Saturday, March 30, 2019

Some Quality Scenes

Here is a list of scenes from movies in which the actor(s) deliver a powerful performance. If this is one of my Theater Class students reading this, please chose one of the following scenes to perform with a partner for the final. You can choose another scene but it needs to be a challenging scene and I 'll need to okay it first. Remember, as Hemingway said, good is the enemy of great.

1. No Country For Old Men

Chigurh stands at the counter across from the elderly proprietor. 
He holds up a bag of cashews.

                          CHIGURH           How much?

                          PROPRIETOR           Sixty-nine cent.

                          CHIGURH           This. And the gas.

                          PROPRIETOR           Y'all getting any rain up your way?

                          CHIGURH           What way would that be?

                          PROPRIETOR           I seen you was from Dallas.
Chigurh tears open the bag of cashews and pours a few into his hand.

                          CHIGURH           What business is it of yours where
           I'm from, friendo?                         

                          PROPRIETOR           I didn't mean nothin' by it.

                          CHIGURH           Didn't mean nothin'.

                          PROPRIETOR           I was just passin' the time.

                          CHIGURH           I guess that passes for manners in
           your cracker view of things.
A beat.

                          PROPRIETOR           Well sir I apologize. If you don't
           wanna accept that I don't know what
           else I can do for you.
Chigurh stands chewing cashews, staring while the old man works the register and puts change on the counter.

                          PROPRIETOR           ...Will there be somethin' else?

                          CHIGURH           I don't know. Will there?
The proprietor turns and coughs. Chigurh stares.

                          PROPRIETOR           Is somethin' wrong?

                          CHIGURH           With what?

                          PROPRIETOR           With anything?

                          CHIGURH           Is that what you're asking me? Is
           there something wrong with anything?
The proprietor looks at him, uncomfortable, looks away.

                          PROPRIETOR           Will there be anything else?

                          CHIGURH           You already asked me that.                         

                          PROPRIETOR           Well... I need to see about closin'.

                          CHIGURH           See about closing.

                          PROPRIETOR           Yessir.

                          CHIGURH           What time do you close?

                          PROPRIETOR           Now. We close now.

                          CHIGURH           Now is not a time. What time do you

                          PROPRIETOR           Generally around dark. At dark.
Chigurh stares, slowly chewing.

                          CHIGURH           You don't know what you're talking
           about, do you?

                          PROPRIETOR           Sir?

                          CHIGURH           I said you don't know what you're
           talking about.
Chigurh chews.

                          CHIGURH           ...What time do you go to bed.

                          PROPRIETOR           Sir?

                          CHIGURH           You're a bit deaf, aren't you? I
           said what time do you go to bed.

                          PROPRIETOR           Well...
A pause.

                          PROPRIETOR           ...I'd say around nine-thirty.
           Somewhere around nine-thirty.

                          CHIGURH           I could come back then.

                          PROPRIETOR           Why would you be comin' back? We'll
           be closed.

                          CHIGURH           You said that.
He continues to stare, chewing.

                          PROPRIETOR           Well... I need to close now --

                          CHIGURH           You live in that house behind the

                          PROPRIETOR           Yes I do.

                          CHIGURH           You've lived here all your life?
A beat.

                          PROPRIETOR           This was my wife's father's place.

                          CHIGURH           You married into it.

                          PROPRIETOR           We lived in Temple Texas for many
           years. Raised a family there. In
           Temple. We come out here about four
           years ago.

                          CHIGURH           You married into it.

                          PROPRIETOR           ...If that's the way you wanna put

                          CHIGURH           I don't have some way to put it.
           That's the way it is.
He finishes the cashews and wads the packet and sets it on the counter where it begins to slowly unkink. The proprietor's eyes have tracked the packet. Chigurh's eyes stay on the proprietor.

                          CHIGURH           ...What's the most you've ever lost
           on a coin toss?

                          PROPRIETOR           Sir?

                          CHIGURH           The most. You ever lost. On a coin

                          PROPRIETOR           I don't know. I couldn't say.
Chigurh is digging in his pocket. A quarter: he tosses it. He slaps it onto his forearm but keeps it covered.

                          CHIGURH           Call it.

                          PROPRIETOR           Call it?

                          CHIGURH           Yes.

                          PROPRIETOR           For what?

                          CHIGURH           Just call it.

