Friday, May 29, 2009

Great Moments in Cinema: The Usual Suspects


Agent Kujan pushes and shoves, looking this way and that.


LOW ANGLE on the feet of dozens of people.
Verbal's feet emerge from the crowd on the far side. They
hobble along the curb.

SUDDENLY, the right foot seems to relax a little, the inward
angle straightens itself out in a few paces and the limp
ceases as though the leg has grown another inch.


Verbal's hands are rummaging around in his pockets. The good
left hand comes up with a pack of cigarettes, the bad right
hand comes up with a lighter. The right hand flexes with all
of the grace and coordination of a sculptor's, flicking the
clasp on the antique lighter with the thumb, striking the
flint with the index finger. It is a fluid motion, somewhat

Verbal lights a cigarette and smiles to himself. He turns and
sees the car running alongside.


Blogger Macy Swain said...

I am crazy about that scene. It's SO satisfying as it dawns on you... Also, he's walking out of the San Pedro City Hall, and a lot of the scenes in the movie were shot within spittin' distance of my SP hangouts. The Korean Bell, my oft-mentioned spiritual headquarters, is a key location in the plot. That's such a good movie.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

These are, indeed, terrific.
My favorite great moment is in Amadeus when Wolfie, who is already green from renal failure is writing, and a knock comes at the door, and Wolfie takes his candelabra and begins dancing around the house in his nightgown with the overture from The Magic Flute playing and he thumbs his nose at his father's portrait.

Ok, a picture really is worth a thousand words, but if you live in the 18th century as I do most the time, it was brilliant to see Mozart thumb his nose at his overbearing nasty father.

Oh, and Dorothy Gale's house landing.


4:39 PM  
Blogger Andrew Shields said...

Or when Kevin Spacey's lip twitches when Chazz Palmieri concludes that someone else is Keyzer Sosé (sp?), so that when you first see the movie, you think his lip is twitching out of nervousness that Chazz is right, but if you see it again, you know it's twitching because he's laughing!

3:44 PM  

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