The first clip is from Glengarry Glen Ross. For those of you who've seen it, you know that I could've chosen many, many scenes from this movie, but you also know that if I had to pick one, it would be this one. A little background. GGR was orginally a David Mamet play that opened on Broadway in the 80s. It's about real estate salesmen looking for that big deal to "close." I remember Empire magazine describing this movie as "a film about a bunch of guys sitting around, talking shite. But what wonderful guys. What wonderful shite." This really does sum the movie up.
Director James Foley decided to adapt it for the big screen and, because the dialogue was so actor-friendly, had no problem lining up a heavyweight cast for the film - Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon (who, IMO, should've shared the Best Actor Oscar that year for this, with Denzel for Malcolm X [on a side note, it went that year to, coincidentally, Pacino for what is surely his worst performance - Scent of a Woman - ham acting indeed]), Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Jonathan Pryce and Alec Baldwin.
This scene features Baldwin in his only scene of the movie and, interestingly enough, this scene wasn't even featured in the original play. Foley had Mamet write this scene especially for Baldwin once he'd climbed on board. In 5 short minutes, Alec Baldwin sets the gold standard for foul-mouthed monologues - a performance he has yet to better...
The next scene is from the French film Amelie. It is, in fact, the opening of the film and, like Magnolia, is one of the best openings to a movie I've ever seen.
A delightful, whimsical fable in which we see the world through eyes of matchmaker-turned-matchmakee (is that a word?) Amelie (played with appropriate doe-eyed innocence by the then-unknown Audrey Tatou).
The opening scene sets the tone for the entire film and, if you're familiar with the work of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet ( the wholly-original Delicatessen and the equally strange City of Lost Children), you know you're in for a treat...
...and, as a bonus clip, here's clip featuree Kevin Spacey on Inside the Actor's Studio giving dead-on impersonations of some famous actors - including Lemmon and Pacino. Genius.