                          PROPRIETOR           Well -- we need to know what it is
           we're callin' for here.

                          CHIGURH           You need to call it. I can't call it
           for you. It wouldn't be fair. It
           wouldn't even be right.

                          PROPRIETOR           I didn't put nothin' up.

                          CHIGURH           Yes you did. You been putting it up
           your whole life. You just didn't
           know it. You know what date is on
           this coin?

                          PROPRIETOR           No.

                          CHIGURH           Nineteen fifty-eight. It's been
           traveling twenty-two years to get
           here. And now it's here. And it's
           either heads or tails, and you have
           to say. Call it.
A long beat.

                          PROPRIETOR           Look... I got to know what I stand
           to win.

                          CHIGURH           Everything.

                          PROPRIETOR           How's that?

                          CHIGURH           You stand to win everything. Call

                          PROPRIETOR           All right. Heads then.
Chigurh takes his hand away from the coin and turns his arm to look at it.

                          CHIGURH           Well done.
He hands it across.

                          CHIGURH           ...Don't put it in your pocket.

                          PROPRIETOR           Sir?

                          CHIGURH           Don't put it in your pocket. It's
           your lucky quarter.

                          PROPRIETOR           ...Where you want me to put it?

                          CHIGURH           Anywhere not in your pocket. Or it'll
           get mixed in with the others and
           become just a coin. Which it is.
He turns and goes. The proprietor watches him.
2. Casablanca

Casablanca cafe owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) sacrificed himself with a "We'll always have Paris" and "No good at being Noble" airport farewell speech to ex-lover Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman):
Rick: Because you're getting on that plane.
Ilsa: "I don't understand. What about you?" 
Rick: I'm staying here with him [Renault] 'til the plane gets safely away. 
Ilsa: "No, Richard. No. What has happened to you? Last night..." 
Rick: Last night, we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then and it all adds up to one thing. You're getting on that plane with Victor where you belong. 
Ilsa: "But Richard, no, I've..." 
Rick: Now, you've got to listen to me. Do you have any idea what you've have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn't that true, Louis? 
Renault: "I'm afraid Major Strasser would insist."
Ilsa: "You're saying this only to make me go." 
Rick: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life. 
Ilsa: "What about us?" 
Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have - we'd - we'd lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night. 
Ilsa: "When I said I would never leave you.." 
Rick: And you never will. I've got a job to do too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now. Here's looking at you, kid.

  3.  The Social Network 


          MARK ZUCKERBERG is a sweet looking 19 year old whose lack of
          any physically intimidating attributes masks a very
          complicated and dangerous anger. He has trouble making eye
          contact- and sometimes it's hard to tell if he's talking to you
          or to himself.

          ERICA, also 19, is Mark's date. She has a girl-next-door face
          that makes her easy to fall for. At this point in the
          conversation she already knows that she'd rather not be there
          and her politeness is about to be tested.

          The scene is stark and simple.

          How do you distinguish yourself in a
          population of people who all got 1600 on
          their SAT's?

          I didn't know they take SAT's in China.

          I wasn't talking about China anymore, I
          was talking about here.

          You got 1600?

          You can sing in an a Capella group.

          Does that mean that you actually got
          nothing wrong?

          Or you row crew or you invent a 25 dollar

          Or you get into a final club.

          Or you get into a final club, exactly.

          I like guys who row crew.


          Well I can't do that. And yes, it means I
          got nothing wrong on the test.

          Have you ever tried?

          I'm trying now.

          To row crew?

          To get into a final club. To row crew?
          No. Are you, like--whatever--crazy?

          Sometimes, Mark-seriously-YOU say two
          things at once and I'm not sure which one
          we're talking about.

          But you've seen guys who row crew, right?


          Okay, well.. they're bigger than me.
          They're world class athletes. And a
          second ago you said you like guys who row
          crew so I assumed you'd met one.

          I guess I meant I liked the idea of it.
          The way a girl likes cowboys.

          The Phoenix is good.

          This is a new topic?

          It's the same topic.

          We're still talking about the finals

          Would you rather talk about something

          It's just that since the beginning of
          the conversation about finals clubs I
          think I may have had a birthday.


4. Jurassic Park


 HAMMOND, GRANT, ELLIE, MALCOLM, and GANNARO eat lunch at a long 
 table in the visitor's center restaurant.

