"It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves."
—The skeptical commoner's response to the conflicting testimonies sums up the plight of man in Akira Kurosawa's multilayered film.
The King of Marvin Gardens
"Get your ass down here fast. Our kingdom has come."
—Jason Staebler's enthusiastic message to his younger brother David characterizes the delusions of grandeur in Bob Rafelson's 1972 film.
The Wild Child
"I wish that my pupil could have understood me at this moment. I would have told him that his bite filled my soul with joy."
—Dr. Itard reflects upon his discovery of the feral boy's sense of justice in Truffaut's 1970 film.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
"The problem is I got a fifty-year-old lust and three-year-old dinky."
—Baby Herman's irreverent response to being labeled a ladies' man pushes the envelope of cartoon decency in Disney's groundbreaking film from 1988.
“It’s not the fall that kills, but the way you land.”
—Hubert’s philosophical metaphor of falling is emotionally applied to survival in the projects in 1995’s La Haine.
"Everyone makes mistakes. But if you sin, you have to make atonement for it...Big atonement for big sins. Small atonement for small sins."
—Geum-ja's (played by Yeong-ae Lee) words to her young daughter Jenny serve as an emotional lesson in morality from Chan-wook Park's 2005 Lady Vengeance.
Down by Law
"I am no criminal. I am a good egg. We are. We are a good egg."
—With this, the bouncing Roberto Benigni's "Bob" brings his two new friends together in Jim
"Like I've been telling my wife for years: 'Aside from sex,’ and she's very good at it, goddammit, 'I like you guys better.' I really do."
—So proclaims Harry, brazenly played by Ben Gazzara in Husbands. This bromantic refrain of love for his two friends characterizes the crass, yet affectionate honesty of John Cassavetes's 1970 comedy about life, death, and freedom.
Day for Night
"We meet, we work together, we love each other, and then...pfft...as soon as we grasp something, it's gone."
— The aging actress Severine’s (played by Italian starlet Valentia Cortese) astute lament on the intangible nature of filmmaking resounds the yearning romance of all art in Francois Truffaut’s 1973 film, Day for Night.
“It’s hell gettin’ older, especially when you feel 21 inside.”
— A sobering reflection made by the aging Diane, brashly played by the vibrant, and still very alive at 86, Elaine Stritch, in Woody Allen’s 1987 drama, September.
The film centers on Lane, a fragile and confused woman in her early fifties, played by Mia Farrow. After having moved into her summer home in Vermont for some much needed mental rest, Lane’s familial, platonic, and romantic relationships unravel at the arrival of autumn.
The plot of September, taking place over the few remaining days of the summer, floats through the home from room to room, mostly centering on a love triangle, or really, love train, secretly developing amongst the characters. Howard loves Lane, but she in fact loves Peter who in turn loves Lane’s friend Stephanie who is already unhappily married with children. This potential fodder for comedy, Woody Allen’s challah and butter, is instead treated and explored as the stuff of a serious stage piece, filled with the morose blend of emotionally heavy dialogue and restrained expression normally found off-off-off Broadway.
But in September, which for all intents and purposes is a filmed play, the love triangle is no laughing matter. The characters, all in their early to mid-fifties, find themselves at a complete loss as they enter the autumn of their lives. The triangle’s unrequited love takes an appropriate and subtle backseat to the feeling of regret and melancholy gnawing at the middle-aged dreamers. Lane desires a fresh start with a new career, new love, and a new apartment. Peter wants artistic and commercial suc...