Ten Films

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I saw the rightly acclaimed Moonlight (2016). It’s destined to be a classic and goes into my file of favorite movies, all of which have provided me with iconic scenes that act as touchstones and even talismans for me. Here are ten.

 

 

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Tender Mercies (1983) — I’ve written about this film at Traces before. The closing scenes of Tender Mercies remind me that none of us has a God’s eye view of his or her own life. More is happening at any one moment in our lives than we can perceive or understand.

 

 

 

 

The Thin Red Line (1998) — I’ve written before about this film, too.  Touchstone: “All things shining.”

 

 

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The Night of the Hunter (1955) — Tag line: “It’s a hard world for little things.”

 

 

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Deliverance (1972) — Takeaway: the inevitability of transience, the ineluctability of change.

 

 

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Wendy and Lucy (2008) — Touchstone: we do have the capacity for unconditional love, however harsh this world can be.

 

 

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The Seventh Seal (1957) — Reminder: the universe is bigger, in almost every way, than we are. So, you know, relax.

 

 

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Godfather Part II (1974) — Cautionary tale: simple verities (e.g., don’t ever take sides against the family again) are worse than useless. Taken to an extreme, they are (self-)destructive. Life is complicated.

 

 

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The Accidental Tourist (1988) — Touchstone: it’s possible to be happy.

 

 

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The Sweet Hereafter (1997) — Takeaway: bad things do happen.

 

 

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The Piano (1993) — Takeaway: look for beauty, and seek to add to it.

 

 

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