An anthology of delicious cinematic moments. Not only for Christmas-time.

  • Chef Chu cooks, in Ang Lee’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. Precision, cruelty, delicacy, beauty – a master at work.
  • Carey Mulligan sings New York, New York in Steve McQueen’s Shame. The most banal of songs turned to a heart-stopping experience. A moment as finely scripted, as it is acted.
  • Michael Jeter delivers a singing message to Lydiaaa – surreal and awkward as it is funny – in The Fisher King, a film full of affection for the losers, the lost, the misfits, the down-and-out. (And is it just me, or do you too hear here echoes of Groucho Marx and ‘Lydia the Tattooed Lady’?)
  • Little Olive performs her outrageous, courageous, in every way politically incorrect, provocative, deeply ironic, and awfully impossibly amusing dance in the finale of Little Miss Sunshine.
  • Albert Finney pulls off a classy escape – dressing gown, slippers, cigar, the works – in the sounds of Danny Boy, in the Coens’ Millers Crossing.
  • Two women cross swords in the yellows of the autumn woods. Two men upon the blue mirror of a mountain lake. Two scenes to die for. In Hero.
  • Two friends and rivals share a bottle of champagne. In the bottom of a swimming pool. In their tuxedos. In Luc Besson’s Le Grand Bleu.
  • The Usual Suspects’ line-up scene: five tremendous actors having tremendous fun.
  • A writer’s outfit: Grady Tripp’s pink dressing gown in Wonder Boys.
  • A girl’s feet: Youki Kudoh ignites a lighter with her toes in Mystery Train.
  • Another girl’s shoes: Marie Antoinette’s All-Stars – shrewd product placement or a filmmaker’s whim? A moment of absurdity, mischief, poetic licence, sheer delight, in Sofia Coppola’s film.
  • Forever haunting – the opening sequence of Dont Look Now.
  • Eternally enchanting – the fairytale sequences of Siddhartha’s life in Bertolucci’s Little Buddha.
  • Lovemaking in L Amant, as Jean-Jacques Annaud adapts Marguerite Duras. The honesty, the joy, of two bodies in harmony.
  • The beautiful, sad, mindbending, iconic turning point in Neil Jordan’s    The Crying Game. (And though there are two ingenious turning points, sending us to entirely unexpected places, you know which one i mean.)
  • The King of the Moon, a disembodied Robin Williams, struggles to preserve his mind over matter, in Terry Gilliam’s overlooked The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
  • Danny Glover trapped by a bomb on his toilet seat, in Lethal Weapon 2.
  • More toilet humour, this time on the side of the surreal. Ewan McGregor’s Renton dives in ‘the worst toilet in Scotland’ – from the revolting to the big blue. In Trainspotting, of course.
  • Mischief, wit, dark, dark humour, in the cartoon end credits of Filth.
  • Christmas in the opening of Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander. A lush and joyous family gathering, with something sinister around the corner.
  • Miles Davis as a street musician. The ghost of Tom Waits as Ghost of Christmas Past. And Carol Kane as the tiniest, fiercest, wickedly funny Ghost of Christmas Present. In Scrooged.
  • And finally, oh men, lets us pray… a Loud Prayer with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his alternative version of Our Father, in The Last Waltz.

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