It has been a very long time, it seems to me, that a line from a film goes instantly under the skin. I haven’t even seen Tree of Life, but of course I’ve seen the preview, and this line is instantly memorable, just as Joe Pesci’s classic “Do I amuse you?” moment from Goodfellas. Is there any other line from the past 20 years that has that power? Perhaps the infamous “Khaaan!” from Star Trek?
Very few movie lines reach that iconic stature, let alone from a movie that hardly anyone has seen. Two questions:
1) Am I right that this line is instantly iconic?
2) What makes a line resonate so deeply?
These days, these kinds of lines fell less “iconic” to me than trailer-made. I fear the filmmakers insert them into their narrative simply to give the trailer guys something to work with.
That “I am Shiva, god of death” line from Michael Clayton springs to mind as a typically onerous example.
Eh, I didn’t find that line very iconic personally, but I’m out of touch with what ‘the people’ like. I kinda chuckled at that actually ’cause I thought: god, I wish my dad had said that instead of the acting out the reversal, ha.
Wait, you think the “trailer guys” influence movie dialogue?
Chances are: a bad writer put that in his script because he thought it sounded cool. I think you give too much credit to film makers. They’re not opportunistic masters, they’re just immature and jejune.
I don’t think the trailer guys influence the movie, I think the movie guys are thinking like trailer guys, more interested in clever lines that hook in an audience than dialogue that enhances and deepens (in the right way) characterization.
My dad once ordered me to hit him. He was drunk and I was a pissed-off 15-year-old. I gladly obliged and put him to sleep for a good 5 hours.
My dad did the same to me, I slapped him an eight when he was showing thirteen, beat my two queens with a 21. Bastard.
Well yeah, most people who make movies are hacks.
But stylized dialogue can be an end in itself
ie Howard Hawks films.
“Bitchslap that Jack of diamonds.”
It echoes . . . in space!
Not faithful to the original, but ok, very operatic in a sense:
Well this speech has plenty of memorable quotes. I saw it in 70 mm not so long ago. The quote I remember from this speech, among others, is this:
“We’re going to hold onto him by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the ass.”
“What in the World Do People Expect from Discussions Here?”
Threads like this!
Now I know this line will be said. I’ll be expecting it. Waiting for it . . . when I first watch the film.
I don’t think he actually says the word “Son” until after he says, “Hit Me, come on! Hit me!” Which reminds me of the first scene in the movie Thirteen.
@Daniel Vincent LOL true. Threads like this kill the site.
Always here I am adding to the thread….
The Ruling Class
Peter O’Toole “AAARRRRCCCCSSSSAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”
The punchline in to the scene in the movie makes it much funnier, more human, less iconic, less pre-packaged by movie trailer cutters or quote-whoring scriptwrighters. So. Uh. The trailer was an INaccurate representation of the moment. SPOILER!
“I want you to hit me as hard as you can.” – Brad Pitt again, in Fight Club.
Yeah, that’s actually all I could think of during the scene, too.
“Father! Mother! Always you wrestle inside me!” – The Tree of Life
Who calls their kid “son?” My dad, who grew up in the 50s, also has never heard this.
“These days, these kinds of lines fell less “iconic” to me than trailer-made. I fear the filmmakers insert them into their narrative simply to give the trailer guys something to work with.
That “I am Shiva, god of death” line from Michael Clayton springs to mind as a typically onerous example."
Shiva is not the god of death in hindu mythology, Yamaraj is.