T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s collection of the funniest, most heartfelt and damnedest moments in the movies of 2019.
Curated by Ed Boitano.
Parasite: Park Dong-ik (Sun-kyun Lee) noticing that very distinct smell of new driver Kim Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song), who had egregiously orchestrated the dismissal of his previous chauffeur.
1917: Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) rises from the dead and staggers to the edge of what was a house, and experiences a dreamlike apocalyptic light show of fire and smoke that makes no more sense than the war in which he serves.
The Irishman: “They wouldn’t dare! They wouldn’t dare!” Al Pacino’s Jimmy Hoffa expressing indignation to Robert Di Niro’s Frank Sheeran upon the hint that he might be knocked off.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: The ethereal beauty and innocence of Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate as she lights up the Playboy mansion, oblivious to the fate that waits her. As it turns out, the joke is on us.
Little Women: Saoirse Ronan as Jo; the pages of her book arrayed on the floor as she moves them around by candlelight.
Ad Astra: The first power surge.
The Irishman: Teamster troops part like the Red Sea as Al Pacino’s Jimmy Hoffa marches through the lines in a red Cossack hat.
The Loudest Voice (TV Mini-Series): Russell Crowe’s remarkable performance as Fox News founder, Roger Ailes, giving this tragic character both depth and nuance.
Us: The arrival of the first doppelganger, which launches Lupita Nyong’o’s tour-de-force performance as both Adelaide Wilson and Red.
Three Subways Scenes of a Different Kind
Marriage Story: Scarlett Johansson’s Nicole and Adam Driver’s Charlie keeping their distance in the subway carriage, with a very distinctive pole in the middle.
Joker: Three men in a subway carriage get their kicks by harassing a lone female passenger, while Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck watches uncomfortably in the front. Unable to subdue his laughter due to an anxiety disorder, the hoodlums readdress their ire on him, pounding Arthur into a bloody pulp. Suddenly, Arthur reveals a borrowed gun and kills all three men. A disturbing precursor of what is to come.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Passengers packed into a subway carriage recognize Mister Rogers, and begin to sing in unison, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Rogers takes the compliment in stride, he’s used to it, and joins in on the song. Sitting beside him is Matthews Rhys’ Lloyd Vogel, a cynical journalist, assigned to write what he considers a ‘fluff’ piece about Rogers, and begins to realize how popular this man really is.
Parasite: Bong Joon Ho’s stunning mise-en-scène.
Bombshell: Margot Robbie’s Kayla Pospisil being seduced by John Lithgow’s Roger Ailes; a disturbing moment of vulnerability, where she is trapped and at the mercy of someone so powerful.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) finally nails the scene, and receives reaffirming praise from cast and crew. His co-player, a wise-beyond-her-years adolescent played by Julia Butter, whispers to him, ‘That was the best acting I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” moving Dalton to tears. As she departs, he whispers out loud, “Rick fuckin’ Dalton.”
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Mister Rogers’ (Tom Hanks) whispered words into the ear of the dying Jerry Vogel (Chris Cooper). Unlike Lost in Translation, later we learn what he said: “I asked him to pray for me. Anyone going through what he is going through must be awfully close to God.”
The Irishman: The fish scene. The levity beneath the gravity of it all.
Pain and Glory: The adult Mallo (Antonio Banderas) recognizing the boy in the drawing as himself.
1917: The hand of human kindness when Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) remembers to shake the hand of Lieutenant Joseph Blake (Richard Madden) after informing him that his brother had died.
Jojo Rabbit: Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) and friend Yorki (Archie Yates), members of Hitler Youth, find protection by a building as Red Army cannons begin to obliterate Berlin. Yorki, “Definitely not a good time to be a Nazi. I am going home to my mother. I need a cuddle.”
Parasite: The naivety of Park Yeon-kyo (played by Yeo-jeong Jo), mother of the upper class Park family; a ripe field to plunder by the confrontational Kim Ki-jung (Park So Dam), posing as the ultimate authority on art and therapy – topics she has just learned online that that morning – as the perfect teacher for the Park’s troubled son.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth becoming a responsible man with Pussycat (Margaret Qualley), a young Manson Family hitchhiker, looking for a little action.
Cliff: “You got some I.D., you know, like, a driver’s license or something?”
Pussycat: [laughing] “Are you joking?”
Cliff: “No, I’m not. I need to see something official that verifies that you’re eighteen, which you don’t have because you’re not.”
Judy: Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland, penniless at a hotel, her career down the drain; reassures kids that things will be ok.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) passing the light saber to Adam Driver’s Finn, using the force.
Joker: Arthur dancing on the car, surrounded by rioting masses.
Ford v Ferrari: Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) takes ‘tough-as-nails’ CEO Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) on a little test run.
