A Must-Read: New York Times’ “Scenes To Remember”

1/12/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Matt Popkin

One of the hidden benefits of the mind numbing pre-Oscars hype is re-discovering films you really meant to see but never got around to. In case you still need to be sold on three of the best films of the year, The New York Times has published an especially compelling feature called “Scenes to Remember.” In it, three of the Times’ top film critics each pick a particular scene that resonated with them from three different films--all of which did not have the box office results to match the critical acclaim they received.

The best part of “Scenes to Remember” is only accessible online. After reading Stephen Holden breaking down a scene from “The Messenger,” you can see it for yourself by clicking on the video link to watch the scene in question. Suddenly, Holden’s claim that the film has some of the best acting performances of the past decade does not seem like hyperbole as Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster rivet you to your monitor.

The same can be said for A.O. Scott’s analysis of an opening scene from “Where the Wild Things Are.” Now you can see for yourself how “Where the Wild Things Are” captures the mood-swings of childhood in a way that shows this emotional fragility is still inside all of us as adults. In particular, Scott’s beautiful writing showcases what could be in store for journalism in the future. Here is a classic film review, supplemented and enhanced by the internet’s new possibilities in form of the movie clip.

The real treat, and further example of the Times’ use of multimedia comes in the scene selected from “The Hurt Locker.” Instead of simply presenting the film clip, the Times’ supplies an interview with director Kathryn Bigelow, in which she describes the creative process involved in the scene, including camera choice and difficulties of filming in the rough terrain and climate of Jordan. You’re now transported from simply being a viewer to being right alongside Bigelow on the set of an independent film trying to make something incredible.

As “Avatar” and its 3-D technology breaks the billion dollar mark world-wide, it’s important take some time off from wondering who’s going to be nominated for what and try to appreciate filmmaking in its most raw and powerful form. “Scenes to Remember” would be a good place to start.

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  1. Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the heads up - going to watch Scenes to Remember right now!