Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless (À bout de souffle), Godard, 1960
One of these days, I’m gonna write a poignant, hard-hitting, intellectual piece that takes your current state of being and stands it on its head.
But today ain’t that day. It’s Sunday. The day before the start of most work weeks. The slow-down day. Here, it’s grey and blustery. Winter is threatening to arrive at any minute, like a relative you dread seeing. Hearty stew eating weather, though I don’t have any at the moment, as I have to get rid of leftovers from the weekend. It becomes a snarky kind of day, if you let it. Happily, a bit of wine remains in the bottle, the fireplace is on and the kids are playing nicely.
I find myself lost in a reverie made up of films, and decided that the blog of the day would be listing some of my favourite lines.
I couldn’t find quotes for some, namely Il Postino (Radford, Troisi, 1994) Burnt by the Sun (Mikhalkov, 1994), Trois Couleurs [Bleu, Blanc, Rouge] (Kieślowski, 1993/4) and Project Grizzly (Lynch, NFB, 1996), all of which you should see.
Sit back and relax.
The best thing about feeling happy is that you think you’ll never be unhappy again.
Kiss of The Spider Woman, Babenco, 1985
Mrs. Fisher: Women’s heads weren’t made for thinking, I assure you. I should go to bed and get well.
Caroline Dester: I am well.
Mrs. Fisher: Then why did you send a message that you were ill?
Caroline: I didn’t.
Mrs. Fisher: Then I’ve had all the trouble of coming out here for nothing.
Caroline: But wouldn’t you prefer coming out and finding me well than coming out and finding me ill?
The Enchanted April, Newell, 1992
Michael: All right. This one time I’ll let you ask me about my affairs.
Kay Adams: Is it true? Is it?
[Kay smiles and walks into his arms]
Kay Adams: I guess we both need a drink, huh?
[Kay goes to the kitchen to fix a drink, but sees Peter Clemenza, Rocco Lampone and Al Neri enter Michael’s office]
Clemenza: Don Corleone. [kisses Michael’s ring]
The Godfather, Coppola, 1972
Cecil: Your mama thought you were golden so we named you after yellow flowers and corn. This is you here…
[cuts some purslane from garden]
Cecil: …pretty, golden purslane.
Pursy: Purslane’s really a weed, you know. A neighbor told me when I was 9 and I ran over his tomato plants. He said all gardeners hate purslane.
Cecil: Yeah, and dandelions. Doesn’t stop kids from making wishes on ’em.
A Love Song for Bobby Long, Gabel, 2004
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn’t say “Fudge.” I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!
Mr. Parker: [stunned] *What* did you say?
Ralphie: Uh, um…
Mr. Parker: That’s… what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over – I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child’s play compared to what surely awaited me.
A Christmas Story, Clark, 1983
Alvy Singer: I was thrown out of N.Y.U. my freshman year for cheating on my metaphysics final, you know. I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
Annie Hall, Allen, 1977
Stuart Mackenzie: Well, it’s a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.
Tony Giardino: So who’s in this Pentavirate?
Stuart Mackenzie: The Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, *and* Colonel Sanders before he went tits up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee *beady* eyes, and that smug look on his face. “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!”
Charlie Mackenzie: Dad, how can you hate “The Colonel”?
Stuart Mackenzie: Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!
So I Married An Axe Murderer, Schlamme, 1993
Juno MacGuff: I’ll take some of these. Nope… There it is. The little pink plus sign is so unholy.
[shakes pregnancy tester]
Rollo: That ain’t no Etch-A-Sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be un-did, Homeskillet.
Juno, Reitman, 2007
[stumbles out of wrecked truck]
The Joker: [to Batman] Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. Hit me!
The Dark Knight, Nolan, 2008
Indiana: The Ark of the Covenant, the chest that the Hebrews used to carry around the Ten Commandments.
Major Eaton: What, you mean THE Ten Commandments?
Indiana: Yes, the actual Ten Commandments, the original stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mt. Horeb and smashed, if you believe in that sort of thing…
[the officers stare at him blankly]
Indiana: Didn’t any of you guys ever go to Sunday school?
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Speilberg, 1981
Léon: You need some time to group up a little.
Mathilda: I finished growing up, Léon. I just get older.
Léon: For me it’s the opposite. I’m old enough. I need time to grow up.
Mathilda: Is life always this hard, or is it just when you’re a kid?
Léon: Always like this.
The Professional (Léon )Besson, 1994
Delia Surridge: [V gives her a rose] Are you going to kill me now?
V: I killed you 10 minutes ago.
[shows her hypodermic needle]
V: While you slept.
Delia Surridge: Is there any pain?
