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Biggest Movies

Biggest Movies

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Published by Luchin
Mejores, peores y buenos finales, capturado de una web inglesa de crítica de cine.
Mejores, peores y buenos finales, capturado de una web inglesa de crítica de cine.

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Published by: Luchin on Sep 26, 2009
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10/15/2012

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The best film twists of all time
Three new films are set to have memorable twists. Ourfilm critic salutes those movies that have delighted insudden shock. Warning: contains spoilers
 
IPlanet of the Apes: Charlton Heston finds the Statue of Liberty Do you agree with our choices? Have your say at the foot of this article
The most powerful tool in cinema is the perfect twist, those vertiginous seconds when the bottom falls out of your seat and you are no longer sure whether to trust your eyes.It is the scene where Bruce Willis discovers a bloodstain on the back of his raincoat in
TheSixth Sense
: he is dead and that is why Haley Joel Osment can see him.It is the panic on Stephen Rea’s face when his shy new girlfriend, Dil, takes her kit off in
The Crying Game
: she is a he.It’s the roar of despair from Charlton Heston when he stumbles across the decapitated headof the Statue of Liberty on a sandy beach in
 Planet of the Apes
: Heston realises that he has been on Earth all along and humanity has destroyed itself.These great film twists are pure and delicious shocks. Aristotle called the process peripeteia: the sudden reversal from one state of affairs to its ghastly opposite via a“discovery” that turns blind ignorance into painful knowledge. As an example he cites thescene in
Oedipus Rex
by Sophocles in which the messenger unwittingly damns the herowith the happy (but fatally wrong) news that Oedipus probably didn’t kill his father andmarry his mother.The scene in
Fight Club
in which a schizophrenic Ed Norton discovers that he is possessed by a homicidal alter-ego played by Brad Pitt is just as mad and electric. The pottymelodrama could so easily beggar belief. Instead, it sets the imagination on fire. Most of all, this single scene inspires you to replay, and reassess, the picture in your head. The gripwe have on reality seems to slip the moment that Norton regains his. With one ingenious,crazy leap of faith, the director David Fincher plugs our imagination into every grimnuance of his story. Norton’s split personality is a sublime stunt, whatever your views onthe story.For every film armed with a reversal as traumatic and remarkable as
 Fight Club
, there arehundreds that fail spectacularly.The road to the holy grail is generously feathered with turkeys. The most prolific offender 
 
is M. Night Shyamalan, who has tortured his career to death trying to re-mint the elusive box-office success of 
The Sixth Sense
.Films that are dependent on flipping expectations within the space of a single scene are precarious gambles, which probably explains why there are so few big twisters in production.But there are three intriguing prospects on the immediate horizon. Tom and Charlie Guard’sghost story,
The Uninvited 
(April 24), stars David Strathairn and Elizabeth Banks in aterrifying battle of wills between parents and children.Ron Howard’s
 Angels & Demons
(May 14) is the eagerly awaited and, rumour has it,superior sequel to
The Da Vinci Code
.Charlie Kaufman’s
Synecdoche, New York 
(May 15) is guaranteed to raise hackles andeyebrows — as it did in Cannes last May — with its wild and bizarre shifts of time and place. All three films are expected to be primed with lethal twists.A poll of colleagues was remarkably consistent about which films had the best twists:
(when Pip discovers that his entire fortune, privilege and place insociety has been paid for by an ex-convict, Magwitch);
 Rebecca
(the scene in the boathousewhen de Winter reveals to his new bride that he absolutely hated his dead wife);
(when we realise Harrison Ford is a robot);
The Shining 
(when Wendy, Jack’s wife,realises that he is insane; the book he has been writing is one line written hundreds of times: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”);
The Usual Suspects
(Kevin Spaceyis pulling the strings);
The Prestige
(double twist: Christian Bale is his own twin and HughJackman has managed to clone himself),
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
(the “narrator” of thissilent movie turns out to be telling the entire story from inside a mental institution);
TheOthers
(Nicole Kidman realises that she and her children are dead); and
(Darth Vader is revealed as Luke’s father).The actor David Morrissey was not the only one to laud the ending of Jacob’s Ladder.“Your heart breaks when you realise the whole film is in fact a soldier’s [Tim Robbins]dying thoughts in Vietnam,” he muses. “But my all-time favourite twist is in
The Wicker Man
when Edward Woodward finally clocks that he has been lured to this Scottish island because the locals want to sacrifice him. Brilliant. The modern twist I’ve enjoyed best is inShane Meadows’s film
 Dead Man’s Shoes
. I actually shouted outThere can be great pleasure in being in on a twist, says Morrissey, as in
:“The twist is the opening shot, a voice from a dead man in a swimming pool, and then hetells us how he got there.” The rest of the film unpeels how he got there: he starts andfinishes the film dead.Hitchcock, of course, picked up bundles of votes. The critic Mark Cousins nominated thescene in
in which Kim Novak’s dual role is unmasked (as loving wife and heartlessfuture mistress of James Stewart). But he also argued the brilliance of the Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. “His movies have the biggest twists of all because they stop,and then restart,” explains Cousins. “They are reincarnated: that’s the influence of Buddhism I reckon.”
 
