Have you ever had a moment when the image on the screen took you breath away during a movie? I remember having a few of those moments when re-watching Life of Pi recently.
Buzzfeed has published a list of 129 of the most beautiful shots in move history. Take a look at some of our favorites:
City of Gold is a 2010 Bollywood film released in both Hindi and Marathi languages. The film was directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, who has directed critically acclaimed films in the past like Astitva and Viruddh… Family Comes First. The film is adapted from the play Adhantar by Jayant Pawar, who also co-wrote the screenplay, and explores the life of Mumbai’s mill workers after they were rendered jobless in the early 1980s, when the Mumbai mills shut down in the post Great Bombay Textile Strike period, and soon made way for skyscrapers and shopping malls. The film opened to mixed reviews, though it was commended for its theme, and acting. The name of the Marathi version of this film is Lalbaug Parel, while the Hindi version was released as City of Gold
Melancholia is a 2011 Danish art film written and directed by Lars von Trier, starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgård, Cameron Spurr, and Kiefer Sutherland. The narrative revolves around two sisters during and shortly after one’s wedding, while an approaching rogue planet is about to collide with Earth. The film prominently features music from the prelude to Richard Wagner‘s opera Tristan und Isolde. Von Trier’s initial inspiration for the film came from a depressive episode he suffered and the insight that depressed people remain peaceful in catastrophic events. The film is a Danish production by Zentropa, with international co-producers in Sweden, France, and Germany. Filming took place in Sweden. The film premiered 18 May 2011 at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. Dunst received the festival’s Best Actress Award for her performance. Melancholia is the second entry in von Trier’s unofficially titled “Depression Trilogy”, having been preceded by Antichrist and followed by Nymphomaniac
The Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic war drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale, Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza. The story takes place in Clairton, a small working class town on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh and then in Vietnam, somewhere in the woodland and in Saigon, during the Vietnam War. The film was based in part on an unproduced screenplay called The Man Who Came to Play by Louis Garfinkle and Quinn K. Redeker about Las Vegas and Russian roulette. Producer Michael Deeley, who bought the script, hired writer/director Michael Cimino who, with Deric Washburn, rewrote the script, taking the Russian roulette element and placing it in the Vietnam War. The film went over-budget and over-schedule and ended up costing $15 million. The scenes of Russian roulette were highly controversial on release.
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money laundering operation. Despite being a box office disappointment, the film received multiple award nominations and outstanding reviews from critics for its acting, story, and realism. It has since been successful on cable television, VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray. It was included in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies 10th Anniversary Edition.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 American romantic fantasy drama film directed by David Fincher. The storyline by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord is loosely based on the 1922 short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse and Cate Blanchett as the love interest throughout his life. The film was released in North America on December 25, 2008, and on February 6, 2009 in the United Kingdom, to positive reviews. The film went on to receive thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Fincher, Best Actor for Pitt and Best Supporting Actress for Taraji P. Henson, and won three, for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup and Best Visual Effects.
Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness. The plot focuses on the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia, and its attempt to destroy the Galactic Empire’s space station, the Death Star. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of ambitious farmhand Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires a pair of droids that possess stolen architectural plans for the Death Star. After the Empire begins a destructive search for the missing droids, Skywalker agrees to accompany Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on a mission to return the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance and save the galaxy from the tyranny of the Galactic Empire. Lucas began writing the script to Star Wars after completing American Graffiti. He based the plot outline on the 1936 Flash Gordon serials and the 1958 Akira Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. After United Artists and Universal Pictures rejected Lucas’ script, Alan Ladd, Jr. of 20th Century Fox accepted it and agreed to finance and distribute the film.
Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, an Australian novelist. The film is based on the life of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as Schutzstaffel officer Amon Goeth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. Ideas for a film about the Schindlerjuden were proposed as early as 1963. Poldek Pfefferberg, one of the Schindlerjuden, made it his life’s mission to tell the story of Schindler. Spielberg became interested in the story when executive Sid Sheinberg sent him a book review of Schindler’s Ark. Universal Studiosbought the rights to the novel, but Spielberg, unsure if he was ready to make a film about the Holocaust, tried to pass the project to several other directors before finally deciding to direct the film himself. Principal photography took place in Kraków, Poland, over the course of 72 days in 1993.
The Tree of Life is a 2011 American experimental fantasy drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. The film chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man’s childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth. After several years in development and missing 2009 and 2010 release dates, the film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d’Or. The Tree of Life ranks #1 on Metacritic’s “Film Critic Top Ten List of 2011”. In January 2012, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography. In the 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll, 16 critics voted for it as one of their 10 greatest films ever made; it ranked #102 in the final list. The film received five votes in the directors’ poll and reached #132.
View the entire list of 120 shots at Buzzfeed.
What shots would you have added? I think at least a dozen movie stills from Life of Pi could have made the list, as well as one or two from Blue Lagoon.