 There is a large buffet table and two WAITERS to serve them.

 The room is darkened and Hammond is showing slides of various 
 scenes all around them.  Hammond's own recorded voice describes current 
 and future features of the park while the slides flash artists' 
 renderings of all them.

 The real Hammond turns and speaks over the narration.

 None of these attractions have been finished yet.  The 
 park will open with the basic tour you're about to take, 
 and then other rides will come on line after six or 
 twelve months.  Absolutely spectacular designs.  Spared 
 no expense.

 More slides CLICK past, a series of graphs dealing with profits, 
 attendance and other fiscal projections.  Donald Gennaro, who has 
 become increasingly friendly with Hammond, even giddy, grins from ear 
 to ear.

  And we can charge anything we want!  Two thousand a day, 
  ten thousand a day - - people will pay it!  And then
  there's the merchandising - -

  Donald, this park was not built to carter only to the 
  super rich.  Everyone in the world's got a right to 
  enjoy these animals.

  Sure, they will, they will.
  We'll have a - - coupon day or something.

 Grant looks down, at the plate he's eating from.  It's in the 
 shape of the island itself.  He looks at his drinking cup. It's got a 
 T-rex on it, and a splashy Jurassic Park logo.

 There are a stack of folded amusement park-style maps on the 
 table in front of Grant.  He picks one up.  Boldly, across the top it 
 says, "Fly United to Jurassic Park!"

   (on tape)
  - - from combined revenue streams for all three parks 
  should reach eight to nine billion dollars a year - - 

   (to Gennaro)
  That's conservative, of course.  There's no reason to 
  speculate wildly.

  I've never been a rich man.  I hear it's nice.  Is it

 Ian Malcolm, who was been watching the screens with outright 
 contempt, SNORTS, as if he's finally had enough.

  The lack of humility before nature that's been displayed
  here staggers me.

 They all turn and look at him.

  Thank you, Dr. Malcolm, but I think things are a little
  different than you and I feared.

  Yes, I know.  They're a lot worse.

  Now, wait a second, we haven't even see the park yet.  
  Let's just hold out concerns until - -
   (or alt. version)
  Wait - we were invited to this island to evaluate the
  safety conditions of the park, physical containment.  
  The theories that all simple systems have complex 
  behavior, that animals in a zoo environment will 
  eventually begin to behave in an unpredictable fashion 
  have nothing to do with that evaluation.  This is not 
  some existential furlough, this is an on-site 
  inspection.  You are a doctor.  Do your job.  You are 
  invalidating your own assessment.  I'm sorry, John - -

  Alright Donald, alright, but just let him talk.  I want 
  to hear all viewpoints.  I truly do.
  I truly am.

  Don't you see the danger, John, inherent in what you're 
  doing here?  Genetic power is the most awesome force 
  ever seen on this planet.  But you wield it like a kid 
  who's found his dad's gun.

  If I may.... It is hardly appropriate 
  to start hurling
  Excuse me, excuse me - - generalizations before - -
  I'll tell you.

    MALCOLM (cont'd)
  The problem with scientific power you've used is it 
  didn't require any discipline to attain it.  You read 
  what others had done and you took the next step.  You 
  didn't earn the knowledge yourselves, so you don't take 
  the responsibility for it.  You stood on the shoulders 
  of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you 
  could, and before you knew what you had, you patented 
  it, packages it, slapped in on a plastic lunch box, and 
  now you want to sell it.

  You don't give us our due credit.  Our scientists have 
  done things no one could ever do before.

  Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not 
  they could that they didn't stop to think if they 
  should.  Science can create pesticides, but it can't 
  tell us not to use them.  Science can make a nuclear 
  reactor, but it can't tell us not to build it!

  But this is nature!  Why not give an extinct species a 
  second chance?!  I mean, Condors. Condors are on the 
  verge of extinction - - if I'd created a flock of them 
  on the island, you wouldn't be saying any of this!
  have anything to say at all!

  Hold on - - this is no species that was obliterated by 
  deforestation or the building of a dam.  Dinosaurs had 
  their shot.  Nature selected them for extinction.

  I don't understand this Luddite attitude, especially 
  from a scientist.  How could we stand in the light of 
  discovery and not act?

