Moments out of Time 2005

[originally published in Steadycam No. 49, February 2006]

Broken Flowers: Bill Murray fitting himself around a forkful of perfectly formed carrot slices…

Maria Bello, Viggo Mortenson and family: "A History of Violence"
Maria Bello, Viggo Mortenson and family: “A History of Violence”

The Squid and the Whale: The father (Jeff Daniels), coming by what is no longer his own home to pick up one of his sons, points at a TV set and says, “That’s my television! I paid for that television!”…

A History of Violence: The wife (Maria Bello), a couple of minutes after the angry fuck on the stairs, walks out of the bathroom with a towel on her head and her robe hanging open, her casual nakedness (not “nudity”) an acknowledgment that (1) she doesn’t give a shit how she looks to her husband (Viggo Mortensen), and (2) they’ve been married for years—what’s the big deal anyway?…

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada: After having invaded their trailer home, knocked her husband senseless, and bound the young wife (January Jones) in a chair and gagged her, Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) makes sure she has some television to watch and gives her a pat on the hair….

Jarhead: Leaving white foot tracks in the black sand of Kuwait…

Good Night, and Good Luck.: The forlorn, embattled decency of Don Hollenbeck (Ray Wise)…

Capote: After the Pullman porter departs, having made his little speech about how Mr. Capote’s books just keep getting better and better, Nelle Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) favors her cousin (Philip Seymour Hoffman) with a jaundiced smile and says, “You’re pathetic — you paid him to say that”….

Caché: The electronic wrinkle in the image that periodically tells us the “reality” we’ve settled into accepting isn’t…

Four Brothers: Whatever moment it was when it dawned on me: Dude, this is a Detroit remake of The Sons of Katie Elder

Brokeback Mountain: The way Randy Quaid speaks the phrase “stemming the rose”…

King Kong: Ann Darrow’s (Naomi Watts) considering glance as, confronted with a prehistorically unpleasant saurian, she realizes she can rely on her new simian best friend for protection…

Kingdom of Heaven: The formidable intelligence lurking behind the metallic faceplate of King Baldwin (Edward Norton)…

North Country: The pervasive sense of place, weather, and cruelly tortured landscape (with a deep bow to cinematographer Chris Menges)…

The Constant Gardener: The islands of rusty red — landscape as bruised and torn flesh — where Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) chooses to take his death…

Gegen die Wand: Cahit (Birol Ünel) leaping to the bandstand and leading the nightclub crowd’s ecstasy with his blood-streaked arms on high…

Breakfast on Pluto: Kitten Braden (Cillian Murphy) wrapped in Elvis-wannabe Billy Hatchet’s embrace and Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey,” as it dawns on the band what Billy (Gavin Friday) “was doing in San Francisco that time”…

Crash: The fairy-tale miracle works….

Hustle & Flow: Shug (Tariji P. Henson), supplying the backbeat for DJay’s (Terrence Howard) rap, transfigured at realizing she has become part of something…

The Wedding Crashers: Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) and John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) go Jewish….

Munich: On a houseboat splashed with sunlight, full of greenery, a lovely woman (Marie Josée Croze) lounges in her kimono. When her executioners surround her, she exposes a breast, not so much a sexual bribe as a display of vulnerable human flesh. Two small red bullet holes flower on her chest and she rises to walk unsteadily into her kitchen, there to touch her orange cat….

RTJ / KAM

© 2005 Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy


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