaned up effects were made to that ending.)

* * *

A end note: I just re-watched all the endings, and it occurs to me that I find Carrie Fisher's smile much prettier than Natalie Portman's. The bottom corners of Portman's mouth go down and out, creating a smile that looks almost rectangular. Fisher's smile is more appealingly triangular, just like her real mother's (Debbie Reynolds).

atrejub
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago




The Clock Tower Scene from The Great Mouse Detective



It really begins at 1:50 in the above video. I love how, for the first 10 seconds or so, as Basil comes to, there is no background music - just the clicking of the gears. I love how intricate the scene is, with so many gears that had to be animated.

I also really like the "Goodbye So Soon" song/setting off of the Rube Goldberg trap.

HI MY NAME IS GUS
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago

To add to Goiter's points, what struck me as "wrong" with the ending of the special edition of Episode VI: 

In the SE, it's implied that planets all over the galaxy are celebrating simultaneously with the rebels/Ewoks on Endor. Yes, yes, communication is instantaneous at that point, so it shouldn't be too difficult for the peoples of Coruscant and Naboo to discover they're free, and go out into the streets, etc.

But the original party on Endor is a makeshift and rather rudimentary affair (Ewoks drumming on Stormtrooper helmets, etc.). It's something spontaneous and intimate, emphasizing (1) how small the Rebel Alliance was in comparison with the crushing ubiquity of the Empire, (2) the enormity of the victory the rebels had achieved as well as (3) the possibility of individual agency in effecting change.

In the SE, the celebration on the other planets felt as if it were too big, too soon. I could envision such a celebration after a few days or so, when the import of the event had become clear to entire planets. As it stands, the partying-down on Naboo and Coruscant seems ridiculously large, given the scale of celebration coupled with the amount of time the participants had to let the information spread.

That is: the SE ending seems forced and artificial. "I, George Lucas, COMMAND you to realize that people are happy! Amen!"

Think of me as a megaphone directed at God's eardrum, my child.
Mal Shot First
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago

The Swollen Goi... wrote:

I know Mal Shot First disagrees with me on this point, but the new music sounds too World Music-y for me. It reminds me too much of latter-day David Byrne or Yanni, and doesn't feel Star Wars enough to me.

I re-watched both versions of the ending and I still prefer the music from the SE. The rhythm of it and its choral singing remind me of Ennio Morricone's compositions. I also like the way the music from the SE ending transitions into the Star Wars theme as the credits begin to roll. It's a pretty cool effect, in my opinion.

That doesn't mean that I don't like "Yub Nub." The part where the strings start up as Luke sees the Jedi spirits moves me, but I think the overall impact of the music from the SE is greater, perhaps because to me it sounds like it has that melancholy of Morricone's songs.

***
Speaking of Morricone, I always liked the opening credits of Red Sonja. It's a relatively simple sequence that shows Schwarzenegger riding over vast plains and rolling hills, but Morricone's music always made me giddy with anticipation of what's to come. There's also something haunting about seeing somebody ride all alone through such expansive landscapes. Now that I think about it, the sequence reminds me of Shadow of the Colossus, i.e., SotC reminds me of it.

The opening credits start around 2:45:

Mal Shot First
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago

atrejub wrote:

The family in the car happily singing along to "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" is part of one of the other narrative lines.

That family reminded me of this commercial:

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago

I would probably like the SE music more if it reminded me, too, of Morricone. Instead, though, I'm reminded more of this:

(Especially around the 1:06 mark.)  There's also this:

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago

I don't care much for Yanni.  I don't know if I made that clear.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago

Just in case you got the impression from atrejub's post that those cogs were hand-drawn, you should know that they were rendered in a computer. This was a bigger deal back then, though, and a feat in its own right. The success of this scene wound up giving a boost to the CG industry (for better or worse), and giving confidence to other filmmakers that CG could be integrated somewhat believably with cartoon imagery. (The case had been made for live action with Tron, Star Trek II, and Young Sherlock Holmes.)