Shelby: “Are you ready?”
Ford II: “I was BORN ready!.”
The Irishman: Joe Persci’s understated Russell Bufalino overhearing Frank’s first phone conversation with Jimmy Hoffa: “I hear you paint houses.” Frank replies, “I also do my own carpentry,” which provokes a rare chuckle from the no nonsense Russell. After the call ends: Russell, “He likes to talk, don’t he?” Frank, “I felt like I was talking to General Patton.”
Pain and Glory: Cecilia Roth, long time player in Almodóvar films, steps into the picture as Mallo’s long time assistant, Zulema, and gets his life back together; organizing the return from his descent into the world of procrastination, self-pity and heroin addiction.
Parasite: The Kim family rearranging themselves to steal Wi-Fi.
The Irishman: The banter in a rare sit down between mafia kingpin, Angelo Bruno (Harvey Keitel), and Robert De Niro’s nervous Frank Sheeran about his freelance agreement with a third party to burn Cadillac Linen Service to the ground. An obvious nod to past confusing word-play between Keitel and De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets and Taxi Driver.
Bruno: “You know who owns the Cadillac Linen Service?”
Frank: “Some Jews in the laundry business. That’s what they told me.”
Bruno: “They own a part of it. Somebody else got an interest in that. You know who?”
Bruno: “I do.“
Bruno: “No, I do! I own the other part! Not I know somebody who owns the other.”
And finally: A reference to an earlier off screen agreement with Russell and Bruno, which would have had tragic consequences for Frank, as the stoic Russell looks on.
Bruno: “You got a good friend here. You don’t know how good a friend you got.”
Frank: “Oh, I know.”
Bruno: “No, you don’t know.”
Judy: Richard Cordery as MGM studio head Louis B Mayer, dressing down Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger), showing us the ugly side of real Hollywood glamour: “Your name is Frances Gumm. You’re a fat-ankled, snag-toothed rube from Grand Rapids. Your father was a faggot, and your mother only cares about what I think of you. Now do you remember who you are, Judy?”
Us: Winston Duke’s Gabe Wilson, no longer the macho man in charge, becomes visibly uneasy by the unknown people who stand in his driveway who refuse to leave. “Let’s make some traps or something, like some ‘Home Alone’ type stuff. That way, if they come…” Adelaide Wilson cutting him off with, “Tell me you did not just reference ‘Home Alone.’”
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: The pitbull attacking the Manson family.
Marriage Story: Charlie singing “Being Alive,” turning the spotlight on himself for once.
Jojo Rabbit: Sam Rockwell’s Captain Klenzendorf, gallantly charges into the bloody mayhem between Red Army soldiers and the Volkssturm (Germany’s citizen army) on the streets of Berlin. Dressed to the max in full Nazi regalia, complete with a red silk cape ala Julius Caesar, moments later we see him and his tattered uniform in a garbage dump of captured men. Soon, Jojo is thrown into the mix. Klenzendorf gives him a heartfelt embrace, and then quickly rips off Jojo’s Hitler Youth garb and condemns him as a Jew for a Russian soldier’s eyes to see. It works. We follow Jojo as he is released to safety, but hear the sound of machine gun fire, sealing Klenzendorf’s fate.
Judy: Mickey Dean beginning to tire of ageing Judy’s constant need of attention: “Sweetheart, I already said I love you nine times today.” Garland: “Well maybe I need ten or twelve, once an hour, like a cuckoo clock. Cuckoo! I love you!”
Parasite: The Kim family plays a dangerous kind of hide-and-seek when the Park family returns early from a vacation.
Jojo Rabbit: Jojo follows the flight of a butterfly, flying knee length from the ground. The butterfly stops by a pair of resplendent-looking woman’s shoes, also hanging in the air. He knows those shoes as belonging to his mother (played by Scarlett Johansson). He is unable to look up, knowing his mother is hanging from the rope for her anti-Hitler statements.
Ford v Ferrari: Ken Miles (Christian Bale) and son Peter (Noah Jupe) enter the showroom to look at the new Ford Mustang. Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas), a pompous Ford Executive, is annoyed that this working-class man and son are spending too much time examining the car. He charges over to them, taking exception to Peter running his hands on the car.
Leo Beebe: Would you ask him to keep his hands off the paintwork?
Ken Miles: Who are you?
Leo Beebe: Leo Beebe, Senior Executive Vice President, Ford Motor Company. I’m responsible for the launch of the Mustang.
Ken Miles: Ah! At least now we know who’s responsible. Don’t get me wrong, Lenny. It looks fantastic. But inside, it’s a lump of lard, dressed up to fool the public. My advice is, lose the inline-six and that idiotic three-speed, shorten the wheelbase, somehow lose half a ton, and lower the price. But even then, I’d still choose a Chevy Chevelle. And that’s a fucking terrible car.
