Favourite movies

Movies like music are a form of art. I love watching a good movie, though I have to admit that I seldom watch movies on TV. Generally I don’t watch much TV or series, though there are some pretty good ones out there. Anyhow, let’s talk about a few movies and my favourite scenes in them. And my favourite song in each of them, of course. It’s always about the music. The list isn’t complete and in no special order (though Nr. 1 = Nr. 1). I just chose 3 movies for today. Maybe I’ll go back to this topic later and add some more, if you like? Let me know!

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, Italy)

Plot

It’s my favourite movie. Simple as that. It’s the movie my dad used to watch the most while I was growing up. And I joined him watching from a very young age. Clint Eastwood became my „hero“. I remember trying to draw him over and over. Of course, it didn’t work out toooo well, but I was happy doing it. And horses. Terrible horses with short legs and big heads and scary spiky teeth. From hell. My mum thought I was drawing a T-rex.

The epic music by Ennio Morricone was my first musical love. I couldn’t get enough of the title theme or „The Ecstasy of Gold“. They are still one of my favourite songs from a movie and create instant Goosebumps.

What  I love about this movie is… well, everything? Guess so. Sergio Leone was a directional genus. I can’t put it other than that. Genius. The way he filmed, the colours, the scenes, the perspective, the cut, the script, his choic of actors and filming locations (did you know they bild that big cemetary just for the movie – no CGI back then), decoration, costumes… everything.

Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee van Cleef. Great actors, perfect, iconic for their roles. No pretty boys. Real people with flaws and character.  A lot of character.

Favourite quote: „See, there are two kinds of people in this world, my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.“ (Blondie)

My favourite scene: Three-way-standoff. E P I C :

My favourite song from the soundtrack: Ecstasy of Gold (Song starts at 01:00, but the scene is great, so I chose this vid):

 

2. The Crow (1994, USA)

Plot

I think I saw this movie for the first time when I was fourteen or fifteen years old. I wasn’t fully in Death Metal mode then. To be honest, I was into Nirvana until I was twelve or thirteen and I still listen to their stuff from time to time. Anyhow, I saw „The Crow“ and it was more than just a movie for me. I rewatched it over and over throughout my teen-years and in my early twens. Even now I do it from time to time.

Since the first time I saw it I was hooked. The dark story, the dark setting, the mystery around Brandon Lee’s death. It was like entering a complete new, dark and fascinating world. The soundtrack is killer, it fits the movie so well. When you hear the song, you immediately think of the scene it is played in.

And boy… the evil. I loved Bai Ling in it. She doesn’t seem to do much filming anymore, but she was really striking. She doesn’t age and is a crazy chick, but I like her style, though I’d never dare to wear. Brandon Lee is exceptionally good – he brought „The Crow“ to life like no one else could. Maybe the late Heath Ledger, but he was too young at this time. Also, I never saw Crow 2. I didn’t want to spoil the movie for me.

I had the poster of Eric sitting on his wooden throne sticking right underneath one of the windows of my room. From time to time I used to sneak out of this window and disappear into the darkness to go for a nightly walk. Alone. Eric Draven was my accomplice. I smiled at his picture while climbing out. Next day in school I looked like hit by a bus. But I always needed time alone to clear my head, so it was totally worth it 🙂

To be honest this movie is what comes closest for me to a love-movie I can enjoy. I could feel his love for his girl and the pain while witnessing what happens to her before she and he are dying. It is satisfying seeing him returning and paying them back the way he does. Also the raven flying, showing him the way. It reminds me of Odin and his ravens Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory). Like Odin’s ravens Eric’s raven brings news from the world of the living to him and shows him where the bad boys are.

Favourite quote: A building gets torched, all that is left is ashes. I used to think that was true about everything, families, friends, feelings. But now I know, that sometimes if love proves real, two people who are meant to be together, nothing can keep them apart. (Sarah)

My favourite scene: The Transformation (because you see the crow becoming his leader and why he does what he does. Very powerful. Thunder and lightning and his face in the flickering light – and boy is he pissed)

Favourite song from the movie: The Cure – Burn (I listen to this very often, it somehow gets me into the mood of getting things done or creating):

 

3. The Lord of the Rings (1999 – 2003, New Zealand)

Well, I think the „The Lord of the Rings“-trilogy is known by litereally everyone, so I don’t need to explain what the movies are about.

I just wanted to tell a little bit about my personal LOTR-journey. My dad is the biggest Tolkien geek I personally know. Yeah, he may not be very scnientific about it as many Tolkienists are, so he’s probably more what they’d call a „Ringer“, but nonetheless he’s the greatest fan of Tolkien’s work I know. He has so much love and passion for Arda and everything that lives (or unlive) in it. Talking about Tolkien is bringing back his inner child and I just love to see that happen. Tolkien is what connects me with him the most. I have to admit I had a real difficult relationship with my dad when I was younger. Not because I was a child or teen acting out, no, but because we were and are too similar. The difference is: Now I know to handle this without feeling personally attacked. I’ve become wiser so to speak. I learned. And still do.

My dad used to tell us stories from the Hobbit when we were little, later on from „The Lord of the Rings“ as well. I always was fascinated by this world and by fantasy worlds in general. From a very, very young age. I remember looking at pictures created by Boris Vallejo, Escher, Giger and many more – in books my dad had stored in his „library“, basically a room stuffed with books. There also were books of Alan Lee and John Howe, the two artists that Sir Peter Jackson hired for his LOTR and Hobbit movies. I loved and love their work since they gave Arda a „face“ or better: many faces.

So did Sir Peter Jackson, Fran Welsh and Philippa Boyens and their crew and cast. I remember the first time when I heard about LOTR being made into a movie. I was absolutely thrilled but couldn’t get much information about it. But I heard that they’d film it in New Zealand. Which is, from where I live, exactly at the other side of the world. I couldn’t travel further away from home. And since then this was the place I wanted to visit (and did last year). Once I was there I felt like never returning home since I felt like the timezone there equals my bio rhythm. I got up very early in the morning and got to bed normally. I never felt tired though we had to travel long in the rented car and we also had an action-packed programm. After returning home I was constantly tired for three weeks straight and it still doesn’t feel as great as back in NZ.

Anyhow, back to the movies. I remember seeing the first part for the first time with my dad. I held my breath as Cate Blanchett was reciting the ring poem. Her voice is perfect for that. She is Galadriel, she really is. I was so thrilled that I almost couldn’t breathe. From the first moment I knew that these movies would change my life. I looked at my dad and I knew he felt the same. After the movie he couldn’t stop talking about amazingly done it was. Of course, the both of us went to see the movie again the next day. This time we sat beside a young German who was a craftsman and he was a guy „auf der Walz“. That’s a beautiful old medieval tradition in Europe, especially in Germany. So, „auf der Walz“ means that a craftsman who has accomplished his apprenticeship and now „had“ to wander around and work for different masters of his craft for a year (and learn from them) in order to own his right to become a master-craftsman himself. The young man was, of course, clad in his traditional clothing and had also a staff. You can learn more about this tradition here!

So, I don’t think I should to delve to deep into the movies, since I’ll never stop writing then, hehe.

Here are my favourite quotes, scenes and soundtrack-pieces:

The Fellowship of the Ring:

Quote:

Gandalf: „You. Shall. Not. Pass!“ (Because I use it on different occasions, especially to drive family members insane)

Scene: Boromir’s death (aka why Sean Bean got cast. Seriously, I love the way Boromir redeems himself. You care more about him being in half of one movie than most of the characters in the Hobbit-movies.)

 

Soundtrack piece: The Bridge of Khazad Dum (Epic. I can see the scene before my inner eyes):

 
The Two Towers:

Quote:

Frodo: „I can’t do this, Sam.“
Sam: „I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. “
Frodo: „What are we holding onto, Sam?“
Sam: „That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.“

Scene: Battle of Helm’s Deep – One king to another (friggin epic and Théoden’s is the only „Onelasttime“ I will ever accept. Did I mention that I dig battle-scenes? I dig battle scenes.)

 

Soundtrack piece: The King of the Golden Hall (Hail Théoden, king!)

 

The Return of the King:

Quote:
Witch king of Angmar: “ You fool. No man can kill me. Die now.“
Eowyn: „I am no man!“

Favourite scene: Théoden’s Speech (that’s seriously the best scene in the movies, Goosebumps and tears every time – now THIS is a king).

Favourite part of the soundtrack: The White Tree (though the ST works so well as one masterpiece of music. But I have tears of epicness in my eyes everytime I see the fires on the mountains alit)

 

 

1506 Total Views 1 Views Today

8 Gedanken zu „Favourite movies

  1. Rob

    „He also told me that Henry Fonda intended to wear contact lenses for his role as the baddie in “Once Upon a Time in the West”, because he thought the bad guy wouldn’t have blue eyes and Fonda was known for being the good guy with blue eyes. But Leone insisted on having a steel-eyed antagonist. Awesome decision!“

    Oh yes – that moment when the camera slides around Henry Fonda to reveal his cold, dead, watery-blue eyes must be the creepiest scene in the complete cineverse. Fantastic! And the casting decisions in Once Upon … were mainly made for one reason: To create a western to end all westerns. All those guys were western film veterans, and what are they in? A western which celebrates the downfall of the old western heroes („An ancient race“ as Harmonica – Bronson – puts it just before his and Fonda’s shootout). Then he rides away, Cheyenne dies, and who’s left is the central figure of Jill, a woman, the future, founding a new city which will no longer be dominated by men with guns but by the railroad and new technology. Oh man, now that I write about it, I haven’t watched this film for too long, I need to see it again!

    About Viggo Mortensen – well, as I said I haven’t seen the movies at all. One can’t help but see movie ads and stuff (which was annoying enough), and much of what I saw there I didn’t agree with with the LOTR as it (sort of) existed in my grey cells. Of course that is and always has to be a very subjective position. Some people care more about it than others. I might be extreme in this case. In fact I (almost) never watch movie adaptions of books if I read and liked the book. No way. I think film makes would do good to keep away from literature. There’s simply no way a film can properly cover a book – books are way too complex and filled with un-filmable content, or content that becomes ridiculous if you try to film it. Can you imagine how silly Tom Bombadil would have looked like in the movie? I know that Jackson had at least enough sense not to try it.
    I think a good movie writer should be capable of thinking up her/his own stuff. The best movies (in my opinion) are ones that haven’t literary sources but were creations with the medium film in mind. Just off the top of my head: Magnolia, Adaptation, Se7en, Lost Highway, Funny Games …
    Notable exceptions for me are Blade Runner or The Shining – Scott and Kubrick really transformed the book into something new that wasn’t there in the book at all.

    Great website and great designs too, by the way! I hope you don’t mind if I keep checking in and writing …

    Antworten
    1. Michaela Beitragsautor

      Oh, I appreciate you sticking around 🙂 I am happy that there’s finally a discussion happening over here! You, your knowledge and writing are very welcome here! Also, thank you for your friendly words about my website, I am currently trying to improve it and post more!

      Exactly – the moment when we first see Fonda’s face in OUATITW is absolutely shocking and as you said – creepy. And now, after you said Leone intended to create a western to end all western movies, it makes even more sense to use an old stereotypical good guy and turn him into something completely and unexpectedly different. Tarantino, who names Leone as his idol, does the same (in terms). He casts actors who are known for much different roles and creates something new that hasn’t to do anything with their previous career. For example John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. The known nice Disco-boy turns into a coldblooded Hitman. And with Django Unchained Tarantino tried again what his idol Leone once did, this time making the anti-thesis of an movie about slavery. Instead of showing Django as the victim he made him the merciless angel of retribution.

      Agree with the outcome of Once Upon, it’s a positive prospect into a future without these violent gunmen around!

      Ah, yes, you can’t avoid getting somehow spoilt by what happens in LOTR as well as in The Hobbit. There’s too much media coverage and fans, who post pictures and write articles, around.I get that this must be quite annoying if you’re trying to keep your memory and your personal LOTR experience pure. The examples you named for good book-to-movie adaptions are great, love both. The interesting thing is that these movies are a little bit older. Same goes for the cartoon version of „The Hobbit“. How did you like that one? Sometimes I think the older adaptions are better because there wasn’t such a thing as CGI around. CGI is great, but only if used to support the plot, not replacing it. But with todays movies it sometimes feels like the action and the effects are much more important than the plot. Some of the new movies are great, though. I enjoyed Interstellar very much. It’s this philosophical time-space-thing that really caught my attention and pulled me in. Birdman was great, too. Different, but great. Keaton was great. Last movie I saw was „Avengers – Age of Ultron“. I liked it – and it’s an example for well-placed CGI. Not too much, always believable. Story wasn’t too great, but it’s okay. You don’t go and see a Marvel-movie for the interesting story. Though I like the idea of „Ultron“, a machine coming to life, having a own conscience on which it bases his decisions.

      What was the last movie you’ve seen? And did you like it?

      Thanks again for contributing to the blog! Looking forward to more discussions about movies, literature, music and art!

      Antworten
      1. Rob

        After the Dollars Trilogy (the last part of which is GB&U), Leone didn’t want to make yet *another* western. But the movie company more or less urged him to – I think they offered him something like: „Do one more Western and we guarantee you freedom on your next project“ or something like that. I think that’s why he made „… West“ in this fashion. Another fun fact: Just to make his point crystal clear, Leone wanted the three gunmen who get shot by Bronson right at the start of „…West“ to be none other than Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef. How cool that would have been! But Eastwood refused, so Leone took three completely different actors (all of which were known faces from western movies).

        He also references basically all the most famous westerns – like in the beginning of „..West“, when 3 gunmen wait for the 12 o’clock train. That’s right out of High Noon. Just now, the train’s 2 hours late (the very first picture of the movie) which forces the gunmen to doodle around the station. Also in the scene where Fonda walks around town, realising his own men have turned on him, one of them hides behind a painted clock face without hands, and when he sticks out his rifle, the shadow indicates 12 o’clock – High Noon again!

        The project Leone so badly wanted to do (for quite a long time actually) was „Once upon a Time in America“. In the end, he made „Duck, you sucker!“ about the Mexican Revolution in between and those movies became the „America Trilogy“.

        If you’re interested in that sort of thing, I can recommend the book „Something to do with Death“ (a Leone biography) by Christopher Frayling.

        Tarantino – that’s indeed another very interesting director. I think, he would be the first to admit that all of his movies are stolen from other movies. But that’s what they all do – taking inspiration and developing it further. Leone himself „stole“ plenty from japanese martial arts films. And Tarantino merged those japanese movies and Leone westerns to movies like Kill Bill. One of the scenes in Kill Bill which I find completely hilarious is where the White Bride shakes her ponytail and you hear these swishing noises. Italowesterns were practically the godfathers of completely over-the-top exaggerated soundscapes, and Tarantino happily rips that off. Kill Bill is more or less an Italowestern, too. Jackie Brown is stolen from the Blaxploitation genre. But you’re right, they are all with a subversive twist. I like Tarantino, in case you’re wondering …
        Django Unchained was great, too. Of course massive loans from the Italowesterns again, and this time Tarantino managed something he badly wanted for years – he got Ennio Morricone to compose an original piece for it.

        About the Hobbit – I haven’t seen the cartoon version of it. Didn’t even know it existed. I knew there was a LOTR animation movie that’s a couple of decades old, but I haven’t seen that either.
        And I have hardly seen any new movies in the last few years. Didn’t get around to it, although there are a lot of movies that I would have liked to watch – that’s one of the downsides of becoming a dad. But I’m not complaining!

        Birdman interests me for certain. I’ll watch it on DVD sometimes … The last (fairly new) movie that I saw was „Gone Girl“, and it was ok, but not really my thing. I don’t care to see it again, let’s put it this way.
        I’ve watched and really liked „Melancholia“ by Lars von Trier. It’s a movie to keep you occupied for long stretches.
        Another movie which I haven’t watched yet but looking forward to it is this one.
        I’m also looking forward for this Iranian movie to come out on DVD in a couple of months. Here’s a trailer.

        I have however become interested in some of the available TV series (I haven’t got a TV, but I can watch them with a projector), and there’s rather good stuff out there. Did you see „True Detective“? It’s really good! I guess everyone saw „Breaking Bad“ but it *is* an outstanding series. My interest in TV series began with „Six Feet Under“ which I admire very much. Before that, I was completely blasé about TV series because everything that ran on TV in principle was bad and mind-numbing. That has changed – not so much that I would consider getting a TV. I still think, that the TV program (in Germany) is a complete waste of time, and anyway I’d rather go out to make music with my friends (I do that a lot). But then again, these so-called TV series are just technically TV series because of their general format. Some of them are not even shown on TV anymore (like „House of Cards“).
        Did you see „Game of Thrones“? Could be up your alley, from what I can tell. I like that one, too, it’s much better than I would have thought when I first heard about it.

        Yeah. let’s keep discussing! Often the so-called social network is just anonymous individuals shooting random remarks at random targets. That’s why I rarely use it. But here, it’s different … although technically speaking, I’m anonymous too. I guess, we’re all aware of that and mature enough to handle it …

      2. Michaela Beitragsautor

        Sorry, I am currently a little bit busy because of the longer weekend, I’ll answer soon 🙂

      3. Rob

        Can’t seem to answer directly to your Note below, but don’t worry about time. Right now, I’m on holiday with hardly any internet connection anyway … Go create!

      4. Michaela Beitragsautor

        Ah, I have a moderated forum – that’s why you can’t answer directly. Sadly I had no people but spambots „discussing“ here, so I had to change the settings to moderated. How are you?

  2. Rob

    I can definitely relate to your #1. It’s fantastic, just as all Leone Westerns. Just in February, I’ve seen Ennio Morricone live in concert (Stuttgart, Germany), and he played this piece too. Did you know that Sergio Leone always tried to have the music done before the shooting of the film began? So he could play the music on set, while they were filming. It really shows in this scene from GB&U – it’s more choreographed than acted, isn’t it? The same is true, incidentally, of „Once Upon a Time in the West“ (a tough competitor with GB&U).

    Unfortunately my fellowship stops at your #3 – I absolutely adore Tolkien’s TLOTR – to a level that I have absolutely rejected the idea of ever watching the Jackson movies (that includes the Hobbit). How can you ever read the book again without having the face of Elija Wood in mind? Can you still imagine Aragorn as he appears for the first time in the Prancing Pony (in the book, Aragorn is not a pretty boy like Viggo Mortensen)? And the changes the’ve made to the story, ugh. Wasn’t your dad bothered by all that?

    TLOTR is definitely be on my Top 10 books list, though … maybe you can post your favourite books next? Or maybe you already …

    Antworten
    1. Michaela Beitragsautor

      Thank you for your comment – it means a lot to me to finally have communication and discussion on this blog!

      Yes, I heard that Leone did that. A friend of mine is a big Leone-fan as well and he told me that some time ago. Thanks for the reminder, it’s an awesome fact! He also told me that Henry Fonda intended to wear contact lenses for his role as the baddie in „Once Upon a Time in the West“, because he thought the bad guy wouldn’t have blue eyes and Fonda was known for being the good guy with blue eyes. But Leone insisted on having a steel-eyed antagonist. Awesome decision! Leone also made great casting choices. Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach and so on – people with charismatic faces. And yes, I agree, it really seems choreographed, like they’re dancing around and with each other, the dance of death.

      Regarding the LOTR-mocies. I see them as independent from the books, meaning the world within the medium has „to work“. In terms I don’t see the movies as Tolkien-movies. I see them as fantasy movies situated in Middle-earth. I totally understand your concerns and your arguments. My dad has always been a big Sir Christopher Lee fan, so he was okay with the movies, but you are right, not with all of it. For example that Aragorn didn’t have Andúril from the beginning of the journey like in the books. Book Aragorn is much more self-confident and absolutely „on his path“ to take back his kingdom. So yeah, there were quite a few things that bothered him. But the movies work in their own world so to speak – though there were things that bothered me as well. For example the army of the dead. Or Legolas killing that Oliphant and sliding down its trunk. That seemed a little bit too overpowered for me and a few other things as well.

      For the actors. You are absolutely right. Movies tend to replace characters we imagined while reading with the faces of actors. I read LOTR a few years after the movies again, but there I met my „old cast“ again. Meaning the characters that I imagined as a child. Some of them seemed to have aged as well 🙂 But yes, if I hear the name „Frodo“ first thing in my mind is Elijah Wood holding the ring. So you are definitely right! But I wouldn’t agree on Viggo Mortensen being a „pretty boy“. They replaced pretty Stuart Townsend with Viggo. And Viggo was badass. Slept in the stables to get the special connection with his Horse, Brego, which Aragorn and his horse have. He used to take his sword literally everywhere and trained very hard. His swordmaster said that Viggo was his best student and that he’s a master himself. Also Viggo never complained – he broke his little toe in a scene, he carried on. While fighting he suffered a smash to his mouth, causing a front tooth to break apart. He insisted on repairing the tooth whith glue and go on filming. But Jackson refused. There are lots of stories about Viggo out there in New Zealand. He’s very well known and liked there because he used to make outdoor and fishing trips, talking to people and generally being down to earth. For me he was perfectly cast. Also he looked like he never took a bath in months, hehe.

      A top list for books is a great idea! Will make one in the near future. Thank you!

      Also thank you for starting a discussion – you have a pretty solid knowledge. I like to discuss with others, hear their opinions and extend my own knowledge by hearing/reading about the knowledge of others! Have a great day and until next time!

      Antworten

Schreibe einen Kommentar zu Michaela Antworten abbrechen

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht.

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.