Daltons chin dimple
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Posted: 10 years 27 weeks ago

The original end of ROTJ vs. the Special Edition ending deomstrates, to me, that Lucas has never really been completely in control of what he was doing with Star Wars.  The much discussed further 3 scripts theory would gel nicely with the ending of the original version in that the battle on and around Endor was the beginning of the end, not the end full-stop, for the Empire.

However when he came round to doing the Special Editions, and then re-tweaking them yet again post prequels, he had completely changed his outlook.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 20 weeks ago

Dave shuts down HAL 9000, from 2001: A Space Odyssey:



(Note: I will be referring to HAL 9000 using masculine pronouns, despite his being a machine.)

First of all, Kubrick is to be commended for convincing the audience that HAL 9000 is a full-fledged character, and that Keir Dullea isn't carrying the weight of the last half of the movie all by himself. Jim Henson and his Muppeteers are able to make us believe hands stuffed in felt and foam rubber can hold their own against actors, but they have the benefit of manipulating characters with anthropomorphic features, moving mouths, and a comedic setting. Kubrick works only with a monotone voice and a closeup on what looks, essentially, like a camera lens with some back lighting. The only real cheats--beyond the contents of HAL's final monologue--are pacing and lighting. (Even Moon's GERTY [clearly inspired by HAL 9000] uses to emoticons to communicate emotional nuance.)

In the scene, HAL appears to resort to begging for his life. Such a scene is a cinematic trope. How a person behaves in the face of death is supposed to reveal to the audience that person's true character. (There are occasional subversions, such as Rocky's walk to the electric chair in Angels with Dirty Faces.) HAL's begging, for example, shows him to be a coward.

''What? No! He's just a robot! Right?''

Maybe. I don't want to focus too much on the humanity debate, because I don't want to give the impression that I think it's as complex a philosophical problem as some might want to make it out to be. In short, the debate would go something like this:

For something to be truly alive, it would have to fear its own death. (I'm not sure where I first encountered this argument. Maybe it was Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death. Maybe it was the episode "Valerie 23" from the first season of the Outer Limits revival.) If HAL 9000 is begging for his life because he is genuinely afraid (as he claims to be), then some case can be made for him being a living being--by the terms of the above argument. If he's appealing to Dave's humanity (consider his repetition of "I can feel it") because he was programmed to do so in this or a similar situation, the case would be more difficult to make. Since the viewer doesn't have the necessary information to arrive at a conclusion with logical certainty (what the viewer does know is that HAL is programmed to learn), he has to decide for himself whether Dave is murdering HAL 9000 or shutting him off. (I don't mean my having chosen to use masculine pronouns to describe HAL 9000 to betray my personal conclusion.)

Either way, it's difficult to watch Dave go through the steps required. It's difficult because Dave is as hard to read as HAL in the scene. Keir Dullea either chooses or was instructed (I lean more toward the latter, considering the director) to play Dave fairly placidly. He breaks his stone face on occasion--the "Open the pod bay doors, HAL" scene is a good example--but even when he does this, he doesn't emote as much as I'd argue the average person would emote under the circumstances.

This acting decision pays off when Dave is shutting down HAL, because he's clearly emotionally affected by what he's doing. His breathing is labored, his eyes dart, and he shakes more as he gets closer to releasing all the memory cards from the mother board. (I assume he's doing this, or something similar. If the science fiction is engaging enough, I don't bother to question the functionality of the set dressing while I'm watching.)

Dave's most emotionally charged moment, I would argue, comes after HAL says, "He taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it, I can sing it for you." Here it's possible that HAL has regressed, and could be playing back audio, rather than generating new content. That is, it's possible he's no longer talking to Dave. For the first time in a long time, Dave chooses to respond: "Yes. I'd like to hear it, HAL. Sing it for me." It's hard to tell what, exactly, is Dave's motivation for responding. Is he humoring HAL? Is he trying to keep HAL's mind occupied? Does he need the comfort of a song? At this point, it's of little consequence whether HAL begins singing because he received the proper command from Dave, or because he's playing back old content. What matters is that Dave is invested in this moment, and, even if he does have moral objections to shutting HAL down (and it's not clear that he does), he's doing it to preserve his own life.

