As of today, I will no longer be writing the already mostly dead ‘Breakouts and Outbreaks’ column. It will be replaced by what Alex and I have decided to call ‘Master Moments.’ The idea originated a while back when I saw Roger Ebert had reposted this old “Top 100” film list of sorts. What separates this list from the typical unintelligently quantified assessment of film is that it is focused not on entire films, but on individual moments. To me, this simplifies the criteria for measuring greatness considerably. It also demonstrates both how much an individual moment can affect an entire film and how much an individual moment can affect how the movie is received.
Obviously movie moments is still a very broad category to assess (which I intend to stretch as much as possible in this column). A moment can be anything from a single shot to a full scene. Perhaps the most common example of a movie moment is a memorable and often quoted line. But no matter the length, a moment is defined by a significant reaction within the viewer, whether it be from a narrative or informational revelation, or a release from tension. Some of the great movie moments are almost nothing other than sheer aesthetic beauty. There is no answer to what makes a moment a ‘Master Moment.’ But that is the question I want to explore in this upcoming column.
I’m going to start it off with a piece from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey this week. I know I have a lot of ideas for this column, some off of Ebert’s list, and many more that are not. The image above is a great example. What are some of your favorite ‘Master Moments?’