It may stand as one of the most influential films in the history of cinema, but can you remember a scene from Battleship Potemkin that wasn't the massacre on the Odessa steps? Likewise Nosferatu; over ninety years on, is there a more iconic image than Count Orlok's shadow creeping upstairs into Ellen's room? This list isn't necessarily a rundown of twelve films' most famous scenes, the moments that linger long after the closing credits have crawled up the screen and the lights have blinked back into life. No, these are the sequences that elevate a good film into a great one. But these flashes of brilliance often come at a cost; so sudden, shocking or spectacular are their arrivals that they can inadvertently provide an early peak. In fact, they can become the only scene you associate with the film. For filmmakers, this is something of a mixed blessing. Having one scene celebrated in this way - even at the expense of all others- is a surefire sign that you've struck a chord. But should a few fleeting minutes, no matter how fantastic, really be the only thing an audience can remember? Does one perfect scene make a perfect film? Contains spoilers.
12. The Secret In Their Eyes - Stadium Chase
Winner of the 2010 Best Foreign Film Oscar, this Argentinian thriller - part compelling 'cold case', part romantic melodrama - boasts a bravura setpiece that threatens to overshadow the entire film. It begins with an incredible aerial shot of a football stadium, where we hover above the players mid-match before rising into the crowds. Through thousands of spectators the camera drives forward until we reach our protagonist, who is on the lookout for a suspect. When he finds him, we follow his pursuit through the terraces - rocked by the collective roar of a goal celebration- and deep inside the concrete corridors below. The chase takes us from one stairway to another, drops us from a wall and rushes us out onto the pitch. And all, it seems, in a continuous five- minute shot.
Yorkshireman (hence the surname). Often spotted sacrificing sleep and sanity for the annual Leeds International Film Festival. For a sample of (fairly) recent film reviews, please visit whatsnottoblog.wordpress.com.