Sunday, 1 August 2010

Films: When Men Cry

I see that the BBC has compiled a list of 20 films that make men cry. Sadly it misses out a number of the scenes that get me every time.

The first is the final scene of Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun in which a young Jim Graham (Christian Bale) is after being separated from his parents in a different camp through World War II is standing with other children hoping to be reunited with their parents. Jim's mum comes past him and walks right past Jim no recognising him. Enough to make the tears start to well up but then when she does turn back and he finally realises it is his mother the floodgates open.

The next is the film The Power of One. Set in South Africa under apartheid it is the story of young P.K. (Guy Witcher, Simon Fenton and Stephen Dorff) it has several scenes that bring on the tears. One is when the black boxing coach of P.K. called Geel Piet is bludgeoned to death behind a hut while a concert of his fellow prisoners is going on in the background being conducted by P.K.

Later on there is more when his girlfriend the daughter of a National Party leader is killed while teaching English in a township. Plus the final scene when he and his one time black boxing opponent who had saved his life by killing his arch enemy (Daniel Craig) in another township raid set off together to beat the system together.

There is also the film Gattaca. Where Jerome (Jude Law) plays an disabled man whereas Vincent (Ethan Hawke) was conceived naturally without the DNA screening and is therefore an "in-valid" as he does not have the superior DNA. But he does buy Jerome's "valid" DNA to fulfill his dreams of being part of the space exploration programme at the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation. There are two scenes that bring the tears on, first is when Vincent is finally found out by his valid brother Anton (Loren Dean) who is investigating a murder at Gattaca. They replay their childhood game of chicken but Vincent is not prepared to turn back towards shore. Having to be rescued his brother, Vincent reveals that he won by not saving anything for the swim back.

Again as ever there is also the final scene in which Jerome sends Vincent away on his mission and reveals a stockpile of all the samples he could possibly need in a lifetime. As the rocket is preparing to take off to Saturn's moon Titan with Vincent on board, Jerome eases himself into the incinerator at the apartment and fires it up as the rocket takes off.

Of course another film is Dead Poets Society, maybe this is because of the young poet in me when I first saw this at University. But when Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard) takes his life after his father objects to him following his dream and appearing as Puck in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream you cannot help but cry. Then also the final scene when John Keating (Robin Williams) is leaving his classroom in disgrace Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke) is the first to stand up in defence of Mr Keating, but is told to sit down, then when he is at the door stands up on his desk saying 'O Captain! My Captain!' followed my many of the others.

I know there are more films that make me cry but these are four that I feel really need to be on that list.

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