Cousins adds: “We experience films with twists in two parts. The first, before the twist,when we see them innocently, without the full knowledge, and then the second part, after we’ve eaten from the tree of knowledge and then we rewind the films in our heads and seeit again. The worst twist in recent memory was the revelation that Charlize Theron was asuperhero in
 Hancock 
. Rather than rejuvenating the movie, it sucked the entire life out of it.”The screenwriter Peter Morgan is far more ambivalent about twists. “While there’ssomething undeniably satisfying about watching a well-constructed reversal, or a ‘hairpin- bend’ twist, more often than not they are cheap and contrived, and you leave the cinemafeeling as if you’ve been mugged. Plot and understanding is a gladitorial arena: a power- based battleground where writer and audience are in a constant battle for supremacy. Agood writer can afford to let an audience play with an open hand.“But hairpin-bend reversals are the ultimate expression of a writer exerting total controlover a viewer. It is a high-wire act in terms of trust. If you can pull it off, great. If you fail,you expose your insecurity as a storyteller. The harder a narrative is to follow, the more the balance of power favours the writer. The more even the balance, the freer a viewer is to judge the rest of the writer’s work, his characters and the way he shapes the dialogue.”Those misgivings apart, Morgan names
The Sixth Sense
,
(there really aredevil worshippers living next door to poor Mia Farrow), and
(in which Norman isrevealed as the voice of his dead mother) as films with classic-twist moments.I ask Stephen Woolley, producer of Neil Jordan’s film,
The Crying Game
, about whatmakes the perfect twist and particularly that iconic moment when Dil reveals all, indeed far too much, out of pure love, to a horrified Stephen Rea.“The reason the twist in
The Crying Game
works is that, like
Psycho
, it is really a doubletwist,” reckons Woolley, who I’ve tracked down on set in deepest Africa. “Most audiencesknow there’s a surprise coming. They believe the shock moment is the death of ForestWhitaker — like Janet Leigh in the shower — and so the real ‘reveal’ [when Dil reveals her  penis] is a double whammy, just as when Anthony Perkins is revealed as his own deadmother! Killing off Forest Whitaker was a totally novel twist at the time. He was a maincharacter.”Woolley believes that the entire concept of film twists is in continual flux, that there are nogolden rules, that traditional ideas about the perfect rug-pulling moment are mutating daily.We love to be confounded. It is one of the infernal joys of cinema.“To me, films like
Vertigo
, even
Great Expectations
, are less cathartic now because theyfeel like literary subterfuge,” argues Woolley. “They don’t hit you round the head andconfound your expectations. Movies that truly shock are not those that contrive a slap in theface, but those that really do slap you in the face. Films like
 Hunger 
,
Waltz with Bashir 
,
 Lost/Found 
, or 
 Hidden
have twists that are tangible and scary.”The ultimate twist, he adds, is mass annihilation. The twist in
is that theydrop the Bomb. The twist in
 Kiss Me Deadly
is that they unleash nuclear radiation into thesea, destroying the entire planet for all we know.

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