There will be spoilers…
Head and Shoulders: The Social Network
Whether or not David Fincher’s The Social Network bears any resemblance to the real Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme. What does matter is that this incarnation of Zuckerberg represents the cutthroat mentality of the digital age and the aggressive expansion of a business. It’s in this riveting scene that we see Zuckerberg’s alienating nature and his powerful use of syntax. Both tools perpetuate Zuckerberg’s professional windfall and personal downfall. Eisenberg’s delivery of Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue and the score’s soft piano and erratic buzz demonstrate that Zuckerberg is a man in sync with the world’s social needs, but he himself is gravely distant from his own.
La Resistance Medley: South Park (Bigger, Longer, and Uncut)
It’s easy to peg Trey Parker and Matt Stone as foul-mouthed buffoons (a title they’d probably love to put on a business card). Their television show, South Park, has impressed TV critics with its sharp satire, while infuriating parents who can’t seem to dictate what their kids should watch. Yet, what the censor mongers fail to realize, and even some fans fail to realize, is that Trey and Matt are extremely talented in other facets beside curse words and poop humor. Such a misappropriation is demonstrated in the underrated film adaptation of South Park. The film features a terrific look at censorship amidst a handful of great musical numbers, but all of them pale in comparison to the film’s third act medley. Done in the same ballpark as Les Miserables, the La Resistance Medley is not only wonderfully constructed from a music standpoint, but also features crude and endearing lyrics that are bizarrely powerful.
No Words: Lost in Translation
The relationship that develops between Billy Murray’s Bob Harris and Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte is an enviable one. On one level we can see that they’re lovers, if only for a few days, but when their experiences and loneliness are taken into account, it’s easy to see that their relationship resembles a lifelong friendship between lost souls. In the end of Sofia Coppola’s masterpiece, there isn’t a large, romantic gesture or even an over the top goodbye between Bob and Charlotte. Instead, it’s simply two beleaguered humans sitting in the middle of an intersection and sharing an embrace. Giving the scene a more intimate vibe are the last words that Bob delivers to Charlotte. Whispered amidst the chaotic sounds of a Tokyo street, Bob’s message goes unheard by us. But then again, the message isn’t for us. It’s for his newfound soul mate.
Seeing for the Blind: Amelie
If I have to recommend any foreign film to my fellow domestic neighbors, it’d be Amelie. Sure, there are subtitles which tend to turn most film watchers off, but Amelie has the energy and charm to force the haters to reconsider their stance on foreign films. Buoyed by an irresistible performance from Audrey Tautou, Amelie is a breezy film that encapsulates the magic film can offer. In the selected scene, Amelie (Tautou) leads a blind man across the street while verbally describing the events and people who make up his visually empty walk. It’s a whimsical moment that represents the film’s heart and level of imagination.
What the Title Suggests: There Will Be Blood
After the release of There Will Be Blood, much was made about Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance and the film’s ridiculous ending. Taking place years after the film’s main narrative time period, the ending finds our anti-hero Daniel Plainview drunk and rich. After exceeding his thirst for power and alcohol, Plainview has just about gone bat-shit crazy. This makes for less than ideal conditions when Plainview is visited by his much ballyhooed rival Eli Sunday (Paul Dano). With some banter here and more alcohol there, Plainview loses it and delivers the blood the title promises. Up until the bloody money shot, the scene plays out like a Vaudeville act by way of Stanley Kubrick. It’s intense, frightening, and awkwardly amusing. Not to mention, the scene produces one of the more recognizable quotes in film history.