It should be noted that it looks like Dave is only preserving his life for a very short while, preventing HAL from completing his mission in the process. Dave, in what will prove to be one of his last, truly human acts, is electing to draw a few more breaths over serving science, humanity, and "the greater good." (HAL's potential malfunctioning not withstanding.)

(I decided not to go into whether HAL was breaking the Robot's prime directive as laid out by Asimov. [Is HAL the spaceship, and, if so, is he a computer or a robot?] You may go into it if you wish.)

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 20 weeks ago

I've just re-read all of my content from this thread.  I need to make heavy revisions, but the rich text editor is nasty and evil, and wants to lump the text of every post into a single paragraph.  

I'm just gonna leave them all the way they are.  I apologize for the many errors.

jraven56
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Posted: 10 years 20 weeks ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3qfijFYnJI

I love the Rambo movies, I can't apologize for it. But my favorite moment from the entire series is about the first minute from this clip which comes from the second movie. It's a short, quiet scene, but I find a good amount of depth there.

Spoilers probably follow.

spacer.

In the film Rambo is hired to find American POWs and bring back evidence. On the way he meets an operative named Co, a woman as damaged by war as he. At another time she might have been his enemy, but she saves his life and asks for his protection. For one damn moment he is given hope, a way to help, to win. But Co is killed. The scene in question is her burial.

I have always liked the notion that the Rambo films are about Man vs. Machine; That we have begun to rely too much on progress and status and complicated machines. Rambo himself is a figure, a hero, representative of mankind's link to nature. It is said that we come from the earth, and when Co dies she is returned to it. As Rambo buries her rain falls, softening the earth, connecting all things. We see Rambo grasp the earth, his hands melding with the very force that spawned him. As he takes this one moment his hand slides over to his bow, the bow that Co returned to him, and he stands.

His eyes are devoid of pain. He wears her necklace, a scrap of her dress as a headband, and her bow in his hand. Her physical form is gone but her spirit is with him, she has grounded him and returned him to where he belongs. He is nature's pure force; he is what man can achieve with harmony.

And then he begins to use that very earth, at times emerging directly from it, to kill all those who would destroy harmony.

Someone told me I should Blog...jraven56.wordpress.com/
Daltons chin dimple
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Posted: 10 years 20 weeks ago

"Dave chooses to respond: "Yes. I'd like to hear it, HAL. Sing it for me." It's hard to tell what, exactly, is Dave's motivation."

I have always taken it to be Dave's attempt to keep HAL occupied so he doesn't try anything else to defend himself.

....says "Kill Bond, NOW!"
The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 20 weeks ago

I've always considered that a possibility, but I don't think there's much more HAL can do at this point.

Drakemd
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Posted: 10 years 20 weeks ago

The pick-up from Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead

This is my all-time favorite movie and this scene just shows how smooth Jimmy (Andy Garcia) is. You can also see how Dagny (Gabrielle Anwar) is won over by his charm, despite the "cheesy" pick-up lines.

Turn your head and cough!
Mal Shot First
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Posted: 10 years 19 weeks ago

One of my favorite bits from the Police Academy movies is still the Blue Oyster Bar scene. The setup is very simple: Mahoney organizes a big party on the beach but tells the two douchebag cadets that it's happening at this place called the Blue Oyster Bar. Little do they know that the bar in question is a *gay* bar. Hilarity ensues.

What I really like about the scene is that to the 80s comedy audience dancing with a leather-clad mustachioed biker constitutes the gay bar experience - and, therefore, one of the most humiliating things imaginable.

The Swollen Goi...
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Posted: 10 years 19 weeks ago

The music is pretty memorable.  Despite not having seen the movie since I was a preteen, I can still hum a variation (I wouldn't go so far as to say my brain hasn't filled in a gap or two over the years).

Now that I think about it, the music from Sonic the Hedgehog's "Marble Zone" reminds me of the Blue Oyster Bar music. Give it a listen: