A few moments from last year that reminded me why I love cinema so damn much.
- By strange coincidence, my two top films from 2004 shared something that simply sent shivers down my spine -- delayed opening credits. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, we're seventeen minutes into the film; Joel is crying for a then-unknown reason, Beck's version of Everybody's Got To Learn Sometimes begins, as do the opening credits. In Last Life in the Universe, they appear after thirty-four minutes, and from that point forward, everything changes. Absolute magic.
- Jean-Luc Godard's silent, anguished expression after being asked, "Can the new digital cameras save cinema?", in Notre Musique.
- Eric Tsang calmly devouring a meal at the police station while being interrogated in Infernal Affairs.
- A man quietly jogs on a tree-lined, snow-covered path. It's only after several minutes that we realize this is Central Park, in Birth.
- Media censorship at the local level -- The pile of burning radios in Moolaade.
- A man offers a gift to a friend he hasn't seen in years -- to leave the first footprints in the freshly fallen snow in his garden, in Woman is the Future of Man.
- A great aural moment in a visual medium -- Tadanobu Asano recording the individual station jingles along Tokyo's Yamanote subway line in Café Lumiére.
- Napoleon dancing to Jamiroquai in Napoleon Dynamite.
- "Spike Lee?" "No, Spike Jonze." A brilliant moment on celeb cred in the otherwise forgettable Coffee and Cigarettes.
- Natalie Portman as an object of lust, being leered at (in slow motion) by every man that passes her on Broadway, while Damien Rice croons, "I can't take my eyes off of you. . ." An ultra-disturbing ending to an already emotionally draining movie -- Closer.
Well, as the saying goes, all good ends must thing. To Cinetrix, David, Aaron, and Liz -- the CONVERSATION was truly a rewarding experience -- thanks for allowing me to be part of it. A special tip of the hat to the all the commentators (and of course George) -- my god you gave us a lot to chew on! Thanks also for offering new insights into films that I thought had been discussed to death. David - looking forward to meeting you in Berlin next month. Aaron - Let's meet over several stiff drinks to talk about Clint, Vincent and several others that push our buttons. Liz - would you join us and act as mediator? And Cinetrix, don't even think of coming to NYC again without allowing me to roll out the red carpet.
Here's hoping to see you all again for the CONVERSATION 2: The Quickening.