Thursday 30 June 2011

My three favourite movie scenes: fighting, courage, acceptance of mortality...


From the end of Blade Runner, 1982:


From the end of The Last of the Mohicans, 1992


The charge of the Rohirrim from The Return of the King, 2003:


The best popular art of our time is pagan.


Theme, acting, script and editing would all have counted for nought without the music:

BR - Vangelis; LotM - Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman; RotK - Howard Shore.



Daniel said...

Dr. Charlton,

I've been meaning to post this. Your posts come so fast and furious and are so full of meaning to me, that I barely have time to reflect and comment. (Please don't take that as an injuction to post less frequently! I really gain spiritual nourishment from this blog, and I have very few other sources in my life, sad as that might sound!)

I've never seen Blade Runner, apart from a few pop-culture references here and there. But I'm happy to see that your other two choices are two of my favorite scene! The Ride of the Rohirrim is glorious indeed, but so much of Tolkien is glorious then. The end of the Last of the Mohicans is something I've watched so many times I have lost count. The overlapping greatness of the characters is heart-crushing in the best possible sense: the nobility of Duncan sacrificing himself; the pity and compassion and skill that lets Hawkeye kill Duncan; the chivalry of Uncas as he charges off to save Alice even as he pays obeisance to his brother and father; the simple acknowledgment among the three Mohicans that Hawkeye is the best shooter, and the humble, simple way he accepts this truth. The killing charge through the Huron guards of Magwa; the bravery of Uncas in his confrontation with Magwa; the hopeless suicide of Alice and the devastation of her sister. The righteous rage of Chinganchgook, and the ultimate victory-through-terrible-pain of Hawkeye and Chinganchgook: all of this makes me shiver every time I watch it! (Which, as you can tell, is often!)

Bruce Charlton said...

Glad to see I am backed up by such an informed commenter!

Anonymous said...

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is excellent (I have read the books too) but, regarding pseudo-medieval fantasies, I prefer "Excalibur", a modern rendering of the King Arthur fables.

Unlike LOTR, an undercurrent of melancholy runs through "Excalibur": the awareness that time passes, that good times are fleeting, people get old and die but ideals remain.

A lot of Christian and conservative concepts are in the movie: how one sin destroys an entire country (a metaphor of the Fall), the quest of the Good (the Holy Grail), the loyalty of people toward their King, etc.


Bruce Charlton said...

I saw it on release and a couple of times since, but Excalibur doesn't work for me - although I am something of a fan of Nicol Williamson (who was the best Hamlet I have ever seen).