Delia Surridge: Thank you. Is it too late to apologize?
Delia Surridge: I’m so sorry.
V For Vendetta, McTeigue, 2006
Antonia: This is no time for Schopenhauer. This is important.
Antonia’s Line, Gorris, 1995
Narrator: On September 3rd 1973, at 6:28pm and 32 seconds, a bluebottle fly capable of 14,670 wing beats a minute landed on Rue St Vincent, Montmartre. At the same moment, on a restaurant terrace nearby, the wind magically made two glasses dance unseen on a tablecloth. Meanwhile, in a 5th-floor flat, 28 Avenue Trudaine, Paris 9, returning from his best friend’s funeral, Eugène Colère erased his name from his address book. At the same moment, a sperm with one X chromosome, belonging to Raphaël Poulain, made a dash for an egg in his wife Amandine. Nine months later, Amélie Poulain was born.
Amélie, Jeunet, 2001
Michel Poiccard: When we talked, I talked about me, you talked about you, when we should have talked about each other.
Breathless [À bout de souffle] Godard, 1960
Mr. Fox: [in a cellar with many of the other animal characters] Allright, let’s start planning. Who knows shorthand?
[Linda raises her hand]
Mr. Fox: Great! Linda! Lutra Lutra – you got some dry paper?
[she holds up some paper]
Mr. Fox: Here we go. Mole! Talpa Europea! What d’you got?
Mole: I can see in the dark.
Mr. Fox: That’s incredible! We can use that! Linda?
Linda Otter: Got it.
Mr. Fox: Rabbit! Oryctolagus Cuniculus!
Rabbit: I’m fast.
Mr. Fox: You bet you are. Linda?
Linda Otter: Got it.
Mr. Fox: Beaver! Castor Fiber!
Beaver: I can chew through wood.
Mr. Fox: Amazing! Linda!
Linda Otter: Got it.
Mr. Fox: Badger! Meles Meles!
Badger: Demolitions expert.
Mr. Fox: What? Since when?
The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson, 2009
Sosuke: [after several waves with eyes fail to catch him by the shore] That was weird.
Ponyo (Gake no ue no Ponyo, dubbed Japanese), Miyakazi, 2008
Gru: Clearly we need to set a few rules. Rule number one: You will not touch anything.
Margo: Aha. What about the floor?
Gru: Yes, you may touch the floor
Margo: What about the air?
Gru: Yes, you may touch the air.
Edith: What about this?
[Holds a ray gun on her hands, the laser sight aimed right at Gru]
Gru: Ah! Where did you get that?
Edith: Found it.
[Gru takes it away from her]
Gru: Rule number two: You will not bother me while I’m working. Rule number three: You will not cry, or whine, or laugh, or giggle, or sneeze or barf or fart! So no, no, no annoying sounds. All right?
Agnes: Does this count as annoying?
[puckles her cheeks]
Gru: [Stops her] Very!
Despicable Me, Coffin/Renaud, 2010
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: You all wanna be looking very intently at your own belly buttons. I see a head start to rise, violence is going to ensue. Probably guessed we mean to be thieving here but what we’re after is not yours. So, let’s have no undue fussing.
~ and ~
The Operative: That girl will rain destruction down on you and your ship. She is an albatross, Captain.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Way I remember it, albatross was a ship’s good luck, ’til some idiot killed it.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: [to Inara] Yes, I’ve read a poem. Try not to faint.
Serenity, Whedon, 2005
HAL: I’m afraid. I’m afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I’m a… fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you.
Dave Bowman: Yes, I’d like to hear it, HAL. Sing it for me.
HAL: It’s called “Daisy.”
[sings while slowing down]
HAL: Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I’m half crazy all for the love of you. It won’t be a stylish marriage, I can’t afford a carriage. But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.
2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick, 1968
Batty: I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.
Deckard: [narrating] I don’t know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life – anybody’s life; my life. All he’d wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.
Blade Runner, Scott, 1982
Mary: Bread… that this house may never know hunger.
[Mary hands a loaf of bread to Mrs. Martini]
Mary: Salt… that life may always have flavor.
[Mary hands a box of salt to Mrs. Martini]
George Bailey: And wine… that joy and prosperity may reign forever.
[George hands Mr. Martini a bottle of wine]
It’s a Wonderful Life, Capra, 1946
Who are those guys?
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hill, 1969
Captain Renault: I’ve often speculated why you don’t return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Run off with a senator’s wife? I like to think you killed a man. It’s the Romantic in me.
Casablanca, Curtiz, 1942
I don’t know when I came to realize it, but my entire life can be summarized with sound bites.
Mi Vita Loca, Lee McBride, 2011