Sunday, November 17, 2013

Breaking Tears and Surprise

Mettel Ray is hosting another blogathon before the festive season, and this time it is called 'Breaking Emotion' (which reminds me, I really need to get on my bike and continue watching Breaking Bad). Unfortunately, I missed the first instalment - all about fear and awkwardity in movies - since I was too busy breaking all of my real emotions with the end of my high schooling. Alas, this week's emotions are tears and surprise, two emotions which I'm all too familiar with in films. Here's what Mettel has to say about them on her blog.

First up, three films (only three films...hmmm) that make me cry tears of sadness. The sad fact is that I can no longer go to the cinemas because I cry at every movie I see. I was an absolute wreck after Gravity two times over, which was rather embarrassing for the people who went through that movie with me. Alas, I do enjoy crying in movies, so here's the three that devastated me the most:

Requiem for a Dream (2000) - "I'm going to be on television"
I honestly don't think a film has ever devastated me as much as this one. I saw it nearly three years ago and I cannot ever imagine watching it again with less tears than the first time I saw it. The thing that devastates me the most about this film was definitely the way that Ellen Burstyn bleats on about how she's going to be on television. But that's only the beginning. The final five minutes are torture. From the way Sara Goldfarb looks when her friends come to visit, to the lengths that Marion has to go to in order to get her fix, to when Harry wakes up, to that very final is literally way too much for me to handle. And I saw this when I was 15. I still haven't recovered. Though I did put the main theme in our Stage Challenge performance because that's just how depressing I wanted it to be. So maybe I'm beginning to cope with the trauma.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - "Rise"
Of all the times I've been a complete mess at the cinemas - and War Horse is close behind this one - The Dark Knight Rises tops it. I'm pretty sure I was crying on at least ten different occasions during the film, but those last moments really got the waterfall flowing. I think the moment that hits me the most is when they're unveiling the Batman statue and the way Gordon is just sitting there, not clapping. There's just something about that. Add in Hans Zimmer's song 'Rise' and there's a recipe for dignity disaster. But I think what hit me most on the first viewing was how this seemed like the end of an era for me, with this trilogy coming to a close - I get rather nostalgic and emotional about these things.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) - "Stop crying."
Perks is a film that I hold very near and dear to my heart. I remember crying my eyes out when I finished reading the book at 12am. I remember crying on the plane to Japan when I first saw this film. I remember stopping whatever I was doing at work during May to go and cry over the trailer. I also remember not so long ago when I saw this film again, and cried throughout the entire thing because half of the things that were happening in that film were happening in my life. But if there was one moment in this film that guarantees that I'll start crying, it is when Charlie has his breakdown, calls his sister, and then repetitively says "stop crying". Not that I've ever been through what he's been through, but there's plenty of times this year that I've felt exactly the same. And I guess it is nice to have a film that reflects life, and a particularly good film at that.

Now - on to the surprise films. I do love me a good twist.

Psycho (1960) - well, everyone knows it by now
I first saw this film when I was 11 years old, and Mum was introducing me to Hitchcock films. I haven't seen it in the past seven years, but I still vividly remember the experience, because of that damn twist. It hit me like a train. My surprise was probably helped by the fact that I was only 11 and therefore hadn't entered the field of spoilers that surround this film, but hey, is this not one of the best twists ever?

Atonement (2007) - Briony's final act of kindness
I've put Atonement on this list because I've just finished studying it inside and out for my final English exam. So ironically, there's a distinct lack of surprise about this film. However, this was another film I saw at a young age (12) and remember vividly because of the twist. Seeing the film again (and again and again and again and then writing a 1000 word essay on it), the surprise becomes so obvious, especially in that confrontation scene - which I based most of my essay on. That being said, it was really fun watching everyone in my class lose their shit in that final scene. It is quite the twist, and it really is a masterful narrative and cinema technique cross over.

The Dark Knight (2008) - by the window
I have seen The Dark Knight a dozen times and this single second still surprises me. It is a pretty basic scare, but damn, it is effective.

How about you, what gives you tears or a surprise?


  1. Great picks! God, I won't even watch Requiem for a Dream again BECAUSE of that scene. It just kills me. I jumped at the hanging scene in The Dark Knight too.

    1. I could never do Requiem for a Dream again, the scars will never heal!

  2. Nice choices! The Perks scene really got me too. And I always forget about that TDK scene. It's hard not to be surprised by that one.

    1. I know! I always know it is coming but I can still never prepare.

  3. VERY cool that we both have Atonement on our list, Stevee! It never fails to make me cry! Great pick too about the TDKR scene.


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