Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Filmmaking - The Penultimate Movie Ending

Filmmaking - Favorite Endings

In Response to many emails, "What is your SECOND favorite
movie ending, I'd have to say it's this, the last sequence
from Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, "Paths Of Glory."

After an uncompromising feature-length look at the First World
War, both from the trenches and the palaces of power, this last
reel is redemptive, hopeful, and somehow manages to speak of
human compassion.

As Steven Spielberg said, anybody who thinks Stanley Kubrick
was a cold, misanthropic, unemotional filmmaker, might do well
to watch this immediately, and perhaps form a differing opinion.

Again, I think it's mandatory for filmmakers. Just see what
Stanley was able to do, with practically nothing - only a roomful
of good actors, his beautiful wife singing, and a camera that
lingered on faces.

Please let me know what your favorite movie ending is.


1 comment:

  1. Yeah this is a great scene for sure - probably the most unabashedly emotional of Kubrick's career. He goes for tears here, but it's truly poignant and it works. My favorite ending ever would probably be the end of "Nashville", when Altman cuts to the strangers in the crowd and the girl on stage sings 'It don't worry me." That or the overwhelming and unexpected ending to "Cries and Whispers". "Chinatown" is pretty hard to beat in terms of punch-in-the-gut iciness- best ending line I can think of. Woody Allen's close-up at the end of "Manhattan" is a classic moment. I've always thought about the verite ending of "Coming Home" as a fantastic one too, Jane Fonda walking past the "Out" sign - great Vietnam statement. In recent years, the ending of "No Country For Old Men" is a standout, that mysterious dream that Jones' character tells of, which I interpreted one way (about the absence of God) but I've heard others say it means something quite different to them. There are a lot of great ones - this scene from "Paths of Glory" is hard to beat for emotional impact. Hats off to Kubrick - one of the great film artists of his or any time. He's one guy who I could watch any of movies anytime, except for "Spartacus" which is half-Kubrick. "Eyes Wide Shut" is still strangely underrated. "Full Metal Jacket" and that might not be perfect, but the craft is so impeccable and there are so many classic sequences that I've watched them both a dozen times. My favorite is "Barry Lyndon" - it's unbelievably rich and multi-layered. "The Shining" I've probably seen the most, I have no idea how many times. "2001" - also lost count. Those films just get better and better! Thanks for celebrating Kubrick on his birthday! Might have to watch one of his films tonight in tribute! Probably "Dr. Strangelove" - it's been too long on that one.