  There's nothing that great about discovery.
  What's so great about discovery?  It's a violent, 
  penetrative act that scars what it explores.  What you 
  call discovery I call the rape of the natural world!

  Please - - let's hear something from the others.  Dr.
  Grant?  I am sorry - - Dr. Sattler?

  The question is - - how much can you know about an 
  extinct ecosystem, and therefore, how could you assume 
  you can control it?  You have plants right here in this 
  building, for example, that are poisonous.  You picked 
  them because they look pretty, but these are aggressive 
  living things that have no idea what century they're 
  living in and will defend themselves.  Violently, if 

 Exasperated, Hammond turns to Grant, who looks shell-shocked.

  Dr. Grant, if there's one person who can appreciate all 
  of this - -
  What am I trying to do?

 But Grant speaks quietly, really thrown by all of this.

  I feel - - elated and - - frightened and - -
   (starts over)
  The world has just changed so radically.  We're all 
  running to catch up.  I don't want to jump to any 
  conclusions, but look - -

 He leans forward, a look of true concern on his face.

    GRANT (cont'd)
  Dinosaurs and man - - two species separated by 65 
  million years of evolution - - have just been suddenly 
  thrown back into the mix together.  How can we have the 
  faintest idea of what to expect?

  I don't believe it.  I expected you to come down here 
  and defend me from these characters and the only one 
  I've got on my side it the bloodsucking lawyer!?

  Thank you.

 One of the WAITERS whispers to Hammond.

  Ah - - they're here.


5. My Dinner with Andre

Wally: Well, why...why do you think that is? I mean, why is that, I mean, is it just because people are...are lazy today, or they're bored? I mean, are we just like bored, spoiled children who've just been lying in the bathtub all day just playing with their plastic duck, and now they're just thinking, "Well, what can I do?"

Andre: Okay. Yes. We're bored. We're all bored now. But has it every occurred to you, Wally, that the process that creates this boredom that we see in the world now may very well be a self-perpetuating, unconscious form of brainwashing created by a world totalitarian government based on money? And that all of this is much more dangerous than one thinks. And it's not just a question of individual survival, Wally, but that somebody who's bored is asleep? And somebody who's asleep will not say "no"?

Andre: See, I keep meeting these people, I mean, uh, just a few days ago I met this man whom I greatly admire, he's a Swedish physicist, Gustav Björnstrand, and he told me that he no longer watches television, he doesn't read newspapers, and he doesn't read magazines. He's completely cut them out of his life because he really does feel that we're living in some kind of Orwellian nightmare now, and that everything that you hear now contributes to turning you into a robot.

Andre: And when I was at Findhorn, I met this extraordinary English tree expert who had devoted his life to saving trees. Just got back from Washington, lobbying to save the redwoods, he's 84 years old, and he always travels with a backpack cause he never knows where he's gonna be tomorrow. And when I met him at Findhorn, he said to me, "Where are you from?" and I said, "New York." He said, "Ah, New York. Yes, that's a very interesting place. Do you know a lot of New Yorkers who keep talking about the fact that they want to leave, but never do?" And I said, "Oh, yes." And he said, "Why do you think they don't leave?" I gave him different banal theories. He said, "Oh, I don't think it's that way at all."

Andre: He said, "I think that New York is the new model for the new concentration camp, where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves, and the inmates are the guards, and they have this pride in this thing they've built. They've built their own prison. And so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are both guards and prisoners, and as a result, they no longer have, having been lobotomized, the capacity to leave the prison they've made or to even see it as a prison." And then he went into his pocket, and he took out a seed for a tree and he said, "This is a pine tree." He put it in my hand and he said, "Escape before it's too late."

Andre: See, actually, for two or three years now, Chiquita and I have had this very unpleasant feeling that we really should get out. That we really should feel like Jews in Germany in the late thirties. Get out of here. Of course, the problem is where to go, cause it seems quite obvious that the whole world is going in the same direction. See, I think it's quite possible that the 1960s represented the last burst of the human being before he was extinguished and that this is the beginning of the rest of the future now, and that, from now on there'll simply be all these robots walking around, feeling nothing, thinking nothing. And there'll be nobody left almost to remind them that there once was a species called a human being, with feelings and thoughts, and that history and memory are right now being erased, and soon nobody will really remember that life existed on the planet.
6.  The Big Lebowski

7. The Master

more here


No comments:

Post a Comment