Artists Doing What They Do Best
Judy: Judy (Renée Zellweger) belting out a heart-wrenching final number that touches the souls of both the club’s audience and theatre attendees of today.
Ford v Ferrari: Race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bales) tears along the course, occasionally offering words of encouragement to his Ford Shelby.
Jojo Rabbit: Thomasin McKenzie’s Elsa, the sympathetic Jewish girl Jojo’s mother had been hiding in the attic, steps out into the street for her first breath of freedom. She contemplates the moment, and then settles a past score by slapping Jojo. But, what to do next? They look at one another without a clue. Elsa begins to slowly dance. Jojo joins here and then snaps his finger, and David Bowie’s Heroes (Helden) blasts on the soundtrack, with Bowie, a former Berlin resident, almost screaming the lyrics in German. Their dance intensifies, now in harmonious movement. The screen turns back and the credits begin to roll, and we see and feel these final words:
“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s Best Pictures of 2019
- Parasite: Bong Joon-ho
- The Irishman: Martin Scorsese
- Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: Quentin Tarantino
- Pain and Glory: Pedro Almodóvar
- 1917: Sam Mendes
- Joker: Todd Phillips
- Marriage Story: Noah Baumbach
- Us: Jordan Peele
- Synonyms: Nadav Lapid
- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Marielle Heller
- High Life: Claire Denis
- Little Women: Greta Gerwig
- The Souvenir: Joanna Hogg
- The Image Book: Jean-Luc Godard
- The Dead Don’t Die: Jim Jarmusch
- An Elephant Sitting Still: Hu Bo
- Ash Is Purest White: Jia Zhangke
- Bacurau: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles
- Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc: Bruno Dumont
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Céline Sciamma
- Uncut Gems: Josh and Benny Safdie
- Ford Vs Ferrari: James Mangold
Anna Karina: The French New Wave Icon, Has Died at Age 79
Anna Karina, the Danish-born actress who became a symbol of La Nouvelle Vague in Jean-Luc Godard’s seven 1960s films, died last month in Paris. Her death was confirmed by France’s culture minister, who said the cause was cancer.
Hanne Karin Bayer was born on Sept. 22, 1940, in Solbjerg, Denmark, a suburban town on the country’s east coast. Her father left the family a year after her birth. Her mother ran a dress shop. Hanne lived with her maternal grandparents for three years and was in foster care for four years but eventually went back to live with her mother. She dropped out of school at 14, sang in cabarets and worked as a television model. At 17, she ran away from home — hitchhiking to Paris — and was discovered by the casting director of an advertising agency while sitting at Les Deux Magots, the fashionable Left Bank cafe. During a photo shoot for Elle magazine, she met fashion designers, Coco Chanel and Pierre Cardin, who advised her to change her name.MORE
Kirk Douglas (1916 – 2020)
T-Boy Society of Film & Music selects Kirk Douglas’ best film appearances followed with comments by Mr. Douglas.
Top 5 — In order of preference
- Lust for Life (1956)
“Acting is make-believe. I never believe I’m the character; I want you to believe. But with Lust for Life, I got so involved with van Gogh… it really was frightening, because I felt like the character was overtaking me… It was a very, very interesting experience. I have never felt that way on any other picture.”
- Paths of Glory (1957)
“I saw a little picture that Stanley Kubrick had done [the 1956 film The Killing], and I said, ‘Gee, he’s very talented.’ I called him and said, ‘Do you have any other projects?’ He said, ‘Yes, I have a project, but nobody wants to do it.’ And he sent me Paths of Glory. I said, ‘Stanley, this picture won’t make a nickel, but we have to do it.’”
- Ace in the Hole (1951)
“I thought that Billy Wilder was such a brilliant director… [That character was a lot to handle, so I asked him if I should tone him down a bit, but he told me to do just the opposite.] ‘Both knees! Give it both knees!’”
- The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
“You know, it’s tough to make a movie about movies… We’re all too close to it. But The Bad and the Beautiful was very good. And Lana Turner, I think, did her best job; she was very good. I was good, too!”
- Spartacus (1960)
“I was intrigued with the character of Spartacus, and I just had to make it. And, at the same time, we were going through a terrible period, the McCarthy era… I’m very proud that Spartacus broke the blacklist [by giving blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo screen credit], because that was very important… It happened at the right time for me. I was young enough to be foolish… It’s nice to make a movie that people enjoy and that does something.”
Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
“I love that character and his relationship with his horse. And I always consider that my best movie. It was not a big success. It’s gotten to be more of a cult film right now… Again, Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay. It was the one time we never changed a word; it was perfect, like a hole in one.”Kirk Douglas Bio