Thursday, October 12, 2023


[Back in 2018, there was a social media challenge on Facebook in which a person posted a picture a day for 10 days of 10 films that made an impact on them. However, I went a step beyond and posted an explanation as to why they made that impact. For the sake of posterity, they're being reposted here in their entirety (with some modification where warranted)]:

Day 3 of 10 movies that had an impact on me. 10 films that inspired you, 10 days, one image. I was nominated for this challenge by Andrew Baldwin. Have fun doing your own.

Fuck “Titanic”! THIS is the seminal cinematic historical romantic fiction of the ‘90s (fight me!). Michael Mann took a plodding, near-interminable novel and turned it into one of the most visually arresting, dynamically riveting, emotionally resonant adaptations ever put to screen. Daniel Day-Lewis surprised all and sundry in his turn as Nathaniel (the original “Hawkeye”), proving that the then-darling of the burgeoning indie scene could easily slip into the shoes of a heroic, romantic lead. Madeline Stowe’s “Cora” was, like the heroine mentioned in yesterday’s choice, not a wilting wallflower waiting to be rescued, but a woman of strength and fortitude equal to that Nathaniel’s. Most especially, Wes Studi’s chilling performance as “Magua” put him among the pantheon of the greatest of screen villains. 

The cinematography, which included the incredible vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is nothing short of breathtaking, matched by one of the most powerful, arresting, and as-close-to-spiritual-as-you-can-get scores ever recorded for film by the combined talents of Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman (with assist by Daniel Lanois). Trust me...I could go on for DAYS about this score (and it counts among my top five).  

It’s high adventure, soulful romance (especially epitomized in the chaste but doomed love between Alice Munro [Jodhi May] and Eric Schweig [Uncas]), and powerful performances that stay with you yet demand re-watching. I know I'm "breaking the rules" by posting two (three?) images, but both relationships depicted not only epitomize the entire film in their respective shots, they also anchor the film, in my opinion, in equal measure.

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